Fishing Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Weather: Warm, slight breeze, T-70s
Moon Phase: New Moon
Location: El Capitan Reservoir
Best Bait: Live shiner on a size 2 mosquito hook with 1/4-ounce split shot sinker 2 ft above the hook
Who Went: Dunc
More work travel means more new fishing adventures and this time it’s San Diego. I will be here for the next three months and although I will be working 6 days a week, that leaves one day a week, plus some possible evenings to fish. My plan is to fish the bay for spotted bay bass and hopefully some other species. I’m not too familiar with the ocean, so who knows what I may find. However, my big plans are to hit the inland lakes on my days off, in search of some of the monster largemouth bass that San Diego County offers.
My boat didn’t make this trip, at least for now, but I may be able to bring it back after Christmas. For now, I’m armed with my float tube and flippers. On my first day off, I spent the morning getting my bearings, buying a fishing license and live bait at the East County Bait and Tackle shop near El Cajon, California, before making my way to El Capitan Reservoir. They didn’t accept my debit card at the gate, so it was back to El Cajon to hit the ATM. I arrived at the lake about 9:30 AM and began setting up my float tube, equipped with my fish finder and live bait bucket. This took another hour and the day was passing by.
My plan of attack was to hit an underwater ridge that I fished in my boat last spring that I know holds some big bass, but unfortunately, I couldn’t flip my way over there due to a couple bad circumstances. First, I had to travel across the large lake in my float tube and the recreational skiers were out in full force, which scared me a bit trying to get across the lake. The second and most important reason is my float tube was losing air! It’s a slow leak, but the thought of being in the middle of the lake and sinking was too much to bear. I don’t think it’s a hole in the tube, and my guess is the leak is coming from the valve where you put air in. Either way I have some troubleshooting to do. For now, I was stuck to the closest shoreline where I had easy access to more air reserves.
I started with a live minnow pinned to a size 2 mosquito hook made by Owner, with a ¼- ounce split shot weight approximately 2 ft above the hook, slowly dragging it along the bottom in 15-25 feet of water trying to keep the minnow close to the bottom, but not too close to avoid snagging. For the first 200 yards my spirits were running low as it seemed there were no fish in the area, but the next 200 yards looked a bit fishier. My first bite came along a rocky shoreline with submerged brush in approximately 18 feet of water. This bass had some fight in him, and I started thinking that I may have caught the monster on the first bite of my trip, but it turned out to be a feisty 2.5-pounder. Still a nice bass and a fun fight on a halfway deflated float tube!
I continued fishing the point and it was definitely a fishy area as I landed another 2-pound bass shortly after. By now I was literally sinking and decided I better hit the shoreline for more air. So annoying. This issue has to get fixed!
With fresh air in the tube I made my way back to the rocky point and caught a couple more feisty yet small bass. I didn’t land any monsters on this trip, but it was a good start with 4 fish landed, a couple more that popped off near my tube, and a few additional bites with no hook ups. I’m excited to hit this lake again with hopes of making the trek across the lake to the underwater ridge, or pounding that rocky point in search of that double-digit bass. It should be fun the next few months, so stay tuned…