I drove right by Lake Cachuma twice last week and had to wrestle my steering wheel to keep my car from turning in. I didn’t have the spare time either day, but I sure intend to make the trip soon and again repeatedly throughout the winter. There is some good wintertime fishing at Cachuma and nearby Ventura County lakes thanks to the highly successful and long-term trout-stocking program of the California Department of Fish & Game.
» Cachuma: 6,300 pounds
» Lake Casitas: 4,000 pounds
» Lake Piru: 7,200 pounds
The majority of the trout planted are “catchable-size” rainbow trout (approximately 8 to 12 inches), which are nice individual meal-size fish. They do throw some bigger one-pound trout in the mix to liven up the fishing experience. Also included are a number of fingerling trout, many of which, I suspect, become fodder for the sizable populations of bass in these lakes.
The stocking program does not end after this month. Fish will continue to be stocked right throughout the cool months. Even if you’re a beginner, your chances of success are strong. Just stop by a tackle shop and take the advice of the owner regarding tackle and bait. The helpful folks at the lake concession will also aid you in catching fish yourself and how to help young folks learn to enjoy fishing.
Our area lakes — and especially Cachuma — are scenic gems surrounded by beautiful panoramas of hills and mountains chock full of flora and fauna. At Cachuma, I recommend the wildlife cruises, which offer glimpses of an amazing variety of critters. At this time of year they run special eagles cruises to enjoy a robust population of the big birds of prey. The campgrounds are inviting and there are plenty of fun and educational things for the whole family to do. Click here for more information or call 805.686.5055 for reservations.