Paddle out for the Golden State's trophy bass.

Paddle out for the Golden State’s trophy bass.

Kayak Fleet Finds Lake Perris Largemouth
By Mike Stevens

It is no secret that Southern California stands as the center of the bass fishing universe when it comes to targeting trophy largemouth. On the unofficial (but widely accepted as accurate) list of the top 25 largemouth bass ever caught, 19 of them came out of the Golden State including ten that tipped the scales at over 20 pounds.

While Lake Perris in Riverside County (east of Los Angeles) is not represented on this list, it is a prototypical So Cal warm-water fishery that has kicked out a bucketmouth north of the 16-pound mark in its storied past.

In this video, a small flotilla of kayak anglers paddled out on an April morning, which is not only smack-dab in the middle of the bass spawn (when most trophies are caught), but it is also one of the last couple months that a kayaker can fish in relative peace before the throngs of high-powered personal watercraft descend on the 2,250 surface acre lake as summer arrives.

While it is spawning season, and Perris' 25-plus foot visibility makes it an ideal lake to target bed fish, these guys keep it sporting by leaving the beds alone and opting to fan cast with a variety of crankbaits. Despite not targeting spawning females, the group still manages to bring a couple footballs to the boat for a quick release.