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Dixon Lake record-breaking trout opener

“It’s a good day when ten- and twelve-pounders are being knocked off the leaderboard.”

Steve Capps sets new record — a 16.41-pound trout — at Lake Dixon.
Steve Capps sets new record — a 16.41-pound trout — at Lake Dixon.
Place

Dixon Lake

1700 North La Honda Drive, Escondido

December 2 was opening day for Dixon Lake’s 38th annual Trout Derby. With 6000 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker rainbows stocked earlier in the week, derby and lake records were broken over the three-day event.

Four hours into the derby, Larry Jaurett, president of the Senior Anglers of Escondido commented, “It’s a good day when ten- and twelve-pounders are being knocked off the leaderboard,” as bigger fish kept coming in. The angler’s club was the official weighmaster.

At 10:30 a.m., Seaton Stroud of Big Bear City came running up to the weigh station from Dock #4 with a huge 13.89-pound rainbow trout, caught on a worm. “I can’t believe it, man, I can’t believe it! And on two-pound test!” he said, shaking, panting, and pacing with excitement as the fish was weighed. He has fished the opener for the last five years.

Seaton Stroud takes trout record away from Sam Arnold

Stroud’s trout broke the previous derby record of 13.6 pounds set in 2011 by Oceanside’s Sam Arnold. Arnold was on hand to see his record slip away. And congratulate Stroud.

However, Stroud’s new record would only stand for 29 hours. Around 3:30 p.m. on December 3, Steve Capps of Escondido produced not only a new derby record, but a new Dixon Lake record as well — a 16.41-pounder.

The lunker was caught in Trout Cove with a new flavor of Gulp fishing bait: Salmon Egg Rainbow. When told of the news that his record held throughout the weekend derby: “That’s unreal. I’ve been fishing that lake since I was five years old. My dad first took me there, and I’ve been trying all this time.”

Capps received the grand prize of $150 in gift cards from the derby’s sponsors: the City of Escondido, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Prizes were also given for the first- and second-place largest fish caught each day, along with largest trout caught by a senior or a kid. Fifteen lucky anglers also caught one of 25 specially tagged trout, and received a $25 gift card.

“We couldn’t believe the size of the fish we saw coming out of the [stocking] truck,” said Dan Hippert, superintendent of the City of Escondido’s fishing lakes. The stocking occurred in a remote section along the northern shoreline a few days prior. By that afternoon, however, Hippert says the fish had swum all the way around the lake into the popular dock area, where many anglers would gather on opening weekend.

For the first time at Dixon, the lake was closed to fishing two days before the derby, to allow time for the large fish to acclimate. Rangers issued a few $250 tickets to violators who showed up early to the closed lake. “I guess they wanted to get a jump start on the derby,” said Hippert.

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Steve Capps sets new record — a 16.41-pound trout — at Lake Dixon.
Steve Capps sets new record — a 16.41-pound trout — at Lake Dixon.
Place

Dixon Lake

1700 North La Honda Drive, Escondido

December 2 was opening day for Dixon Lake’s 38th annual Trout Derby. With 6000 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker rainbows stocked earlier in the week, derby and lake records were broken over the three-day event.

Four hours into the derby, Larry Jaurett, president of the Senior Anglers of Escondido commented, “It’s a good day when ten- and twelve-pounders are being knocked off the leaderboard,” as bigger fish kept coming in. The angler’s club was the official weighmaster.

At 10:30 a.m., Seaton Stroud of Big Bear City came running up to the weigh station from Dock #4 with a huge 13.89-pound rainbow trout, caught on a worm. “I can’t believe it, man, I can’t believe it! And on two-pound test!” he said, shaking, panting, and pacing with excitement as the fish was weighed. He has fished the opener for the last five years.

Seaton Stroud takes trout record away from Sam Arnold

Stroud’s trout broke the previous derby record of 13.6 pounds set in 2011 by Oceanside’s Sam Arnold. Arnold was on hand to see his record slip away. And congratulate Stroud.

However, Stroud’s new record would only stand for 29 hours. Around 3:30 p.m. on December 3, Steve Capps of Escondido produced not only a new derby record, but a new Dixon Lake record as well — a 16.41-pounder.

The lunker was caught in Trout Cove with a new flavor of Gulp fishing bait: Salmon Egg Rainbow. When told of the news that his record held throughout the weekend derby: “That’s unreal. I’ve been fishing that lake since I was five years old. My dad first took me there, and I’ve been trying all this time.”

Capps received the grand prize of $150 in gift cards from the derby’s sponsors: the City of Escondido, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Prizes were also given for the first- and second-place largest fish caught each day, along with largest trout caught by a senior or a kid. Fifteen lucky anglers also caught one of 25 specially tagged trout, and received a $25 gift card.

“We couldn’t believe the size of the fish we saw coming out of the [stocking] truck,” said Dan Hippert, superintendent of the City of Escondido’s fishing lakes. The stocking occurred in a remote section along the northern shoreline a few days prior. By that afternoon, however, Hippert says the fish had swum all the way around the lake into the popular dock area, where many anglers would gather on opening weekend.

For the first time at Dixon, the lake was closed to fishing two days before the derby, to allow time for the large fish to acclimate. Rangers issued a few $250 tickets to violators who showed up early to the closed lake. “I guess they wanted to get a jump start on the derby,” said Hippert.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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