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Southern CA Freshwater

Hesperia: Fishing hot at Hesperia Lake following huge trout plant

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 05, 2020

HESPERIA — Already setting the standard when it comes to regular stocking, Hesperia Lake took in a massive 2,000-pound trout plant on Jan. 28, boosting an already-solid bite. The big delivery from Mt. Lassen came a week after a 1,000-pound stocking went down at Hesperia on Jan. 23, and for the most part, the lake has been stocked every Thursday since the season kicked off.

hesperialakewasHESPERIA LAKE WAS stocked with 2,000-pounds of Mt. Lassen rainbows last week (and 1,000 the week before) like this one that ate a GSF Minnow for Apple Valley angler, Art Smith. PHOTO COURTESY

The biggest fish caught during this run was a 10.6-pound rainbow that ate a black (plastic) minnow at the Finger. Lake staffers said this was her first fish, so, she set the bar pretty high.

Other tanker trout includes a 7.9 pounder that ate a black minnow for Hesperia angler Matt McIntosh who was fishing near the Drain, and a 7.7 that ate the same lure for another angler over at Finger Cove. Barstow angler Scott Martin also used a black minnow for his 7 pounder that struck near the Drain, and “Phillip” from Hesperia stuck a 7.5; same bait, same spot.

These minnow baits have really taken off at Hesperia Lake, and they are basically just soft plastic minnow imitations fished on a drop-shot or with a jig head. And the top colors at Hesperia are far from exciting: black or white.

Upland angler Richard Presto used a white one for a 7.2 that ate at the Drain, but there was at least one non-minnow biggie. That was a 6.2 pounder that fell for a white Mice Tail at the Drain.

estevanmcdonaldESTEVAN MCDONALD OF GSF Custom Baits caught limits of Hesperia Lake trout with his own GSF Minnows. PHOTO COURTESY

Estevan McDonald of GSF Custom Baits was out there with some of his pro staffers, and he personally caught and released limits of rainbows to 3 pounds on GSF Minnows. Staffers told Western Outdoor News stringers are also being filled on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Along with the Finger and Drain, the North Shore has also been productive.

Also worth noting, part of the reason for this 2,000-pound mega stock (most this season have been around 700 pounds each) is there will not be a trout plant this week. Lake officials are trying to get Mt. Lassen locked in as a if not the regular trout supplier, so the skipped week is a good thing, and there are plenty of holdovers from all these plants that will keep trout fishing productive for quite a while.

Hesperia Lake is also a productive off-season catfish hole, and Larry Smith of Apple Valley took the top spot in the department with a 6-pound cat he caught on a shrimp deployed at the Finger.

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