Santa Ana River Lake Fishing Report

Santa Ana River - Santa Ana, CA (San Bernardino County)

by Jim Matthews
(714) 632-7830

Two rainbows topping 20 pounds were landed at Santa Ana River Lakes last Thursday in a trout bite that just keeps improving as the water clears at this popular Orange County fishery. The bigger of the two was a 22-pound, eight-ounce Mt. Lassen Trout Farms super trout caught by Craig Joaquim of Anaheim while fishing with chartreuse dough bait near the dock. The second bruiser was a 20-pound, four-ounce rainbow landed by Kathy Owens of Tustin while fishing along the east shoreline with green garlic floating bait. Overall the bite has still been just fair to good with most anglers getting two to four fish, but it takes a little patience and work to get full limits. With so many trout stock-piled in the lake -- the trout plants just keep coming -- the action is steadily improving as the water continues to clear up. Most anglers are still fishing short leaders and keeping their baits heavily scented up and keeping the baits closer to the shoreline than normal where the trout are cruising. The other tactic is to fish near the surface -- in the top one to three feet of the water column -- with a bobber-suspended or fly-lined nightcrawler.

John Castaneda, Cypress, landed a 10 1/2-pound rainbow off the point on corn-flavored floating bait, and Dave Halfacre, West Covina, landed four rainbows for a 12 1/2-pound total with his best fish a 4 3/4-pounder on nightcrawlers at the Road. Alexis, Victoria, and Richard Carrillo, all Riverside, had five trout for 14 1/2-pounds, also fishing nightcrawlers, at Three Pipes. Chris Arjon, Yorba Linda, landed a five-fish limit for 10 pounds total also at Three Pipes on chartreuse floating bait. Tony Reeder and Jason Bronson, both Rialto, had six rainbows for 16 1/4 pounds with their best trout at 5 3/4 pounds. They were fishing at Levitz' Corner with chartreuse and salmon-colored floating baits. The catfish action has also been pretty decent for the few anglers targeting the cats.. Celeste and Eve Ruiz and Raider Caballero, all Los Angeles, were fishing the marshmallow-meal worm combo doused with scent at the pump house and landed seven catfish for a 12 1/2-pound total stringer. This past week trout from Jess Ranch went in on Monday and the giant Sierra Bows with fish over 20 pounds were planted last Thursday. Nebraska Tailwalkers are on tap for this week.

Santa Ana River Lakes is open seven days a week with fishing allowed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on day passes or from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on an evening pass. Each of these passes is $22. Seniors pay only $20. All of these passes have a five-fish limit. For kids 4 to 13, a three-fish pass is just $9. There are 24-hour passes available the weekend nearest the full moon during trout season, with the next overnight fish Feb. 18-19. These passes cost $60 and anglers can bring a spouse and up to three kids to help fill the 24-hour pass 15-fish limit. Camping at SARL is also free with a 24-hour pass. For Corona Lake fishing information, call 714-632-7830 or log on at

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for Thursday, January 20th, 2011
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