Lake Piru Fishing Report 2022 [Tips, Spots, Pictures, and Everything You Need to Know]

How To Fish Lake Piru

Lake Piru Fishing Report

Lake Piru is a moderate size lake that sits 56 miles north of Los Angeles and 365 miles away from San Francisco.  

Overall it’s a popular lake and is known for its largemouth bass, crappie and trout fishing. In this post you’re going to be given the blueprint to fish this lake.

So what are the best tips for fishing Lake Piru?  There are three important factors you must know  if you want to know how to fish Lake Piru successfully. First, you need to know what kind of fish is in Lake Piru. Second, it’s important for you to know which part of the lake each species can be found. Lastly, knowing what are the best baits that work on Lake Piru is vital.  However, tactics, baits, and locations will be different for each type of fish that you target. So let’s talk about the steps you need to take in order to give you the best chance of catching a fish on Lake Piru.

WARNING:  There’s a lot of information about this subject you’ll probably want to come back to. No one expects you to remember all these tips. We know your time is precious, so we really tried to over-deliver in value for you. Additionally, we frequently update reports like this, so you’ll want to stay up to date with any changes or additional tips we include for you. 

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About Lake Piru

Lake Piru is a moderately deep body of water with the average depth being 60 feet and a maximum depth of 165 feet when the lake is completely full. However, in recent years the water level has been very low.

Fishing Lake Piru can be absolute gangbusters when you have over 22 miles of shoreline to fish. 

The primary game fish species are largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish, and planted rainbow trout.

Important Lake Warnings

Algae blooms may be present which may affect fishing, swimming, and water contact in general. 

According to parks.ca.gov, “every one of California’s new laws requires boat operators to have a California Boating Card. The card is required for anyone under the age of 41 to operate a boat in California’s waters.”

If you are fishing and camping, fire bans may be in effect due to the ongoing drought conditions.

What Kind Of Fish Are In Lake Piru

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White and Black Crappie
  • Bluegill and Sunfish
  • Catfish

Lake Piru Fishing Tips & General Strategies

Lake Piru is a moderately deep body of water with the average depth being 60 feet and a maximum depth of 165 feet when the lake is completely full. Fishing Lake Piru can be absolute gangbusters when you have over 22 miles of shoreline. to fish. 

The primary game fish species are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish, planted rainbow trout and brown trout.

But Where Are The Best Places To Fish At Lake Piru?

And in no particular order here is that list of the best fishing spots at Lake Piru.

DISCLAIMER:  The material provided is for general information purposes only. It’s important to understand that any information provided in this article can change at any time. Any maps or graphics featured are not to be used as navigational aids. Fishing Blueprint will not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage from any misuse of the maps or graphics provided.   It’s completely impossible to give you every single spot where you can potentially catch a fish.  But, what this list does do is to give you a helping hand and narrow down to the most productive fishing spots.

Santa Felicia Dam

Fishing just outside the buoy line of the dam can catch you an abundance of coho salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, and even some brown trout.

If the water is low, graph the cove just to the north of the dam and you can find bass and crappie suspended over submerged trees and rocky shelves. 

This section of the lake can get very windy. And even with the best trolling motor the wind can quickly blow you off your spot which will significantly decrease your chances of catching a fish..

That is why we strongly suggest buying a quality drift sock. For those who don’t know, a drift sock is like a parachute for the water. If it’s breezy to windy, you need to slow your drift otherwise your lure will not be in the strike zone long enough to catch a fish.

By the way, we found a really good quality drift sock made by Mythik Outdoors, and best of all they’re sold on Amazon.com. Go here to learn more about drift socks and read the reviews from actual customers.  

Some of the effective baits for this area include: Fish attractor (ie: flasher or a dodger), trolling spoons, inline spinners, Rapala minnows, flatfish lures, streamers and flies. Better yet, just buy a complete done-for-you trout lure kit

Oh, before I forget, did you know that there is an article about how to troll for salmon, trout, and kokanee the right way? Go here to find out more. 

Located: south lake

Structural features: steep rocky bank

Best species to target: trout, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: boat, kayak

Santa Felicia Cove

This long straight cove has a deep channel fed by several feeder creeks.

A really great feature about this cove is there is one main creek channel that runs down the middle of it, however there are several other ditches (smaller secondary creek channels) that run into it, kinda like a leaf.

Due to the extremely low water levels large amounts of grass, brush, and small trees have grown where the lake water once held.  Fortunately, this provides much needed cover for smaller fish and young bass to seek shelter.

