Lake Isabella reporting limits on crappie
Compiled by Jim Matthews
The fish report is weekly. Its accuracy depends on marina operators, tackle shops, and local fishermen we contact. Anglers catching large fish should send the information to Outdoor News Service, P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427, or telephone 909-887-3444, so it can be included in this report. E-Mail messages or fishing reports can also be posted to Jim Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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JIM MATTHEWS'S PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. While it's not crappie mania any longer, the Lake Isabella crappie bite continues to be very good for crappie anglers fishing from boats or float tubes in deeper water. Some are still getting 25-fish limits. The average fish are still about a pound, but there are enough two to three-pound fish to make it exciting. The water level continues to rise, and this has made the bite for shoreline anglers almost non-existent this week. Minnows and jigs with Crappie Nibbles and/or other scents are still the top baits, and the South Fork Arm of the lake is still the best area. For an update on this bite, check with Bob's Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657.
2. Bluegill bites are really starting to take off all across the region, and the action in both the big lake and afterbay at Castaic has been at the top of the pack. The fish are showing in most coves, along rip-rap, and in the marina area on the big lake and all around the afterbay on all the usual baits -- wax worms, meal worms, crickets, and nightcrawler pieces. Fish up to a half-pound have been reported. For information call the Castaic marina at 661-775-6232.
3. The entire California aqueduct -- from Hesperia to Taft -- has been good for striped bass with a lot of catfish also showing. The best bite throughout has been on lug or blood worms drifted along the bottom, especially in areas where the flow is constricted or bends. But a lot of stripers are also showing on plastics like Flukes or Gitzits or white jigs. For updates on this bite, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 for the Palmdale to Hesperia stretch and Bob's Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657 for the Taft region.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
HESPERIA LAKE: Catfish stocking season has begun here. The first plant of the season was last Thursday, and another plant is slated for Thursday this week. The action has been fair on 1-8 to 2-8 class fish with some bigger. The bite has been best on cut baits (especially mackerel, shrimp, and anchovies), the marshmallow-meal worm combo, and nightcrawlers. Adding additional scent is also a good idea. The big catfish of the week was a 12-5 channel landed by Isabel Langsworth, Victorville, using chicken blood bait and a marshmallow off Sandy Point. Andrew Delgado, Apple Valley, made two trips to the lake this week and landed cats at 9-2 and seven pounds on one trip, and fish at 10, eight, and 7-11 on the second trip. Richard Sandafer, Hesperia, had a limit of five catfish that weighed in at 17 pounds total. Lake information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.
JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout action has been slow, but much of that has been related to the unseasonable rain and winds over the past week. The rainbows landed were caught on PowerBait, nightcrawlers, with a few on jigs and MiceTails, and most were around two pounds. Top spots have been the northern and eastern shores of lake 2 and the grassy point and western shore near the drain of lake 3. The largemouth bass have been a better option, with fair to good action on Senkos (or similar baits), plastics worms, or nightcrawlers from the northern and eastern shores of lake 2. Bass to five pounds have been reported again this week. There is also a pretty decent bluegill bite on meal worms or wax worms. Still few catfish anglers and slow catfish action. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com.
MOJAVE NARROWS: No report available. The park is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Catfish plants start May 23. Information, call 760-245-2226.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION
APOLLO PARK LAKE: The trout bite remains pretty fair with a lot of trout still in the lake after the big plants for the derby two weeks ago. The bite is best on PowerBait in a variety of colors and flavors or Drew's plastic worms with XXX Fish Attractant, and most of the fish are around two pounds. The carp action remains fair on half-inch dough baits fished on treble hooks or hair rigs. The bluegill are now showing in pretty good numbers on micro jigs or meal and wax worms. For more information or updates on the plants, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): The first trout plant of the season went in three weeks ago, and another plant is slated for next week. Still a few rainbows showing on PowerBait and MiceTails. The best action has been on small bluegill and a few carp are being caught. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
LAKE PALMDALE: The trout bite is remains very good, especially for anglers fishing where water is entering the lake. Pink and white MiceTails have been the hot ticket this week, but black jigs still also working pretty well. The fish are mostly one-pound class, but some bigger rainbows and Lightning Trout continue to show up. The largemouth bass are tight to the tules with fish hanging on isolated tules stick ups and patches. The bite is good to excellent on nightcrawlers or plastic worms with fish to five pounds reported. The crappie are also very good all the lake on the tules. Small jigs or nightcrawlers are the best baits with a lot of two-pound class slabs. The bluegill are just starting to show in decent numbers. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or go to website at www.palmdalefinandfeatherclub.com.
