Lake Sutherland was just a shadow of its old self when it closed for the season last fall, but when it reopens tomorrow it’ll look a little more familiar to anglers holding onto the images of the reservoir at full pool. No, it won’t be full, but it’ll be going the right direction at least.
Browsing: Freshwater Fishing
March is always a prime month for fishing in San Diego; the trout season is still going and the much anticipated bass spawn is getting going at most of the local lakes. This March will be no exception, but in addition to the actual fishing action, there will be a lot of other side-shows you might be interested in.
Today was the 10th anniversary of the death of auto racing’s iconic villain, Dale Earnhardt and the first day of the “super bowl of bass fishing,” the Bassmaster Classic. The overlapping of those two events today got me thinking again about something that I’ve pondered a bunch over the last decade or so – what is missing from professional bass fishing? What is keeping it from the mainstream? Besides the obvious and natural hurdle of the enormous effort it would take to comprehensively cover an event live, its missing something or someone to grab the nation’s interest. Its not the prototypical spectator sport; it’s events are too long, spread out over not only days, but sometimes hundreds of miles. The way the sport exists now, its not made for TV, not neatly wrapped into 2 hours of attention-gripping, edge-of-your-seat, slack-jawed action. It’ll never be the NFL or MLB, even if it is every bit as American as baseball and apple pie. But what it lacks in spectating perks it makes up for in participation level of its fans. It is one of, if not the most popular activities in all of America, and it deserves to have its super bowl, the Bassmaster Classic broadcast on live television.
Many of you have probably noticed that the reservoirs haven’t all benefited from the recent rains equally. There are dozens of factors in play to account for how many vertical feet a lake will rise, which is generally how we gauge the water and health of the lake. Obvious factors like the current size of the lake, and the steepness of the exposed shoreline account for how quickly the water level can rise vertically. But another factor, which isn’t obvious to the naked eye is the watershed, or the area of land where water drains off of it into a given area. Think of watersheds as a funnel pointing into a given lake. The bigger and wider the funnel mouth, the more water it collects and pours into the lake.
Greg Pshsnychniak was fishing for trout at Miramar Reservoir and landed something much larger yesterday, a new Miramar Lake Record blue catfish weighing 49.10 pounds. The previous record stood for less than 3 weeks, caught on December 16th by John Thomas, weighing 38.6 pounds. The new record comes as no surprise, as blue catfish get large, very large in the San Diego reservoirs and can reach over 100 pounds. This record breaking train is likely to continue, especially as seasoned catfish anglers focus their attention towards Miramar. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fish over 70 pounds caught soon at Miramar.
Lake Hodges has seen the most increase overall since the rains started a few weeks ago, rising 16.88 vertical feet since December 13th, 2010. But since the 27th of December, its Sutherland that has seen the biggest raise in water level. Sutherland’s water level rose 3.74 feet during that time, and has now come up 14.5 vertical feet since the 13th of December.
As we reported last week, lakes like Hodges will continue to rise well after the rain stops. And with more rain on the schedule for tomorrow morning, things are continuing to look up for the local water outlook at the reservoirs. As of yesterday, Hodges is up 14.52 feet from the 13th of this month, and up almost 3 feet since the 23rd, despite little rain in that period. Here is another look at the water levels, and how they’ve changed at some of the reservoirs.
Well, we have gotten our first indication of how much this recent storm has helped out the local lakes. Among the biggest risers were, as predicted, Lake Hodges and Sutherland Reservoir. Hodges rose more than 11.5 feet so far, from 94.38 to 106 feet, which is 92.2% capacity. Sutherland, which relies solely on watershed has jumped up 106.1 feet, from 96.6 on the 13th. Heres a list of the lake levels relating to their previous reading on December 13th.
John Thomas of San Diego broke a Miramar Reservoir lake record yesterday afternoon with a 38.6 pound whopper, we’re just not certain which one. The fish was initially reported as a channel catfish, which would have broke the 31.4 pound record mark set in 2006. However, upon receiving the photos we’re not so certain this is a channel cat afterall. In either case, its a new lake record, as the Miramar blue catfish record stands at “only” 22.40 pounds. That’s small in comparison to the blues produced at other lakes like San Vicente and Otay, where 100 lb class fish have been caught.
Thomas caught the fish on a chunk of bonito while fishing from the shoreline west of the courtesy dock. The fish was released, which is good news for future lake record prospects.
Santee Lakes will stock 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout into lakes 2, 3, and 4 on January 15th for their “Trout Season Re-Opener” presented by the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The 2,000 pounds of trout are double what the small series of lakes usually receives in each stock, and will include trout of up to 12 pounds a piece giving anglers an opportunity to catch the biggest trout of their lives.