Fishing Arastradero Lake
Arastradero Lake is a quiet pond in the hills of Palo Alto. Close to its bigger, recently-private sibling Boronda Lake, you reach the lake after a pleasant stroll along a grassy, sunny trail surrounded by oak trees.
About the Lake
Calling Arastradero a lake is a misnomer - it’s more of a farm pond than anything else. Surrounded by tules, shoreline access can be very difficult (no boats or float tubes allowed). There are only 3 or 4 places where you can cast into the lake. The fishing can be decent here, if you can snag one of the few fishing spots.
Arastradero has a lot of small bass that roam in schools around the lake, especially during early on in the summer and during warm evenings. When one of the schools pass by, throw a noisy/flashy bait, like a popper or a spinnerbait, and you’ll probably catch a fish.
Later on in the summer, the lake can get very overgrown with weeds. Try using a frog on top of the weed mats, or pitch small jigs and soft plastics into the pockets of clear water in between the clumps of grass.
If you’re searching for bigger bass, pitch soft plastics around the tules, where the fish will be looking to ambush baitfish and crayfish. The biggest bass ever caught here was 10 pounds, so there’s a big fish roaming out there somewhere.
I’ve also seen some pretty big bluegill here, but they are finicky. Worms should be moderately successful.
Arastradero Preserve is a very nice place. I love hiking and biking around here, along the park’s numerous trails. The parking lot can fill up very quickly.
Official website: City of Palo Alto
For the bass:
Strike King Spinnerbait
From the old ichthy.com:
Pros: lots of cover, light pressure, good catfishing Cons: almost no shoreline access, no watercraft Description: A very small pond on the side of a popular mountain biking and running trail in Palo Alto. You have to park on Arastradero Road and walk a quarter mile or so on the trail to the lake. It is circled with tules. So many tules that there are only a few places to fish from the bank. And for some reason that escapes me, you are not allowed to put a float tube or anything else in this lake. Fish Largemouth Bass: There are bass in here, but getting to them can be problematic. Fish EARLY in the morning with topwater, then go to small plastics or jigs in the day. I've had most success dropping small baits into pockets of weeds or tules. Catfish: This can be a good catfish lake. It is stocked on the rare occasion with channels. But I think it also has a good sustaining population of its own. Try chicken liver or nightcrawlers 4 feet under a small bobber and cast towards the middle of the lake.