Barrett Lake Bass Fishing – It’s Going To Be Good

Barrett Lake Bass FishingWe 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.

Barrett Lake wildlifeA 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.

Barrett LakeWe 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.

Barrett Lake bassAs 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.

Barrett Lake bass
Erik Landesfeind with a Barrett Lake bass.

Erik struck next with a nice bookend, 2.5-pounder on the blue and silver Rattlin Rapala.

Barrett Lake bass
Ali Hussainy with a chunk on the Savage spinner.

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.

Rattlin RapalaOne 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.

Barrett Lake wildlifeI 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:

Capt. Ali Hussainy
Ali Hussainy caught his first fish, a trout, with his grandfather at the age of three, and that sparked a fire in him as he chased the next bite all over the sierras. When he caught his first bonito from the San Diego bait barge, his life changed again. Trout never had the same luster — he was on ...