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HomeKelsey Lake Outing




Kelsey Lake is a 125 acre impoundment stocked with trophy size Florida Bass. It is located on the beautiful 7,000 acre Kelsey Ranch about 25 miles north of Merced, near Snelling. This ranch has been in the Kelsey family since 1852. The lake is over 70 years old, built to supply irrigation water for this working cattle ranch.

Over a decade ago, the lake was drained and refilled. Then, for the next three years, the Kelsey family stocked 4,000 Florida bass each year for a total of 12,000. Along with the hard fighting Florida Bass, Bluegill, Sunfish, and Catfish were planted in the lake. Recently large rainbow trout and red eared sunfish were added to the lake, offering the angler other choices.

Today the lake is filled with a large number of healthy Bass. You'll find yourself leaving weary of the rod bending action, action which is nothing short of amazing. The lake record black bass is 16lb. 12oz.

Check the April Event Calendar for dates and cost of the daily rod fee.  The lake is in the foothills about 35 minutes North and  East of Merced on a 7,000 acre ranch.  It is a beautiful setting.  They are allowing us to camp again by booking  the whole lake.  With 12 anglers we get exclusive use of the lake and camping area. If you want the convenience of a motel, it is about 35 minutes into Merced. 


This average sized Kelsey bass took an adult dragonfly #2 on the top

In the past, the fishing has been excellent, we have had wonderful top water fishing and it is possible to wade the shallows casting to bass exploding on large dragon-flies, sometimes coming out of the water to take them in the air!  People who have attended in the past are hoping for a repeat as all agree it was one their best bass trips ever.  Everyone caught fish, and it is well laid out for float tubing.  Although primarily a bass lake, there are some very large bluegill that will take bass bugs!

That's an 8 wt. rod with a hefty bluegill caught on a bass popper.

It is a beautiful lake for float tubing, casting from shore or wading the shallows. If you wish, you can bring a small boat with an electric trolling motor. 

Marcia Breskin and George at the BBQ.


There is a large barbecue center for cooking (big enough do a pig or side of beef on a rack) with an elevating grid overlooking the lake.  Everybody brings their own food and we share a big meal on Saturday night.

It  is not a developed camp ground, but works out well.

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