During the latter half of the 20th century, this lake was by far California's most productive inland fishing resource. The warm water and high salinity created a perfect habitat for Orangemouth corvina over 30 pounds, croaker and tilapia. Tens of thousands of anglers visited the lake yearly. Fresh water fed from the Alamo river and several irrigation canals kept the salinity levels in check which allowed these fish to thrive.
During the mid 1990's, several events took place which led to the lake's demise. The main factor was the water which flowed regularly through the irrigation canals was deemed too valuable to allow the excess to flow into the lake. The canal flow was cut down to a fraction of it's normal capacity. As a result, salinity levels slowly rose and all of the fish have died with the exception of tilapia which still thrives here.
The following is some old information and reports from the past:
Orangemouth Corvina are the prime target for anglers fishing this lake. The fish average around 6-12 pounds though some have been taken over 30 pounds. Popular baits are live mudsuckers, small croaker and tilapia. They will also take crankbaits retrieved slowly. Steel leaders are recommended 'cause these big brusers got teeth! (Be careful!) There is also an abundance of Tilapia, Croaker and some Sargo here. Note: If you are fishing from shore, bring an umbrella, if you are in a boat, make sure you have a canopy. It gets HOT down here folks. Be sure to visit the CDFW web site for complete regulations before heading out.
Read and Post Salton Sea Fishing Reports Here
Comments and Tips:
Title=Ever Try The Salton Sea?
Message=I kept reading in WON about the Salton Sea, and finally
decided to drive down and check it out. I was absoultely blown away by the
action down there. I only brought 2 dozen crawlers and fished from shore.
Those were gone by noon, and I had about a dozen 1-2 lb talapia on the
stringer, and had let as many go.
I switched to roostertails and started nailing corvina on every other cast.
I had never tried the sea before this, so I didn't know what to expect. Saw
many Corvina 15-20 lbs.
I'm hooked on the place. Do me a favor..tell everybody it is polluted and
stinky. I'll do the same, maybe we can keep this place to ourselves! Kind of
hot for small kids, but the kind of place to get them started because the
action is so fast and easy!
Posted by Jeff on May 21, 2000 at 12:45:48:
I have fished there only once and nailed three big corvinas 12-15 pounds. Forget the mudsuckers, use the small
croaker and tilapia which are EVERYWHERE. That is what they are used to eating and will gobble them up. Good
fish'n @ Salton Sea
Posted by steve on May 23, 2000 at 12:55:36:
I have fished near Bombay on the Salton Sea this time of year and it is a very miserable place to be. It's too hot and
humid, even the water gets too warm and the salinity does not help. There is a caution out on eating the fish from
there. If you have to be there, this time of year, I'd plan on night fishing. During the day it's 100+'F.
Title=Salton Sea Fishing
Price=Free! (Need fishing license, worms)
Message=The Salton Sea was said at the State Park Museum to be the most productive fishery in the U.S.A. By that they mean that you are going to catch more fish per hour. And, from the bank! Caution, pregnant women are advised to eat no more than one fish meal per week from there. I know that children of mothers who have eaten fish from Lake Superior while pregnant are about 5 I.Q. points deficient on the average. BUT, I am 67 and I love fish, which is now about $5-10/lb at Safeway. So, I intend to get my fair share of fish while the getting's good.
Salton Sea tip