St. Croix


Southern CA Freshwater

Anaheim: Big ’bows, lightning trout nabbed at Santa Ana River Lakes opener

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 29, 2019

Trophy-class fish being stocked for holiday weekend

ANAHEIM — After a soft opening of sorts at Santa Ana River Lakes with consecutive moderate-sized trout plants earlier this month to get things cranked up, a heavy load of Mt. Lassen rainbows and lightning trout spilled into SARL for this past weekend’s official opener, making for lots of bent rods, stout trout limits and happy anglers. The catching began in earnest on Friday and carried on through Sunday, and there ought to only be more of the same this coming weekend with a trophy stocking slated for Thanksgiving Day (lake closed on stock day). “The trout fishing has been excellent,” said Colby Elliott, operator at SARL. “Both rainbow and lightning trout are being caught in good numbers, and there have been some big ones too. On Sunday night we posted almost 50 great photos on our website (, and that was just from this past weekend alone.”

A TYPICAL SAMPLE of the types of limits collected over the official opening weekend at SARL, a 10-fish stringer going 24 pounds by Harry and George Tebelekian of Los Angeles, all caught near the Boat Dock on rainbow PowerBait.

Trout were eager and taking a wide variety of offerings over the official opening weekend at the Anaheim watershed. Mini­jigs and tube baits in a range of different colors are getting the job done, while bait soakers are filling stringers with chartreuse, rainbow and salmon peach PowerBait, orange/white and pink/white Mice Tails and inflated ’crawlers. Anglers drop-shotting trout worms are also connecting at a steady clip. Catches are being made throughout the lake, with some of the early stand-out spots being the Boat Dock, The Road, The Bubble Hole and La Palma Point.

The biggest reported fish from the weekend was a 9-pound, 10-ounce Lassen rainbow hauled in at The Road on an orange jig by Jonathan Marriot of Westminster, with honorable mention going to Monterey Park’s Luis Garcia with an 8½ pounder that ate an orange/white Mice Tail near the Bubble Hole. As just a sample of the types of limits being compiled in the early going of the official season, Harry and George Tebelekian of Los Angeles posted a 10-fish day with a mix of rainbows and lightnings going 24 pounds with a 5-pound kicker rainbow, all taken on rainbow PowerBait near the Boat Dock. Also notable was an 18½-pound catfish caught mid-lake by Sergio Sarala Jr. of L.A. on shrimp, so the big cats are still on the prowl too.

The good times at SARL will in all likelihood spill over into the coming holiday weekend, with a generous helping of trophy-class rainbows set to be stocked on Turkey Day, including some torpedo trout into the double digits. Safe to say, it’s now game on for the season.

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