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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Union Tribune -Outdoors

CARLSBAD ANGLER NABS ‘TROUTZILLA’


Some people fish like they are playing the lottery. Jed Dickerson fishes like a big game hunter. He stalks his game, only looking for the trophy fish.
Over the years, Dickerson has made headlines for some of the monster fish he has caught, including a potential world-record bass at Escondido’s Dixon Lake.
He has earned his reputation as a master, trophy bass hunter. This week, Dickerson has done it again, but this time he targeted and landed a spectacular rainbow trout at Dixon Lake.
While not quite a lake record, his 14-pound, 4ounce trophy still attracted a lot of interest for the Carlsbad fisherman, along with a good story about his adventure.
Dickerson’s decision to visit Dixon Lake, one of his favorites, was a last-minute choice.
"I dropped Jed Jr. off at school and decided to go to the lake. Someone said they saw a huge trout there the other day, so I decided to go look for it," he said.
He rented a boat and began looking for the phantom fish. Suddenly it became reality when he spotted it in Bass Cove.
"First I used a crappie jig and she was definitely interested, but swam off. I used the crappie jig for a while, then decided to switch to PowerBait," Dickerson said.
On one of his first casts with bait, the big submarine hit and swallowed the split shot weight instead of the PowerBait. He finally made what he called "the perfect cast" and saw his bait vanish as the fish swallowed it.
The big! fish began to run, nearly spoolin! g his reel. "I had to chase her in the boat and she was headed straight for the pier. I knew if she went under the pier I would lose her," Dickerson said.
He was able to getup enough speed to get ahead of the running trout, causing the fish to turn back to open water. The fish began pulling the other way when it suddenly jumped completely out of the water.
"It was like someone jumped into the water. There were a couple of Marines watching the whole episode from the pier, so I told them I had Troutzilla on the line," Dickerson said.
Using only 4-pound fishing line, his battle lasted about 15 minutes before the fish had tired enough to be netted.
Trout fishing at Dixon Lake has been epic the past few months. Dan Stephensen caught a new lake record trout of 16.82 pounds in January, and Luis Loya from Escondido hauled in an 11.75-pound rainbow from Whisker Bay this week.
Rangers said trout have been hitting on crappie and trout minnow jigs. Garlic flavored PowerBait and nightcrawlers are also working well.
Another useful technique has been to use mealworms to get the bigger trout to bite. Light line in the 2- to 4-pound range is also a secret for success.
Turkey season
Turkey hunting season in California begins March 25 and extends through April 30. The archery-only season will follow immediately afterward, running May 1-14. Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before t! he opener, March 18 and 19, and the two weeks after the general season,! May 1-14, using shotguns or any other legal method of take.
Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one-half hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. Both a hunting license and upland game bird stamp are required to hunt turkeys, although an upland stamp is not required for hunters with junior licenses. The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day and a possession limit of no more than three turkeys during all spring seasons.
Early reports from hunters who have been scouting indicate there are good numbers of birds being spotted.
Recent rains have no doubt improved habitat conditions and could also contribute to an excellent crop of new birds this spring. This could mean even better hunting conditions next season.
The best areas for turkey hunting in San ! Diego are public lands around Palomar Mountain, Julian, Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs, Ramona and Mount Laguna.
The statewide population of wild turkeys is estimated at 240,000 birds.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates about 36,000 hunters bag about 28,000 turkeys in the spring season each year statewide.
Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top 10 for spring harvest being Shasta, Butte, Placer, El Dorado, Tehama, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada and Lake counties. For places to hunt turkeys and additional tips and information, hunters should refer to the "Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys in California" on the CDFW website (wildlife.ca.gov).