Park hours: 6:00 A.M. – 5:30PM
Dock closes: 4:30 P.M. Boats rentals end: 3:30 P.M.
Last Plant: 1,000 lbs. of Catfish: August 11th
Next Plant: Trout season opener December 2nd. 4,000 lbs. of trout per stock. Stocks will continue throughout trout season.
Water temperature: At surface: 64.94°F
At 15 feet: 64.94°F
Dissolved Oxygen: At surface: 7.67 mg/L
At 15 feet: 7.55 mg/L
Water level: Moderate
Water Clarity: Good (11’)
CA state fishing licenses are not valid nor required at Dixon Lake. Single day permits must be purchased at Dixon Lake Concession Stand. Rangers strictly enforce the required fishing permits and fresh water regulations.
There is a ban on private water craft and equipment at this time. Restricted equipment includes: private boats, canoes, kayaks, float tubes, trolling motors, fish finders, anchors, and any other equipment that contacts the water. Swimming is also prohibited.
Fishing permits, boat rentals, bait, and tackle are all sold at the Concessions Stand right next to the Ranger Station in the Lakeshore Area. Anglers "Must!" purchase a fishing permit before casting.
ADULT PERMIT( 16 years and older): $9 SENIOR PERMIT(over 60 years): $6 YOUTH PERMIT(8-15 years): $6 Child (under 8 years): FREE
If you desire to fish with a second pole, make sure to pick up a second rod permit for an additional $3.
*Please see page three for information regarding the danger of Salmon Poisoning Disease*
Catfish: Lately, Anglers have generally only been catching a few medium size catfish at a time. Rangers have come across several significant catches in the past few weeks. Catfish are nocturnal scavengers, so the best time for them is either early morning or around sunset, however good bait and patience can snag you a couple at any time of the day. Catfish scavenge for food by detecting its scent in the water (their barbels [the whisker like appendages] are excellent in doing so), so any smelly bait works great on them! The stinkier the better! Many anglers have had success using cut up mackerel (especially dipped in hog’s blood), chicken liver, shrimp, and the classic nightcrawler. More offbeat, yet successful, bait has included hotdogs either soaked in Kool-Aid or by themselves. You might also try soaking your bait in garlic oil the night for a day or so prior to fishing. Catfish are a benthonic species (they live primary near the bottom), because of that, any rig setup that can get the bait near the lake bed is a good idea, so make sure to have decently heavy weights for your rig (a drop shot rig for catfish minimizes the risk of snags). Catfish Cove, Whisker Bay, and near the buoys (typically the middle of them) are our usual great spots to catch cats. Recently, Whisker Bay seems to be bringing about the most action. Reminder: Catfish are limited to 5 per permit!
Largemouth Bass: The heatwaves of summer have dwindled. There will be a short window though between the stubborn heat leaving and winter’s chill moving in that bass should be plentiful as they start to hunt more to prepare for winter. Swimbaits are commonly used here for bass, Senkos and Roboworms are the usual, but any swimbait will do if you know how to work them properly. Color wise for swimbaits, purple continues to be a popular color this year, and I’ve been told once when you don’t know what color to throw, throw out something black. Topwater baits are also a fine choice, whether you use a rat or frog, you should see nice results using them. Dropshots and Texas rigs are excellent setups to use, Texas rigs especially if you’re fishing in the algae (do keep in mind that if you’re going to be casting into algae, having a heavier line will help reduce line breaks, you don’t want to lose that whopper on the other end! But our fish are as smart as our waters are clear, so if your line is too heavy, I don’t think you’ll fool the bass of Dixon.). Largemouths are ambush predators, meaning they like to hide in and around structures and heavily grown algae beds, waiting for a tasty snack to swim by before striking. While bass can be found anywhere in our lake, casting perpendicular to the edge of cover, whether it be any of the piers, near algae, or tules is always a good recommendation. However, going straight through/above the algae beds is also a fruitful tactic (Texas rig!). Reminder: Bass are limited to 2 per permit, and must be at least 12 inches to keep!
Bluegill: In the same family as bass (Sunfish [or Centrarchidae]), Bluegill are also coming out of the deep as surface temperatures start to become cooler to feed for winter. Hot spots for bluegills are the dense algae beds (try to look for any open spots in said beds, it’s a great place to drop your line with a bobber attached), near and in the tules, around natural structures (such as rocks or sunken trees) and of course right beneath our any of our piers. Bluegill fishing is timeless fun for all ages, and as such they are a great fish to teach newer anglers if you’re looking to take the little ones out for a great time at the lake! Bluegill rigs are as simple as they come, have your hook on the bottom, some/a light weight(s) about a foot or so above, and a bobber starting off at about a foot away from the weight, keep in mind you’ll most likely will need to move the bobber up or down your depending on where the gills are at in the water column. While you can use small lures such as plastic minnows and small jigs, I always recommend either meal/red worms or cut up nightcrawler on about a size 6 hook. Bigger live baits/hooks can land bigger bluegills, just be careful, the small ones can and will take your bait leaving you with just a bare hook! Pier 1 is where most of our bluegill fishers go, it’s an easy walk with a lovely view of the lake, not to mention 3 benches there to laze away the day while waiting for that monster gill to come by. Reminder: Bluegills are limited to 25 per permit and cannot be used as bait!
