Casitas Lake and Reports

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Monday, November 20th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 64.5

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fished Sunday. There was a small club ( 6 boats?) that got out first. I launched and there was a boat where I was headed so I started at the submerged island. It was a very slow morning with a bluegill and a short on spoons by 8. The wind picked up blowing maybe 20 mph from the marina to the dam. I finished my breakfast and stayed along the edge of the island I was following in 45-50 ft. The wind helped and I noticed the fish would stack up under the boat but would eventually fade away so I started mixing up my spoons. The 3/4 oz. hopkins got the most attention all day long. When I got them interested but not biting I would reel up the hopkins and drop down a 1/2oz. tungsten spoon. Game on...I did this until about 9;30 catching fish until they stopped eating and moving 10 feet and locking in for fish until I ran out of edge. I moved into the area along the 150 hwy where there were white caps. I stayed in the 45-50 area and while I didn't get as many fish I did catch 4 legal 1+ pound fish all on the hopkins. At 11:45 the wind stopped and turned 180 blowing from the dam to the marina just as hard. I moved to the lee side of the point where I had started when the wind was blowing on it and I hadn't been bit and wham. the fish now on the lee side were chewing. I stayed with that side but I changed out the 1/2 tungsten for a 3/4 size and went at them alternating the spoons as their disposition on my electronics was displayed. I came across a fish in 65 feet that was 15 off the bottom and dropped the tungsten spoon down and I was on before it got to 30 feet. Two pounds 8 ozs. which was my last keeper before I shut it down at 3:00... I haven't had a limit since the first week of May so I felt pretty good about my efforts. I am seeing some dads out on the water with their boys and they were all dong what I am doing...Catching fish.

    Tips: The amplitude bar on my Lowrance are my eyes at this time of year. If I don't get a few fish to come up to look then I move along. Some spots go for awhile before they shut down others just one fish. Keep moving as some spots are just plain better than others. I fished only main lake points and I stayed in the 45-50 range all day. The baitfish were in 30 but from 47 feet and deeper there isn't anything(or very little ) structure to snag on and the fish are willing to dart out from the brush a few feet away. I am not bouncing my spoon on bottom. I am working it away from the snags by a few feet either above or to the side of the tangle of brush and yo-yoing in open water and I seem to be doing okay. I only had one snag out that deep and It took me a couple of minutes but I shook it free rather than breaking out my plug knocker. If the fish are there but are unwilling...Try ripping the bait violently up 7 feet and down 7 feet for a while...That tends to get them amped up...Cheers

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 68 to start 70.3 to finish

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Started my Sunday morning on a point that I got chased off before I got to fish it last week. Ten casts into last week with no other private boats yet into the water other than when a boat comes strait at me and comes down right on the place. I left and never saw him again for the rest of the day. I sat on this point for 2.5 hours straight on spot lock catching fish on every cast"drop" of my spoon. 3/4 oz. Hopkins Shorty " chrome " with a red #4 hook. You can cast it and yo-yo back to the boat or just drop it straight down. At first light the fish swallowed the spoon before getting near the brush below. I ended the day at 3:00 with two keeper fish ...4 bluegill " males " ...I have no idea how many shorts but four out of the hundred or more shorts for the day were exactly 12 inches. I never caught more than one legal or 12" fish on any one spot. There was a lot of bait in the 30 foot zone . I found some places were the brush was more sparse which helped me get the spoon to the bottom however that is not necessary at this time. Deepest I fished depth wise could be 50 under the boat but you watch your meter vertical fishing so I would drop to within 2 feet of the brush and start the lift fall. If you see them not doing doing much try dropping the spoon free fall and reeling it straight back up 3-4 times and then drop the spoon into the pack that is now straight under the boat and stop it in the middle of them. Then lower and raise your tip very slowly down 3 feet...stop ...pause...raise slowly 3 feet. You might just get crushed the next time you lower it to your stop point. If that proves to not work. Try putting the spoon 2 feet off the top of the brush and rip it like your mad at it up fall do this over and over and over again ...Nothing. Move to another spot if you can't bring them to you. Once you do catch one. Be as quick to release your fish and drop down again as fast as you can...Have your pliers on the deck because you'll need them. They get into a frenzy once you catch a few it gets hard to even drop the spoon so apply a little thumb on the drop because when they get going it's like fishing for piranha's.and the line will just stop 10 feet down....your on....swing! The yo yo works best after they go off the vertical ...on this morning around 10:00. It seemed the shade the point I was fishing helped me catch fish longer than normal without having to go any where.,

