above my houseThey want to sell us color graphs, side-scan, punching rigs, and enough rods to outfit a Boy Scout troop. But what they can’t do is help you catch fish when there are none in the area.

I was reminded of that last night as I joined the DFG and volunteers for the fall electro survey of Lake Elsinore. Though wind may have kept us off the “best stuff” the fact of the matter is, there is plenty of good stuff–except it didn’t have any bass on it.

Oh, there were fish. A high percentage of bluegill from an inch maybe to full hand-size, a smattering of catfish and maybe only 6-8 carp–a very good thing. But what the bass were doing was not happening on much of the west shore from Elsinore West Marina up short of Perret Park–with a fat 17 incher the best on the night.

The key? The bass, as they were a week or so ago when we were catching samples to inspect for possible disease, were in the brush–and pretty much the brush only. Some were in so thick, we stunned ’em, but we could reach them in time with the nets.

Since the lake did get a clean bill of health, it will be nice to fill a few more niches with the 600 or so largemouths the DFG will be bringing in over the next three months. But if those fish decide to visit the southwest shore, they’re going to get pretty lonely.

Anyway, electro-shocking is a great way to establish a pattern, or like last night, eliminate water. I know right where we’re going this Saturday.


3 Responses to “Electro-fishing: They’re not everywhere”

by Robert Schneider


Good work by George! As with any fish population survey there is considerable uncertainty, because the darn fish won’t sit still and you can’t see ’em. Do you think the bass might leave the inshore brush cover and venture into deeper water at night?

The ratio of open water area to inshore brush cover is very high for Lake Elsinore. Many fishermen often report high densities of larger fish on their fish-finders in open water, but no one knows for sure what species the targets actually represent. Dr. Michael Anderson, UCR, under contract with the Lake Elsinore/San Jacinto Watershed Authority (LESJWA), will be performing a rather extensive fish population survey in 2010 that should narrow the level of uncertainty in the data.

I look forward to seeing the final results of Cal-Dept of Fish & Game’s electro-fishing from last week, as well as the stocking of 600 adult largemouth bass.


Northern or Florida strain?