Southern CA Freshwater

Hemet: Lake gets big stock including first-ever lightning trout

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 07, 2020

HEMET — A legitimate year-round trout fishery, stocking actually slows down at Lake Hemet in the winter months, so anglers had to be pleasantly surprised with the alpine lake’s most-recent delivery.

STEVEN PEREZ OF Coachella used Desert Baitz jigs for this 4-pound hookjaw up at Lake Hemet.

Hemet Lake had a 1,500-pound from Mt. Lassen plant which included 500 pounds of lightning trout on Jan. 29. This was not only the first stocking in at least two months, but it was a lot bigger than the standard dumping as well. Lake Hemet does get DFW plants (in fact, there is one scheduled for this week) but the occasional “private” stocking does go down.

Nicer weather over the weekend served as a nice backdrop for the productive fishing that followed. Most of the go-to fishing shorelines near camp grounds produced along with the banks near the launch ramp. The stocking location was the top of the peninsula near Camp 2. PowerBait, minijigs and inflated nightcrawlers scented with garlic all worked.

“Previously, Lake Hemet has depended solely on stocks from CDFW, but in the last year we have been aggressively working to increase the fishability of the lake by privately stocking it as well,” said Lake Hemet staffer, Ariana Kimes.

The bite was a little slow the first two days after the trout plant but it picked up over the weekend as the fish acclimated and seemed to disperse more.

Most of the trout were pan-sized-plus, but there were a few bigger models in the mix.

Coachella angler Steven Perez stuck a 4-pound hookjaw that rounded out his trout haul. He was using Desert Baitz jigs for all his biters.

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