Published in Lakes

Lake Henshaw

    Lake Henshaw

    Additional Info

    • Managed by: Vista Irrigation District
    • Facilities: Snack Bar, Tackle Shop, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Campground, Fishing Dock(s)
    • Float tubes: Not allowed
    • State license: Required
    • Fish species: Black crappie, Bluegill, Bullhead, Carp, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass

    Lake Henshaw is known for its large and abundant crappie. The lake may be one of the most under-rated and under-utilized fisheries in the County of San Diego. At times the bass fishing, especially during the Spring, can be as good as it gets. Almost every year there is a bass bite on spinnerbaits around the flooded bushes that is second to none in San Diego.

    In recent years, the lake has been popular among shallow-water carp fishermen. There are perhaps more carp here than any other lake in the county. Fly anglers, and bow fishermen have both taken a special interest in the carp population here.


    Lake Henshaw is located 60 miles northeast of San Diego, and 100 miles south of Los Angeles on Highway 76, set below the beautiful Palomar Mountain. It is a prime fishing lake in a beautiful surrounding, a relaxing place for a recreational get-away.


    The dam at Henshaw was built in 1923 to facilitate a growing need for water storage in North San Diego County.

    Facilities & Camping Information

    A spacious camping area with modern facilities and full service hookups are available on a first come, first served basis. The lake's resort store carries a basic variety of food, bait and tackle. The nearest gas station is located 12 miles from the lake.

    Hours, Fees & Boating Information

    Lake Henshaw is open year round from sunrise to sunset. Permit fees are: Adults $7.50 and youths under 12 free with adult. There is a $1.00 fee for pets. Camping for RV's $19.00/day, camp sites $14.00/day up to 4 people ($1.00 for each additional person). Cabins are available for $45.00-$60.00/night.

    Private boats over 10 ft. are permitted and there is a $5.00 fee to launch your boat on their newly built launch ramp. Canoes and inflatable's are not allowed. Rental boats are available from the marina, motorboats are $30, and rowboats are $10/day call (760)782-3501 for details and reservations. Bodily contact with the water is not permitted, this includes float tubes.

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    Last modified on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:01