Fishing in Vail Lake, All You Need To Know, Spots & Species

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Among the 3000 lakes of California the Vail lake is one of the largest lakes in the state. It is also one of the top 10 largest lakes in southern California. The lake is widely known for its great fishing opportunities and camping around it. There is a boat ramp in the lake where you can launch your fishing boat into the lake. Several other facilities has been made available for anglers visiting the area for fishing and camping. Fishing in vail lake is the most fun activity you can ever find, each fish has grown to a significant size.

There is also a campground in the west of the lake, many people other than anglers also visit the campground. There is a significant trend of camping in the area near vail lake.

The lake is southern California between the to large cities, Los Angeles and San Diego. It has a distance of 69 miles from San Diego in northwest and nearly 98 miles from Los Angeles in southwest. But of course it has several cities near it the nearest is Temecula which is only 13 miles from the lake.

Fishing in vail lake you can catch catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and trout. You can fish from shore or launch a boat into the lake from the boat ramp located in south of the lake. Having a boat is always a better option, you can explore the whole lake by a boat.

Here is your further guide for fishing each species in vail lake, the best season and spots.

Fish species in vail lake

Some of the discussed species in the vail lake are having great size and larger populations. While others are only participating to life in the reservoir.

Generally all of fish in the lake has grown to a great size and good quality specially bluegills. Also crappie has grown to a massive size and weight. Those targeting for bluegill for the first time in vail lake are often surprised by their early few catches.

Each bluegill at the reservoir has grown to an average weight of 1-2 pounds which is rarely available in other spots. And the catfish is even better than the bluegill, but the best part is that there are many of them.

Fishing catfish at vail lake

Anglers who are aware of the large massive population of large cats will always follow them in the water. It has great potential to provide as many catfishes as you can possibly catch. Many people have got hooked to 5 pound catfish as many as 15 times in a single day.

If you are catfish fishing lover then here are some incredible catfish fishing lakes for you.

Having the proper bait always attracts them more towards you and increase the chances to catch one. You may first try to catch some bluegills or the crappie and then use them as bait. It will boost you speed and decrease your time to wait for them significantly just by casting piece of meat with your hook.

Although the catfish habitat most of the times tie them with the bottom water of any waterbody they are living in. You still have the same chance to catch them from bank as from a boat or kayak. In some places the depth of the waterbody starts from the shoreline so you just have to find a better place to cast your line.

And the population is larger than you can expect from lake of this size. Your position at the bank will not make a huge difference as long as you stick to catfish.

Largemouth bass

This is the second most followed species are largemouth, but they aren’t the second largest population. As a California lake its very necessary for a lake to have bass, especially the largemouth are even more crucial. Same is the case with vail lake as well, it has good amount of bass in its waters but its not that much as they have been targeted.

The demand is very large and mostly fishermen wants to catch some bass even if they have caught other fish as well. However the population is not that small, that is just the higher demand making it harder to find. A skilled bass angler will probably catch them at vail lake. If you are bass lover, here is another amazing bass fishing lake in the area.

Largemouth of vail lake has the extreme level quality, if you have skills it will be more fun. Try targeting shallow and covered areas near timber or bushes. This article will help you to locate bass in any spot.

Bluegill fishing in vail lake

A large portion of fish in the reservoir are bluegills, they also contribute to make the lake a great place for anglers. If you are able to locate a population area of bluegills in the water you can catch so many of them. It actually should not be so hard to find them from shoreline or from a boat. Because they are pretty much every where in the water you just have to figure out the right spot.

Any insect shaped lure larger than usual size will perfectly work for a bluegill fisherman. Live bait like insects, worms and fresh shrimp has also proven their effectiveness for attracting it. But for that you should know if there is permission to use live bait at the reservoir.

Most of the times the size of bluegill is more than a pound which is a perfect catch. Warm weather from June to August is ideal time to head over and target them. But it is available even in the winters, they go more deep as water temperature drops. It is a year round fishing species at the reservoir.

Black crappie

It is a lucky catch if one can uncover the secret hotspots of crappie. Starting from late February most of the easy catches are done till late April or beginning of May. Its harder to find it before or after these months due to hot weather of California. These tips may help you locating crappie.

Other species

Common carp and the trout are just showing their presence sometimes in the reservoir. They are not big enough to target and finding them could be challenging. Specially the trout are very deep and hard to catch one, also the carp are just a few in the whole reservoir.

Vail lake fishing report

Visitors have always been happy with the size of bluegill and catfish in the lake. Every single catch is incredible and a huge catfish or bluegill comes up. Largemouth bass and black crappie are good and anglers are reporting an average fishing tour for them too.

Carp and trout are the harder ones to find, trout always being deeper in the bottom of waterbody.

The best time to go on a fishing trip to vail lake is early spring to summer. Personal boats are allowed with speed limitations also swimming is not permitted in the lake. Here you can read about regulations on vail lake.