Location: Lake Hodges, CA 92029
"Go down Hernandez Hideaway on rural Lake Drive at Del Dios and people will swear up and down the tavern's long wooden bar that Hodgee,the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really, truly - well, almost definitely exists."The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster," said Stanley Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident.
Smith, a cowboy poet and man about town, lives near the top of the hill overlooking the scenic 1,234-acre city of San Diego reservoir which was completed in 1918.
"Several people are saying they think they've seen it," Smith continued. "Sometimes, when you look at the lake it looks like something is moving the water, some currents or something. The fact is it is a mystery."
Although Smith was quick to add that "maybe the people were a little liquored up," he wasn't the only one around the venerable country-western venue to say a Hodgee monster was more than mere rural myth or product of some overactive imaginations."
Rancho de Los Penasquitos (Rancho Penasquitos)
1966 - A pleasant two-family picnic outing turned frightening when a large creature surfaced about 50 yards offshore. Although this photo was the only clear one, there were seven eye witnesses whose stories, even under scrutiny, all corroborated. This indicates that either Hodgee does not have a standard respiratory system, was not in the lake at the time, or that the quantity of poison put into the lake in 1956 was not high enough.
While no lake creature was captured by the cage, the sea lion bait disappeared and one astonishing photograph was taken from one of the buoy cameras. Subsequent attempts to capture the creature resulted in smashed cameras and buoys, and the project was finally cancelled after an outcry ensued when it became public knowledge that sea lions were being used as bait. These research projects were not to start again for some time.
1932 - At the behest of Scripps Institute of Oceanography's director Thomas W. Vaughan, attempts were made to capture the Lake Hodges monster. A large cage-like trap was created and a small California sea lion was secured inside as bait. Cameras held underwater in glass containers were secured to buoys nearby.