Published in Lakes

Lake Jennings

    Lake Jennings

    Additional Info

    • Managed by: Helix Water District
    • Surface acres: 85
    • Facilities: Snack Bar, Tackle Shop, Restrooms, Portable Toilets, Boat Ramp, Picnic Tables, Campground, Fishing Dock(s), Fish Cleaning Station
    • Float tubes: Not allowed
    • State license: Required
    • Fish species: Blue catfish, Bluegill, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout

    Jennings holds a reputation for being a BIG catfish producer, and is one of a minority of San Diego County lakes that contains the larger Blue Catfish. Every year several cats over 15 lbs. are reported, especially during the summer night fishing season. Mackerel and chicken-livers are not-surprisingly the top producers, but any stink bait works in the shallows at night for the nocturnal feeders.

    Thousands of pounds of channel catfish are stocked from June to August during the summer, so when the big-un's aren't biting there's always something close.

    Jennings is also a quality trout fishery during the winter months when the lake is constantly stocked with 1200 lb. loads of rainbow trout. Nightcrawlers, powerbait and lures on light line are almost always a sure thing. Shore fishing is exceptionally good at this lake with several coves, drop-offs, points and docks to try.

    While not as popular a target due to constant catfish and trout plants, but Jennings does hold some monster bass and produces promising numbers throughout the year.

    Ranger Hugh Marx has put together one of the most outstanding tools available to a fisherman looking at Lake Jennings - a GPS Guide complete with photos and GPS coordinates of all of the good fishing locations on the lake. Click here to check it out.


    Lake Jennings is located 5 miles east of El Cajon in the hills above Lakeside. Take I-8 east to Lake Jennings Park Rd, turn left, then right onto Harritt Road. Where Harritt Rd. divides go right to the south entrance on Bass Dr.


    The dam at Lake Jennings was built in 1964 to create a reservoir for the local residents of Lakeside around the lake and down the hill. A water treatment facility next to the lake reminds us that the lake is ultimately there to provide fresh drinking water and not just a place to relax and enjoy a day of fishing.

    The lake has approximately 85 surface acres and lies at an altitude of 700 ft. above sea level. The park surrounding the lake takes up approximately 100 acres and contains a large campground and hiking trails.

    Facilities & Camping Information

    lakejennings3Lake Jennings boasts one of the most complete bait and tackle stores in the county, in a time when few are offered at all. The concession includes food and snacks as well as bait and fishing tackle.

    The campground is located in a shady and quiet area slightly above the lake giving campers an elevated view of the water. There are 28 campsites with full hook-ups for trailers and RV's up to 35 ft., 35 sites with partial hook-ups for vehicles up to 25 ft., 6 secluded sites for tents only, and 20 for small campers and tents only. Restrooms, hot showers, laundry tubs, a playground, fish-cleaning facility, and pump station are within short walk of any campsite. There are several hiking trails around the lake that lead to and from the campground.

    Hours, Fees & Boating Information

    Lake Jennings is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 16 foot Carolina Skiff flat-bottom motor and row boats are available. Motor boats are equipped with 4 or 6 horsepower Yamaha four-stroke outboards. This is probably the nicest rental boat fleet in the county.

    For updated fishing info including Fees and Regulations,
    go to

    A weekly fishing class, the Lake Jennings Fishing University is offered every Saturday at 10 AM. Rangers conduct classes that cover what is working best for all the species of fish in the lake. Check-in at the Lake Jennings Bait & Tackle Shop. Classes are free.

    Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 11:30