Saturday, October 7th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 73

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Nothing to report that matters. You can still catch small bass on anything and everything you throw. The water temp is warm but given 95 to 100 degree days lately the surface is warm. Their are acres of 7-9 inch bass to be found boiling offshore near shore anywhere they can push the shad up. I threw a big deep diving crank for a lot of my day. At anchor lock after about twenty casts I'd see all the fish that followed my bait sitting in a ball under the boat. If I dropped a 3/4 oz. chrome hopkins spoon through them their would be a mad dash made by the whole pack. I see a lot of bait in 25 -30. I know an a-rig is off the hook now. If you can afford the keitechs it costs it would most likely lead you to at least one legal sized bass. I had two legal fish in the week prior throwing a deep crank ( 16-20' ) in a mint green type of color. I have a Dobyn's lv 500 with that same coloring and I could throw 360 around the point I started on and catch fish on a deep yo yo type retrieve. No Keepers on this trip. If the fish I am catching were legal in size I wouldn't be as worried about the fishery. The ecosystem is broken right now and might be years in becoming a stable fishery again as it requires luck or extremely expensive electronics or both to manage a keeper sized fish. If I had fished in my swimming pool for the last 4 months my catch ratio for a legal largemouth would statistically be about the same.

    Tips: If you aren't an adept fisherman or have little confidence in your skills you need to come to Casitas and learn how to catch bass on these little fish. Everything that works on them will work on Bigger fish...we just don't have numbers of large fish in the lake anymore but you can learn the basics off of them.

Saturday, September 16th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 78-81

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Lake is closed to boating on these dates:
    Since everything is a frick'n secret at this lake I found out the hard way this morning that the lake was closed to boating today. The guy in front of me drove 3 hours one direction for the bad news I only went 6 miles round trip. He towed the boat 6 hours round trip for nothing. Ka-ching costly but they never said jack about it. The info is taped to a window you drive past to have your boat's transom available to the staff.It was never distributed to the locked in boaters.
    The Lake is closed on these dates:
    Sept 16
    Sept 29 until noon
    Oct. 4
    Oct. 14
    Oct. 27
    Nov. 2
    This is due to the fact that there is a cross country race course involving the roads and the launch ramp at Coyote Creek with high school kids and parents everywhere.Some more of the excellent and brilliant work by staff and management.

Sunday, July 16th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 78-83

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I hear it's bad up and down the state and then I Saw The Casitas results and they are consistent with what I am now experiencing. I fished all day two days prior from 5:30 launch time until I gladly pulled off at 4;00. The main obstacle as I see it is the fact from 42 feet deep to the bank has submerged growth on steroids. There might be 5 feet of clearance surface to top of structure in some area that grew prior to going from 29% to 73% .

    At first light pretty much everywhere there is water you will see 1 inch to 4 inch bass fry flying through the air. If you had the notion you could catch bass fry with ease all day long. Our temperature jumped 5 degrees in the last 2 weeks. It was 83 when I left main lake for home. I am told that there is still a red ear and bluegill bite going on.

    In the last 3 weekly trips I have taken. I have managed two fish on the first trip two days before the last full moon. I had 5+ pounds and had no idea that was killer as I was off the water for 5 weeks with two broken ribs prior to this trip(Hope your feeling better WRB!) I had to go down to a 2.8 keiteck on my bladed hook. And caught them on windswept main lake points. Then the wheels fell off the cart.
    I have a fairly vast amount of tackle and options x 10 so the next two educated blanks= 20 hours on the water with absolutely not a tap or more importantly a follower I am very perplexed.
    I have found bass fry all the way down to about 35. I have spawning/active bluegill/redear. I have threadfin in 15-30.

