A CHUNK for Rusty Brown...

This weekend will probably see a bigger crowd than opening day (Wednesday, Feb. 1) but word trickling in suggests there are some fish to catch as long as the weather holds. Although you may be able to root out fish on cuts or rockpiles from the narrows to the dam, the most common denominator of reports I’ve received are the deeper tules or reeds.

Orange County guide Rusty Brown  offered this, “I’d say, eight to 11 feet, on the isolated, deeper tules with a little rock.” In the case of his biggest fish of the day–an 8 1/2-pounder–he worked Bernardo Bay with a black jig and black pork rind trailer.

In keeping with the early season movements of the fish, which are often better as the sun gets higher, it was no surprise that Brown got his best one around 11 a.m.

But don’t discount methods you’re comfortable with on other waters. One unnamed Lake Havasu transplant revealed his double limits also came from in front of the tules, only he used the reliable drop-shot.

Be aware, Hodges is not the same bass factory it was back in the 1980’s, at least for now, said Brown who takes clients here with some regularity. “Guys need to know, you work at it and look to get six or seven bites. But the way the lake is fishing, a good number of those will go three to six pounds.”



11 Responses to “More Hodges reports from season opener”

Never fished there before, but hope to one day. I’ll have to give Rusty a call. He clearly knows how to catch the big ones…all the photos show… yet another big fish!

Nice Hodges bass!

Here’s a question for San Diego regulars. How stringent is that Hodges boat inspection? The 10-day forecast says rain is possible next Wednesday, that’s why I’m wondering.

by Terry Battisti

Here’s a question for anyone that knows: What the heck happened to the fishery? You used to be able to go there and catch 100 fish a day and not just small fish.

George, you have any ideas?


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being DVL. I’d say Hodges is a 1. Just have your plug out and livewell semi dry and you’re good to go.

by George Kramer

Without electro survey results to confirm a low population, speculation varies. Commonly heard: (1) High water moves fish well back in the reeds, away from fishermen. (2) Low water years did not have good spawn survival, now manifest. (3) Combination of run-off after huge fires or run-off from more toxic watershed (from continually more developed areas to the east) caused higher annual mortality. Just ideas. 🙁

Hey Leedom, I thought your scale was for the fishing. Ha ha, I was saying to myself that a 1 for hodges was a little low, a 2 maybe a 3 was the approperiate number. Lol Heard the bite bites right now but wait till April or May and it will get better.

2011 Hodges fall GFS E-fish: CPUE 2.49 LMB/minute; size range 40-590 mm; LMB=45.29% total catch

2011 DVL fall GFS E-fish: CPUE 3.36 LMB/minute; size range 47-594 mm; LMB=52.96% total catch

2011 Skinner fall GFS E-fish: CPUE 7.71 LMB/minute; size range 65-590 mm; LMB=57.58% total catch

Thanks, Kwin: Real data wins every time. Same ceiling size at each lake, but smaller fish at Hodges likely, and fewer bass compared to the total fish population. Sure points up why Skinner is no longer a “sleeper” destination.

Raise the Skinner MPH to 25 like DVL!

The thing I forgot to add about Hodges is from the power lines east there were shad EVERYWHERE, about the thickest I have ever seen. Carp numbers were also very high. Hodges is very similar to Elsinore and suffers from the same symptoms of a poor LMB fishery except for habitat. Hodges has it, Elsinore doesn’t.

Rick…if the speed limit was raised to “25” like it is at DVL (like anybody does it), your business would see an increase in lower unit/busted prop replacements from those LONG points and submerged islands.

Come on Kwin, thats what we have those HD units for. 25mph would make that a much better derby lake, and my guess the gate reciepts would go up also.