Scan the intersections for ledges, drop offs, boulders, rock piles, ridges associated with the two intersecting channels. 

Lastly, a tire reef has been placed at the mouth of the cove on the north side. 

Here is a list of lures that can work great in this area: topwater lures, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, frog lures, umbrella rigsjerkbaits, swim jigs, soft plastic swimbaits, chatterbaits, hair jigs, and underspin jigs.

Flutter spoons work great when used over any deep channels, points, structure, or vertical timber.  

In contrast, slower moving baits such as drop shot, football jigs, tubes, wacky rig, Texas rig, Neko rigs, and Carolina rigs can be phenomenal when the conditions are calm or the bass are not as active.

Located: south lake

Structural features: submerged and emergent brush and trees, artificial structure.

Best species to target: trout, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: boat, kayak

Reasoner Cove

This area is a relatively shallow cove and its banks are lined with flooded brush and small trees. It has a relatively large creek channel with multiple smaller drainage ditches that feed into the primary creek channel. These intersections should be scanned and can hold fish all year long. 

This cove is known to attract bait fish that feed on plankton which collect here by blowing wind, yet also offers shelter and protection to smaller and younger fish to avoid predation. 

The bass will position themselves on these isolated pieces of structure, eating up the bait fish as they swimby.

In the spring, check for shallow spawning bass over gravel bars and in protected areas behind larger trees. 

Here is a list of lures that can work great in this area: topwater lures, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, frog lures, umbrella rigsjerkbaits, swim jigs, soft plastic swimbaits, chatterbaits, hair jigs, and underspin jigs.

Flutter spoons work great when used over any deep channels, points, structure, or vertical timber.  

In contrast, slower moving baits such as drop shot, football jigs, tubes, wacky rig, Texas rig, Neko rigs, and Carolina rigs can be phenomenal when the conditions are calm or the bass are not as active.

Located: westside

Structural features:  flooded brush and small trees.

Best species to target: largemouth bass, catfish, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: boat, kayak, float tube, shoreline fishing

Skiers Cove

This spot is a smaller cove, however has a deep channel fed by several feeder creeks.

The secondary cuts provide great spawning pockets in the spring. 

The primary points of the cover are great all year long. 

Due to the extremely low water levels large amounts of grass, brush, and small trees have grown where the lake water once held.  Fortunately, this provides much needed cover for smaller fish and young bass to seek shelter.

Scan the intersections for ledges, drop offs, boulders, rock piles, ridges associated with the two intersecting channels. 

Effective baits for this area include:  buzzbaits, crankbaits, chatterbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive.  Flutter spoons work great in the deeper channel sections as well.  

If the bass are timid, then drop shot, tubes, Ned rig, Neko rig, Mojo rig, Carolina rig, and football jigs all work really well.

Located: west lake

Structural features: submerged and emergent brush and trees, spawning pockets (when water is at full pool)

Best species to target: largemouth bass, catfish, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: boat, kayak

Diablo Cove

This long straight cove has a deep channel fed by several feeder creeks.

A really great feature about this cove is there is one main creek channel that runs down the middle of it, however there are several other ditches (smaller secondary creek channels).

Due to the extremely low water levels large amounts of grass, brush, and small trees have grown where the lake water once held.  Fortunately, this provides much needed cover for smaller fish and young bass to seek shelter.

Scan the intersections for ledges, drop offs, boulders, rock piles, ridges associated with the two intersecting channels. 

Lastly, a tire reef has been placed at the mouth of the cove on the north side. 

Effective baits for this area include:  buzzbaits, crankbaits, chatterbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive.  Flutter spoons work great in the deeper channel sections as well.  

If the bass are timid, then drop shot, tubes, Ned rig, Neko rig, Mojo rig, Carolina rig, and football jigs all work really well.

Located: south lake

Structural features: submerged and emergent brush and trees, artificial structure.

Best species to target: trout, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: boat, kayak

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How To Catch Fish In Lake Piru?

Rainbow Trout

California Department of Fish and Wildlife grows and stocks local lakes and reservoirs like this lake with Rainbow Trout.

Due to this lake being relatively unpressured, deep, and colder, and most other desert reservoirs, the stocked trout do very well. 

Furthermore, trout are produced in local fisheries, they are healthy and have no limit on the amount of trout that can be consumed.

Typically trout are stocked frequently, however, it can vary. 

