ESPN wrote about the finned star in an article titled “The One That Got Away.”
  • ESPN wrote about the finned star in an article titled “The One That Got Away.”
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Dixon Lake is a smallish, 70-acre reservoir outside of Escondido on the skirts of the Daley Ranch. Even though the lake doesn’t cover much surface area, the dam, completed in 1971, holds up to 80-feet-deep water behind it. The depth allows largemouth bass more vertical structure along the shoreline, which can make for better cover and thus larger fish as they can avoid predators. Fish were stocked six years before the lake opened.

There is no launch ramp, so the lake gets a lot of shore pressure.

The lake gained national fame early this century, mostly due to one female largemouth bass with a mole. Dottie first made the news in 2001, when as a 20-pound, 12-ounce bass, she was caught and released. The fish, just one and a half pounds under the world record, had an odd black dot under its bottom jaw. A couple years later, she made the news again at 21 pounds, 11 ounces. Again, Dottie was released.

Dixon Lake Clean-Up

  • Saturday, May 27, 2017, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Dixon Lake, 1700 North La Honda Drive, Escondido
  • Free

In 2006, a large bass was spotted and eventually caught, though foul-hooked, that weighed in at an even 25 pounds, which would have shattered the world record by nearly three pounds. The fish was identified as Dottie and soon became the most famous largemouth bass in history. ESPN wrote about the finned star in an article titled “The One That Got Away” and National Geographic featured her in their “Hooked on Bass: Big Bass Obsession” television special.

In May of 2008 Dottie was found floating, probably dead from natural causes. By then, Dixon Lake had become the ‘place of the giants’ to many hopeful anglers.

As it is open-year round from 6:00 a.m. to sunset and there is no launch ramp, the lake gets a lot of shore pressure. Fishing line finds its way into the shoreline brush in tangles. Bits of packaging from tackle, Styrofoam worm containers, cigarette butts and other human offing builds its way into the landscape.

The Friends of Daley Ranch are hosting a Lake Dixon cleanup from 9am - 11am on Saturday, May 27th.

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