CASTAIC — More hot bassin' at Castaic Lake through this past week collided with hot flames by the time the sun was overhead on Saturday, as a wildfire on the north end of Castaic raged and consumed nearly 1,000 acres of recently dried brush to somewhat put a damper on things over Father's Day weekend. The fire, which started midday Saturday, spread rapidly, going from consuming 5 to 200 acres in just two hours' time. As a result, the east launch ramp was closed, but the west ramp remained open for business.
A WEEKEND FIRE burned right down to the bank at the north end of Castaic Lake.
As of press time, the fire was noted as being 60 percent contained with approximately 400 firefighters battling the blaze in triple-digit temperatures, according to authorities, who estimated to hopefully have full containment on the fire by Friday. On Monday afternoon, the fire was moving in a direction away from the lake. Two outbuildings have been destroyed in the blaze.
“My neighborhood is covered in ash and the smell of smoke was horrible all weekend, and still was this morning,” said Castaic angler John Petroski at noon on Monday, who lives on the south end of the lake. Prior to the inferno kicking up on Saturday, Petroski enjoyed a short, three-hour session in the morning and connected with a “Castaic Trifecta” for the fourth straight trip, boating largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass during the outing.
“Crankbaits and jerkbaits in shad colors off secondary points seem to be the ticket for me,” Petroski said. “Not as many bites in coves. Water temps are climbing and I metered it at 76 degrees at times. Massive schools of shad are cruising the shorelines, so keeping your eyes open for fish feeding on them and getting into casting reach can pay off big time with some topwater action. I had solid fish crashing my popper at 11 a.m., so it's not just an early morning thing right now. We're going to start seeing wide-open boils being more prevelent here as we roll into July.” Petroski also added that the heat wave has brought lots of boating pressure to the lake as of late, so plan on it possibly taking a little longer than normal to get a boat in the water.
THAT CASTAIC LEAN — Few anglers are on top of the bass bite at Castaic Lake like lake regular John Petroski, who has been scoring some solid reaction fish on jerkbaits and crankbaits in shad patterns, with some popper action on the surface sprinkled in until the late morning.
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