    I don't have any type of reaction bite going on. I cannot buy a fish on plastics in any form except...The Small Keiteck. I have not been rewarded with the same thing in any larger size. I have only seen one fish in 30 hours on the water silhouetted in the bright green slime that has coated the entirety of the shallow structure.

    Things I wish I could do are flat out overridden by the facts of the fishery. For example there isn't anyway to throw a big ol' crank. If it's not a squarebill you'll be using a plug knocker. For Me the keitech was the answer once I found the right combo of bladed hook for my swimbait. But it certainly does not explain … the zero's. I have fished the shallows top to bottom for zip. I won't bother you with all the different techniques or baits. Yes, I tried it/that/those/there.

    I don't have bells and whistles for electronics but I have enough to see enough to just flat shrug as to what I need to be looking for. I have gone down many rabbit holes when it comes to the fishes diet for naught.

    All that being said I was surprised that the ABA tournament wasn't a night thing because my next trips will be from noon until 7:45 to find out if the evening mud lines are where I need to be. I hope it's that simple but I doubt it. Beyond a doubt the toughest summer bite in my life.

Thursday, June 29th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 72-75

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Having missed 5 weeks with some broken ribs I finally got back on the water. I heard it was tough so I went out and junk fished all day long. My conclusion is it's tough. I caught some fish (2) on small keitechs. Unless the water gets warmer the fish are going to continue being tough. I saw two fish over 5 pounds. One where it should have been and the other definitely lost. The 3 inch bass are thick as ticks and may constitute some sort of pattern but so far no real pattern other than the fishing picked up with the wind. No reaction to any topwater and it was 2 days before the full moon. I found a 3 inch bass with a shad stuck in it's mouth. I poked them with a rod tip and nothing moved after a minute or two I saw the gill on the bass almost imperceptibly move. I punched anchor lock and pulled the shad out of the bass and it just floated and the shad was dead. I cradled the bass in my hand for a few minutes until it had stopped floating and I watched it swim away a few minutes later...7 years from now that fish owes me a little thrill before I let him go just like that first time. I might have to tinker with a very small downshot rig but on this day it was for eliminating all the stuff that wasn't working which was just about anything I threw. Water seems dead and I saw shad in shallow but nothing in the shallows with it.

    Tips: observation: with 3 inch fish able to catch and eat shad Casitas fishing should get better over the next few years. Not trout eaters but healthier anyway.

Monday, April 17th, 2023

  • Water Temp: 63-67

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fish are on beds or roaming the banks from one end of the lake to another. I recommend a 5" senko with a weedless wacky hook. The fish are in 2-10 feet of water...They like it dead sticked or on the initial fall. Size from 2 1/2 to 3 pounds on average. What ever you fish think weedless. When hooked grind them straight to the boat...don't "play" them. Don't give them a chance to turn into the brush or you'll regret it....I am using 10 braid with 12 fluorocarbon and a #1 Owner jungle wacky hook. My usual is 10/10 but I bumped the leader because of the brush. It should be good for a month at least.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

  • Report: by Kelly Ripa » Wed Mar 01, 2023 1:14 pm

    31" inches in downtown Ojai.....Pretty impressive amount of water has come down in the canyon that is diverted to Casitas Lake. It makes me wonder how much fell in the March Miracle in years past. I lived here then but don't remember the specifics that filled both Cachuma and Casitas in 10 days. I had 7 1/4" just the other day so I took a trip to Casitas to check it out. I think I'll work on my garden full time until they get the marina together. zero docks to tie to once you launch as they have bathrooms and boats tied up willie nilly and the main courtesy dock was in two pieces and not connected to the bank. From what I observed on that day. Nothing is being done to give us any kind of quality to the launch ramp and it's use. They have covered their hienies by saying you boat and launch at your own risk. Just driving down the usually submerged 70 years old pothole filled excuse for a road is going to break my bunks. I don't have my old champ with shocks on the trailer and I suppose some environmentalist would have a fit if one load of gravel was used to make the task less punishing to boats and trailers in the potholes of that road. I could not get anything official but it looks like another 5 feet on top of the 20 from three weeks ago. I'm all for a March Miracle as we aren't even at 50% now. The good news is technically the submerged island is now an island again.