QUAIL LAKE: There has been a good to excellent bluegill bite over the past week on nightcrawlers fished near the tules and other structure. The largemouth bass are also pretty good on spinnerbaits, especially in green or yellow. Lots of fish to three or four pounds. The catfish bite is fair on cut baits all around the lake. Not many stripers reported, but the bite has been fair along the north shore, especially at the inlet. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Little Rock to Quail Lake stretch): The aqueduct remains very good end to end where there are constrictions in the flow and bends. The hot spots continue to be at 25th Avenue East and Eastvale Springs, the Munz Ranch Road stretch to the 130th bridge, and stretch from Anaverde to Elizabeth Lake Road. Both stripers and catfish are showing in this bite, with lug worms the hot striper bait. Big white jigs also continue to be good when bouced off the opposite bank and fished back slowly along the bottom. Scented cut baits are good for the cats. The baits need to be right on the bottom. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): The bluegill bite has been good on nightcrawlers, wax worms, and meal worms. Also a fair number of catfish and carp. The cats are in the one to two'pound range and showing on nightcrawlers, while the carp are showing on dough baits. The bass are also fair on plastics and nightcrawlers.
LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: No reports again this week. Water level is high and spilling at spillway, but no reports from walk-in anglers again this week. The lake is normally open to walk-in fishing, but the Palmdale Water District has an ongoing sediment removal project and access is restricted at times. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAIN WATERS
SILVERWOOD: There continues to be a good striper bite. The action has been good off the marina docks and for trollers working umbrella rigs with white or black and green swimbaits throughout the main body of the lake, but especially along the dam, in the main channel, and the Chemise area. Most are one to four pounds, but some bigger. Bait anglers off the docks are seeing action on garlic nightcrawlers, lug worms or scent-enhanced anchovies or sardines. Jerod Wegand, Rancho Cucamonga, and Mike Meyers, Apple Valley, had 20 stripers fishng anchovies at the dam. There has continued to be an on and off crappie bite off the docks with most just under a pound, but some bigger. Crappie jigs with Nibbles have been the best bet. Bluegill have made up for the slowing crappie bite with good catches on small bluegill with some up to 1/4-pound or better. Catfish are slow to fair on anchovies and sardines. The largemouth are fair on plastics and reaction baits. Most three pounds or under. The bluegill are just moving shallower and showing in good numbers. The trout continue to show in slow to fair numbers on PowerBait and Mice Tails in both Miller and Cleghorn. The lake was planted in the lake and in Miller Canyon Creek last week by the DFW. Anglers should be aware of health advisories for the consumption of fish from this lake because of high PCB and mercury levels in the fish flesh and skin. Here's the direct link to a PDF brochure explaining consumption recommendations: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/so_cal/pdf_zip/081013KioskadvySilverwood.pdf. Dock fishing is allowed for $3 for adults, $2 for kids and seniors. Private boats must be inspected for zebra and quagga mussels. Boats with wet lower units will be turned away. Boats inspected and tagged at Diamond Valley and Perris will be allowed at Silverwood. The park is open seven days a week. Information: marina 760-389-2299, state park 760-389-2281, Silverwood Country store 760-389-2423.
BIG BEAR LAKE: Not a lot of change here, with winds blowing most afternoons. The trout action is still pretty good at the dam and any areas where water is entering the lake or there are gravelly shorelines. Top action has been on Power Baits in bright colors with garlic scent or nightcrawlers fished on a Carolina-rig with a two to three-foot leader. Rapalas, Kastmasters, Thomas Bouyants, Jake's lures all work well in the smallest sizes for the trollers. A reminder: the small streams themselves are closed to fishing from March 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day to protect the spawning trout. The crappie and bass bites have been getting better by the day with some nice quality crappie to nearly two pounds reported on small jigs with Crappie Nibbles. The bass bite, especially the smallmouth action, has really heated up with fish to four pounds on small plastics and reaction baits around rocky structure. The carp bowfishing is also starting to get good with the fish moving into the shallows in big numbers. All the lakes' public and private launch ramps are open. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store's Facebook page.
