Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fishing Imperial Valley, Westside Main Canal

April was the first time I've been fishing in a while. Life has been keeping me busy with a new (and better paying) job, and my wife is due with our second child in June. We were all able to get out to the river (here) with the rest of our family early in April for some fishing and relaxation. I was also able to head out to the Westside Main Canal with my brother-in-law, Nick, a few weeks ago to see what we could catch, starting at the end of the All American Canal just north of the U.S./Mexican border and making our way north to Evan Hewes Highway S80 in Imperial Valley. We caught plenty of bass (and even a little channel catfish) on jigs and lures. The only thing we managed to catch on cut bait was a turtle. It was a fun day!

Headwaters of the Westside Main Canal.

There are plenty of little bass in this canal..

Fishing under the Highway 98 bridge.

One of several smallmouth bass we caught.

Nick and I contemplated jumping into the water here to cool off. Maybe next time.
Fishing under Interstate 8 bridge.

This Texas spiny softshell turtle was the only thing I caught on cut bait. 

Oh, looks like I caught myself!

We stopped at each bridge along the way figuring the fish would be holding to structure here.

Looking forward to heading out here again and fishing some of the larger canals at night.

Colorado River Trip - April 2014

Early in April, my family and I made another trip out to the Colorado River and Ferguson Lake. My primary focus on this trip was to catch me some large Flathead Catfish. This was also our first time taking our 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe out here. It handled well on the graded dirt roads and had more than enough room for all of our camping and fishing gear.

Click here to check out our 2013 Thanksgiving weekend Colorado River trip.

Ferguson Lake was created when the Imperial Dam was constructed in 1938, to harness the flow and energy of the river. These larger areas of water would provide greater recreational opportunities. The northern end of Ferguson Lake Road terminates just south of the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1941 to safeguard the area's plant and animal life.

The dirt road into the lake is normally smooth and well graded, although conditions can rapidly change after rainstorms. You better have a 4WD vehicle if you decide to explore some of the many spur trails off the north side of the road. A viewpoint 5 miles past an RV campground provides a panoramic view of Ferguson Lake, the Castle Dome Mountains in Arizona, and the Chocolate Mountains in California. There are also several good spots to camp and fish along the lake.

We headed out Friday evening after work.

Sunrise over Ferguson Lake from the cabin's back patio area.

The lake water was much darker than usual, which seemed to make catching bait a bit tough.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Enjoying an evening boat ride.

That night I landed a 12 pound flathead catfish. Since I had CPR'd the last couple of fish I had caught here, I saved this guy for the frying pan.

Showing the girls my catch... Audrey, what are you looking at? The fish is over here!

So much meat!

Panoramic of the cabin and lake from my crappy phone camera.

Following the other trucks out to pick up the boats downriver at Squaw Lake.

It always seems that these trips come to and end far too soon.

It was a weekend well spend with family at our home away from home.