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Southern CA Freshwater

Double-digit largie leads charge at Diamond Valley Lake

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Oct 11, 2017

16-plus striper caught

HEMET — Chasing trophy stripers is what Kenny Baldwin does, but when he was doing exactly that and incidentally caught his personal-best largemouth, he had “no complaints!”


THAT’LL WORK — 2017 WON Striper Derby Champion Kenny Baldwin of Redlands was trolling flies for striped bass at Diamond Valley Lake when he connected with this personal-best 12.23-pound largemouth. Baldwin makes Producer Plugs, and it was a Producer Fly that fooled this big bass.

Baldwin won the Western Outdoor News Striper Derby at Lake Havasu back in spring, and he manufactures the popular Producer Plugs, but it was a trolled fly that stuck the monster 12.23-pound bucketmouth in Diamond Valley Lake’s West End. The fly was also one of Baldwin’s baits, a Producer Fly tied specifically for targeting stripers, and he was trolling it on leadcore line. That method is known as “flycoring” and is associated with Hemet guide Mike Southerland who pioneered the technique in lakes like DVL, Perris and Silverwood.

Big bass “bycatch” happens more often while flycoring for linesides than you might think. Baldwin told WON he also missed a couple nice stripers early, but managed to cooler a few smaller ones before calling it a day.

That fish also put the Redlands angler in the lake’s new monthly “Annual Pass Contest,” which awards an annual DVL fishing pass to the angler catching the largest of a given species in a month. While it will be a tough weight to beat, there is still a lot of October left to give it a shot. Visit the Marina Store for details.

Lake regular Jesse Mena of Hemet got on the board with a few green bass, including an 8.09-pound bass that choked a Butch Brown Trout to the tail. He also got a 16.43-pound striped bass early in the morning after hammering over 15 rat stripers last week.

The panfish scene is still solid with a great numbers of palm-sized bluegill coming on worms on the shorelines around the Marina, and bigger ones are being caught by boaters targeting the 20-foot-depth range with nightcrawlers on drop-shots or Carolina rigs near the ladders coming off the dams.

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