Southern CA Freshwater

Dixon Lake trout stocked and biting

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 13, 2019

ESCONDIDO — A 1,500-pound stock snuck into Dixon Lake on March 6, creating very good fishing for anglers getting on the water instead of or prior to the Long Beach Fred Hall Show. Catfish are also on a bit of an off-season chew and allowing for some mixed-bag hauls, and local bass anglers are starting to look toward the spawn although green ones are not on beds yet.

RAY BENEDICT OF Poway is an experienced saltwater fisherman, but he has only been fishing freshwater for a couple months. This 7.76-pound trout that ate a minijig in Dixon Lake suggests he’s figuring it out.

“We hit Dixon after the stocking and before Fred Hall, and it was a trophy-fish kind of day for us,” said San Diego angler Mike Cooper. “From the shore by the Buoy Line, the bite was hot early on minijigs, then it died off and PowerBait took over. The water was clearer than after previous storms, but Jack Creek (cove) was muddy, so some parts of the lake are better than others.”

Cooper, who runs the Trout Made Angler Company and posts a lot of videos from his outings, also told Western Outdoor News trout over 6 pounds ate PowerBait for a shore angler fishing near him, and his buddy Ray Benedict of Poway landed a 7.76-pound Calaveras rainbow using a white Berkley PowerBait jig. Cooper landed a 4.14 on a mint/silver flake minijig from Gordito Customs. The next 1,500-pound trout plant will arrive on March 27.

According to lake staffers, Boat Dock Cove and Trout Cove are also producing bigger rainbows. Catfish have also reactivated during this never-ending run of storms blowing through each week, and they’re surprising some trouters dunking nightcrawlers or even off-season catfish guys targeting them with mackerel or chicken livers. About a month ago, the lake record for catfish was shattered when a 29-pound, 2-ounce tanker was caught by a trout guy soaking dough bait.

The water is warming and largemouth bass are in pre-spawn. Several WON sources went out there to prospect for shallow bass, but none were spotted in shallows even briefly to look for a suitable bedding location. Just a reminder, the take limit on largemouth bass was reduced last year to two fish over 12 inches.

troutmadeTROUT MADE — Mike Cooper of San Diego with a 4.41-pound Dixon Lake rainbow that fell for a minijig.

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