We were once again fortunate to receive the “golden ticket” to do some Barrett Lake bass fishing before it opens to the public on May 2, 2018. This year I brought along our SoCal editor Erik Landesfeind. Erik normally fishes saltwater bass but quickly jumped at the opportunity to fish some “green bass” at the legendary Barrett lake.
A quick check of the weather forecast showed a hot, sunny day without much wind.
One thing to note when fishing the lake, dress in layers and dress warm. The mornings in the lake valley can be in the 30’s with hot and sunny afternoons.
We arrived at the lake at 6 am to meet Jose, one of the lake managers. As we got our first glimpse of the lake it was great to see the water level holding steady from where it was last year.
I took this opportunity to test out my new Abu Garcia combos. One was a REVO X reel mated to a REVOXCW70-5, 7’ medium action rod which was perfect for lighter lures like plastics. The other new rig was a REVO SX reel matched with a Veritas VTSC66-5, 6’6” medium weight rod. This combo was perfect for throwing the heavier Savage Tri-Flex spinner baits.
We wasted no time jumping in our boat and getting after it. We started in Hauser Arm and for not much action. Not to worry though, it often seems like the fish don’t start biting until the sun clears the mountains around 8:30 am.
As we worked our way around Hauser, we pounded the shoreline with a variety of lures. Finally, I was able to pick off my first fish on a crank bait around 8:30. I was stoked to release my first bass of 2018 and it was a fat and healthy 2.5 pounder.
Erik struck next with a nice bookend, 2.5-pounder on the blue and silver Rattlin Rapala.
For my money, nothing beats a 3/8 oz, chartreuse spinner bait at Barrett. It has been my go to lure for the last few years and the Savage Ti-Flex did not disappoint.
Over the next few hours we had a slow and steady pick on quality bass from 1.5- to 3-pounds.
One thing that was very different this year was how fat the fish are. These were big, healthy bass that looked like that hadn’t missed a meal in a long time.
Fishing was tough by Barrett’s standards. While the quality was excellent, the quantity just wasn’t there as in years past. We have definitely been spoiled by triple digit days at the lake.
I have no idea why they didn’t bite better, but one thing is for sure. The lake is alive and well. We ran into life everywhere we went from bait lining the edges to a healthy population of ducks, terns, deer. We even flushed a big old bobcat out of his bed.
After talking to a few other guys, we all kind of agreed that it just had to be an off day. The fish are there, there’s plenty of bait and most importantly plenty of water. I have no doubt another great season lies ahead for the lake.
To get your shot at Barrett Lake bass fishing this season, get over to the reservations page as soon as possible. You can reserve your spot here:
For more information on Barrett Lake bass fishing, check out the San Diego City Lakes Department page here:https://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/reservoirs/barrett