Written By BLAKE WARREN/WON
Staff WriterPublished: Jun 08, 2017
First RTF Casitas Nights event won with help of 9-plus-pound kicker
OAK VIEW — Although the abundance of shad in the shallows has started noticeably thinning out not long after first light, the largemouth at Lake Casitas certainly haven’t yet cinched off their feedbags. Good bassin’ remains the norm at the Ventura County lake, and there have been some fatter models making their fair share of showings as of late to sweeten things up for area anglers.
A 9.36-POUND KICKER fish for Larry Elshere shot he and partner Doug Hanson up the leaderboard at the first RTF Casitas Nights tournament this past Saturday — the duo topped the field by 5½ pounds with a 24.17-pound total weight. The next Casitas Nights event is slated for June 17.
“The reaction bite is really starting to get going now to go along with the topwater stuff in the mornings and later in the day,” said Scott Sanford at Casitas Boat Rentals. “Crankbaits especially — we’re seeing quite a few more crankbait fish. Chatterbaits, too.” There have also been a smattering of good bass taking whacks at swimbaits, which one would tend to reason could be a trend likely to spill over into this week, as a stock of DFW rainbows was also delivered late in the week.
Saturday evening played host to the opening RTF Casitas Nights event of the season and it was a plump 9.36-pound topwater fish stuck under dark skies that was the big difference maker. Casitas veteran Larry Elshere was the angler doing the work on the surface, the 9-plus-pound kicker fish vaulting Elshere and partner Doug Hanson to a run-away win with 24.17 pounds, clearing the runner-up team of Scott and Jack Parrish by about 5½ pounds.
Bass aren’t the only attraction in town at Casitas, however. Boaters looking for a few early-June trout are connecting with some holdover rainbows by trolling Needlefish – a few boats during the week stacked up good, full trout limits. On the other end of the spectrum, Casitas cat specialist Kenny Tatsch of Ventura got out just prior to the weekend to put a pair of nice whiskerfish on the bank at 9.5 and 10 pounds.
The pretty steady crappie bite that had been running along somewhat smoothly has tailed off but the panfish crowd has stayed busy, shifting gears and employing redworms for respectable numbers of decent-sized bluegill.
Night fishing is on tap later this week at Lake Casitas, June 8-10 until 11 p.m.