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Southern CA Freshwater

Hemet: Post-stock trout fishing hot at Diamond Valley Lake

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 20, 2020

Rainbows outshining lightning trout in the size department

HEMET — Diamond Valley Lake got its monthly 3,500 pound dose of stocker trout on Feb. 11, and like clockwork, fishing was hot right off the bat and it’s still very productive. While this is how it goes every time DVL gets a delivery, there was a noticeable difference this time around: the rainbows had a bigger showing in terms of size.

One of the most impressive outings was turned in by the father-and-son duo Sean and Logan Howarter of Jamul. After stopping by the first cove from the Marina for his first-ever lightning trout (500 pounds of each stock has been lightning trout), but overall the bite was slow despite the presence of plenty of fish. They decided to hike all the way back to the fourth cove where they would see the occasional trout cruising by, so they set up shop and started throwing jigs.

loganandseanLOGAN AND SEAN HOWARTER bagged rainbows of 7, 6.5 and 6 pounds along with plenty of smaller ones, while throwing Hookup Baits jigs at Diamond Valley Lake. PHOTO COURTESY LOGAN HOWATER

Logan and his dad, Sean, hooked a couple smaller fish but saw a couple biggies swing through only to back off.

“When one finally came back, I threw my HUB (Hookup Baits) at it, and it missed the jig then did a 180 and slammed it,” said Logan. “After I landed it, we saw a big school off a point and my dad and I started casting. As I was bouncing the jig back, I saw a fish follow it in that looked like a 2 pounder when I set the hook. The fish pulled a bunch of drag and went into the bushes, so I gave it slack line and waited for it to swim out. I got it up to the shore where my dad netted it, and that’s when I saw the size of the fish.”

Logan said the fishing slowed down after that, but he already had a 7 and a 6.5 in the bag, and his dad eventually stuck a 6.

“It ended up being one of the best fishing days of my life,” said Logan. “Not because of the numbers, but because of the size.”

The coves west of the Marina are always productive areas in the couple weeks that follow a trout plant at DVL, and those were not the only big trout caught this time around. Anthony Hernandez of Gordito’s Customs caught a 7.08 on one his baits, and his buddy Brandon Zendejas stuck a nice rainbow on a “carmel” Gordito’s Custom jig.

“Fishing was great,” said Hernandez. “Most fish showed up in the third and fourth cove, and early morning produced best for those using bright colors. The best luck at sunrise was on Gordito’s Customs black and brown bi-colored jig. Another regular WON contributor, Joe Aguirre, avoided the crowd but still managed to find a school and land some on Ultralight Heavyweights jigs.

diamondvalleyDIAMOND VALLEY LAKE produced this solid rainbow for Brendan Zendejas who was throwing a Gorditos Customs jig. PHOTO COURTESY ANTHONY HERNANDEZ

anthonyhernandezANTHONY HERNANDEZ WITH a DVL rainbow that fell for a Gorditos Customs minijig. PHOTO COURTESY ANTHONY HERNANDEZ

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