Dixon Lake, one of the smaller lakes in San Diego County, has proven itself mighty in the bass fishing realm. From April 2001 until May 2003, the little lake within the Escondido city limits produced three of the top twenty five largemouth bass of all time. Dottie, probably the most famous fish outside of Hemingway, Melville and Gray, was first caught, weighed and released. An unusual spot on her gill plate identified the fish — giving her the name — and before she was found dead of natural causes in May of 2008, Dottie achieved historical status in the bass fishing community. That the 25.1 pound fish was foul-hooked prevented true world-record status at over 25 pounds, but that did not keep Dottie from the limelight, including a story on ESPN and a National Geographic documentary.
- Saturday, November 18, 2017, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1700 North La Honda Drive,
$5 - $7
Among the reasons Dixon Lake is such a great bass fishery is its steep structure, crystal-clear water and cool depths of up to 80 feet; thus, the fish can seek refuge from fishing pressure and stress. In the spring, the bass move up onto the shallower flats to spawn and can be ‘sight-fished’, but during the winter months the best spots are just off the points in twenty feet of water or so. From there, they can ambush fish in shallower water - their favorite prey being the rainbow trout that are stocked at the lake. Striped bass also feed on trout and Dixon Lake has put out stripers to 24 pounds – that’s a large striped bass for such a small lake. Black crappie, bluegill and channel catfish are targeted species at Dixon.
When trout are stocked in a lake (November 18-19's season-opening plant will be 4,500 pounds by Calaveras Trout Farm), they tend to be disoriented and sluggishly cruising the edges in small bunches as they acclimate to their new environment. This is the time the big bass launch from the depths whack the trout in the shallows, and thus, bass anglers in the know are usually drawn to trout season as much so as those targeting trout along the shores of the lakes that stock them. For this reason, from Wednesday’s plant and through opening weekend and the rest of the trout season, the small lake in Escondido will be on the radar of bass anglers seeking a possible state or world record bass.