The opening week at San Vicente Reservoir was one for the record books. Anyone lucky enough to fish on opening day will certainly be talking about it for the rest of their lives. The fishing was truly spectacular, once in a lifetime stuff – especially on day 1.

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  • Officially, the creel count taken at the lake looks like this; the 346 anglers checked reported keeping 19 bass and releasing 4,173 with the largest fish reported weighing 7 pounds. Additionally, 33 bluegill, 2 redear sunfish and 11 channel catfish were reported.

    But that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. In total, there were 1,362 adult fishing permits, 88 youth fishing permits, and 90 senior fishing permits sold. Plus an additional 265 water contact permits, many of which were also for fishermen.

    10s of thousands of bass were caught and released, the bulk of those between 3 and 6 pounds – as predicted. And fish were caught on nearly anything and everything being thrown, in every section of the lake. It was as close to “wide open” as you can get on a public waterway.

    Plastic worms probably won out eventually as providing the bulk of the bass, as the bite on slow moving baits along the bottom in 25-60 feet of water was consistently good from the time the first boat launched on Thursday until the lake closed on Monday. But if you wanted to catch them on reaction baits, swimbaits, topwaters, you name it, you could.

    As the week progressed, the fish became noticeably more aware of what was going on, and you had to work a little harder. That’ll continue week by week throughout the fall, and by winter you’ll probably really need to hone in on them to enjoy continued success.

    In the meantime, it’s hard to go wrong with plastics fished at the base of the flooded chaparral bushes and trees that line most of the lake bottom out to 90′ of water. The key for me was actually to try to fish areas that had less trees, since the gaps between those bushes and trees actually presented the opportunity for fish to find the bait.

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  • Deep diving crankbaits, umbrella rigs, swim jigs, and anything else you could fish around the tops of the trees produced as well.

    Winds in the afternoon whipped up some prominent mudlines on certain areas of the lake, and that presented an opportunity to get bit up shallow again along those areas. The mudlines take a lot of the clarity out of the water, and fish get more comfortable feeding up and sitting in shallow water when they’re not consistently being spooked out by a bass boat in the clear water.

    For more detailed accounts of the fishing, check out our message forums. Specifically, you can read each of my single day reports through these links;

    The water temperature was in the mid to high 70s every time I looked, mostly sitting in the 77-78 range.

    San Vicente is open Thursday through Monday for fishing. If you’re planning to launch a private boat, fish from the shore, float tube, or kayak, you need to purchase an entry ticket through ticketmaster.com in advance for the day you want to fish.

    If you’d like to rent a boat, you may not need to go through Ticketmaster. If there are any available rental boats left after the initial line of anglers enters the lake each morning, you’re permitted to enter the lake to rent a boat without a Ticketmaster ticket. But that is ONLY for rental boats. You cannot enter without a ticket to float tube, shore fish, or launch a boat.

    Tickets for boat launches and general vehicle entries go on sale through Ticketmaster each Thursday at 7 PM for the dates 4 weeks in advance.

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