FISHING

Fishing at the Lago Santa Margarita

SAMLARC is proud to offer year-round recreational fishing for Members to enjoy.  Covering more than 11.5 surface acres and holding more than 31 million gallons, the Lago Santa Margarita offers ample space to host a thriving fishery. The Lake is generally stocked twice per year with a variety of bass, bluegill, catfish, and feeder fish. 

Lakeshore Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

For questions, please contact the SAMLARC Beach Club Office at 949-858-1390

SAMLARC Fishing Policies
Adopted January 2019

  1. The Lake is owned and stocked by SAMLARC.

  2. Fishing is restricted to Registered Residents and their guests.

  3. Fishing is permitted with no more than one (1) pole per person, with no more than two (2) hooks per line.

  4. The line shall be attended at all times.

  5. The use of gigs, spears, explosives, firearms, air rifles, nets, traps, or bow and arrows is prohibited. Netting or trapping minnows, mosquito fish, crayfish or turtles is prohibited.

  6. The bag limit per person, per day, is any combination of fish equaling four (4). A penalty per fish over the limit will be assessed.

    • Minimum size limit for largemouth bass and all catfish species is twelve (12) inches. There is no minimum size on all other fish species.

    • Fish under the minimum size requirements must be returned to the Lake immediately. Proper handling to minimize disturbance of a fish’s slime coat and rapid return to the water is encouraged for any fish that is not retained. Release undersized or unwanted fish with a minimum of fishing gear attached if the hook cannot be removed easily.​

  7. In order to protect the natural ecological balance of the Lake, the only types of bait permitted are: red worms, night-crawlers, meal worms, terrestrial insects (grasshoppers, crickets, etc.), salmon eggs (fish roe), marshmallows, and catfish stink bait. Goldfish, minnows, shad, shiners or other live finfish baits are prohibited.

  8. SAMLARC is the only entity allowed to introduce any fish, or wildlife of any kind, into the Lake. Violators will be fined.

  9. Cleaning of fish, or disposing of fish at the Lake edge, is prohibited, and will result in a fine.

  10. Trash, rubbish, or other debris must be placed in trash containers around the Lake, and not left on the Lake edge. Violators will be subject to a fine.​

Proper Catch & Release Techniques
Please use the following best practices when catching and releasing fish.
1. Use heavier gear to reduce fight times.
2. Use circle hooks if possible.
3. Remove hooks quickly from the fish's mouth.
4. Clip the line if the hook is swallowed.
5. Use wet hands and release the fish quickly.

22342A Avenida Empresa, Suite 102A, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

(949) 709-0010

© 2018 Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation