Jim Matthews, Outdoor Editor
Santa Ana River Lakes continues
to crank out huge rainbow trout
The Rose Parade only lasts one day, but the parade of rose and crimson rainbow trout out of Santa Ana River Lakes has been non-stop for three weeks, and the lake’s dedicated band of anglers are still marching to the beautiful music big trout make when they strip line off reels against the drag.
The biggest rainbow reported during the first week of 2013 was a 15-pound, two-ounce trout caught by Frank Bin, Las Crescenta, while fishing a gold Kastmaster off the east shore of the big lake. Alex Escobar, La Habra, landed a 15-pounder fishing rainbow PowerBait at the pump house from shore. Ernie Agame, San Pedro, landed a 13 1/2-pounder at the Bubble Hole on chartreuse PowerBait, while Bonnie Henderson, Long Beach, caught a 13 1/4-pound rainbow on a nightcrawler at the road. Mitchell Deckert, Riverside, was fishing a white jig just 15 feet from shore to hook and land a 13-pounder at the Bubble Hole. There were 12-pound rainbows landed by Drew Navarro, Orange, on a Lip RipperZ jig near the boat dock, and by Lawrence Bland, Ontario, on a silver Kastmaster off the north shore of the big lake.
The big rainbows are showing up every day, and they are a component of the huge trout stockings each Thursday. There are videos of each stock posted on the The Lakes’ website (www.fishinglakes.com) so you can see the size of the fish that go in. What you’ll see, in addition to the trophy fish, are thousands of pounds of pan-sized rainbows averaging about a pound or better. The smaller trout are keeping stringers full all around the lakes’ complex. Five-fish stringers weigh from five to 10 pounds, and the bite has been wide open on any of the floating baits rolled in the new Hatchery Dust, which is finally available at The Lakes tackle shop and in fishing tackle stores throughout Southern California. The action is also good on small trout jigs and plastics.
Santa Ana River Lakes is open seven-days-a-week. 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.
Corona Lake anglers hammer
great stringers of rainbows
The rainbow trout action at Corona Lake has been nothing short of exceptional this season. Limits of trout have been reported by shore anglers from the cove behind bait shop all the way to the dam, while the boat and float tube anglers are scoring from the dam to the upper end of the lake along the main channel.
The big fish of the week was a 14.6-pounder landed by Mike Bracamonte, Covina, fishing rainbow Nitro Bait off the sandy beach. Trua and Lam Lee, both of Los Angeles, topped off their stringer with a 14-pound rainbow caught on a nightcrawler rolled in Hatchery Dust while fishing from a boat. Don Stevenson, Temecula, landed a 13-pounder fishing orange PowerBait in the cove behind the bait shop.
One of the best stringers of the week was a 10-fish, 27-pound catch reported by Pat and Jim Gray of Covina while fishing chartreuse PowerBait from a boat. The top fish on their stringer was a 12 1/2-pound rainbow. Ceilo Sandoval, Santa Ana, also had a 12 1/2-pound trout on an orange trout plastic with garlic and Hatchery Dust. Matt Dominguez, Rancho Cucamonga, caught a 12 1/4-pound rainbow on chartreuse PowerBait and two-pound test line. Chad Homan Jr., Escondido, landed an 11-pound rainbow fishing a Trout King jig in the back corner of the lake from a boat.
Top action has been on any of the floating baits rolled in the new Hatchery Dust, scent-doused nightcrawlers, small trout jigs and trout plastics. The new Hatchery Dust, which is rolled onto and into bait balls of dough bait, is now available at the Corona Lakes tackle shop, along with some area sporting goods stores.
Heavy weekly plants of rainbows averaging around a pound are made each week, and those plants always have a hefty component of rainbows from five to eight pounds along with super trophies topping 10 pounds and going well up into the teens.
Corona Lake is open on a seven-days-a-week schedule. 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.