Southern CA Freshwater

Diamond Valley Lake stripers drop off

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Jan 17, 2018

Largemouth quality over quantity

HEMET — Striped bass action had been consistent since trout stocking kicked off a few months ago, but it has recently fizzled down to a crawl. Trout fishing is still solid after a huge and relatively recent stock, and the largemouth scene is pretty consistent and featuring quality fish for guys who know the how and where.

striperfishingatdvlSTRIPER FISHING AT DVL has slowed significantly, but there are still some decent biters out there like this one that ate a trolled white fly near the Marina by San Jacinto angler Steve Brooker who released the fish after the photo.

SoCal guide and former WON BASS U.S. Open champ Rusty Brown is one of those who know such things, and he talked to Western Outdoor News after successful outing on DVL.

“I have been finding good fish in the 25- to 35-foot range on dark ½-ounce jigs with Rage Craws or Flappin’ Hogs as trailers,” said Brown. “Also on Texas-rigged Roboworms in Margarita Mutilator with 3/16- to ¼-ounce tungsten dart heads along the ladders on the Saddle Dam if the bigger baits slow down.”

While the striped bass market taken a hit, there are still decent models being caught here and there. A couple nice ones were caught on Lunker Punkers about as close to the launch ramp as legally fishable, and at least one was nabbed on a fly trolled outside of the Marina. Hemet guide Mike Southerland typically gets them when no one else does, and even he said the bite is very slow and that the stripers are “on the move.” The school-sized fish that had been consistently boiling around the Tower and eating reaction baits on light line has also largely disappeared.

Trout fishing is still trucking right along in the coves past the ramp, and while the lake only gets one stock a month (typically in the first week of each month), they are monster 3,000 to 4,000-pound deliveries, so even despite the truck-chasing gauntlet and marauding striped bass, there have been trout to catch from one stock to the next. Sure, it slows in that fourth week, but it’s been better than other Southern California lakes after three weeks without a stock.

’GILL OVERKILL  — No one has trolling flies for Diamond Valley Lake’s striped bass like Hemet guide Mike Southerland, but even a 2-pound bluegill playing striper couldn’t have been much fun on that heavy gear utilized by the Father of Flycore Fishing, but it was certainly worth a laugh.

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