The key to successful Bass fishing in California lies in technique. Without question there are certain very unique methods used in lure selection and bait presentation that have been designed especially for California Bass. Lake Casitas is one of the premier fishing lakes in the region and is known for its "world class" bass fishing. Four of the 10 largest bass have been caught at Lake Casitas. In addition to largemouth bass, the lake is filled with rainbow trout, crappie, red-ear sunfish, bluegill and channel catfish. Record fish in all categories have been caught throughout the years.
Lake Casitas is a man-made lake in the Los Padres National Forest of Ventura County, California, created by the construction of Casitas Dam on Coyote Creek, two miles before it joins the Ventura River. Santa Ana Creek and North Fork Coyote Creek also flow into the lake. The dam was constructed of earth-fill and was completed in 1959. It is 279 ft and was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The lake has a capacity of 254,000 acre·ft. The dam was built as part of the Ventura River Project and was strengthened in June–December 2000 as a seismic improvement to help withstand earthquakes greater than 6.5. The project provides drinking water and water for irrigation. A secondary benefit is flood control. In the center of Lake Casitas is 2 km Main Island, whose peak rises more than 500 feet from the lake surface.
Lake Casitas 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Lake Casitas hosted the canoeing and rowing events. The lake was used as the site for filming the scenes of Camp Greenlake in the 19th century. The lake featured in the 2003 film Holes.
The "no body contact with water" lake policy was established by The Casitas Municipal Water District in the 1950s and 1960s because the lake did not have a filtration system in place. In the 1990s a multimillion-dollar filtration system upgrade was made to the Lake Casitas facility. The US Department of the Interior conducted a 10-year study on the lake where allowing body contact with water was explored. The study reported, "The capabilities of the current water filtration system to handle the additional burden of body contact were called into question. The system was shown to exceed current regulatory standards, and would “probably” be sufficient to mitigate body contact pollution as well. The Casitas Municipal Water District has not significantly changed the "no body contact with water" regulations in response to the facilities upgrade.
Summertime top water can be phenomenal, with 20 to 25 pound five-fish limits possible. If you can get on the breaking fish you can have a limit of giant bass in a hurry. It's all about timing...when they come up, you better be ready!
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