Jim Matthews, Outdoor Editor
Santa Ana River Lake is SoCal’s
top producer of huge rainbow trout
Santa Ana River Lakes had continued to produce more big rainbow trout than any other lake in Southern California, and probably the whole county over the past week. There have been at least 10 rainbows topping 12 pounds reported at the lake’s tackle shop, and at least that many more trout have gone home in ice chests without the anglers bothering to stop by and report their catches, according to lake staff.
“We promised that our trout season this year was going to be like to good old days, and we’re making good on that promise,” said Craig Elliott. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this many big trout being caught at Santa Ana.”
The biggest trout reported this past week was an 18-pound, 12-ounce rainbow landed by Tramel Kerl, Los Angeles, with salmon peach PowerBait rolled in the new Hatchery Dust while fishing from shore at Pump House Corner.
Jesse Garrido, La Habra, fishing fishing a chartreuse dough bait at the Bubble Hole for a 16 1/2-pound rainbow, while Glen Matsushita, Gardena, landed a 16-pounder at the Bubble Hole, also on a dough bait. Chris Edwards, Tustin, fished Chris’ Pond with a nightcrawler to land a 15 1/2-pounder, while at 15-pounder, one-ounce rainbow was caught by Gabriel Estrada, Garden Grove, on rainbow PowerBait and Hatchery Dust from his float tube at the Bubble Hole. A rainbow at 14 1/2-pounds was caught by Gary Patterson, Hacienda Heights, on a white Mouse Tail off La Palma Point, and Joshua Griswold, Woodland Hills, landed a 14 1/4-pound trout at the Bubble Hole, also on a Mouse Tail. Keith Hyun, Anaheim, was fishing a jig off the sandy beach to land a 13 ½-pound rainbow, and Melchor Martinez, Los Angeles, used a nightcrawler in Chris’ Pond for a 13 1/4-pounder. A trout at 12 3/4-pounds was caught by Gio Altamiraano, Santa Ana, on a white Trout King jig, and a 12 1/4-pounder was landed by Austreberto Arriaga, Monrovia, using PowerBait and Hatchery Dust.
But the bite is more than just about big fish. Most anglers are getting stringers of rainbows averaging about a pound each with lots of kicker fish from two to six pounds or more. David and Steven Rochin, Placentia, had 10 rainbows for 27.1 pounds fishing Mice Tails in orange and green near the boat dock. Jose Velasquez, Felix Martinez, and Eric Vergadura, Cerritos and Huntington Park, had 14 rainbows total and the stringer weighed 15 1/4 pounds.
The best trout action has been on floating baits rolled in the new Hatchery Dust additive, but the usual array of small jigs, trout plastics — especially the Power Mice Tails — and real nightcrawlers are also catching a lot of trout. The rainbows are showing all around the lake complete with the fish well distributed and cruising around in schools.
The warm weather has also made for good catfish action in the Catfish Lake and main lakes. There were bonus plants of catfish two weeks ago, but only a few anglers cashed in on the tons of whiskerfish in the complex. One was Victor Estrada, Garden Grove, who landed four catfish to six pounds on nightcrawlers in the Catfish Lake.
Trophy rainbow trout continue to be a major component of each Thursday plant, and anglers can view to videos of the fish going in at The Lakes’ website. In addition to the trophies, thousands of pounds of pan-sized trout averaging about a pound or better are also planted each week.
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 trout bite stays
hot with hefty weekly plants
Many anglers continue to report limit-style fishing at Corona Lake thanks to hefty weekly plants of rainbows at this popular western Riverside County water. Those plants also continue to include trophy rainbows as part of the weekly stocks.
The big fish reported this past week was a 14-pound, two-ounce rainbow landed as part of a 20 1/2-pound, six-fish stringer weighed in by Terry Boetger and Jeremy Valenzuela, both Mira Loma, while fishing PowerBait at the dam. Tom Cockshuh, Ontario, landed a 12-pound rainbow on yellow PowerBait from a boat just off the boat docks. A 12-pounder was also the best fish in a five-fish, 18 1/4-pound stringer posted by Ralph Accurso, Moreno Valley, off J.D.’s Point on a pink and white Nitro Worm.
More typical were five-fish limits of trout averaging from one to two pounds, and many stringers had nice kicker fish. Josh Stark, Murrieta, landed five rainbows totaling 14 pounds, including a five-pounder, while fishing Mice Tails from his float tube. Shon Roberts, Riverside, landed five trout for 15 pounds and his best was a four-pounder, all caught on B-Line jigs from a boat. J.B. Gierlich, Riverside, had five rainbows for 13 1/2 pounds on B-Line Jigs, and his best was a four pounder caught from the cove behind the bait shop.
Shore anglers continue to score from the cove behind bait shop all the way to the dam, while the boat and float tube anglers are getting most of their fish from the dam to the upper end of the lake along the main channel. The best bite has been on floating baits or Power Mice Tails rolled in the new Hatchery Dust, scent-doused nightcrawlers, small trout jigs and trout plastics.
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.