Cachuma Lake Recreation Area is a beautiful outdoor destination set amidst oak woodlands in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley. You will find practically everything you need for a relaxing lakeside getaway in the great outdoors. Although no body-to-water contact is allowed, there are still ample recreation opportunities available around the lake. Visitors enjoy camping, boating, boat and kayak rentals, fishing, wildlife cruises on the lake, bird watching, hiking, disc golf, photography, picnics, a general store and more.
Fishing at Cachuma Lake
Anglers at Cachuma Lake go after largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish, crappie, bluegills, and redear sunfish. Recently the lake has been opened to bowfishing for carp. Cachuma Lake is stocked with 150,000 trout annually from October through April. Plenty of aquatic vegetation provides a good habitat for fish.
Where to Fish on Cachuma Lake
Trout fishing is usually good in the deep water by the dam or in Cachuma Bay, while for shore anglers the fishing is rewarding around Harvey Cove, the marina area, and E Point. If you are after bass, among the best spots are around Arrowhead Island, Cachuma Bay, the Narrows, and at Jack Rabbit Flats. Smallmouth bass seem to gather at either end of the dam.
Fishermen looking for crappie will find good fishing in the Narrows. Catfish anglers do well in Santa Cruz Bay and off the Loop Trail. Bow fishing for carp can be good around the Arrowhead Island.
Bow Fishing for Carp at Cachuma Lake
Bowfishing for carp is allowed by a no-fee permit at Cachuma Lake County Park.. Permits are obtained at the park entrance. Carp are considered a nuisance fish and the county sees bowfishing as a way to diminish their numbers. The season begins in late October.
- Arrow must be securely attached by a line to the bow or reel.
- Only allowed from a boat on the surface of the lake.
- Prohibited within 100 feet of a person outside the boat.
- Prohibited in water bird nesting areas.
- Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Carp must be eaten, taken out of the park, or disposed of in the fish grinder (limit 2 fish per day in grinder). Fish may not be discarded in lake, on land or in trash cans.
- California fishing license required.