California, pressed against the ocean, offers numerous fishing opportunities. Those who elect to participate in the sport from its public piers don’t even need a license, yet lakes and reservoirs with stocked fish abound as well, should you prefer a more woodsy or mountainous getaway. Here are six of the best places to go fishing in Southern California.
Lake Cuyamaca is a 110-acre lake located in San Diego County, about 50 miles northeast of San Diego. Each year, the lake is stocked with 38,000 pounds of trout, and visitors may fish year-round. Bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and sturgeon may also be found in the lake. You’ll need a California State Fishing License for every member of your party who is 16 or older, as well as a Lake Cuyamaca permit, which is $8 for adults, $4 for children eight to 15, and free for children seven and younger. You can rent rods or bring your own, and those new to fishing can take a free class on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, boating or camping in the area. Lodging is available via nearby cabins, cottages, and B&Bs.
Castaic Lake is a state water reservoir that is stocked with trout from fall to spring. Some big catches have happened in this lake. In 1932, a man named George Perry caught a 22.04-pound (nearly 10 kilograms) largemouth bass. In 2006, Robert Flaata caught a channel catfish that weighed nearly 48 pounds (21.8 kilograms).
The lake hosts a number of events, including Moonlight Fishing, tournaments, and special days for children. A license is required every day save two: typically one date in June and another one in September. You can call the Department of Fish and Wildlife to confirm these dates at +1 562 342 7100. Other popular activities in the area include hiking, camping, swimming, and boating.
Diamond Valley is a man-made reservoir located near Hemet. Visitors typically go hiking, boating or fishing in the area. The lake offers black bass, bluegill, rainbow trout, channel catfish, and more. They promise “monster fishes,” and proudly display large catches on their website. There’s a $9 entrance fee per vehicle to get into the Diamond Valley Marina, and fishing permits are available for $6 or $4 for children 12 and younger. Boat rentals are available.