Winter Conitions

Lake Nacimiento - Bradley, CA (San Luis Obispo County)

by Lake Nacimiento Marina
(805) 238-1056

LAKE CONDITIONS: The water is cooling and we are definitely out of water sports weather and fully into bass fishing weather.  That said, a few hardy wake boarders are still sighted at the lake – definite die hards!  We are continuing to move the marina out periodically as the lake continues to drop slowly.  We will be dis-connecting the fuel for the winter in mid-December.

Nate from Lake Nacimiento Marina here with your monthly fishing report.  Though winter is on the horizon and colder water temperatures are looming, winter is one of my favorite times of the year to fish.  Decreased boat traffic and cool temperatures make winter fishing at Lake Nacimiento a great experience!  The current water temperature is between 55-60 degrees, with warm temperatures during the day fish, are still fattening themselves up for colder water temperatures.  In many cases, an angler with the right lure and location selection can come away with double digit stringers.  Spotted Bass are still being pulled in regularly while White Bass are making sporadic appearances. 

  During winter months lure selection, retrieve speed, and location are more important than ever.  Generally when the water is colder than 50 degrees all species of bass tend to slow down, therefore the lure must be close enough to the bass to entice a strike.  Though a novice angler can have a lot of luck during warmer times of the year, winter is less forgiving.  Proper technique will be absolutely necessary over the next few months.  Below are some tips that will help you get out and catch your limits!

  Lure selection:  There are two arguments in selecting the size of your lure.  Two different Pro Anglers may give you two conflicting answers.  One side says a small lure is best to use, since it will require the fish to expend less energy catching and digesting the meal.  The other side argues that a bass will see larger bait as providing more energy and therefore will be more likely to strike.  My advice, try both.  Once you find the fish, try switching between smaller sinking jigs and larger sinking swim baits or worms.  Most importantly, always use lures that sink on their own.  Deep diving crank-baits and the like will only sink while retrieving.  You want the lure to drop in front of the bass slowly, therefore avoid crank baits and top water lures.  Since the water tends to be clearer during colder temperatures, ensure you use natural colors and patterns.

  Retrieve speed:  This is the most important factor when fishing during winter.  All Pro anglers agree, SLOW IT DOWN!  Bass conserve as much energy as possible in colder water, they will not chase a lure.  If during the summer you keep your lure in the water for less than a minute, slow down your retrieve and keep it in the water for 3 minutes.  Let the lure fall periodically by jigging the tip of your rod, bass are more likely to strike while the lure is falling in front of them than if it was zipping by.  Try bouncing the lure off the lake bed and cover, just ensure you do this SLOWLY.

  Location selection:  This really depends on the weather.  If it is a sunny warm day and the water temperature is sticking around 55+ degrees, bass can be found soaking in some rays in the shallows.  If it is shady, or the air temperature is cooler, bass will congregate in deeper water.  For a warm sunny day try fishing the shallow water sections in the middle of the lake between Snake Creek and Las Tablas or the back of coves.  For a cooler day try the rocky shoreline at the mouth of Las Tablas, or the cliff section right before Bee Rock.

  Bundle up, bring some coffee and snacks and enjoy the fact that you could be the only on the 14 miles of usable water Nacimiento still contains.

Please note this is an old picture when the lake was full.

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