Little Lake Murray (171 surface acres) has a reputation for producing big fish – particularly largemouth bass. This deep, clearwater reservoir sits basically right in the middle of San Diego County, about 12 miles east of downtown San Diego.
Lake Murray is relatively featureless – rocky slopes leading to the lake give way to a mostly gravel lake bottom with areas of aquatic grass providing most of the bass habitat. There are a few isolated rockpiles, and some man-made fish structures like sunken trees and piles of concrete.
Rainbow trout are stocked by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in the winter months. Recent fish plants are shown on the bottom of this page.
Shoreline accessibility is good, and there is a trail that leads from the parking lot all the way to restricted fishing area on the other side of the lake. The trail is 3 miles long, and is not a loop. If you walk all the way to the end, you must walk all the way back. Patches of tules limit which areas you can fish, but there are plenty of gaps. The shoreline is gentle sloped, so traversing it is relatively easy. That also works against shore anglers though, as accessing deep water is necessary to reach fish in the summer and winter – and that can be difficult to do casting from shore here.
Lake Murray is located at 5540 Kiowa Dr., La Mesa, CA.
Hours, Fees and Boating
Lake Murray is open daily from sunrise to sunset for fishing, boating and general recreation. The concession stand operates on a limited schedule, with rental boats available only on days the concession is open. Check our recent Lake Murray fish reports for updated information on the concession schedule.
Daily fishing permits are required, as is a valid California Sport Fishing License for all anglers 16 years of age and older. See our “Lake Permits and Fees” page for current permit rates.
Lake Murray allows private boats, float tubes, kayaks and canoes. Water contact is not allowed, so float tubers must wear waders as well as follow all current Coast Guard Regulations.
There is a 5 MPH “no wake” speed limit enforced.
Water Level Trend
The following chart shows the water level (percent full) at Lake Murray over the previous 12 months.
Lake Murray Fishing Records
|Largemouth Bass||18.55||2000||Roger Horton|
|Redear Sunfish||4.15||2017||Teresa Gardner|
|Striped Bass||15.9||2017||Cecil Brookins|
Recent and Future Fish Plants
|12/18/16||Rainbow Trout||CDFW||NA||Confirmed via lake staff|