Skinner Fishing Map, Fishing Report, Hunting Clubs, 2019 private fishing and Riverside Hunting Clubs

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How to Fish Lake Skinner

The striper fishery at Lake Skinner is an oddity. Skinner didn’t get its striped bass from northern California like most other southern California striped bass lakes.
Instead, they arrived from the Colorado River via an  aqueduct/pipeline which covers a couple  of hundred miles of desert and mountains, Small stripers must be unbelievably hardy to survive such a trip, but  that’s the nature of this game fish.
Skinner is operated by the Riverside County  Parks Department and because of its  small size as striper lakes go (just 1,140  surface acres) it offers anglers a complete, but condensed, classroom to discover striped bass and get some idea of  how to fish for them. 
Skinner‘s small size and shape concentrates the fish more than the other striper  lakes in the area, and its  location in lower Riverside County makes it  accessible for anglers  from both the San Diego  area and Los Angeles-Orange County.  Add good facilities  — a campground,  store, dual launch  ramps, and, best of all,  a 10 mph speed limit  with no jet skis and  other personal water- craft or water skiing,  and you have a first- rate fishing lake.
On  the other hand, a singular drawback is a  prohibition on float  tubes and wading, and  only limited shore  fishing access. This  makes Skinner a boat  angler’s lake, but not  one that requires a  large boat. Lake rules  require a 10-foot boat  length and you can fish  a lot of it with just a  good-sized electric  trolling motor on a  small boat or pram. 
FINDING THE FISH:  The primary tactic for  striped bass is one that  any angler can learn quickly. It’s location, location, location.  If you can find the fish, you can usually  catch them. Early in the morning, and  sometimes in the evening, you can usually find both shad and feeding schools  of stripers in very shallow water in the  east end of the lake.
The shallow water action occurs in the spring when the shad  begin to gather in huge schools in the  warming waters of the back bays, and  again in the fall into winter when surface  waters cool enough for both bait and  predators to rise out of deep water. When the shad go shallow, the stripers follow  them in, busting into the shad and then  moving on. Over the surface of the lake,  action can be nearly constant, but it’s  never in the same place for long. 
Actually, It doesn’t do a lot of good to pursue  the schools — it just puts them down.. Getting in an area where you  see indications of shad schools, then just  waiting for the stripers to make contact  is less likely to spook the fish.
Schoolie-sized stripers weighing from  4 to 8 pounds tear into the schools of  shad like a pack of Wolves. In the shallows they tend to spook easily, and most  anglers have discovered the  technique of just drifting in the shallow areas  waiting for the snipers to boil within  casting range rather than pursuing them  and putting them down.
Lures and baits run from live shad dip-netted (cast nets and snagging are illegal) and fished live, to hunks of cut anchovy, dead shad, or  mackerel. On smaller stripers,  nightcrawlers and chicken livers work. 
ALWAYS IN SEASON: Fishing  here is pretty much a year-round deal. 20 pounds is a good fish, using  lures like the A.C. Plug or Optimum ant  Basstrix swim baits. Large Rapalas, Giant  Bomber Long-A lures can be cast or  trolled for stripers.
Because Skinner has  little in the way of trees and brush on the  bottom, trolling is a great way to cover:  lot of area. Troll over the main lake  points and you‘ll probably connect witl  at least one striper, and perhaps many. 
SQUARED AWAY: Skinner has a rough ly rectangular main portion, with a large  dam across the west end. An extensive  buoy line keeps you a distance from the  dam, and rules out the riprap as a placc  to cast for stripers.
 The inlet where water  swirls into the lake is on the north sidt  not far from the dam, and there is a steel  slope which runs for some distance east  from there. The conventional striper fishermen belly up to the buoy  line at the inlet and bombard the white  water right where the channel enters this  lake with huge wood plugs thrown by  surfcasting rigs.
When the water is running, this area attracts stripers to feed  the dazed and dying baitfish.  The marina and launch ramp No. 1  always hold some stripers, as does ramp No. 4  in the south end.
Both launch  ramps can have groups of planted trout  milling around them at the right time  the year, and if you happen to be then  with a fly rod and a big streamer, it  increases your chances of connecting  with one of the lake’s larger citizens.    
 QUICK VIEW  Location: 90 miles southeast of  Los Angeles. Take Highway 60  through Riverside or 91 through  Elsinore then south on I-215 to  Temecula. Turn east on Rancho California Road to entrance. 
Open Season: The lake is open  year round and you can get  information on entrance fees and  camping by calling (909) 926- 541
General fishing info can be had by calling the marina at  (909) 926-1505. 
Best Fishing: For striped bass, the  best times are the cooler  from late October through May (trout plants during the same  period get the stripers worked up). However, stripers can be caught year- round with various techniques. Largemouth bass fishing is fair in spring and fall.
Skinner also has a reputation for big crappie. 
Best Methods: Top producer for striped bass is probably cut bait or live shad.  Shad may be dip-netted in the east end of the lake during the cooler months. Small hunks of anchovy, nightcrawlers. or pieces of cut mackerel all work for  stripers.
Big lures which mimic trout catch the larger fish. Swim baits and  crankbaits work well at times. The fly angler should concentrate on small  white/silver streamers that mimic shad.  Regulations: Striped bass have a ten-fish limit, no size limit at all Southern California lakes. Skinner has a panfish, 15 inch minimum size limit for  largemouth bass. Trout are limited to five fish, no size limit. Private boat launch and rental boats. No water skiing or jet skis.         

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