Sometimes you’ll read this lake has steelhead trout, but no rainbow trout, or visa versa… 

This can be confusing for a lot of people. Are rainbow trout and steelhead trout the same?

Short answer, they are nearly the same species.

But, if you have ever wondered, what is the real difference between a rainbow trout and a steelhead trout? We wrote a definitive report called, “What’s the Difference Between A Rainbow Trout Vs Steelhead”.  Click here to read it, so you can end the confusion once and for all. 

General Trout Details

Spawn: March-May

Food: insects and crustaceans. 

California State Record: 27 lbs 0 oz. Caught 10/02/2005 in Lake Natoma.

Table Quality: Depending on the fishes diet, the meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky, and is considered excellent eating.

Angling techniques:

  • Worms
  • Salmon eggs
  • Powerbait
  • Corn
  • Cheese
  • Marshmallows
  • Spinners
  • Spoons
  • Flies
  • *The number one key to successful trout fishing, is to use light line (2 to 6 pound) and small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers

On a Side Note: Tips For Trolling for Trout

If you have access to a boat or kayak, try to put as many lures in the water as possible (obviously, check local laws, regulations, and restrictions, as well as knowing if certain locations have limits) and as far away from the boat as feasible.

Some utilize planer boards and even down riggers to keep the lines away from the boat.

Here’s where a smart professional fishing-guide can and will hook you up with some of the biggest, toughest-fighting fish you’ll ever encounter.

Having high-quality electronics aids in establishing the depth at which fish are continuously feeding, as well as which food source is being consumed the most frequently.

If you examine the shoreline’s structure along with using your fish finder, study the underwater topography of the lake.

If you notice a cliff, it’s likely that the water at its base is deep. 

If you observe a chain of islands or exposed main lake humps, there’s a good chance there’s a shallow shoal or channel between them.

Trout prefer drop-offs, channels, and ledges, so you’ll want to troll parallel to these locations rather than over them. 

If you stumble upon a place and catch a trout, there’s a good chance there are more.


Luckily there is an in-depth report that you can access, called How To Troll for Trout [A Beginner’s Guide], you’ll learn all the special tips and strategies many of the fishing guides will keep to themselves. Click here to learn more, so you can extend your fishing season all year long.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass is a carnivorous member of the sunfish family.

California grows some MONSTER bass.  At any time you could hook into a bass that could be your all-time personal best.  

In general, if the water clarity is clear to a slightly stained lake. Meaning finesse techniques (like drop shot fishing), small lures (like football jigs), and thin diameter line gets you the most bites when the wind is calm. 

On the other hand, if the water is moderately stained or murky, then you need to choose darker lures. This also means you can get away with using thicker diameter line.

Since the 1980’s this lake has been stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass. Bass fishing in this lake is not as popular as trout or salmon fishing. Luckily, you can still catch a giant bass by lobbying large swimbaits for glide baits in trout patterns. 

Once your arm gets tired you can still catch a ton of fish by throwing a drop shot rig, small crankbait, or dragging a Texas rigged Senko around a fish attracting structure.

If that doesn’t catchem, you can switch to either a drop shot rig or a Neko rig and target points, boulders, or channel swings. 

Read more: Beginner’s Guide To Bass Fishing Basics – Tips, Secrets & Things To Avoid

General Largemouth Bass Details

Spawn: Spring, March-May

Food: Shad, minnows, small trout, small salmon, bluegill, perch, crayfish

California State Record: 21lbs 12 oz. Caught in 1991 in Castaic Lake at the main boat ramp.

Table Quality: Decent. Firm white meat. 

Angling techniques:

White and Black Crappie

If you like crappie fishing, this lake is filled with them. 

The best time to fish for crappie in this lake and other lakes similar to it is in summertime while you’re night using a submerged green light. If you don’t know what a green fishing light is, or if you’re unfamiliar, then click this link to learn more.

Green light fishing at night in this lake is amazing. If you haven’t done it you are missing out. The nights are cool and the night sky is filled with stars…

Anyway, I digress…

White crappie tend to linger over submerged brush and timber and are found in schools. The white crappie are much more tolerant in warmer water than their black crappie cousins. 

White crappie have a more “silvery” appearance and lack the dark vertical bars when compared to the black crappie.  

Black crappie can be described as having irregular black dots and blotches on the back and have more of a “silvery-olive” background.

Average weight of a white or black crappie in this lake is probably going to be just under a pound. 

