When I write about fishing I devote most of my words to venues like Fuller Lake,Manzanita Lake, the East Fork of the San Gabriel River or the southern California inshore kelp beds, but I am an equal opportunity fisherman.
My enjoyment of fishing was keened on local lakes here in arid Southern California. Truth be told, I’m just as happy fishing fo cat fish in the evening at Lake Dixon here in Escondido as I am lipping the rips off a trout in the Sierra. All too often, fishermen focus on exotic venues, overlooking stocked lakes that are often just up or down the road from their homes.
Hell, I’m not ashamed to admit I have followed the trout truck to any one of several lakes here. It may not seem very “sporting” but I fish therefor I am.
After dinner last Friday night I stuck my rod and reel into the Hamster van, checked my tackle box to make sure I had a supply of stinky cat fish bait and headed up to Lake Dixon. The $5 city of Escondido “fishing fee” doesn’t bankrupt me and Dixon has miles of shoreline, beyond which some nice channel cats are waiting to grab your bait and tug on your line. Dixon also has some huge big mouth bass and is stocked with trout and channel cats.
Most local lakes aren’t the scenes of cheek to jowl combat fishing, so running up to the Lake in the evenings is a nice break in my routine. I’ve managed to get several nice hits at Dixon in the evening, so I keep going back. But Dixon is just one of three lakes here in town. My goal this summer is to sink some bait in the other two (Lake Hodges and Lake Wohlford).
I’ma casual fisherman, but I am willing to walk a lake’s perimeter to scout out prospective locations. I also have a good understanding of how and various species of fish congregate—which is why I try to fish the water infall point at Lake Dixon.
I absolutely cannot say that I’ve caught limits, but I’ve lost enough bait to know cat fish congregate near this point. The view looking across the lake is nice too.
Another reason I like fishing places like Dixon Lake is because it has family picnic areas and few things make fishing more worthwhile to me than seeing a 9 or ten year old kid hook a nice cat fish, get it into shore—and t hen try to get off the hook and onto a stringer. It’s a scene that makes me smile every time. It’s something gives me hope.
It’s easy to get excited about a 10 hour road trip up into the Sierra high country. But local lakes unfetter my inner Huck and keep me on the water, hoping for a bite—jim Forbes, 07/07/2012