Winter Trout Fishing Near Los Angeles











There are plenty of fish waiting to be caught less than 90 minutes from Los Angeles in the High Desert.  Jess Ranch Lakes, Mojave Narrows Regional Park, and Hesperia Lake Park, which are located just over the Cajon Pass, are heavily stocked lakes that provide year-round fishing and family adventure. Hesperia Lake Park and Mojave Narrows also feature lakefront camping that the whole family will enjoy.  Head on up and enjoy the day or the whole weekend. 

Jess Ranch Lakes

There are not many fishing opportunities available November through March, but in Southern California this is prime trout season.  Our mild winters enable us to keep fishing while the rest of the country shovels snow. There are many lakes to choose from but none better than Jess Ranch Lakes.  Big trout are caught at Jess Ranch Lakes every week and there are plenty of them.  Heck, the hatchery is right on the property. Cold, fresh water coming up from underground springs provide the chance to catch trout all year round, even in a desert. There is even a “no skunk” policy that allows any paid angler that has not caught a fish to catch one out of the Angling Pond. 










The Angling Pond is a great option for those with small children or those just wanting to try their hand at fishing.  It is full of hungry, easy to catch trout and the helpful staff will show you exactly how to do it.  They have rental poles and will even clean your catch for you. 

The two larger lakes are for “limit fishing” and provide plenty of shaded spots to relax and spend the day.  Trout over 10 lbs. are possible in these lakes. The float tube only lake provides catch and release fishing for those who want to pursue the hard-fighting Largemouth Bass that inhabit those waters. A Party Pond is also available to enjoy family reunions or work parties. You can call them for pricing. 










Fishing Tips For Jess Ranch Lakes:

  • 4-6 lb test line
  • Light action 6-7 ft spinning rod/reel combo
  • Carolina rigged treble hooks
  • ¼-½ oz sliding egg sinkers
  • PowerBait garlic or PowerBait Mice Tails
  • Inflated night crawlers dipped in garlic scent
  • Lures like Panther Martins or Kastmasters
  • Bait only at angling pond
  • Bring chairs, pole holders and snacks
  • Be patient, but try different colored baits and lures
  • Change retrieve speeds and depths
  • A long-handled net is recommended
  • Chain type stringer to secure your catch


  • Limit Lakes – Adults $20.00 with a 5 fish limit. Children $10.00 with a 3 fish limit.
  • Party Pond – Call for rates
  • Angling Pond – $4.00 per fish no limit
  • Catch and Release Lake – Float tubers only, $25.00 half day or $40.00 full day. 

Hours are 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday-Sunday.  There is free parking, a picnic area, and a snack and bait shop. No fishing license is required.

Jess Ranch Lakes

11495 Apple Valley Road

(760) 240-1107

Mojave Narrows Regional Park

The park is sitting on top of the Mojave River as it runs underground.  This provides water for the lakes and for a desert, a surprisingly lush wooded area.  The two lakes, Pelican and Horseshoe, have plenty of shoreline to fish from. Both are heavily stocked with nice sized trout and catfish. There are miles of hiking trails and bike paths to enjoy when not fishing. Many of the campsites are right on the water. 

The best time of year to camp is the fall and spring as the temperature will get into the 100’s in the summertime.  but don’t let that scare you as there are plenty of shade trees and a splash park to keep you cool. Sorry, but there is no swimming in either lake. A playground and obstacle course is adjacent to plentiful picnic areas for day users. Restrooms are clean and some even have showers. Camping reservations can be made


Fishing Tips


  • Use light line (4-6 lb test)
  • Light action 6-7 ft spinning rod/reel combo
  • Floating baits like PowerBait and PowerBait Mice Tails
  • Carolina rigged mosquito or treble hook
  • 18” leader
  • 1/4-½ oz sliding egg sinkers
  • Worms beneath a bobber or inflated off the bottom
  • Lures such as Mepps, Panther Martins or Kastmasters


  • Heavier line (6-10)
  • Medium action (stiffer) 7 ft rods
  • Mackerel chunks, chicken livers and garlic soaked shrimp are great baits. Worms and stink baits like Berkley Gulp Catfish Dough are winners too.
  • Use scent! The water is murky here and using attractants like Bites-On Garlic and Berkley PowerBait Trout Dip will greatly increase your odds of landing that big one.