General Crappie Details

Spawn: April – mid-June

Food: Larvae, small fish, and crustaceans. Threadfin shad and minnows make up their main diet. 

California State Record: 

  • White crappie: 4 lbs 8 oz. Caught 4/26/1971 in Clear Lake using minnows.
  • Black crappie: 4 lbs 8 oz. Caught 2/17/2021 in Clear Lake using minnows.

Table Quality: The meat is excellent. It’s firm, flaky and white. 

Angling techniques:

  • Live minnows under bobbers
  • Crappie jigs
  • Crappie tubes
  • Silver spoons
  • Spinners

Catfish

There are four species of catfish in California, the blue catfish, bullhead catfish, channel catfish, white catfish.   

Catfish are predatory animals and scavengers. Some can get very big, while others remain small. They tend to spend most of their time on the bottom of the lake versus swimming higher in the water column suspended. 

Catfish can have up to 8 whisker-like barbels by their mouths to help them detect food. 

Blue catfish can get very big. They can weigh more than 100 pounds and grow to around 5 feet long. They have 8 whisker-like barbels by their mouths. They prefer larger cut bait and live bait 

Conversely, bullhead catfish tend to be smaller and will weigh on average about 1-2-pounds, but can grow to around 4-5-pounds. 

Channel catfish weight will range from 0.5-to-15-pounds in this lake, however the average weight will be between 1-4-pounds. 

The smallest of all catfish in North America is the white catfish. These catfish are considered rare by anglers’ standards. They average 1-2 pounds and will grow to only about a foot.

All species prefer warmer coves, but can also be found scavenging near the marinas, or around the dam.  

All can be caught with live bait, cut bait or dough bait. Some of the best baits you can use are chicken livers, hotdogs, anchovies, mackerel or sardines, catfish stink-bait/dough baits, or even night crawlers. warm coves or near the dam. 

General Catfish Details

Spawn: March-June

Food: Carp, bluegill

California State Record: 

Blue catfish –  72 lbs 14 oz. Caught 4/22/2003 in Colorado River (Riverside).

Bullhead catfish – 4 lbs 8 oz. Caught 10/7/1993 in Trinity Lake.

Channel catfish –  53 lbs 8 oz. Caught 9/22/2008 in San Joaquin River.

White catfish –  22 lbs 0 oz. Caught 3/21/1994 in Land Park pond (Sacramento).

Table Quality: Soft white meat. In the summer the meat will taste muddy.

Angling techniques:

  • chicken liver
  • hotdogs
  • stink bait
  • small live bluegill, sunfish, or perch
  • Frozen cut bait; anchovies, mackerel or sardines.

Bluegill or Sunfish

Also known collectively as “panfish” or “bream”, these small fish are both predators and prey. They fulfill a mid-tier predator role in the ecosystem. 

Panfish are highly aggressive and eat minnows, bass fry (newly hatched baby bass), and insects. 

The bluegill has teal-blue coloring on the bottom portion of the chin and gill plate. It also has a solid black opercula flap just behind the gill plate.

Fun fact: The oldest reported age for a bluegill is 10 years.

With the exception of appearance and size, the redear sunfish is quite similar to the bluegill. The dorsal fin of the redear sunfish features tiny vertical bands that go downward. It has a black dorsal color and a yellow-green ventral tint. The male’s operculum has a cherry-red edge, while the female’s has an orange coloring.

These panfish are found on the shoreline and prefer nearby structures. They are incredibly aggressive and will quickly attack anything that looks like it could be eaten. Due to their aggressive behavior, they are one of the easiest fish to catch and are a great way to introduce someone to fishing.

General Bluegill/ Sunfish Details

Spawn: April and May

Food: Small fish and insects

California State Record

Bluegill – 3 lbs 14 oz. Caught 6/22/2008 in Rancho Murieta Reservoir.

Sunfish (red ear) – 5 lbs 3 oz. 6/27/1994 in Folsom South Canal (Sacramento) 

Table Quality: Firm, white meat 

Angling techniques: 

  • Worms
  • Dough balls
  • Slim Jim sausages pieces on a small hook (not lying… it really works)
  • Small spinners
  • Trout flies

