Fishing Time: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Weather: AM: Foggy and cool PM: sunny, warm, T-70
Moon Phase: 70% Moon
Location: Lower Otay Lake - San Diego
Water Temp: Unknown
Best Bait: Live shiner 3 ft under a slip bobber on a size 2 mosquito hook
Who Went: Dunc
I’m back in San Diego after a great holiday break at home. After two weeks off, it was hard to get back into the swing of working every day. Yuck. For my first day off I wanted to hit a new lake that I’ve heard a lot about from locals. Of course, they talk about how good it is in April and May, but I won’t be around that long, so now is the time! Lower Otay Lake is near Chula Vista, California, and it looks just like what you would expect from a big bass producing lake. Shorelines lined with tullies, sunken brush, and trees underwater. The unfortunate part is due to the tullie lined shorelines there is very limited access for a float tube. I drove around the lake and there were so many spots that looked good, but access with a float tube was impossible.
I found the best looking spot I could drag a float tube and dunked it in the water. Armed with my usual bucket of shiners, I started making my way down the tullies trying to keep my shiner near the bottom in 10-15 ft of water. This lake was tough because the bottom was so thick with decomposed tullies that my shiner kept getting snagged or covered in moss. I soon realized this tactic was not going to work, so I put away the shiners for a bit and went to a 3-inch clear ice fluke and threw that towards the tullies for a bit. Unfortunately, that didn’t produce either.
I was a bit frustrated at this point, so I rigged up a slip bobber and pinned a live shiner about 3-4 ft below, and threw it up near the tullies while I munched on a snack. I didn’t finish my second bite before the bobber went down hard. After a quick fight I landed the first largemouth of the day. Bingo. The bobber was producing.
I continued my slip bobber tactics up and down the tullies and landed a total of 5 bass and missed about 3 more. They were all small, but it was fun and much better than getting skunked. I would love to hit this lake again on my boat if I ever get the chance, because there are some great looking areas, and from my internet research, there are some good gravel bottoms and underwater ridges that unfortunately I couldn’t access on my tube. Good news is, I have avoided a skunk at every lake I have fished in San Diego so far, so no complaints. Bad news is, I can’t seem to find anything with any size and it’s driving me nuts because I know they are there! Maybe my time will come…