Southern CA Freshwater

Pre-spawn bass enter heavy bite mode at Diamond Valley Lake

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 21, 2019

HEMET — It didn’t take much of this nicer weather to get staging pre-spawn bass into a biting mood at Diamond Valley Lake.

“Bass are moving shallow with bigger fish in 15 to 25 feet of water hitting Texas-rigged Roboworms, Carolina-rigged Brush Hogs, and there’s some green-pumpkin chatterbait fish,” said SoCal guide Rusty Brown, who recommended the Quarry, West Shore and Rawson Cove as productive areas.

nascarstarNASCAR STAR Martin Truex Jr. with a couple DVL chunks.

There have been a lot of quality chunks caught, too. In the recent National Bass West tournament at DVL, Matt Magnone of Last Chance Bait and Tackle in Hemet stuck a 8.46, which was good for big fish in the event, and Guy Williams anchored a 22.18-pound bag with a 6.03-pound kicker.

In non-tournament action, Carson Hartman of Temecula fooled an 8-pound bucketmouth on a Mattlures U2 Bluegill and several smaller models on a Deps swimbait. Kyle Grover of Anglers Marine was out there with NASCAR star Martin Truex Jr., and Grover put Truex on good numbers of solid pre-spawners on Senkos and 10-inch Upton Hand Pours in 5 to 15 feet of water.

Even with all that attention on bass shallowing up, some lake regulars are still finding decent fish deep.

“The swimbait bite is good for deep, active fish in creek channels, long flats and the typical points,” said Aaron Copado of Hemet.

It’s been pretty quiet on the swimbait striped bass scene, but Hemet-based guide Mike Southerland did stick stripers of 5 and 6 pounds fly-coring a Mike’s Fly along the East Dam. He reached out to WON again just before press time and said he put a client on several more while employing the same tactic.

A 3,000-pound trout stock — that included 500 pounds of Lightning Trout — went in on Feb. 26, and there are still decent stringers being put together by anglers working the points and coves closest to the Marina. If you can spot any cruising, throw minijigs at them, but it’s primarily settled into a bait-and-wait deal with dough baits, Mice Tails or trout worms.

MATT MAGNONE OF Last Chance Bait and Tackle in Hemet with an 8.46-pound bass stood as the Big Fish of the recent National Bass West event held at DVL.

THESE QUALITY DVL linesides were stuck by "David LC" who was fishing with guide Mike Southerland.

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