UPDATED–Holiday weekend, yes, but you have to hit the spots when you can. Lake Sutherland, one of the smallest of the San Diego City lakes, is normally only open on weekends–but Memorial Day Monday is the exception. Numbers have been good here, but the post-spawn drop-off has set in. Reports of 70 degree water with 80 degree air temp forecast suggests Kelly Salmans and I might see anything from topwater to Carolina rigs.

Here’s what really happened. We stayed a little longer than expected because a couple of early morning bites were followed by hours of “maybe’s” or nothing at all on today’s trip. It wasn’t until after lunch Kelly and I were able to find some biting fish along the east shore.

No, the water temperature was mostly less than 68 degrees, and there was a light algae bloom in most locations. However, the fish were very active early, and after a long dry spell, came on again later.

From a report standpoint, we had the benefit of sharing the water with San Diego’s Bass Company club, which was having a tournament on this Memorial weekend. But frankly, if their 12 boats had not been there, it would have been as light of traffic as I can recall on the little reservoir.

Stopping for their weigh-in, their findings were similar. Three anglers posted limits, the best at 9 1/2 pounds, but most of the fish were less than two pounds. Club members also noted the early shoreline activity early, and then long dry spells.

Part of the problem was weather. There was no forecast of high pressure and stiff east and southeast winds and those are absolutely backwards for this lake. Instead of having the wind blow on the flat banks, it was blowing out and made fishing any of the open water a lot tougher. Kelly and I got our bites on green pumpkin 4-inch curly tails, but the Bass Company had success “bubba rigging” creature baits with a few fish on Senkos, cranks and spinnerbaits.

Since the guys were such great hosts, let me mention the top three: Michael (make that Mychael) Turner, Brian Kowalski, and Allen Tatum.


5 Responses to “Sutherland visit on tap Saturday…”

Sounds like fun. Good luck.

It was nice seeing the guys from the Bass Company. Fishing was a lot tougher than I had hoped for. Lots of Bait in the water which makes it hard to catch them. Thanks G-Man for coming on down its always a good time with you on the boat!

by Rich Lingor

@ Kelly &George – Re lots of bait in the water making it harder to catch them- What would you do differently?

by George Kramer

Normal conditions? I would get away from the bait. When you see lots of roiling shad activity, it sucks you in because the fish look like they’ll hit anything–and you waste precious time trying to get one or two. “Getting away,” in my experience, is going out deeper, possibly in tree tops or umbrella cover, or off points adjacent to the morning shad activity. At the other end of the day–or at least in the afternoon–use the wind on flat banks or cuts to break up the light on those areas where fish tend to move up to feed on a less plentiful forage.

by Rich Lingor

Good takes George. Sometimes Finding the bait is the key and some time we have to run from it. Then the fish change without any warning.
To take your strategy a little further, picking another lake where the forage balance is in a different phase for the next trip has been better than going back for revenge.