Jim Matthews, Outdoor Editor
Santa Ana River Lakes cranks out dozens of huge rainbows
An 18-pound rainbow trout caught by Steve Tran of Rowland Heights was the top fish in a parade of monster trout landed at Santa Ana River Lakes over the long holiday weekend. His fish was caught the day the big trout were planted last Friday and he landed the rainbow on a gold Kastmaster. There were also 16-pound rainbows caught by Craig Miyamoto, Fontana, on garlic PowerBait off La Palma Point, and Melanya Tiratsuyan, Canoga Park, landed another 16-pounder fishing chartreuse PowerBait from a boat along the east shoreline. Teodulo Rongvillo, East Los Angeles, caught a 15 1/2-pounder on a worm-PowerBait combo at Levitz’ Corner. Jessica Wu, Fullerton, had a 15-pounder at the Bubble Hole on a nightcrawler, and a 14 1/4-pound rainbow was caught by Melvin Lopez, Long Beach, on orange PowerBait off La Palma Point. Craig Atkinson, Orange, had rainbows at 14 and 11 pounds fishing a white trout plastic worm dropshot style at the Toad Road. He returned with fishing buddy Clinton Whisler, Orange, and they each had 13 1/2-pounders on Lip RipperZ jigs. Rick and Ann Burns, Altadena, had a seven-fish stringer topped off with a 13-pounder while fishing garlic PowerBait and mini jigs. Jay Lamori, West Covina, had an 11 3/4-pound rainbow from the bubble hole on chartreuse PowerBait. But it all wasn’t about big fish. There were many solid stringers of trout average from one to two pounds. Art and Joe Villa, Orange, and Pat Grey, Covina, had a 15-fish stringer that weighed a solid 20 pounds fishing nightcrawlers with garlic Eagle Claw Gravy at the pumphouse. Henry Manzo, Pico Rivera, had a 12-fish stringer that was topped off with a 7 1/2–pounder fishing chartreuse dough bait at the spillway. The huge, heavyweight rainbows will be planted on Friday again this week for the four-day New Year’s long weekend. “We’re going to load up on the big fish again this week,” said Craig Elliott. “This is the time of the year when The Lakes’ stock the biggest fish of the season and the most big fish of the year.” The bite has been good all around the big lake and Chris’ Pond with the new water circulation system working exceptionally well and the fish well distributed throughout both of the lakes. The bite was good for shore, float tube, and boat anglers and there were no real hot spots. Anglers fishing small jigs or trout plastics might be getting a little faster action than the dough bait crowd, but both tactics are getting a lot of fish. Top colors for both the jigs, plastics, and dough bait has been the chartreuse and greens, yellow, orange, and rainbow, and anglers fishing light leaders are having the best success. The much-hyped Hatchery Dust has shipped will be available in the SARL bait shop beginning this week. It will also be in many sporting goods stores by the end of the week. Santa Ana River Lakes is back on its seven-days-a-week schedule after being closed on Christmas. It will be open on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for regular hours. Fishing is allowed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on day passes or from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on an evening pass. Each of these passes is $25. Seniors pay only $23 with a $20 special on Wednesdays. All of these passes have a five-fish limit. For kids 4 to 13, a three-fish pass is just $12. There are 24-hour passes offered on Friday and Saturday night on weekends nearest the full moon each month. The 24-hour passes cost $75 and have a 15 fish limit. An angler can bring his wife and up to three kids and all can help fill the 15-fish limit on one of these passes, and camping is free at SARL with a 24-hour pass. For Santa Ana River Lakes fishing information, call 714-632-7830 or log on at www.fishinglakes.com.
Excellent rainbow action continues at Corona Lake
The excellent trout bite has continued at Corona Lake over the past week, and in addition to the limit-style fishing that has been going on for two months, there were more double-digit fish mixed in on stringers Christmas weekend after a plant of the big boys last Friday. Those giant trout from 10 to 20 pounds will be planted again this Friday for the New Year’s long weekend. They will go in along with the regular load of one to two-pounders and those teenage-sized trout up to eight or 10 pounds. That just means this hot fishing is likely to continue right on in to 2013, in spite of the Mayan calendar. The big trout from Corona this past week was a 16 1/2-pound rainbow that was caught by Daniel Moore, Corona, while fishing chartreuse PowerBait from shore right behind the tackle shop on four-pound test. Pete Castro, Riverside, landed a 15 1/4-pounder on the same bait at the dam. A 14 3/4-pound rainbow was posted by Jason Hernandez, Ontario, fishing from a float tube with a trout plastic worm. Nice stringers of trout were common, especially for boat and float tube anglers who could work the far shoreline channel. Cameron Furrer, Norco, had a five-fish limit that weighed 14 1/2 pounds and included a 10 1/2-pounder fishing B-Line Jigs from his tube. Travis Hansen, Lake Elsinore, had five rainbows that weighed 20 pounds, including a seven-pounder to top off the stringer, and he was fishing a nightcrawler-chartreuse PowerBait combo at the dam. The trout are showing on a wide variety of floating baits, scent-doused nightcrawlers, small trout jigs and trout plastics. All of the baits and lures have been more effective when fishing on nothing heavier than four-pound test leaders. The new Hatchery Dust, which is rolled onto and into bait balls of dough bait, will be available this week at the Corona Lakes tackle shop (along with some area sporting goods stores by the weekend). Corona Lake will be back on its seven-days-a-week schedule after being closed Christmas Day. It will be open regular hours on both New Year’s Eve Day and New Year’s Day. Fishing is allowed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on day passes or from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on an evening pass. Each of these passes is $25. Seniors pay only $23, with a $20 special on Wednesdays. All of these passes have a five-fish limit. For kids 4 to 13, a three-fish pass is just $12. The 24-hour passes are only sold the weekend nearest the full moon. The 24-hour passes cost $75 and have a 15 fish limit. An angler can bring his wife and up to three kids 17 and under and all can help fill the 15-fish limit on one of these passes, and camping is free at Corona with a 24-hour pass. For Corona Lake fishing information, call 951-277-4489 or log on at www.fishinglakes.com