Hodges is known nationally for it's largemouth bass population. This lake is one of the few ever to produce a 20 lb class largemouth without a trout stock at the lake. The lake record is 20 lbs 4 ozs. Popular lures for bass here include plastic worms (6-12 inches), pig-n-jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and of course live bait, especially crawdads. Concentrate most of your early season bassin' in the tules.
Hodges also provides great fishing for crappie, 2 pounders are not uncommon. The lake record crappie is 3 lbs 3 ozs. Big channel catfish are fairly common in the summer, with favorite baits being mackerel or chicken liver. The most productive areas of the lake for all species of fish are the Narrows and the area around the Dam.
Location / Directions
From Interstate 15 exit on Via Rancho Parkway in Escondido. Go west 5 miles to Lake Drive and turn left to reservoir entrance.
Lake Hodges was formed by the completion of the Hodges Dam in 1918. The lake is fed by San Dieguito Creek and features one of the best watersheds of all of the local reservoirs. The City of San Diego purchased the reservoir in 1925, and continue to own and operate it today.
Hours, Fees & Boating Information
Hodges is open for fishing February through October. Rental rowboats and motorboats are available for fishing and recreational boating. Private boaters are welcome and only need pay a small launch ramp usage fee. Canoes, kayaks and float tubes are permitted, however float tubers must follow standard regulations which include waterproof waders, 144 sq. in. orange for visibility, horn or whistle and spare floatation device. Float tubers must stay within 150 ft. of shore at all times. No swimming or water contact allowed.
Please see the City Lakes and Recreation's Daily Permits and Fees page for permit and boating fees.
Facilities & Camping Information
The lake concession is operated by Rocky Mountain Recreation. They sell tackle, bait, snacks and refreshments. Permits are sold at the concession with cash only. On days the concession is closed, anglers can purchase permits at an electronic pay station or through an envelope deposit box. There are 12 picnic tables in a designated picnic area, along with 6 barbeques. There is no campground available, and no overnight camping is permitted.
- All boats entering the lake inspected for quagga mussels. Boats must be clean and dry in order to launch.
- No ground fires are permitted
- No glass containers are permitted
- Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, and remain 50 feet away from the water
- Dogs are not permitted on boats