May 23, 2022 2 min read 1 Comment
By Jeff Luzod
Customer Service/E-Commerce Support
Sunday, May 22 headed out to Santa Ana River Lakes in an attempt to catch some Catfish. Got to the lake just after opening (6:00am) to not much of a crowd. There were a decent amount of people but nowhere near the amount of people typically here during trout season. Temperatures were in the low to mid sixties and got into the seventies as we got into the later morning/early afternoon.
As far as fishing, not much going on. Few nibbles and not much else. Didn’t see anyone else catch anything. We tried various baits such as cut mackerel, shrimp and nightcrawlers. It was not completely dead as there was some evidence of life in the water. Shad were boiling close to shore but unsure if they were being chased or not. As the day went, most people went home with out catching anything. Passed by the fish cleaning station on the way out and did not see anyone cleaning any fish and was quiet and empty. Usually the pelicans like to hang out there, waiting for scraps, but they were nowhere to be found.
As far as gear, no need to go heavy here as most of the catfish being planted are probably 2-4 pounds based on the video below. You probably can get away with fishing your typical set up for trout gear as there is no need to cast far for these fish. Unless you are targeting monsters that may be in there there is no need for heavy gear. By the way any fish 20 pounds and over is catch and release only.
My gear used for the trip:
7ft Daiwa Spinmatic Ultralight with Daiwa Revros 1000.
8ft Daiwa Spinamtic Ultralight with Shimano Sedona 2500
Each set up was spooled with 6lb test Izorline XXX
As far as rigging, as I mentioned before, no need to go heavy. I used ¼ oz dipsey sinker with a small dropper loop ties to 1/0 owner octopus circle hook. The same rigging as you would for power bait for trout would work as well (Carolina rig with ¼ oz egg sinker.) For bait, I had cut pieces of mackerel, shrimp and nightcrawlers for bait. The few nibbles I got were on the shrimp.
Essentials you may want to consider bringing with you: a rod holder, a stringer or fish basket to hold your catch, which are available to purchase at promarahi.com. You may also want to consider bringing a landing net with you as the only spots available to you may be elevated from the water. For this reason, I highly recommend a landing net with an extendable/telescopic handle like our Telescopic Premier Series Landing Net
Santa Ana River Lakes is open everyday from 6:00am to 4pm except for Thursdays when they stock the fish. No need to bring a fishing license as this is a private lake and the cost to get in is for your permit. The prices are $32 for Adults (Age 13-61), $30 for seniors (61+) and $19 for youth (3-13). Kids under 3 are free. They even do overnight camping on Friday and Saturdays. For more details visit www.fishinglakes.com.
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