California Boating Card


Southern CA Freshwater

It's go-time for trout at Santee Lakes

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 07, 2018

Opening weekend sees considerable
'wide-open' action on a range of offerings

SANTEE — One of the first Southern California watersheds to get things going on the trout front early, Santee kicked off its annual trout season this past weekend and good action was had on the rainbows to start the month of November in fine style. After the stage was set with a 2,000-pound stocking – which included better-than-expected numbers of quality rainbows, it was fast catching for most on opening day before things only slightly tapered off just a wee bit by midday Sunday.


ONE OF THE first rainbows to come out of Santee Lakes in the early hours of Saturday's opener, Michael Wolfe got his trout season going with this nice trout that ate a Sierra Slammers minijig.

“It was wide open right away,” said avid area trouter Michael Wolfe about opening day at Santee. “Jigs were working all morning long and it was cattle boat-style fishing. Lakes 2 and 3 seemed to be best overall and the fish didn't move too far from where they were stocked. Just about anything you were using was getting bit.”

Opening weekend limits were pretty commonplace, with numerous angler reports echoing Wolfe's account of the opener in the way of just about anything thrown their way was getting adequate attention. Various PowerBait offerings, Mice Tails, inflated 'crawlers and spoons were all getting grabs to go along with the fast-and-furious action on minijigs.

Tagged fish worth prizes when caught were also stringered over the weekend, but there are still some out there swimming around and apt to find a hook in the days and weeks ahead. The next stocking of rainbows is slated for mid-November.

The bass bite picked up considerably over the past week as well, including more largemouth falling for reaction baits with increased frequency. According to lake staffers, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits have been best on that front, while drop-shots, Texas rigs, Senkos and Fat IKAs have been doing the trick for solid numbers and some quality bass on the soft plastics front.

To complete the very good three-pronged bite currently going down at Santee, catfish also remain on a good chew for those targeting them. It hasn't been anything sizeable of note, but consistent counts of small- to medium-sized whiskerfish are eating shrimp, mackerel and dipbaits at a steady clip. Top spots for the kitties in recent days have been the west side of Lake 1 and the south side of Lake 5.

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