Saturday, December 16 , 2017, 8:36 am | Smoke 57º


Captain’s Log: Trout Active as Lake Cachuma Rises

After a discussion with Kenny, the marina manager at Lake Cachuma, Capt. Tiffany Vague at Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center in Santa Barbara said, “The lake came up better than 10 feet from the big storm. Trout plants are in the works, and those silvery beauties sure seem to be hungry. We’re getting reports at the tackle shop of good stringers of fish and some really big fish, up to 12 pounds.”

Shore anglers caught many of their fish by casting and retrieving lures, or using a night crawler on a Carolina rig or hanging down below a bobber.

There didn’t seem to be any direct correlation between technique and either size or number of fish, which simply means the fish are really hungry and quite plentiful.

April will be the big month, with two trout plants and a renowned annual trout derby. Information on the derby will be available at Hook, Line & Sinker at 4010 Calle Real in Santa Barbara.

There are many other lakes and ponds in our area, and now we won’t have to refer to fishing these spots as “the huddle at the puddle.” Lakes with campgrounds are readying for the camping season, and it should be a great one. Sure, the lakes are still way below capacity, and we are hoping for another gully-washer, a wet spring or perhaps one of those prolonged wet summer storms.

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasting an El Niño event next year, complete with a wet winter, we may (keeping fingers crossed) have an opportunity to fill and spill our reservoirs. If so, we can talk again about trying to give steelhead the river habitat needed to bring them back to abundance.

I, for one, would love to see a well-managed trophy steelhead fishery in our local rivers. Accomplishing that would mean great habitat that gets what it needs, healthy populations of fish and critters who depend upon them, and it would mean a healthy boost to our tourism and fishing industries.

— 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >