Lake Otay is located about 9 miles east of Chula Vista near the Otay County Open Space Preserve close to the Mexican border. It is a water reservoir for San Diego and is a great paddling location for visitors looking to fish or just admire the thousands of migratory birds that feed and rest here throughout the year. The United States Olympic Training center on the left side of the lake uses it as a practice location for rowing sports. Otay Lake extends out into three arms headed north, east and south. No swimming is allowed on the lake and float tubers must use waders. No paddleboards are allowed.
The 20 mile shoreline consists of grassy hills dotted with chaparral trees and brush. The lake is seasonally accessible during March through September. During it's open season, the lake is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays.
Lake Otay is a great location for anglers looking to catch large mouth bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie. Blue catfish up to 100 lbs have been caught in this lake. Fish near structure and submerged objects such as trees. A fishfinder can be very useful for determining these fishing locations. Swimbaits, senko worms and jerk shads are all great baits to use when fishing this area. Trolling rapalas and other baits along the banks of the lake is a good tactic here. The Department of Fish & Game stock trout here regularly during the winter months from November through March. A powerpole system or anchor can be useful if you are fishing the banks in the windier afternoons.
Air temperature in Otay Lake ranges from the 50s to mid 60s in the winter and the 70s to mid 80s in the summer. The waters are very calm in the mornings, but afternoons give way to windier, choppier conditions. The lake's various small inlets provide some protection from the winds.
Lower Otay Lake Boat Launch (Otay Lake)