This week in San Diego fishing: 5/18 – 5/24/15


In a new feature, will be publishing a weekly recap called “this week in San Diego fishing” which will cover upcoming events, outlooks on the week’s fishing opportunities, and other need-to-know things from the current week.

Freshwater Outlook

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  • The storm over the weekend brought 1-2″ of rain to many of the local reservoirs. Lake Morena got the most rain, almost 2″ in a 24 hour period spanning Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, with the ground as dry as it is, most of the rain soaked right into the ground, and very little runoff was created. The creeks that feed Morena were not flowing. So look for very little to no impact in water levels from the storm, but rain did drop the water temperatures a couple degrees at most lakes.

    The conditions are much like last week – most lakes are in the post-spawn stage of the bass spawn. Shad are spawning along the shorelines, and bass are pushing them against structure to feed in the grey light hours. Smaller male bass will be guarding what’s left of the bass fry along the shoreline. Flukes, jerkbaits, and even topwater baits are traditionally well equipped to target these fry guarders.

    Lake Morena is still in the middle of its bass spawn at 3,000 feet of elevation. The spawn should continue into the first part of June, and then the only other high elevation lake in town – Cuyamaca – will be in full spawn mode for bass.

    Trout fishing is pretty much officially done at almost every lake. Cuyamaca will see trout throughout the year. Morena will have trout available for a few more weeks.

    Catfish season is upon us. Catfish are biting at almost every lake in the county. Santee Lakes’ catfish season is in full swing, and Lake Jennings kicks off their catfish season this weekend (there are catfish already present at Jennings also).

    Hot Freshwater Bites

    We’re only 2.5 weeks into the Barrett fishing season, and the last fish report indicated the best bass fishing of the season at Barrett in terms of bass caught per rod. The morning bite is simply phenomenal, if you can get yourself situated in front of a promising shoreline rockpile when the sun begins to light the hills, you’re in store for some furious bass catching as the fish feed on spawning shad at the surface. The key is getting a spot with some structure, and being ready for them when it starts to get light. Once the sun touches the lake the bite shuts off. But it’s still the best freshwater bite in town.

    The best chance for a trophy bass is at Morena. Bass over 10 pounds have been caught every week out there the last month. And it’ll continue a couple more weeks at least.

    Saltwater Outlook

    There are all kinds of fish around right now with the warmer than usual winter this year. Local boats are catching mostly yellowtail, but running into the occasional bluefin and even yellowfin tuna. Weather conditions are dictating a lot of the dock totals, when the boats are able to get out there, they’re catching fish. Most of the yellowtail action for 3/4 day boats is at the Coronado Islands on yellowtail up to about 30 pounds. 1/2 day boats are targeting bass, bottom fish, and yellowtail within inshore waters.


    Hot Saltwater Bites

    The weather put a dent in the yellowtail fishing over the weekend, but conditions look good this week and so we should expect the yellowtail fish counts to climb back up. 3/4 day boats fishing the Coronado Islands and surrounding waters are on the verge of another 90+ yellowtail count any day.

    1/2 day boats are experiencing VERY GOOD fishing for rockfish right now. If you’re looking for some good eating fish, hop on one of the local 1/2 days and load up on fish taco meat.

    White seabass are around, but very few are talking about it. If you’re a white seabass angler, now is a good time to get out and make an exploratory trip – you might be pleased with the results. Don’t wait for an invitation in the mail, it won’t come until it’s too late.

    Tide Predictions

    There are some decent tidal swings predicted this week for bay anglers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The swings taper off the later in the week it gets. The incoming tides in the AM look particularly promising from about 6 am to noon.


    Grunion Runs

    Grunion are predicted to run during the following periods;

    • Monday 10 pm – midnight
    • Tuesday 10:40 pm – 12:40 am
    • Wednesday 11:20 pm – 1:20 am
    • Thursday (actually Friday morning) 12:05 am – 2:05 am

    Remember, the grunion season is closed right now. No take is allowed. We post this info for fishing reference of when activity levels for predators like corvina and halibut might be particularly active.

    Scheduled Fish Plants

    Dates are “week of” and not necessarily the actual date stocked. See all future and past scheduled fish stocks at San Diego fish plants.

    Special Schedules and Notices


    Freshwater Bass Tournaments

    No team tournaments are scheduled. See our 2015 bass tournament schedule for all scheduled bass tournaments.

    Club Tournaments (posted as advisories for increased activity)

    No club tournaments are scheduled.


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    SDFISH Editor

    Established in 1996, is San Diego's original and #1 source for updated fishing information, reports, and much more!


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