Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges is a long, winding lake in Escondido about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego. Hodges is known for great bass and crappie fishing.

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  • The lake’s bass population is particularly remarkable, comprised of the best Florida strain gene pool of all the local lakes. When Diamond Valley was being created in the 1990s, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife chose Hodges to supply the bass to start the population at DVL.

    On May 30th of 1985 Gene Dupras caught a 20 pound 4 ounce largemouth bass at Hodges, the only bass over 20 pounds caught in San Diego in a lake that didn’t stock rainbow trout (a known protein source for large bass).

    As mentioned, Hodges is also known for producing big crappie, with fish over 2 pounds common during the spring.


    Lake Hodges was formed by the completion of the Hodges Dam in 1918. The reservoir is fed by San Dieguito Creek and features one of the largest watersheds of all the local reservoirs. The city of San Diego purchased Lake Hodges in 1925 and continue to operate it today.

    hodgesOperating Schedule

    Lake Hodges is open seasonally from February through October on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The gates open a half hour before sunrise and lock at sunset.


    The concession at Lake Hodges is operated by Rocky Mountain Recreation. For their current schedule, please see their Lake Hodges page.

    Hodges has two boat ramps for low and high water levels. Rental boats are available through the concession on days that it is open.

    There are picnic tables and designated barbecue areas in the park adjacent to the concession stand.

    There is one fishing dock on the lake, at northwest of the concession stand and parking lot.

    Lake Hodges Fishing Records

    Black Crappie3.501987
    Blue Catfish36.62015Don Gibson
    Bullhead (Black)3.251986
    Channel Catfish351977 
    Green Sunfish1.251977 
    Largemouth Bass20.251985Gene Dupras

    Lake Hodges News