Southern CA Freshwater

Diamond Valley Lake madness to return with upcoming trout plant

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Jan 16, 2019

HEMET — Diamond Valley Lake only gets one trout plant per month, but it’s a monster 3,500 pounder that creates quite the scene. When last month’s stock arrived, cars were posted up at the bottom of the hill as early as the night before, and the line of cars stretched all the way to the parkway. That delivery included some rare Lightning Trout, and while this one does not, you can expect a similar madhouse at DVL.

MARK ‘MR. DIAMOND VALLEY’ FRANCO has been connecting his clients to huge numbers of bluegill at DVL.

The next 3,500-pound drop will go in after hours on Jan. 22 so they will be settled in and to run the gauntlet of floating baits while getting strafed by a barrage of minijigs. The good news is, if we’ve learned anything from the trout stocks that have gone in to DVL so far this season, it’s that those fish will bite right away, and the bite will be red hot right out of the gates. While your standard floating trout baits will work, lure chuckers throwing minijigs or classic metal stuff will likely fill stringers the quickest before giving way toward next week when the bite settles down into more of a steady pick where the bait-and-wait crowd should then get the best of it.

Largemouth bass have been sluggish but there are biters to be had – and quality ones at that – for those willing to grind it out at a snail’s pace. SoCal guide Rusty Brown is still going deep for his green ones. He recommends targeting the 30- to 50-foot zones with Rapala Ice Jigs or 6-inch Roboworms in Oxblood Light-Red Flake, Morning Dawn or MMIII off Main Lake Points on DVL’s West End. Brown also said there are some jig biters near the Saddle Dam and suggested a brown and purple ½-ounce jig with a PBJ trailer. Whatever you end up going with, fish slow and methodically.

Another guide, Mark “Mr. Diamond Valley” Franco has been taking clients of the “low intensity” variety out on his cushy pontoon boat and putting a hurt on excellent numbers in deeper water along any of the dams, and he’s typically drop-shotting a nightcrawler for those fish.

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