Umarex Gauntlet




MIKE STEVENSPublished: Jan 10, 2019

ESCONDIDO – Trout season is firing on all cylinders at Dixon Lake, but a flurry of monster catfish caught over the last month or so is really starting to raise some eyebrows.  The latest addition to that list is a tanker that tipped the scale at just under 30 pounds and established a new lake record.


NEW LAKE RECORD – This 29-pound, 2-ounce catfish caught by Jason Pizzarusso will stand as the new lake record at Dixon Lake. He was fishing PowerBait on a 2-pound leader near the Buoy Line, and it took over 30 minutes to haul it in. The fish was released after the official weigh in and photos.


Dixon Ranger Gregory Gould reached out to WON with the news almost immediately, which was thankfully right before press time.


Jason Pizzarusso was fishing with his son, Jakob, for trout near the Buoy Line with hatchery brown PowerBait when he connected with what was clearly not a rainbow trout. After a 30-plus-minute battle on a 2-pound leader, Pizzarusso had his mitts around a giant blue catfish that registered at 29-pound, 2-ounces on Dixon’s official scale. That was enough to eclipse the 28-pound, 12-ounce previously standing lake record. Pizzarusso successfully released the big cat after its trip to the scale and some photos.


While that is an incredible catch for any lake, consider this, in the first week of December, a 34-pound model was caught that would have crushed the lake record had it been reported and weighed in on the official scale. In the weeks that followed, Dixon Lake kicked out catfish of 24, 21.5 and 15.1 pounds, all in December. What’s causing this string of huge catfish catches at a lake not really known for producing them – especially out of season – is anybody’s guess, but no one’s complaining about it.


Shifting gears to what anglers are expecting to catch, the trout train is steaming right along. Like any lake, the bite fluctuates depending on how long ago the last stock was, but considering the absurd poundage (12,000 pounds in November alone) that went in to start the season along with each subsequent delivery containing 1,500 pounds of Calaveras rainbows, there are always trout available to anglers.


The next couple stocks should be particularly interesting to area truck chasers as a total of 3,000 pounds will be split between plants on Jan. 16 and Jan. 22. Typically, Dixon gets a trout stock every other week, give or take but that double shot of Vitamin T should keep sticks bent and stringers heavy right into mid February. Some nicer trout, including some great-looking hookjaws, were caught by anglers throwing jigs in and around Trout Cove. Other than that, the fish are pretty spread out and biting for bait dunkers working the Buoy Line, Boat Dock Cove and Jack Creek Cove.

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