Lake Skinner is located in Winchester, near San Diego's northern neighbor; Temecula. Skinner is known best for its Striped Bass fishing, consistently producing fish in the 20 pound class throughout the year. In addition to the stripers, Skinner is home to largemouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish, crappie and bluegill.
The largemouth bass fishing can be very good at Skinner at times. With Diamond Valley and Perris hogging most of the attention in this area, Skinner can fly under the radar and sustain very good bites with out a big crowd. Most of the bass fishing is done adjacent to the tules and reeds in the morning and evenings. There are a lot of smaller sized bass here, but fish in the 10 pound range are caught weekly in March, April and May.
Channel Catfish are prevelant at Skinner as well, and the fishing for them rivals the striper fishing year-round. Year-round there are good reports of channel catfish coming in.
Location / Directions
Take I-15 N to exit 59, Rancho Calif Rd and turn right onto Rancho California Rd. Follow Rancho California Rd. for 9.3 miles to the lake. (Rancho California Rd. will become Buck Rd, and Buck Rd. will become Warren Rd.). Skinner is 68 miles from downtown San Diego.
Lake Skinner was formed with the completion of the Skinner Clearwell Dam in 1973. It was named after Robert A. Skinner, who served as the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District (which manages the reservoir) from 1962 to 1967. The Skinner Clearwell Dam was expanded in 1991 to its current size, holding over 44,000 acre feet of water.
Facilities & Camping Information
Skinner has a variety of recreational facilities within the park. A campground featuring 158 full hook-up sites, 16 water and electric sites, and 39 sites with water only. Primitive camp sites make up the rest of the 300 total camping sites available.
In addition to boating and fishing, visitors to Lake Skinner can partake in sailing, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking. Swimming is allowed in a separate swimming area, not in the lake.
Both dry storage and wet slips are available for boats at Skinner. There are 220 dry storage spaces. For information on availability and prices, call (951) 926-1505.
Hours, Fees & Boating Information
Lake Skinner is open 7 days a week, year-round for fishing and boating. Two launch ramps are provided and maintained at the lake, both of which are paved. There is a 10 mile per hour speed limit on the lake. Due to the quagga mussels, boats must be inspected prior to entering Lake Skinner. Boats must also meet strict emissions requirements set-forth by the Metropolitan Water District. For more information on the inspection process, visit this website.
- Only boats meeting strict emissions requirements can launch at Skinner. View the link in the paragraph above for more information
- Float tubes are not allowed