BY MIKE STEVENS
HEMET – Diamond Valley Lake received its first trout plant of the 2021-22 season consisting of 3,000 pounds of rainbows and an additional 500 pounds of lightning trout. The fish were delivered early in the morning on Nov. 9 with anglers getting their first shot at them the next day. In standard DVL fashion, cars were lined up from the gate to the highway the night before, and despite the onslaught of anglers all at once, the fishing was still very good.
Sight fishing with minijigs throughout the first couple coves from the marina yielded the best results, which is also very true to form for DVL following a trout stock. Bait dunkers also stringered good numbers of trout, but the minijigs almost always outshine bait within the first few days of the stock. Moving forward, trouters dunking PowerBait or Mice Tails usually do better a week or two after each trout plant, then the cycle repeats with the next stock. DVL historically stocks once per month, and it’s almost always the first week of each month and most deliveries are biggies like this first one.
An alarming amount of reports picked up by Western Outdoor News included mentions of rampant snagging going on, but there was enough intel reflecting legit catches made by actual fishing by real anglers to give SoCal trout anglers confidence if they’re heading to DVL soon.
Trout stocking has also perked up striped bass which are now patrolling the marina and just offshore of where most of the trout anglers are posting up. There was at least one double-digit model caught, a 15 pounder by Maurice Villareal who was working a ZFG Trout swimbait. He was fishing with Oscar Villareal who popped a 15-pound flathead catfish on a nightcrawler. Lake officials told WON that stripers are still chasing silversides and shad all over the lake, so chasing those boils with topwater or Alabama rigs should still remain in a boater’s playbook. They also said a few linesides are being caught on cut baits.