CAMPO — It was already good for Lake Morena trouters. Then it got a whole lot better, at least for one lake regular.
La Mesa’s John Miller, an avid angler and a regular at Lake Morena, was working a minijig underneath a bobber on 6-pound-test just right of the boat dock from the shoreline this past Friday (Jan. 12) when he got a healthy tug on the jig as his float plunged down in an instant. After a 10- to 15-minute battle with Miller keeping the rainbow out of any potential danger zones, the massive trout would finally succumb, and the veteran trouter had himself a legitimate trophy on his hands. Little did he know at the moment, however, that what he had in the bruiser ’bow was a record setter at 14 pounds, 13 ounces.
“Lake staff witnessed the catch and verified the weight, both on a portable scale at the lake shore and then again on the official scale at the office,” said James Stowers, Supervising Park Ranger.
It was a trout game of inches — or more accurately, of ounces — as Miller’s rainbow just eked out the previous Morena record of 14.75 pounds shared by two anglers, the last trout being winched out of the lake in 2011 by Brad Voigt (angler Charlie Bievens was the other co-record holder prior to Miller’s trout edging them both out by a mere ounce).
The trout bite at Morena has been rock solid now for at least two weeks running, with good counts of limits being checked in at the East County lake, according to Stowers. The rainbows are mostly running 1 to 2 pounds, with 3- to 4-pound fish showing here and there — and as Miller’s catch shows, the occasional behemoth holdover still out there swimming around too.
Trout are being creeled by both jig tossers and bait dunkers at the lake, with Paradise, Horseshoe and Pumphouse coves all producing steadily. Another 1,000 pounds is expected to be delivered later this week via Jess Ranch, and yet another half ton expected to follow that stock the first week in February, so things should be looking up for East County trouters in the coming weeks ahead.
Catfish from 2 to 4 pounds also continue to bite well, mostly on cut mackerel with Geezer Cove kicking out the cats most consistently. Bass, however, were on the slower side of the ledger this past week.