There are very few local lakes that provide the essentials that Puddingstone Lake in San Dimas can provide. From a day of fishing to an afternoon of boating to a night of barbecuing, there is not a need more for the family. It takes all ages. It takes all lifestyles. You can get into the park as the sun rises and you can stay until it sets.
What’s So Special About Puddingstone Lake?
There is a local private airport that has its planes flying over head on a regular approach pattern, so the children always have something to look at. As if the ducks and the boats and the fish aren’t enough to entertain them.
If fishing is the call of the day there are rainbow trout and bass caught on a regular basis, as well as blue gill and red ear perch to keep the bites alive. There are always little birds flying over head, diving into the lake to grab a bite to eat. That is always a good sign: it says that there are feeders out there for the bigger fish to call; dinner; or lunch; or even better, breakfast. As long as something is biting you will have a great time. It’s been said for many generations that a bad day of fishing beats a good day of working. This can be no truer than at this wonderful lake.
Puddingstone Lake is a stocked lake. The county brings in loads of fish on a scheduled day to be caught by you and I. all we need is a legal fishing license, and it’s an all right thing to catch up to five rainbow trout to take home to eat. But if you need to clean them and bread them on the spot, you can do so, and test out the barbecue pits to see how fresh fresh-fish can be. These farm-raised trout live on pellet diets at the farms and do best on something that tastes like their accustomed meals. Power-bait is a great choice for the first time fisher. You can buy Power-bait at most any sporting goods store. Big5 and Turner’s Outdoorsman have a great selection of trout bait. You’d like to start with either the Power-bait or some form of worm (perhaps a nightcrawler or a red worm). Rooster tails and Super-Dupers are also prime trout catching tools.
You do not need a very heavy set of tackle for these great fighters (pound for pound that is). Getting the cheapest set-up won’t affect your fish-catching day at Puddingstone Lake. There are several piers on the banks of the lake that help with this possible concern.
Fishing from these points is a wonderful vantage point for trout fishing, especially if you don’t have a very expensive rod and pole set-up. The water isn’t so deep that it is dangerous and it’s just deep enough to get the fish to approach. During springtime the breeding fish will come up closer to the shore to lay their eggs and that is where the piers are. They are right at that edge of shallow (warmer) to deeper (colder) waters. At this time of year is when the bass start their big biting season. You can catch them on worms as well as rubber (fake) worms. Bass seem to go into little feeding frenzies and at that point it seems that you can catch them on anything.
Blue gills and red eared perch like to be caught on little red worms. Earthworms are also a good choice of bait for these little guys. If you get a decent size fish (we call them panfish) you can take those with you to enjoy their fleshy meat. Very good tasting fish, these panfish are. Some light breading of corn meal or flour will lock in their natural goodness.
So that gets you through the morning. It may be around 11 am now and it’s not such a bad idea to head across the lake to take a rental trip on a simple sailboat. Not too much to handle but a blast to stream across the lake at the speed of the wind. The area that holds Puddingstone Lake is a great breezed area. You can do that for a little while and then it should be off to your picnic table for your great barbecue time. The barbecues are wood-burning and charcoal burning barbecues, so the flavors of your fish or hot dog or hamburgers are all that much better.
You’ve probably got about three hours left on your day, so why not head back out there for one last fish, or two. After all, for the most part, as long as you keep putting down food for the fish the fish will oblige you by trying some. You may need to change up your approach on the later in the day fishing, but for the most part the fish need to eat.
So have yourself some fun while you’re out there. Enjoy the weather, the scenery and the camaraderie amongst other fishermen and fisherwomen. Never be shy to ask for help, this will help make your day at the lake all that much more memorable.
So remember what I said up top, “a bad day of fishing beats a good day of working.”