fishing in lake poway

Lake Poway is a great place to go fishing in San Diego. Fishing in Poway Lake is fun for the whole family. 

In this post, I’ll go over everything you need to know before fishing in Poway Lake, including operating hours, types of fishing, fees, catch limits, and more.

Overview: Lake Poway Fishing

Lake Poway is a reservoir in Poway, California – a district in San Diego. While the park is open daily, fishing in Poway Lake is only allowed Wednesday – Sunday but this is year-round. Boating and fishing in Poway Lake is not allowed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Here are the park’s hours of operation:

  • Park hours: Daily 6:00 AM – Sunset
  • Fishing hours: Wednesday- Sunday 6:00 AM- Sunset
  • Boating hours: Wednesday- Sunday 6:00 AM- 30 minutes before sunset
  • Personal boats and other watercraft (float tubes/ kayaks) are not allowed at Lake Poway
  • Boat rentals are available for a fee

Keep in mind, on the weekends (Friday- Sunday) and holidays, Lake Poway also charges an entrance fee of $10. Poway residents are free (ID required).

You do not need a CA fishing license to go fishing at Poway Lake. However you do need a Poway fishing permit. A map of the grounds is found here. Read below for more information. 

What Kind of Fish are in Lake Poway?

Year-round anglers can catch bass, catfish, and bluegill. Summer is catfish season. During winter Lake Poway stocks rainbow trout! 

Although Lake Poway stops stocking trout in the spring, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no more trout to be caught. As of May 2023, here’s what the fish report described for fishing poway lake for trout:

“The majority of our anglers have had luck fishing from the boats as the weather is heating up. Anglers fishing for Trout should try trolling near the Log-Boom, Bucktail Bay, and outside of Hidden Bay.”

For an up to date fish report and current list of hot spots check out Lake Poway’s Weekly News

How Much Does it Cost to Fish at Lake Poway?

Fees vary depending on age. Below is a cost breakdown for fishing Poway Lake:

  • Adult (16 and over): $7.00
  • Youth (8 to 15) : $3.00
  • Seniors (55 and over):$3.00
  • Military (With ID): $4.00

These fees are in addition to the $10 entrance fee on the weekends. The entrance fee does not include a fishing permit.

fees for fishing poway lake
Lake Poway fishing fees.

Daily Fish Catch Limits while Fishing Poway Lake

  • Bass: 5 max, minimum of 12 inches. Catch and release only during spawning season (March and April).
  • Bluegill: 10 max
  • Catfish: 5 max
  • Sunfish: 10 max
  • Trout: 4 max (no catch and release)

*More info on the California daily fishing limits

Boat Rentals when Fishing in Poway Lake

Boat rentals are available on a first come first serve basis. Motor and Pedal boats have a maximum capacity of 4 people (including children of any age or weight). Dogs are not allowed in any boat rental. Smoking is also not allowed.

Motorboat Rental Fees

  • Minimum age 16 years old
  • Full Day: $30
    • senior/ military (with ID): $22
  • Half Day (starting at 12pm): $24
    • Senior/ military (with ID): $16
  • Per hour (non fishing boats): $15

You don’t need a boat rental to fish Poway Lake. Fishing Poway Lake is also possible from the shore.

Pedal Boat Rental Fees

  • Per hour: $15
  • Per half hour: $10

If you’re fishing in Poway Lake, I would recommend a motor boat over a pedal boat. Pedal boats are great for cruising around the lake but not great for fishing.

plenty of room for boating on lake poway
Plenty of space for boating on Lake Poway.

Night Fishing Poway Lake

Fishing Lake Poway at night is so much fun for the whole family! It’s only offered during the summer months. It usually begins sometime after the fourth of July and goes until the beginning of September (labor day). 

Night fishing Lake Poway is only offered on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer. Although Lake Poway has not released the 2023 dates for night fishing, they have released camping dates. 

During select dates in the spring/ summer, you can camp at Lake Poway. While camping, you can go night fishing. Camping is rain or shine! Prices vary depending on the date:

  • Spring Into Camping May 5th- 6th: $26 per vehicle
  • Spring Into Camping May 19th- 20th: $26 per vehicle
  • Lake Poway Family Campout June 17th- 18th: $55 for residents $66 for non-residents for up to five people
    • Highlights include: s’mores, magic/comedy show, and guided hiking
  • Lake Poway Family Campout July 1st- 2nd: $55 for residents $66 for non-residents for up to five people
  • Lake Poway Family Campout July 15th-16th: $55 for residents $66 for non-residents for up to five people
  • Lake Poway Family Campout July 29th- 30th: $55 for residents $66 for non-residents for up to five people


Fishing in Poway Lake is an enjoyable experience. It’s a beautiful location in San Diego and it’s an experience that doesn’t break the bank so it is affordable for the entire family.

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