Area anglers rearin’ to go when popular pay-to-play reservoir reopens to fishing May 3
JAMUL — It’s about that time of the year when eager San Diego anglers will once again get their crack at Barrett Reservoir’s feisty Northern-strain largemouth bass, and many local fishermen have already locking in their fishing dates for the watershed as the season officially opens Wednesday, May 3. Both motor boat and float tube reservations went on sale this past Tuesday, April 11 for available May dates at Barrett, however, as of press time, all of those dates for next month are already sold out.
Tickets go on sale at ticketmaster.com on the second Tuesday of each month for that following month’s available dates (see on-sale dates in italics below).
Barrett Reservoir is open to fishing from May 3 through Sept. 30 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with entry times of 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., while escorted departures are scheduled at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and sunset. Motor boat reservations run $80 per day, while shore/float tube reservations are $20 per person (both reservation prices do not include Ticketmaster fees). Boat reservations are good for up to 4 anglers and anglers purchasing a shore/float tube reservation may purchase one additional guest permit for $20 (one vehicle per permit).
The most abundant and sought-after game fish at Barrett is the Northern-strain largemouth bass, which are highly aggressive in nature despite being genetically smaller in stature than their Florida-strain brethren – Barrett boasts the last remaining major population of Northern-strain largemouth in San Diego County. The lake also boasts healthy populations of catfish, bluegill and crappie. According to the City of San Diego, Barrett is currently 38.97 feet below its full capacity.
Barrett requires 100-percent catch-and-release fishing for all species (artificial lures/barbless hooks only); all bait is strictly prohibited at the reservoir. There are no concessions available at the lake, so anglers are encouraged to bring plenty of food and water for the day. All anglers 16 years and older must have a valid state fishing license. Tickets will be available on-site at Will Call and the reservation holder must show photo idea to claim permits. The reservation holder and his/her entire party must enter the reservoir gates at the same time and be escorted down to the lake together. Barrett Reservoir is located approximately 35 miles east of San Diego at 19886 Japatul Lyons Valley Rd., approximately 1.7 miles east of Honey Springs Road, and just west of milepost #12. Note: The road from Barret Junction/Highway 94 is closed! Permits for Barrett Reservoir go on sale at Ticketmaster.com on the following dates: May 9 (for June dates); June 13 (July dates); July 11 (Aug. dates); Aug. 8 (Sept. dates).
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