Boat Ramps at Lake Piru

Lake Piru Recreation Area

4780 Piru Canyon Rd, Piru, CA 93040

1(805) 521-1500

Lanes: 7

Groceries available: no

Gas: no

Bathrooms: yes

Showers: no

Electric: no

Camping nearby: yes

Juan Fernandez Launch Ramp

Lanes: 5

Groceries available: no

Gas: no

Bathrooms: yes

Showers: no

Electric: no

Camping nearby: yes

Tackle Shops Near Lake Piru

Tackle Express

22941 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

tackleexpress.com

(661)2518700

Gallions Castaic Corner

31515 Ridge Rte Rd, Castaic, CA 91384

(661) 257-3523

Pyramid Lake Store

43100 Pyramid Lake Rd, Castaic, CA 91384

(661) 294-9403

Tackle Shack USA

12061 Foothill Blvd Unit A, Sylmar, CA 91342

tackleshackusa.com

(747) 274-1081

Camping Near Lake Piru

Lake Piru Recreation Area

4780 Piru Canyon Rd, Piru, CA 93040

1(805) 521-1500

  • Sites – 238 total. 
      • RV and traditional tent sites available.
  • Dump station available: Yes
  • Low season: October – March
  • High season: April – September 
  • Day use area: yes
  • Pets welcome: yes
  • Dog park: yes
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Picnic tables: yes
  • Fire rings: yes
  • Showers (paid): yes
  • Laundry facility (paid): yes
  • Campground map – click here
  • Reservations – click here

Other Activities You Can Do At Lake Piru

Fishing is not the only thing that brings people to the beautiful body of water. Here’s a list of other things you can do!

  • Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Boating
  • Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Horseshoes
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Gentle walking trails
  • Nature photography trails
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Mountain biking
  • Stargazing
  • and most importantly… relaxing.

Accessories You’ll Need

RodThe popularity of fishing is growing and people are becoming much more conscious of  different rods that can help them.

Fisherman want best technique specific rod for the money.

Luckily, I wrote several reports article that provides you with detailed information in order for you to make buy the rod for the money, and more importantly which rods to avoid at all costs.

>> What Rods To Use For Bass Fishing? 10 Awesome General Purpose Rods Reviewed

Reel – Having the correct reel to match with your rod is just as important.  A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the Daiwa Tatula SV/TW baitbasting reel. It’s a great reel packed with great features. So much so it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range.

>>How To Choose A Great Bass Fishing Reel For The Money [and which to avoid at all costs]

Fishing Line – Having a good line is just as important as having a good rod. I recommend fishing with a good fluorocarbon line. Furthermore, it’s super sensitive because it has little to no stretch, and underwater it’s invisible to the bass!  If pride or money is on the line I would use Sunline Sniper FC.

>>21 Tips To Choose The Best Fishing Line

Fishing Lures – It’s pretty hard and darn near impossible trying to catch a fish without using some sort of lure or bait.  More importantly these baits you should never forget at home or it could lead to a horrible day on the water

>>5 Bass Fishing Lures You Never Want to Leave At Home

Tackle Bag – You can’t carry all your gear in your pockets, so you need a reliable tackle bag to transport it. I wrote a complete review guide, Best Tackle Bag for Fishing, check it out by clicking here.   But if you don’t have the time to read the full guide then let me tell you I recommend the Lunker Bag by KastKing.

>>15 Best Tackle Bags For The Money (Tested & Reviewed)

Fishing Pliers – Nothing will ruin a day quicker than getting a hook embedded in your hand, or worse your eye.  That’s why I always recommend having good set-up pliers that won’t rust and won’t slip out of your hand.  I recommend that KastKing Cutthroat 7” Fishing Pliers.

Landing Net – As you are reeling in that monster fish, you don’t want to injure yourself or knock the fish off the hook by trying to grab it. That’s why I recommend a dependable telescopic landing net.

Fishing Weight Scale – Whether if you’re going to keep your catch or just take a photo of it and brag to your friends it’s important to have an accurate scale. I recommend a scale that has a large LED display like this one fishing scale here.

Wide Brim Fishing Hat – Nowadays, you have to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide brim hat not only gives you UV protection, but it also keeps you cool.  I recommend the Columbia Unisex Bora Bora Booney hat. It fits any size head and it feels really comfortable.

Fishing Sun Shirt – Don’t you stop at only getting head protection, you also need to protect your chest, back, arms, and torso. According to the researchers finding skin cancers on the shoulders and forearms rank within the top-5 locations to get skin cancer*. Avoid any unnecessary UV exposure and stay cool by wearing a UV protective PFG Fishing Shirt by Columbia.

Fishing Gloves – Fishing gloves allow your hands to stay covered from the sun’s harmful rays and stay dry by using a special material. These gloves by Fishaholic offer UPF50+

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