Weekend Fun at Lake Lopez in Arroyo Grande, California
After quite a few cold and rainy weekends, we finally had a gorgeous weekend where the weather was perfect for some time on the lake! Last Saturday, we headed out to Lake Lopez with our boat and it was a great day! All 6 of our kids love going out on the boat and are excited to have lots of chances to go out on the water!
We live on the California Central Coast and are literally 20 minutes away from Lake Lopez, 20 minutes from the ocean and an hour away from Lake Nacimiento. We haven’t been out in the ocean in our boat, but have been sticking to the nearby lakes. In San Luis Obispo County, they have an issue with invasive mussels and if they find them on your boat, you won’t be able to go into the lake until the problem is remedied. When we arrived at the registration office, a group of park rangers checked all over our boat (both inside and out), making sure there were none onboard. Once they finished, we were cleared to head on in to the park.
For a while, Lake Lopez was not open to launch boats as the water levels were too low. It opened back up on January 23rd, 2017 as the water levels rose due to all the rains we had – yay! We are ready to get a lot of use out of our jet boat!
Frank really enjoys driving the boat and the boys love going fast in the boat. I enjoy sitting back, relaxing and taking pictures. Maybe I’ll try to drive it sometime, but I’m not in a hurry to do it – ha ha! While Lake Lopez is not a huge lake, nearly 1,000 acres, it is definitely a fun lake to enjoy boating and fishing on!
Lake Lopez is located just ten miles east of Arroyo Grande, California. It’s one of the top choices for camping and leisure trips. With 22 miles of shoreline and summer lake temperatures around 70°F, visitors can enjoy camping (we’ve camped there in our RV), fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking and equestrian trails, mountain biking, zip-lining (we haven’t done this yet), birdwatching, water slides and more!
I learned that Lake Lopez was actually once covered by the ocean. The surrounding hills of Lake Lopez are gorgeous this time of year – green and filled with oak trees. There are over 175 species of flowering plants and more than 150 species of birds within the park. The beautiful canyons were once hunting and fishing grounds for the Chumash Indians. Later, homesteaders and ranchers inhabited the area and harvested grain crops for Mission San Luis Obispo. Lopez Lake was then created in 1969 to provide domestic water for the Five Cities area of the California Central Coast.
In addition to riding around the lake in the boat, we fished for a little while. Lake Lopez is filled with largemouth and smallmouth bass, red-ear sunfish, crappie and catfish. In fact, catfish exceeding 25 pounds are caught at dusk and dawn all during the year. While we had fun fishing, the biggest catch we had was a large stick, caught by Brian.
We found a great little dock to tie up to that we were able to fish from. We fished both from the dock and the boat. The kids loved it! Although they were slightly disappointed we didn’t catch any fish, they still had a blast!
After boating and fishing for a while, we headed back to the marina for lunch. The marina is complete with a launch ramp, a food store, snack bar, tackle shop and boat rentals. We opted to rent a boat slip for the day, which made it easier when it came time to get lunch and head to the bathrooms in the marina store.
After lunch, we headed back out on the water again. We drove around the lake some more and then pulled up to our original dock as another boat was leaving. We fished for a little while longer and then it was time to head home. It was a lot of fun and we can’t wait to go out again!
Do you enjoy boating and fishing? Where do you go?