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Southern CA Freshwater

Hemet: Largemouth bounce back

Stripers chase flies at Diamond Valley Lake

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Oct 10, 2019

HEMET — After a slow week at Diamond Valley Lake, the bass bite rebounded both in terms of numbers and quality, and more anglers willing to drag a fly are showing up and putting the hurt on stripers.

“Some nicer bass are starting to show as nights cool, and quality bass should start eating the jig, swimbaits and lipless cranks like Rapala Rippin’ Raps,” said SoCal guide Rusty Brown. “Bass are eating drop-shot Roboworms in 4.5-inch Aaron’s Magic and Hologram Shad. The Quarry, Rawson Cove and the West Shore have been the better spots, and most of the activity is in 25 to 25 feet. I’m getting some fish in the mornings on walking baits, buzzbaits and Whopper Ploppers.”

trollingfliesTROLLING FLIES HAS been the best way to fish for stripers at Diamond Valley Lake, and that’s how Jeff Smith of Hemet picked off these 5 to 6 pounders.

Art Hill is another guide putting clients on fish at DVL, and he had a decent outing with Washington-based bass brp Marc Marcantonio. They caught good numbers of smaller fish but broke the ice with a 6 pounder caught by Marcantonio, who owns Quik Drop Dropshot Weight Company, on a Morning Dawn Roboworm in 34 feet of water. Hill said most of their fish were caught near the East Dam and Quarry.

It’s not just the pros getting in on the productive DVL bassing. Jeff Cottini of the Moutain Top Anglers group put in good numbers on green bass to 5 pounds while fishing with a couple other MTA members.

“A lot of bait fish are swimming around in the coves, and we worked the shoreline and dam,” said Cottini. “We picked up a few smaller fish in the early morning, and in the afternoon, the topwater bite was on for bigger fish. The team all managed a few on small Keitechs and jerkbaits, and I was able to land a nice 5 pounder on a Whopper Plopper back in a cove near some bushes. Bass are hungry and aggressive, and there should be some good fishing this fall.”

On the striped bass stage, numbers took a big jump last week with more anglers willing to get out there and target them by trolling flies on leadcore line (flycoring). Hemet-based striper guide Mike Southerland has been getting them that way for weeks, and he put Beaumont angler on five fish in the 5- to 7-pound range along the North Shore. Southerland said it was “hit and run” style fishing with all bites coming early in the morning.

Jeff Smith of Hemet calls Lake Skinner his home lake, but he hit Diamond Valley and flycored his own KJ Fly in 50 to 60 feet of water for a stringer of 5- to 6-pound fish of his own. Brian Anderson of Corona trolled flies along the East Dam and didn’t get any stripers, but he connected on a bunch of bycatch in the form of largemouth bass to 5.2 pounds.

“The juvenile bass were everywhere, and we caught 14 small ones,” said Anderson. “They were in huge schools at 30 feet, and we did get two decent ones, the largest was 5.2 pounds.

THAT WORKS — Corona angler Brian Anderson was targeting stripers at DVL and trolling flies along the East Dam when he connected to 15 small largemouth and a couple nicer ones to 5.2 pounds.

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