Southern CA Freshwater

Oak View: Quality bass on tap at Casitas

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 19, 2020

Conditions shaping up nicely for productive spawn

OAK VIEW — As anglers at other lakes in the region are fighting through the finicky nature of winter bassin' doldrums, Lake Casitas has been kicking out a steady and consistent late-winter bite for the most part over the last several weeks. Overall numbers have been good despite the colder conditions and the quality has been there too for the most part. That was on clear display at this past Saturday's Rich Tauber Fishing Tour event, which was won with a 5-fish limit going over 24 pounds and featured a number of fat pre-spawn largemouth eclipsing the 5-pound mark hitting the scales.

A 24.05-POUND LIMIT earned longtime Lake Casitas hot sticks Paul Ramsey and Matt Lindsey the top spot in this past Saturday's RTF Tour team event at the Ventura County watershed, averaging just under 5 pounds per largemouth – not too shabby at all for mid February. PHOTO COURTESY RICH TAUBER FISHING

The always formidable duo of longtime hot Casitas sticks Paul Ramsey and Matt Lindsey took the top spot in the tourney with 24.05 pounds, as the top four teams cracked the 20-pound mark, with the top 11 teams breaking the 18-pound barrier – not too shabby for a mid-February event on the back end of a full moon cycle.

“What was impressive about this entire week was the quality of the fish,” said guide and tournament director Rich Tauber (richtauberfishing.com). “So many bass in the 4- to 5-pound class. The Roboworm was without question the most dominant bait in the tournament, and the pattern has been pretty solid in anywhere from 15 to 50 feet of water. The big numbers of fish just aren't shallow yet, though. There are several places in the lake that have 25 feet of visibility, which is a great sign that the water quality is excellent and it could result in some fantastic fishing this spring. I believe by the first week of March we'll start to see good numbers of fish in shallow water spawning on that next full moon. Water temperatures are touching 58, 59 degrees in the afternoon.”

Casitas guide Fred Klinshaw (Fred Klinshaw Fishing) finished 5th in Saturday's tournament with partner John Karayan, and he's been putting himself and his clients on the bite and quality fish the last couple weeks. “The days of the big ones have been upon us,” he said. “Lots of quality, lots of 5 pounders. The bigger models are still predominantly being caught in 25-feet plus, but this weekend there were a few more bass that moved up close in as little as 5 to 10 feet – slower moving jigs and plastics are still the baits of choice.”

That quality was on display late last week when Klinshaw's clients Skylar Khach and Jesse Horrowitz racked up a strap of stout 4- to 6-plus-pound largemouth that rivaled Saturday's tourament-winning bag, while the biggest fish of the week fell to Damien Webb on a plastic worm at 7.12 pounds.

Even casual bass anglers are having some great days on the water, according to Scott Sanford at Lake Casitas Boat Rentals, who said some of his pontoon rental customers are finding 15-plus fish days with a handful of 4 and 5 pounders mixed in. “The bass bite is pretty awesome right now and is only going to get better,” Sanford said.

casitasqualityCASITAS QUALITY — You can't ask for much more than a strap of 4- to 6-plus-pound largemouth in mid February, and that's exactly what Skylar Khach and Jesse Horrowitz got into last week while fishing jigs and plastics with Casitas guide Fred Klinshaw. PHOTO COURTESY FRED KLINSHAW FISHING

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