For me, returning to the fish San Luis Reservoir or the Forebay is like scratching a nagging itch – an urge that’s relentless, demanding satisfaction. This compulsion doesn’t care where I am at in the world and I long to get back to my home water even when Im fishing somewhere else. Rain or shine, I keep a watchful eye on the lake’s weather forecast from afar, even when I know life might be conspiring against my angling plans. There’s a cult of regulars I commune with – kindred spirits who share my fervor for this liquid arena and by sharing our successes and failures, we all benefit . Through the last 50 years, I’ve hungered to unravel the secret language of patterns from season to season. But make no mistake, these codes are shrouded in subtlety, dictated by the capricious dance of water levels and the temper of the Gods of Wind. August 13ths come and go, but no two are identical.
I hit the lake at 8:00 pm but a fleet of twenty eager boats had already set out to beat me to the holy land. As I approached the hallowed waters of the trash racks, three vessels staked their claim on each pillar like sentinels. I creeped to within scan distance of the racks keeping my distance. With a flick of my wrist, the Livescope leaped to life, its digital gaze fixed upon the racks. But no fish to be seen except for a few submarines 100 feet down the racks. Observing a couple of boats in the Bay of Pigs , I resolved to fish along the dam, stretching from the Causeway to Monument. Employing a deliberate and gradual retrieval technique, I managed to capture some impressive fish from the rocky terrain. A dozen fish joined my haul from the dam to Monument. Subsequently, I relocated to the Bay of Pigs, reeling in another twelve fish by casting to 8 feet of water while hugging the shoreline. My intuition led me to believe that the fish were favoring the shallows, as I hadn’t detected any significant schools in the deeper regions. Precise casting into the shallows proved to be the winning approach.
As the clock approached 2:00, the heat intensified, prompting me to explore a few spots on the lake’s western side. However, the fish seemed to retreat to deeper waters due to the searing midday temperatures. Wrapping up the day’s adventure, I tallied 16 fish, with four of them measuring over 20 inches in length.