One of the biggest misnomers is that 'jigs are just a winter bait'. At a recent Anglers Choice June tournament my team partner absolutely hammered fish all day with jigs. Several people at check in said they were not aware that the jig bite was still on. Folks, it's not just a winter technique!
There are a variety of jigs that will work here, but I usually stick with my confidence color-just plain brown. Bill's Custom Jigs, Skinny Bears, and Pepper Jigs are all excellent starting points. Gary Yamamoto spider jigs will get ?em too. Jigs in 1/4 and 3/8 oz sizes usually will do the job.Throw the jigs up on the bank, drag them down into around 10 feet, and hang on! When the jig bite is really on it can last all day.
If the lake level is at capacity, numerous areas around the lake will support flooded brush. Try pitching your favorite bait right to the edge of the cover. Yamamoto senkos are a great choice for this technique. Watch your line carefully, bass often hit these baits on the fall. You can throw these baits wacky rigged or Texas rigged. Take enough baits with you, you can often go through more than a pack of baits on a really hot bite.
Another tip would be to stay back around 20 or 30 feet from any brush you are fishing.
Remember, Castaic can sport extremely clear water and a stealth approach is often the best way to get more bites. Fluorocarbon line is also an advantage, especially when fishing around brush and rocks.
Although the fish will hit crawdad imitating baits with a vengeance, this is also the time of year when groups of fish will start to attack shad near the surface. Be sure to have a shad imitating bait, such as a tailspin or a soft jerkbait, and be ready to throw at surface boils at a moments notice. Once the wind and boat traffic starts to pick up later in the morning and in the afternoon, both soft and hard jerkbaits can be very effective around the numerous mudlines that can form near the shore.
So, you haven't heard me mention anything about dropshotting? Well, this is Castaic and worms can catch fish here almost any day of the year. One effective practice, especially in team tournaments, would be for one team member to fish the shallow brush while the other team member fishes the 10-15 foot range with either jigs or the trusty drop shot. Oxblood and Aarons Magic are colors you can't go wrong with.
One major difference between Castaic's winter and summer is the weather. Check the weather station at castaiclake.com for current weather conditions. Mornings in June and July on Castaic can still be cool enough for a light jacket, especially if we have foggy conditions. But the middle of the day can be very hot with temperatures regulary hitting the 100 degree mark. Bring plenty of water to drink, and apply generous amounts of sunscreen early in the morning before you start fishing. I've heard fisherman say they didn't want to contaminate their baits with sunscreen, so the perfect cure for that is to apply a quality attractant like Gambler Bang to your baits frequently throughout the day. You don't want to be as red as a Washington Apple when you come off the water, and I can tell you firsthand that skin cancer is not much fun either.
So, as summer days approach, bring out the whole arsenal, pay attention to chang conditions, and have at it. You'll stand a chance of hooking up with plenty of aggressive, post spawn bass. Just remember, the water is warm this time of year. If you are in a tournament, be sure to add ice to the live well from time to time, keep the aerator on all day and sprinkle some live release formula into the live well to ensure the survival of these bass for many generations to come.