Diamond Valley is located in Hemet, CA about 85 miles northeast of downtown San Diego and is Southern California’s largest freshwater reservoir at 4,500 surface acres.
Diamond Valley Lake is a fantastic fishery for many species of fish, particularly; largemouth bass, rainbow trout, striped bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish. The lake is extremely deep with a max depth of 260 feet while at full pool, making it one of the few lakes in Southern California which support holdover trout.
The most targeted fish in Diamond Valley though are largemouth bass. The lake supports a healthy fishery of bass from 4-8 pounds, and puts out fish over 10 pounds regularly during the spring. It is one of the most popular bass tournament lakes in the region, holding a regular schedule of tournaments that pull anglers from both Los Angeles and San Diego.
Smallmouth bass are also plentiful at DVL, representing your best shot at targeting the species in Southern California short of driving 4 hours to the Parker Strip area of the Colorado River or Lake Havasu.
Striped bass have really taken hold at Diamond Valley, flourishing in the deep clear water and taking advantage of being at the top of the food chain at a very healthy lake. Striped bass well over 30 pounds have already been caught, and fish over 15 pounds are common.
There are also HUGE redear sunfish at Diamond Valley. The lake record now stands at over 4.5 pounds, and fish over 4 pounds are not uncommon. These are by far the biggest redears available in Southern California right now.
Diamond Valley Lake was created between two mountains with the construction of three massive dams. The east and west dams each span over 1 mile in length and are separated by over 4.5 miles of water. With its maximum depth of 260 feet, Diamond Valley is capable of holding 260 billion gallons of water. They began filling the reservoir in 1999 and weren’t finished pumping water into it until 2002.
The lake was carefully groomed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s biologists who began stocking the lake when it was just a pond at the floor of the lake bottom. They ran genetic tests on bass from other Southern California reservoirs to try to find the purest strain of Florida largemouth bass possible. Ultimately, most of the bass came from Lake Hodges, as those were the purest they found.
Diamond Valley opened for fishing and boating in October of 2003, and quickly became one of the region’s premier bass fisheries.
Diamond Valley is open 7 days per week, year-round. Shorefishing is available on a limited stretch of shoreline, about 1.5 miles adjacent to the marina area.
For fees, regulations and official information about Diamond Valley Lake, visit dvlake.com.
Water Level Trend
The following chart shows measured water level elevations (feet) at Diamond Valley Lake over the previous 12 months.
Diamond Valley Fishing Records
|Black Crappie||3.47||Jesse Mena|
|Blue Catfish||56.80||2012||Richard Stilliter|
|Largemouth Bass||14.85||2003||John Krumsiek|
|Rainbow Trout||15.45||2009||Andrew Aralos|
|Redear Sunfish||4.72||2015||Jesse Mena|
|Striped Bass||34.77||2012||Nhan Doan|
Recent and Future Fish Plants
|11/22/15||Brown Trout||CA DFW||Stocked on west side of lake|
|11/24/15||Rainbow Trout||Mt. Lassen||1000||Confirmed|