Trout: Trout season is almost upon us! Trout stocking and fishing will begin December 2nd and don’t forget to try your hand at the Trout Derby 2nd-3rd! Check in at the Concession Stand or call Dixon Lake for more information regarding pricing and prizes. Anglers swear by differing trout catching methodologies, but it is generally recommended to use live bait (minnows, nightcrawlers, salmon eggs) with a slip bobber and a split-shot during the cooler months of year when trout are feeding in the upper portions of the water column. Switch to a bottom rig when water temperatures rise. Bucktail jigs can be effective when going for trout in deeper water. Reminder: Trout are limited to 5 per permit and cannot be released after being caught!
For more information on park rules, future stocking schedules, and other information, please call the Dixon Lake Ranger station at 760-839-4680, or visit http://www.dixonlake.com. Dixon Lake can be found on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/dixonlakecitypark
Trout: Kyle Chung 9.7lbs. 3/5/23, Josh Reese 9.1lbs 3/31/22, Ali Pour 9lbs 2/14/23, Kamil Harvell 9lbs 5oz 2/15/23, Matthew H. 8.25lbs 1/19/23
April 2023 Derby Winners: Alex Najera 5.78lbs. (Largest Trout over Entire Event), Lucio Yanez 5.23lbs. (Adult Prize for Largest Trout over Entire Event), Manny Ramos 2.19lbs. (Senior Prize for Largest Trout over Entire Event), Makenzie Pierini 3.54lbs. (Junior Prize for Largest Trout over Entire Event)
Bass: David Contano 18 lbs 6/30/2020
Catfish: Adin Roseberry 56.5lb 06/23/2022, Brandon and Ethan Counts 48.5lb 04/05/2022, Jimmy Hong 47.79lb 7/16/2021, Cameron Gruwell 30.4lb 1/31/2021, Freddy 17.1lb 07/22/2021
Crappie: Dorothy Le 1.1 lb (June 2019)
Bluegill: Jerome Jones 1.8 lb 7/27/2021
Dixon Lake staff encourages anglers who qualify to take advantage of "Senior/Military Wednesdays." Senior citizens 60+ years of age as well as any military personnel are eligible to rent an all-day motor boat for $25. Fishing permits are $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for seniors over 60. Youths permits (for children ages 8-15) are $6.00.Dixon Lake has been granted an Aquaculture Permit by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This means that anglers are not required to have a California fishing license while fishing at Dixon Lake; however, all anglers 8 years and older must purchase a daily lake fishing permit. A second rod permit can be purchased for an additional $3.00. Fishing permits are available for purchase at the concession stand near the Ranger station. You must have a valid fishing permit with you before you begin fishing in our lake. Make sure to keep your fishing permit on your person at all times when fishing. All other park rules, fishing regulations and City of Escondido municipal codes will remain in effect and will be enforced by Park Rangers.
Salmon Poisoning Disease
What is Salmon Poisoning Disease?
Salmon Poisoning Disease is caused by a bacteria (Neorickettsia) that lives inside a parasite (Nanophyetus) that can infect salmon and trout. Dogs can catch the illness when they eat raw or undercooked salmon or trout that is infected with the disease. Dogs become very ill from the bacteria, but not from the parasite. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, severe lethargy, and physical collapse and possible death. The disease causes no harm to the fish itself.
Do people get Salmon Poisoning Disease?
Humans that eat raw fish or who do not practice good sanitation in preparing fish can become infected by the parasite (but not the bacteria), and experience intestinal illness, usually mild.
Which fish can cause the disease?
Salmon Poisoning Disease can be found anywhere west of the Cascade Range, including northern California. lt is not found in southern California waters. However, fish planted from northern waters can carry the disease. Local fishermen and veterinarians in southern California need to be aware of the potential presence of the disease.
What should I do?
-NEVER ALLOW DOGS TO EAT ANY RAW FISH OR FISH PRODCTS.
-Fishermen should always use excellent sanitation practices when cleaning.
-If your dog has eaten raw fish caught from a local lake and becomes ill, mention the fish to your veterinarian immediately.
*Sources: County of Los Angeles -Department of Public Health Veterinary Public Health and Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine