Southern CA Freshwater

Oak View: Overall bite excellent at Casitas

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 04, 2020

OAK VIEW — Largemouth, rainbows and crappie, oh my. The smorgasbord bite is on at Lake Casitas with the calendar page flipping to March. Bass continue to push into the shallows in pre-spawn feeding mode, trout are showing throughout the lake and quality crappie are still on the menu as well, making for a very good three-pronged bite that's offering up a little something for everyone.

A SLOW-ROLLED SWIMBAIT fooled this 9.08-pound Casitas bucketmouth for Matty Villanueva this past Friday. The bass bite is currently very good at the lake both in terms of number and quality.

“Simply said, Lake Casitas is on fire – numbers, species, quality, it's all happening right now,” said guide Fred Klinshaw of Fred Klinshaw Fishing, who's been booked damn near every day at the lake. “Trout have been wide open at times with large models being caught all over the lake on just about anything you catch trout on. At the same time, so have the bass, with some on beds and most still in pre-spawn mode. The quality's been great too. At least one to three 5-plus pounders have been caught on just about every one of my trips this week.”

Indeed, lots of quality largemouth are making appearances in the current bite and 20-plus-pound limits haven't been all too uncommon as of late. The standout bass catch of the week came Friday morning when Matty Villanueva of Camarillo tied into a 9.08-pound bucketmouth while slow rolling a swimbait. Along with swimbaits — which have been getting more play since the big, unexpected trout plant Feb. 22 — just about everything is getting bit, from your standard soft plastics to blade baits, cranks and jerkbaits. “Crappie have been very cooperative on jerkbaits while targeting bass,” Klinshaw added. “It's pretty wild out there and changing every day. Very excited for the spawn to go into full swing.”

Trout from that unexpected stock two weeks ago are very active and hitting just about everything in the tackle box and beyond. “Incredible fishing!” said longtime Casitas guide Rich Tauber (richtauberfishing.com). “Our clients are catching lots of big 3- to 5-pound rainbow trout every day, and they're catching a lot of them on bass lures! Of course, we're putting together some big strings of largemouth too, all inside of 10 feet. Just fantastic fishing and some of the best we've seen in years.”

The rainbows are being caught throughout the lake on a wide range of offerings, and Scott Sanford at Casitas Boat Rentals said shore anglers are scoring as well as boaters with a good number of the trout still lingering around the marina area, while trollers targeting them are connecting with Needlefish and hooking some nice incidental crappie to 2½ pounds for good measure.

twentypoundlimitsTWENTY-POUND LIMITS aren’t all too uncommon these days during the current bass bite at Lake Casitas, as Nate Stevens visiting from Virginia found out fishing with guide Rich Tauber inside of 10 feet of water this past Friday.

crappieareCRAPPIE ARE ALSO chewing at Lake Casitas as Nadine Ozaki and Russ Mailloux prove here on a recent outing with guide Fred Klinshaw, who said the slabs have even been hitting jerkbaits intended for largemouth.

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