CRAWDUDE SCORES for Gabe Bolivar...

Saturday’s “supermoon” event was the catalyst for the trip, but at the end of the day, Lake Sutherland’s performance was true to its vintage afternoon bite. Fortunately, guide and former FLW pro Gabe Bolivar and I had the patience to endure a sluggish morning–and the waiting paid off.

The lake, approximately 23 feet below spill with the streams still running looked very promising. But after several hours and for many anglers, it was the case of very few bites in and around the brush, and not much else. 

MESA GRANDE hot pocket

As it got closer to noon, though we worked our way to the back of Mesa Grande Arm, and though we had not seen any reaction bites, sure enough, Gabe had a nice 4 1/2-pounder to grab his fluke. Though the only such bite of the day, it seemed to mark an increase in fish activity.


From that point on, Carolina or Texas-rigged worms (mostly greens) got the bites between the bushes and two fish turned into 22.  The high point of the afternoon was when Gabe switched to a thing by Wave Baits called a Crawdude (click here) and went into the thicker stuff, and he really scored the bigger bites, including one in the 7-pound class. His rig, just a 3/16-ounce sinker on 17-pound fluoro, was fished mostly in less than three feet.

It was apparent, the lake at just over 2000 feet elevation is a bit “behind” the other area waters, full moon or not. And since the nights are still cold here (it was forecast at 36 degrees Saturday morning) it looks like the best is yet to come over the next four to six weeks at Lake Sutherland.

If there is a downside to this East County reservoir, it’s only that the little lake is only open Saturday and Sunday. But relatively light traffic makes for an easy trip.