Monday, January 9th, 2023

  • Report: by Kelly Ripa » Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:48 pm

    This is the five year anniversary of Montecito being wiped out and that was from 3 inches. As of now I have had 4.5 inches on my front deck and I'm 3 miles from the lake. I drove over and watched all the water that's going straight to the ocean. Cruel and unusual punishment to see all that water go to waste. Anyway San Antonio creek is over the road to Station Canyon, the diverter is running full tilt,Coyote creek is bombing along. I was out just 3 days ago and we were up about 3 feet...old data on the California site shows us at 31% and Cachuma at 37%. Cachuma will be the big winner from all of this. I was out on Casitas on Friday and there was dry as a bone pieces of wood in abundance in areas but the water temps blew my mind. 56.5 to start and 59 when I left....That will change. The Station Canyon area was the most messed arm as far as silt was going. I assume it's because of all the culverts under the Hwy hydro mining the hills sides below. Plus the two creeks are raging in but but they are hard to see through all of the brush that grew in the absense of water over the last 15 years. If the lake shot up to full pool here we would have to launch through the trees and brush that have been allowed to takeover right up to the cement.I Caught 1 fish 4 pounds 6 ounces shallow. I just heard there is a mandatory evacuation notice for ALL of Montecito as of 12:45. Be safe out there...wear a vest and err on the side of caution is my advice.


Sunday, January 1st, 2023

  • Water Temp: 56.5

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Got to the lake at 10:00...Visibility wasn't to bad on main lake. 56.5 Water warmed to 57 in afternoon. Wind blew about 20 -25 from 9 until 2. It slacked and I went home at 2:30. Could not connect with anything shallow. I had 1 fish for 3 11ozs. on a spoon in 55 feet. With water this warm who knows. I think the next series of storms on Thursday will get us a temp fall. They moved the ramp up a few feet and closed one also. I don't know what's up with that. Maybe they only have to only move one with every foot of new elevation?? I don't know but one is further up than the other and not open.Nasty wind made it tough to fish for sure. I was happy with one!

Friday, December 16th, 2022

  • Water Temp: 57 morning/59 afternoon

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Lake went up a foot. I had some quick spoon fish in 35-55 feet. On chrome 3/4 oz. sometimes with a little deadstick thrown in after the few rips to get them to eat. The birds were roaming all over for the whole day it seemed. My better fish all came before 9 with a long dry spell until around 2. I ran into some that wanted to eat in the afternoon. The list of what I am not catching them on is way long. I think with us off the moon and this little squirt of water in the lake the jig thing should be ready to take off...If it already hasn't as I can only fish so many ways in the shorter hours of light...things change quickly and really they only have to eat once a week or so....Praying for at least 5x the rain to come and soon as my best stuff has been high and dry for some time now.

Sunday, August 21st, 2022

  • Water Temp: 81-82

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I am not consistent but I run into fish running banks using a 1/2 or a 3/8 ounce shad colored chatterbait. It's a bunch of casts for little reward but I have tossed it right into a fish's mouth the last 3 trips. Otherwise I am dropshotting wacky 1/8th oz. on 8 fluorocarbon 12" to the sinker or a nose hooked "purple" worm. A few jig fish and ika fish on shear walls...color? ...Think watermelon black/red. I caught a 6lb. last week on a gizzard shad strike king 10xd crank on 20 fluorocarbon with a Shimano 300 and a light musky rod. They are showing on the whopper plopper just 1 in 10 actually eat the thing in the afternoon. Keep moving as they can be found in numbers boiling all around you but you have to be ready for them when this happens....Tight lines.

