Some people spend their leisure time watching professional or college sports. I Spend mine fishing. I’m a species agnostic fisherman, if a fish is finning through the water I try to catch it.
There may be no better place to be a species agnostic fisherman than Southern California. In late spring or early fall I have four spots I get a line wet within 15 miles of my house in Escondido CA. If it’s summer, I rig up for catfish or bass at Dixon Lake, two miles from my freont door. I don’t mind the $5 parking fee Lake Dixon is owned by the City of Escondido and its Parks and Recreation Department does a great job of keeping the park and lake in great shape. And, it’s very family friendly.
After the first heat wave of the year trout fishing seizes here. That’s fine by me since I’m most interested in humble two pound catfish that cruise the lake and which aren’t particularly finicky when it comes to bait. What I like most about this neighborhood fishing hole is; I can park and begin fishing within ten minutes of my loading my rod and reel here at the house. When I say catfish aren’t as finicky as trout, I can and do get worms from my compost pile, or small chunks of chicken livers from my refrigerator and the channel cats like it just fine.
On warm evenings on Dixon Lake, the best place to tease up a whisker fish or two is Trout Cove. Apparently catfish are quick to takeover territory otherwise reserved for uppity trout.
There’s another relatively unknown fishing hot spot near my home here, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Pendleton has relatively easy access and I believe is very under fished. With almost 0 miles of coastline that includes several lagoons and long stretch of sandy beaches where the Marine’s amphibious landing practice kick bait into the inner tidal zone, Pendleton seldom disappoints anglers who take the time to get permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to fish there. https://www.facebook.com/CPENgamewardens/?fref=nf
Before you throw that 11-foot surf wand into your car you need to know you have to supply the warden’s office with a copy of a valid driver’s license so that you can be vetted a an all-around fine fellow.
The Pendleton warden’s office can provide you with information you need to catch fish and what you need to gain access to the beach
There are two places on the Camp Pendleton coast with well deserved reputations for great fishing. The first is the Red Beach campground just north of the Las Pulgas Road off ramp on I-5.
The second area are a series of lagoons immediately north pf the Pendleton’s DelMar area.
Pendleton coastal fishing Is known for its inshore California halibut, perch and sand bass fisheries.
Lake O’Neal is another lesser known fishing hole at Pendleton. It’s loaded with pan fish and catfish. If you have a child you want to introduce to fishing, Lake O’Neil and Camp Pendleton could be the perfect choice for a fun, productive day outdoors.
You need to bring bait, tackle and sunscreen. If you fish Pendleton. And if you get the urge to sink a line in its lagoons, be prepared to march a long way from where you park your car to get to a place where you can cast.
So reach out to the federal wardens office at Pendleton and don’t to be too proud’t for get to ask where they think you should fish Then get ready to find excellent fishing. This one time lance corporal knows. Jim Forbes on 2July 2016. /x\