Sweetwater Reservoir is located in Bonita about 15 miles east of downtown San Diego. The lake is operated by the Sweetwater Water Authority, and allows only shore fishing on a limited 2.5 mile stretch of shoreline.
At times, the fishing can be decent at Sweetwater (mostly in the spring when fish are shallow), but generally the fishing is so restricted that its not a legitimate option for serious anglers.
The lake was closed to the public altogether until 2004, when the existing stretch of shoreline was opened to anglers.
Fishing permits are $5 per person and a valid California Sport Fishing License is required for all anglers 16 years of age and older. No boats, float tubes, kayaks or float tubes are permitted. Water contact is outlawed, so no wading.
Because of the threat of Quagga Mussels, live freshwater bait (crawdads, shiners, etc…) are not permitted. This does not apply to worms, only bait that lives in water.
The parking lot for Sweetwater Reservoir is located on Camp Ground Road in Bonita.