Riverside County, Feb. 18 report

DIAMOND VALLEY: The largemouth bass bite has been fair to good with a lot of the bass in a major pre-spawn movement up into 15 feet of water or less and poking around structure. Bass to six pounds have been reported by anglers tossing plastics, shad-like swimbaits, and nightcrawlers. The trout action is fair after a 1,000-pound plant of Mt. Lassen rainbows last Wednesday and another that size three weeks ago. The most recent DFW plant was four weeks ago. The shoreline around the marina, the launch ramp, and at both dams have been the best spots for the rainbows with spinners, small trout spoons, or MiceTails top baits. Very light fishing pressure and few striper reports. A few big bluegill and redear are starting to show, most taken by accident by bass anglers. No reports on other species. The launch ramp is closed due to low water levels, but rental boats will remain available through the marina. For general lake and launch information, call 800-590-LAKE. For fishing and boat rental info call the marina at 951-926-7201 or Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410.

PERRIS: The warm weather has brought a surge of pre-spawn bass up into the shoreline areas, especiall along the north shore, and thy have been fair on plastic worms and nightcrawlers. The bluegill bite has been pretty fair off the marina docks on red worms or meal worms fished right on the bottom. There were DFW trout plants last week and four weeks ago, and the bite has been slow to fair from Sail Cove to Lot No. 6 and around Alessandro Island. No reports of other species. The launch ramp remains open. The reconstruction of the Lake Perris dam is ongoing. During the process, the entire dam and Bernasconi Beach side of the lake, including the Bernasconi Beach parking area, will be closed to public access. (The closure includes the bicycle trail on the east side of the lake.) The recreation area remains open, including access for fishing, boating, camping, and hiking. The west side of the lake will remain open. Private boats must be inspected for zebra and quagga mussels. Boats with wet lower units will be turned away. Boats inspected and tagged at Silverwood or Diamond Valley will also be allowed at Perris. Information: marina 951-657-2179, state park 951-940-5600.

SKINNER: While fishing is still spotty overall, there are signs of improved bass and bluegill action with the continued warm weather this past week. Many bass are already moving shallow and showing on nightcrawlers and plastics in less than 10 feet of water. Top fish reported was a 5-6 bass landed by Tommy Wilson, Pomona, on a nightcrawler. The stripers have been slow with the shad in deep, open water and the stripers have been mirroring the shad. Tough bite. The catfish also showed some signs of life on cut baits, mostly chicken liver. Patricia Gomez, Winchester, landed a 9-4 catfish on Gulp! Bait. Even a few bluegill are starting to show, mostly in 10 to 18 feet of water on red worms, meal worms, wax worms, or small jigs topped with thos baits. Gerald Thomason, Palomar, had a 1-1 bluegill on a red worm across from the marina. Trout are very slow, and the most recent DFW plant was three weeks ago. There will not be any county trout plants this season. Information: store 951-926-1505, marina 951-926-8515, entrance kiosk 951-926-1541.

ELSINORE: Slow fishing with few reports. Hammered by historic drought, the fishery here has declined dramatically over the past three years. City officials decided that an El Niño winter was the perfect time to jump-start the lake’s recovery. Over 1,600 pounds of catfish — mostly mature fish that will spawn this spring — were planted Feb. 12. Those fish were scheduled to be joined by 400 adult largemouth bass, 2,000 bluegill, and 3,000 black crappie, in a plant Wednesday this week. For more fishing information, call William’s Bait, Tackle, and Boat Rental at 951-642-0640.

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