    Tips: I am straining the water with multiple rods with different baits at different angles and depths,speeds as I move down the bank. The shear walls have a lot of bait on them. The bait is at 20-25 but also in the shallows in 5 mostly suspended bass which are harder to pick off. Some days are just better than others right now but from 1 until 5 or 6 in the afternoon the reaction bite is at it's best. It is a wind driven bite and the fish become more predictable and vulnerable. The blue stone treatment is finally about gone from the fish's faces and now it's on to the early fall puzzle.

Saturday, July 9th, 2022

  • Water Temp: 79

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I had a good day figuring out the fish on Thursday. In the gate at 5:30,2nd boat out I went straight across from the marina and started fishing my buzzbait down the bank. I caught a nice fish ( 3 ) and then fished half a mile for nothing. I picked up and moved to the next main lake point and caught a 4.
    I kept trying different baits looking for something to work with that wasn't a worm. I finally caught an ugly 4 pounder on a crank about 10. I picked up my dropshot and threw out onto a suspected ledge on a small cut. It swam off like a senko bite before it reached bottom. The blackwidow rod told what was up and I reeled in a 3. I fished frogs and punched for one missed fish. It's the same missed fish 3 times now. See him next week....I was totally ready and still wiffed. I caught a 3 on a crank basically offshore.
    I turned my attention to the dropshot around 12:30 and started immediately catching fish on small wacky worms in 25 – 30 off shore. I'd catch a fish and then move 50 feet...catch a fish move 100 feet catch a fish...It went on for 7 fish total and finally stopped for ten minutes so I moved back to the starting spot and caught another. I moved to a shear wall with drastic drop offs and was able to spot lock and drop the bait straight down in 25-35 feet and hold on and lightly shake it. There is so much bait ( 10 foot layer on the bottom ) that what happens is your bait drops through the shad which scatter and stay away from it. Now your bait is alone....Alone usually spells death for a shad. I even caught a 3 pound rainbow ( released ) So that was the good part off my day..............
    I pulled the boat out of the lake at 3:00 with the new truck in 4x4 high and the minute I got off the metal strips and to the rocks the truck started losing traction like I'm hauling 20 tons up the hill???? I know I'm not dragging my lower unit WTF? I get the boat out of both launch ramps way throwing rocks etc.into my boat and get out. The edge of the metal plates at the launch ramp on the far out side has a great big spike holding it in place... except it had lost it's purchase so when you went straight along that seam the outside edge is 4 inches higher so it punched a hole in the sidewall when I backed it in and I never heard a thing. Longer story short I will be spending $340 for a new set of matched tires and spent $70 to have a tow truck driver swap the spare for me as the new truck doesn't have anything but a scissor jack and the crank but no wrench....How happy I was to get home at 6:00. Tuesday new tires and then I fill out a claim form and see if I get one tire out of the Casitas water board.
    Still it was a good day..............

    Tips: I fish reaction until I am flogging a dead horse. That worm bite might even be better at first light but I want my morning reaction fish..........

Sunday, June 12th, 2022

  • Water Temp: 74-80

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: REALLY foggy. I had a partner for the day who had never fished Casitas and is getting through the process to get his Ranger on the lake over the next weeks. He stuck the first fish on a crank ...think 15 foot range and shad color. Me, I caught a plopper fish off a point( 130, bone) and then we went 8 hours without a bite. It bothered my backseat that he could see fish on the meter but not connect ( and we tried it all). The sky was powder blue and then the wind started to howl. We fished until three and an hour before we left I finally caught a frog fish. I have been searching likely stuff with this bait for 5-6 weeks now. I hooked and lost two more to end our day.

    Tips: Everything this year seems off to me and my records say the same. The fish are just going " SummerTime " mode but they seem to like a less aggressive approach so be patient it's coming.

