Fishing and Tournaments
Lake Perris has abundant fishing opportunities!
Lake Perris was the first lake in Southern California to be stocked with Alabama spotted bass. Anglers also planted rainbow trout, channel catfish, and Florida bluegill. Green sunfish arrived via the California Aquaduct, along with the tiny shrimp from the San Francisco Bay that provide food for the gamefish. The lake also has a large population of crayfish, also known as “crawdads.”
The best areas to look for catfish are the southwest corner of the dam or the east end of the lake. The catfish tend to prefer mackerel or nightcrawlers as bait. Look for bass around Alessandro Island. Trout are taken along the dam and respond well to threadfin shad. Bluegill like crickets or meal worms and can be taken around the marina or marshy areas. “Crawdads” can be taken by hand, line, or net.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks catchable-sized trout at Lake Perris during the cooler months.
The trout planting schedule can be found on the Department of Fish and Wildlife's website. The schedule notes the anticipated week of a trout plant. More specific dates are not given to avoid focusing excess fishing activity immediately after a plant. Park employees are not notified of plants in advance.
You are welcome to contact Fish and Game at 909-484-0459.
Department of Fish And Wildlife Frequently Asked Questions
A valid California State Fishing License is required for all persons 16 years of age
All Bass must be 15 inches in length or more with their mouth closed and laying flat.
Bass: 2 of legal size limit (15 inches)
Bluegill, Red Ear Sunfish, Crappie and Green Sunfish: 25 of 1 kind or total combined
Bull Head: No limit
Carp: No limit
Worms, crickets, crayfish (bait shop purchased crayfish only)
Live or dead fresh water fish- only Threadfin Shad from Lake Perris or Longjaw Mudsuckers
Dead ocean fish, lures, and processed foods such as Salmon eggs, cheese baits etc.
California State Fishing Licenses: Licenses are available at almost any bait shop or sporting goods store with fishing gear and at the Lake Perris Marina. (951-657-2179)
Prices are determined by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. To see their current prices visit this link.
Free Fishing Days (A Department of Fish and Wildlife Link)
There are currently no functional fish cleaning stations at Lake Perris. We are sorry for the inconvenience that this causes.
Fishing Tournaments of any size require a DPR Special Event Permit, in addition to the Department of Fish and Game permit.
1. Special Event Permit
2. Copies of the Department of Fish and Game Permit(s)
3. Certificate of General Liability Insurance.
4. Payment of required permit fees to California Department of Parks and Recreation
Please download and thoroughly read the following Fishing Tournament Permit Packet and follow the instructions in order to complete your permit process.
Fishing Tournament Permit Packet (PDF)
Fishing Tournament Permit Packet (Excel)
NOTICE: As of 8/31/2015, NIGHT TOURNAMENTS will not be allowed Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Night Tournaments may be approved for weekdays.
Due to the drought, the park is down to a single launch ramp and wait times are such that we can not ensure a prompt afternoon launch time for tournament participants. When the park has a second launch ramp again, we will revisit the issue of night tournaments on summer weekends.