BY KEN SAURET
a look at Nacimiento Lake
s a Central Coast resident, I am blessed to
have four distinctly different lakes within
an hour’s drive from my home here in
Paso Robles. The northernmost body of water is San Antonio
Lake, just over the hill is Nacimiento Lake, about
45-minutes further south is Santa Margarita Lake
and with a left turn just after the Cuesta grade to the
town of Arroyo Grande, you will find Lopez Lake about
15-minutes from town.
As an avid bass angler, I have extensive
experience on these waters that I call my home lakes.
To enlighten anglers on the Central Coast fisheries I
plan to cover the area lakes on an ongoing basis. This
installment will feature Nacimiento Lake.
Nacimiento Lake is primarily a spotted bass
fishery with a few northern strain largemouth and
even fewer smallmouth available. “Naci” as the locals
fondly refer to this lake, is very popular during the
warmer months for jet skis and wakeboard boats
so a trip here during the summer can be a lot of fun
until about 10 a.m. as the boat traffic can get a little
Gettingoutearly andgettingonthat topwaterbite
willnotonlyputspots intheboat, but whitebasstoo. A
rare andexcitingexperienceisalways aroundthecorner.
Naci is the only lake in the state that the California Department of Fish and Game has planted white bass in. On Naci bass “boils” can last for 30-minutes or
more and when fishing them you can get a bass on every cast. The only question is-will it be a spot or a white bass? They are frequently in mixed schools during those warm, summer mornings.
A Zara Spook or Rebel Pop-R is a great choice for that topwater bite and when the bass go down-get on your electronics. A Lowrance HDS will find those “arches” and show you exactly where to drop a spoon to keep the action going.
With the population of spotted bass in the majority, most of our team tournaments are scheduled during this time of the year where the colder winter months prevail.
The cooperative nature of spotted bass when the water cools into the low ‘50s and upper ‘40s makes Nacimiento Lake the choice of the cold weather angler. Fishing here at this time of the year can be some of the most fun a bass angler can have; because there are so many techniques that will get these willing fish to play.
The threadfin shad, which is the primary forage in Naci, go out to the main lake, finding their comfort level with a lot of the bass following them. Their target area can be from 40- to 60-feet depending on the conditions. Here is where that spoon you used last summer will provide cold weather action too. Recently, there have been reports of spots up to four pounds being caught on spoons.
I have been fishing Naci a lot over the holidays for the January tournaments that are held here. I haven’t