Reservations for May at Barrett Lake, the opening month of its 2019 season, will go on sale Tuesday, April 9th at 7 pm local time.
This is one of the most anticipated events each year for San Diego freshwater fisherman – and hundreds, maybe thousands of local anglers, will jam the phone lines and bandwidth at Ticketmaster.com to try to score tickets for the opening day (which will be Wednesday, May 1st), the opening weekend, and the rest of the available fishing dates in the opening month. 50+ fish days are not uncommon in the early part of the season for even weekend warrior type anglers.
Barrett is open annually May through September, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Early in the season, and as long as the hot fishing reports pour in, reservations will be in ultra-limited supply. Barrett is unique in that it features uncharacteristically aggressive bass as the only lake in the county with an almost exclusive northern strain largemouth bass population (as opposed to Florida strains which occupy the other lakes). Throw in its other unique constraints and it creates an explosively good fishery. It is closed 7 months of the year, is limited to catch-and-release and allows only artificial lures with barbless hooks – strictly enforced by California Department of Fish and Wildlife Wardens.
Unlike other lakes, you cannot just show up and fish at Barrett. In order to handle the demand, reservations are required and sold exclusively through Ticketmaster (both online and by automated phone line).
Two types of reservations are available; a “Barrett Motor Boat Reservation” and a “Shore or Float tube Fishing Reservation”.
Reservations are sold 1 month at a time, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month prior beginning at 7 pm. So for example, tickets for the month of June will go on sale on Tuesday, May 8th at 7 pm.
You can also purchase through the automated phone line at 866-448-7849. To modify reservations (if the person who purchases the reservation is not going to be the one at the lake) you must call Ticketmaster Customer Service at 1-800-745-3000. You need to do that at least 24 hours in advance to be safe to make sure the change is noted on the sheet that the lake staff has the morning of the reservation date. Ticketmaster sends them that information the afternoon prior.