As far as lucky spots, you can pretty much fish from your campsite or drive up to a shady spot and get comfortable. Set up your chairs, cast out your lines, and be patient. Both lakes are circular in design so the fish just seem to swim around it. When a school comes by you have a good chance of getting bites. 

Winter is a great time to fish Mojave Narrows with pleasant weather and small crowds. The chance to catch a limit of 2-3 lb trout while enjoying the crisp air and snow-capped mountains is too good to pass up. Get away from the crowds and enjoy a day of fishing in the High Desert.


  • Entry fee $8.00 – $10.00
  • 38 RV sites $40.00 per night
  • 31 tent sites $30.00 per night
  • Fishing fees $8.00 per person (all ages)


  • 9 Group Sites
  • Hot showers/restrooms
  • Dump Station
  • Bait shop
  • Playground
  • Water play park
  • Disc golf course
  • Trails

Hours are 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Thursday-Monday. Fishing closed on stocking days.

Mojave Narrows Regional Park

18000 Yates Road

Victorville CA, 92392

(760) 245-2226

Hesperia Lake Park

Escape your problems at nearby Hesperia Lake Park. Year round camping and fishing with the San Bernardino Mountains in the background. Catch big fish in a relaxing atmosphere. Trout over 10 lbs are caught on a regular basis (October-April) and catfish over 20 lbs (April-October). Giant prehistoric looking sturgeon over 50 lbs are often landed along with bass, bluegill and carp. 

The spacious and clean RV park is right on the lake and provides easy access to fishing for campers. Large sites are shaded and include a picnic table, fire ring, water and electricity. Everything is run out of the well-stocked Lake Store from reservations and fishing permits to bait and ice. No state fishing license is required but there is a daily fee.

The best time to visit Hesperia Lake is September-April. The weather is generally pleasant and if you time your stay right you might catch both trout and catfish. During the summer, night fishing is allowed on weekends which makes for a very exciting camping experience. 

Catch your limits on Friday night and Saturday morning. Enjoy fried catfish for dinner as you play cornhole and dominoes. End your evening eating S’mores and telling ghost stories around the campfire. Or you can catch another limit to take home. So get out to Hesperia Lake and enjoy some good family fun. 

Fishing Tips


  • Light action 6-7 ft spinning rod/reel combo
  • 4-6 lb test line
  • Carolina rigged treble or mosquito hook
  • ¼-½ oz sliding egg sinker
  • Rainbow Garlic PowerBait
  • PowerBait Mice Tails (pink and white)
  • Inflated worms
  • Use Bite-On Garlic scent or PowerBait Trout Dip
  • Look for darker colored areas on the water when choosing your fishing spot, as this will indicate deeper holes. The area across from the RV park is good just past the island. The shoreline farthest from the store is also productive.
  • Find some shade and get comfortable.
  • Be patient but change bait colors and flavors until you find out what works


  • 6-7 ft medium action spinning rod/reel combo
  • 6-10 lb test line
  • Mackerel chunks ( no weight needed)
  • Worms dipped in PowerBait Garlic Dip
  • Gulp Catfish Dough
  • Long handle net
  • Chain type stringer
  • Bring chairs, a cooler and snacks


Fishing fees are $18.00 Adults, $6.00 Children (under 10). Camping fees are $35.00


Fishing hours are Sunday-Saturday from 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.. Lake Store hours are 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.. Reservations and fishing fees are paid at the Lake Store. 

Hesperia Lake Park

7500 Arrowhead Lake Road

Hesperia, CA 92345

(760) 244-5951

So there you have 3 great lakes near Los Angeles where you can escape the stress of the city and enjoy nature in the winter. In less than 90 minutes you can be relaxing with a line in the water. Get out and enjoy some fishing!

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