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

  • Water Temp: 73 to start

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Water clarity varies by location. If I wasn't catching fish on my a-rig I would REALLY be struggling right now. My 3 wire with a blade on each arm and small keitechs have caught the lions share of my bags. The topwater bite hasn't been worth the effort for awhile and while I am told there is a crank bite I've yet to put one fish in the boat in the same location that I have scored 3 dbl. fish hook ups on the a-rig. I just haven't made that connection yet. The uglier water color is where this a-rig shines and the afternoon winds make a better bite than the morning. I am also catching fish on senko's,Fat Ika's, dropshot,swimbaits. These baits catch me a few fish but offshore and steeper sloped areas are helpful. The few fish I have caught on topwater have all eaten walking baits. No frog fish for me and only 2 buzzbait fish so far. The topwater bite puzzles me as it's just flat tough no matter the day of the week, lunar phase, water temp.,or weather...The grass is growing in areas you can't predict and can only help the fishing as it gets more developed.

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

  • Water Temp: 57-59.5

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I had not been out in 2 months due to boat maintenance and the addition of a new trolling motor and battery charging system in my Champion. I started late at 10 in the morning there were already gusts of wind. After I got the trolling motor synced up and calibrated I went off for a look see in the deteriorating weather with light rain squalls. I just spent A week on Clear lake and tried as I might I could not force feed the fish on something that works so well there. I picked up a senko and stuck a very shallow fish on my third cast. It was difficult to see because of the wave action but beds are clearly visible in multiple areas. while the wind continued to howl. I fished until 4 trying to find the reaction bite but went home knowing my next trip will be with plastics and swimbaits. It appears the bite is not as tough as I was told and I will only know in a week.

    Tips: The next week will be straight 70's so the water temps and the fish will respond.

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

  • Water Temp: 65

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Shallow bite seems to ebb and flow with the full moon. No deep water reaction fish but I am on consistent fish in 30 to 50 with a wacky worm and a 3/16 sinker. I'll be out tomorrow for some black Friday fishing.

    Tips: If I see fish even as much as 10 off the bottom the slow fall and the subtle weight is a great one two punch until we get a good cold snap for some metal baits.

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

  • By

    Water Temp: 59-61

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Fished Deep Cat area off the exposed long point seeking Grebes feeding on shad balls. Fished 15-25 ft. Strike King Sexy Spoon 5.5" through the bait with lift and flutter motion. Caught 2 bass 5pnd and 2 pnd bass with a "sway" back. Weird looking fish. Tried other areas, but Deep Cat was where they were and should have stayed there.
    City: oxnard

    Tips: "Don't leave an area where you are catching fish" is the rule.Fish Northern part of the lake in winter/spring. Big fish are around and are already full of eggs.Catch and Release please

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

  • Water Temp: 58

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fishing has been for me "really good" or "really slow" this last month. Normal jig and worm bite in the typical 10 to 40ft of water on deep structure. Fishing real slow. Best fish have been comming out of deep water to 60 feet on the shad using heavy flutter spoon. Fished the last 2 WON Casitas Region Tournaments by Rich Tauber. Great tournament Rich. Thank you. Really looking forward to the next few weeks when the fishing should improve. Take care.

    Tips: Been really tough but still manage to grind a few fish in the boat. Jigs/worm on the deep points and Spoon deep where the shad are. Been working for me.

Friday, December 6th, 2013

  • Water Temp: 58

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fished Friday on a colder glassy pre storm lake. Cold wind started up around noonish left water at 1:00.Started out at 8:00 with partner on water/area I knew from just days before in my boat. I got slowly dialed into his electronics and I promptly caught 2 of 5 fish I was looking at on a ledge in 30 feet on my spoon. I kept us in the area and am sure my partner missed a few being a newbie he did well by not dragging his spoon but keeping up with the ebb and flow by reeling up and starting another drop. He now understands that being as much as a few feet away from the structure ( wood in this case) and he's not going to get bit. We scoured this area a second time with other baits to no avail. As we ambled along I think I caught 2 more spoon fish at the same 30 foot range during the rest of our day. We worked other areas with similar methodology and wound up with zilch. Observed the grebes to be spread out and not on bait except in a few instances during the course of the day. Surgery was changed to Friday so I'll be out again hopefully before I get laid up one last time. We got ¼ inch of rain the day after we fished.