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Lake Cachuma Fishing Secrets

About Cachuma Lake

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area is a lovely outdoor destination located in the Santa Ynez Valley's oak woodlands. About almost everything you need for a pleasant lakeside getaway in the great outdoors can be found here. Despite the fact that no body-to-water contact is permitted, there are many recreational activities available across the lake. Camping, boating, yacht and kayak rentals, fishing, nature cruises on the lake, bird watching, climbing, disc golf, photography, picnics, a general store, and other activities are available to visitors.

Fishing on Cachuma Lake

Anglers come here to fish largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish, crappie, bluegills, and redear sunfish. Bowfishing for carp has recently been permitted on the lake. From October to April, Cachuma Lake is stocked with 150,000 trout.

Where to Fish on Cachuma Lake

Trout fishing is typically successful in deep water near the dam or Cachuma Bay, while shore anglers can find success near Harvey Cove, the marina region, and E Point. If you're looking for bass, the best places to go are around Arrowhead Island, Cachuma Bay, the Narrows, and Jack Rabbit Flats. Smallmouth bass tend to congregate at either end of the dam.

Crappie fishers would have an excellent time in the Narrows. Catfish anglers have a good time in Santa Cruz Bay and off the Loop Trail. Arrowhead Island can be a nice place to go bow fishing for carp.

Fish Derby on Cachuma Lake

The Cachuma Lake Nature Center hosts a Fish Derby every year. Hundreds of anglers compete for a share of the $5,000 in cash prizes and thousands more in merchandise prizes. The Fish Derby has been moved to April 23rd and 24th, 2022. In 2021, there will be no Fishing Derby due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bass Fishing Secrets from Professional Anglers

1. Save Shredded Worms

When your plastic worms get torn up, save them. Bass like to ambush wounded prey, so a beat-up worm is perfect to use, especially in shallow water.

– Anthony Gagliardi, 2006 FLW Tour Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year

2. Skip Your Bait

When you cast, stop halfway instead of following through, similar to a check swing in baseball. This makes the lure hit the surface of the water a few feet before your target, so the lure skitters over the water. It’s a good way to get under docks and other structures.

– Mike Iaconelli, 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion

3. Face the Wind

Sacrifice some distance in your casts and fish with the wind in your face. Bass always swim with the current, so it’s better for them to find your bait before they find your boat. Plus, the noise of water slapping your hull will carry away from the spot you’re fishing, which is good.

– Ish Monroe, winner of the 2006 Battle on the Border

4. Fish before the storm

The best time to fish bass is before a front comes through, and the worst time to fish them is after. The pressure makes the bass more active, so watch for a wall of clouds moving in. When it’s too pretty out, bass aren’t likely to bite.

– Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats founder and namesake of FLW Outdoors

Contour Elite software for better fishing

Contour Elite is a lake map computer application intended to assist anglers in finding and catching more fish. The software can be installed on almost every device running Windows. Contour Elite will help you be more effective and competitive on the water whether you are fishing for bass, walleye, pike, muskie, crappie, or some other species of fish.

Tips for spring fishing

1. An organized arsenal

Serviced reels, new rods, and proper rod actions will help you to achieve the best results possible during one of the best fishing seasons of the year.

2. A great squarebill

A great squarebill is another must-have for those fish emerging from winter patterns. It's an excellent bait for power fishing and locating active bass hiding in shallow cover.

3. Jerkbait tied onto the proper setup

You'll need a lot of jerkbaits during the spring season somewhere north of Florida. Jerkbaits are ideal pre-spawn baits for bass looking to feast before the spawn.