By Joe Laing, El Monte RV

Lake Piru - photo by Tom Saint. Reprinted through a Creative Commons License.

Lake Piru – photo by Tom Saint. Reprinted through a Creative Commons License. See:

The diverse landscapes of Southern California not only provide a wide array of beautiful scenery and sights of historic import, but also offer a fisherman the opportunity to experience the great fishing available in the area.

From mountain streams and lakes to the shorelines of the Pacific, Southern California is a fishing vacation dream destination.

Here is an itinerary which you can break into sections or do in one long vacation, preferably more than 8 days.

Starting from Los Angeles, get out of the city on Interstate 5 heading north into the Los Padres National Forest. First stop is Lake Piru with its rolling hills and twelve miles of shoreline.

You’ll discover comfortable tent and RV camping in this recreation area. The best way to reach the coves and find good fishing is by boat. The boat launch is excellent for getting your boat easily into the water.

Try spinnerbaits and plastic worms or grubs to catch the largemouth bass populating Lake Piru. Rainbow trout are plentiful into early summer, and you should use nightcrawlers or spinners to make your trophy catch.

This YouTube video will take you out on the water fishing for bass!



Hike up the lake trail which goes above the lake and hook some wild rainbow and brown trout. If fishing from the shoreline, watch for rattlesnakes as they are plentiful around here.

Continue on up Interstate 5 to Lake Castaic for more fishing fun. In the lower part of the lake you can fish 24 hours a day if you so desire. The recreation area provides tent and RV camping for those who wish to stay a while. You can target the largemouth bass in this lake as many fishermen do, but you also have the opportunity to hook catfish, trout and crappie.


Catfish can be reeled in at the lagoon just south of the lake, where you can fish during the night. The largest bass caught here was 21 pounds and holds the state record. Effective baits to catch the big fish are the live ones, like crawdads. However, try jigs or spinnerbaits too because they work.

Another fifteen miles up Interstate 5 and you will come to Pyramid Lake, a very deep lake in sections and with miles and miles of fruitful shoreline. Before settling in for fishing time, you can set up a campsite in a campground in nearby Alamos. Bass fishermen will prefer this lake above others due to the quantity of stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass found here.

Pyramid Lake California

The shoreline is rocky so you may want to launch a boat on the lake, but either boat fishing or shore fishing will provide you with plenty of productive time. If on a boat, troll with imitation minnows – woolly worms and buggers from shore.

Now you want to drive back south on Interstate 5 to Highway 126 and cut over west until you hit Highway 101 to Ventura. Just north of Ventura you’ll find Lake Casitas.



You can camp out in a tent or an RV year round. You will find some big fish in this lake and find it competes with Lake Castaic for largemouth bass sizes. Pick up live shad from the lake for the best bait for bass. Nightcrawlers are good for catching the catfish and red-eared sunfish. You can also hook some trout and bluegill here.

Your next adventure will be further north on Highway 1 in Santa Barbara. Pier fishing on Stearns Wharf is something you really shouldn’t miss on this trip. Watch for tangling from the seaweed on the bottom. A moderately light line is good because there isn’t much wave action here.




The ocean species you will have fun catching are mackerel, halibut, perch and sand sharks. Here is a whole new experience for you! For halibut, use anchovy and for perch, try mussels or bloodworms. You may be able to catch a large bat ray with squid.

Your last stop will be close to Santa Barbara and another great place to find bass. Cachuma Lake offers trout, red-eared sunfish and bluegill as well. Camp in your trailer or RV or tent and get ready for a day on the lake. With a number of drop-offs and shallow spots, this lake provides excellent fishing.



The trout planted here are sterile, and this means they often get to trophy size. For trout, use your artificial lures and for bass, both artificial lures and plastic worms will work.

You can get a ten-day California nonresident license to cover this extended fishing vacation. This covers both inland and ocean fishing. One-day and two-day sports fishing licenses are also available for nonresidents. So whatever your choice in vacation time and destinations, you’ll be covered. Enjoy your Southern California fishing!

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see

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