Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 5:05 am | Overcast 64º


Captain’s Log: Trout Derby at Lake Cachuma Offers Great Fishing for a Great Cause

Imagine … fishing at a gorgeous lake and enjoying a very strong chance of catching some fine fresh trout for dinner, an opportunity to win cash prizes up to $2,000 and — here’s the best part — your registration money benefits the Neal Taylor Nature Center at Lake Cahuma. It is a great place and a great cause.

The reason for the 18th Annual Trout Derby, scheduled for April 20-21, is a popular one, and the fishing is expected to be exceptionally good.

I’m pretty current on fishing info at the lake, thanks to owning Hook, Line & Sinker, Santa Barbara’s fishing center. Fishing reports pass freely, and so does fishing advice at the shop.

Trout fishing has been good, bass fishing is improving rapidly as the fish move shallower, crappie fishing is going strong and catfish are biting baits as well. Oh, and there are plenty of carp for fun. But this derby is about trout.

We have had several trout plants since November, and this month there are two plants — meaning plenty of trout swimming around looking for your bait or lure. One of the plants this month was “tailwalker trout,” which is a fighting breed of large trout from the Midwest. They are known to walk the water on their tail after being hooked, reminiscent of a marlin out on the big salt. They are fun, feisty and quite popular. They taste great, too.

Specially tagged trout are released into Lake Cachuma before the derby. The trout with the highest-number tag wins the big money. Plenty of other prizes are awarded based on tag numbers and sizes of fish caught. There is even a prize for the shortest trout. Kids have their own categories as well.

Even if you don’t fish, the event is worthwhile because of the good cause and the great ambiance at Lake Cachuma. Either way, it is easy enough to register. Click here to download the registration form. We have a supply of them at my tackle shop, located at 4010 Calle Real in Santa Barbara. Stop by for the latest info on trout fishing and gear up with the best baits, rods/reels, lines and lures.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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