Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get hooked on fishing (Castaic Lake)

What's so great about it? There will be great debate over the best fishing lake in Southern California.... Don't get me started. Lake Casitas near Ojai is great and so is Diamond Valley in Riverside County. But if we are talking about lakes within a short drive of downtown Los Angeles, Castaic is it. Professional anglers believe Castaic has a strong chance of producing a world's record bass. But what makes it great is how accessible it is. From Los Angeles, you can get to the lake in less than an hour (depending on traffic, of course). The entrance fee is only $11, and, as the photo demonstrates, anyone can land a whooper. Of course, it can get crowded on weekends so I suggest calling in sick from work and show up early on a weekday.
Directions: Take I-5 north about 37 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Take the Parker Road exit. Turn right on Ridge Route Road and another right on Castaic Lake Road. For more details to to the lake's website.
(photo credit: Castaic Lake State Recreation Area)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Modern camping with kids (Lake Casitas)

What's great about it: Lake Casitas has it all for the hard-core angler and camper and for the water-loving kids in the family. At Lake Casitas, you can pitch a tent in a primitive campsite or park an RV on a spot with sewer and electrical services. As for fishing, Lake Casitas is considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in the state. Just check out the photos of the monster fish at the bait shop next to the dock. Keeping the kids entertained will be easy: Let them loose in the water park and lazy river. Both are supervised by lifeguards. My favorite section is the lazy river. Just grab an inner tube and let the current push you around all afternoon.
Camping supplies are available at a store within the park.
Warning: This place gets pretty crowded on weekends. Get there early or call to make reservations. For more details, go to
Directions: From Los Angeles, take U.S. 101 north for about 70 miles. Take California 33 east toward Ojai and continue for about 10 miles. Turn left onto California 150 (Baldwin Road), then left again onto Santa Ana Road. The park entrance is on the right.