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Southern CA Freshwater

Diamond Valley Lake largemouth and stripers bite right through algae bloom

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 15, 2019

HEMET — Even with an algae bloom throwing a wrench in the works, bass fishing at Diamond Valley Lake is still excellent for numbers and quality. Bouts with algae in May are nothing new to DVL staffers or anglers, and if anything, it actually opens up more tactical windows including wider use of reaction baits and the ability to get away with heavier line.

stripoedbassfishSTRIPED BASS FISHING is picking up at Diamond Valley Lake. That’s where San Diego angler Brian Le and Nick Nguyen of Riverside teamed up with guide Mike Southerland (center) to pick off these linesides.

SoCal guide and former WON BASS U.S. Open champ Rusty Brown told WON he’s seeing water temps range from 67 to 72 degrees, and the lake is very near full pool.

“Quality bass are on tap at DVL,” said Brown. “Rapala Skitter Pops in gold/chrome, and Roboworms in Black Grape, Margarita Mutilator and Bold Bluegill are working in 15 to 25 feet of water off secondary points. Rawson Cove, the East Dam Ladders and also the Eucalpytus Trees have also been producing.”

Art Hill is another guide taking advantage of solid fishing, and he told WON he’s running into “pretty much limit fishing on jigs and Ikas fished in 20 to 25 feet of water.”

He also said he’s finding residual pre-spawn fish close to the bank that are willing to bite.

From the looks of things, a 7-pound largemouth was bagged in a local tournament last weekend. The annual Wounded Warriors Tournament will go down this Saturday, May 18.

It’s not just largemouth guides getting it done at DVL, either. Hemet-based Mike Southerland is putting clients on gobs of 4- to 10-pound striped bass primarily via his signature brand of trolling flies on leadcore he calls “flycoring.” He actually had a couple guys reach the 10-pound-striper mark in recent outings.

“Stripers are nearing the end of their spawn,” said Southerland. “They were very active in the first couple hours feeding on bluegill schools under the algae.”


A COUPLE EAST COAST bassers found success at DVL with SoCal guide, Rusty Brown.

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