GREGORY LAKE: Trout Derby this weekend and the lake was slated to get a big plant of trout this week by the county. The derby will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information by calling 909-338-3073. The trout action had been slow to fair since the DFW plant two weeks ago. The action is best on small jigs, trout plastics, and PowerBait. The fish are cruising the shorelines. The boat house is still closed due to storm damage this winter, but work is ongoing to get it open soon. Lake and fishing information at 909-338-2233 or on the website at lakegregoryrecreation.com/fish. Fishing updates are posted infrequently on the park's Facebook page or website.
GREEN VALLEY LAKE: First DFW trout plant of the season went in two weeks ago. The lake facilities are closed and won't open until Memorial Day weekend (May 25), when private trout plants will begin. The website is www.gvlfishing.com and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.
INTERSTATE 5 LAKES
CASTAIC: The action, while hampered by winds some days, remains pretty good. The bite for stripers has been good on cut baits and lug or blood worms, and more catfish are starting to be caught in this bite. The stripers are mostly in 50 to 60 feet of water and showing for both shore anglers or boat anglers. Also some stripers showing for trollers. Heng Lim, Monterey Park, had six stripers to five pounds using lug worms or sardines. The largemouth and smallmouth bass also continued to be fair to good. The bite is best on plastics worms, nightcrawlers, Senko-like baits, or just about any reaction bait. The fish are mostly in six to 18 feet of water. Most of the bass are from 1-8 to three pounds. Shuhei Kamata, Chatsworth, landed five bass to three pounds on plastics. Trout were planted two weeks ago, and fish are stll being reported around the marina and in the back of Elizabeth Canyon or the back of the Fish Arm (where water is flowing in) on Kastmasters or small trout jigs. The crappie are improving with more and more being reported on small jigs. Bluegill are breaking wide open with pretty good action around flooded brush and rocky structure. Robert Page, Los Angeles, caught and released more than 30 bluegill to a half-pound fishing nightcrawlers and wax worms in the upper lake. The lower lake is even better. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PYRAMID: Wind continues to be a problem some days in the afternoons, but the largemouth and smallmouth bass bites are good with the fish mostly in less than 18 feet of water. The best bite has been on nightcrawlers, plastics, and jigs in the mouths of coves and around structure. Some fish are showing on reaction and jerk baits. The bluegill bite broke open in the past week with very good action as the fish stack up along the shoreline structure. Meal worm, wax worms, and crickets are all getting good number of small fish. Few over 1/4-pound. The striper bite has been good with both boat and shore anglers getting fish in the one to two pound range and some bigger. Lug worms, blood worms and nightcrawlers have been the best baits for both boat and shore anglers, and more and more catfish are showing in this bait bite. Top spots for stripers continues to be the rip rap in front of the boat shop, the shoreline and points past the swim beach, and the canal by the entrance booth. Catfish have been best on the sandy banks and coves. Some trout have been landed in front of the boat shop and to the right side of the marina on PowerBait and inflated garlic nightcrawlers. Still few bluegill and crappie reports. There is a health warning about eating fish from Pyramid Lake (except the rainbow trout). More information at this link: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/so_cal/pyramidlake2013.html. Information: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155 or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
ARIZONA FISHING REPORTS: The Arizona Game and Fish Department compiles a weekly report for most waters in the state, including the Colorado Rivers. Anglers can read the report at this direct link: http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/FishingReport/.
FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this web site with information updated hourly: www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.
LAKE ISABELLA: The water level has continued to come up, and the shore action for crappie has slowed way down. Fish continue to show in fair to good numbers out in deeper water for boat and float tube anglers, with some limits still being reported by good crappie anglers. Most are from three-quarter-pound to 1 1/2-pounds. The fish are still showing on crappie jigs in all colors, with white, yellow and black tops, and tipping the jig with Crappie Nibbles and garlic scent is always a good idea. Small minnows continue to be almost a sure bet. The bite has been good in all the coves in the South Fork area, but fish have been caught all around the lake. The catfish bite has continued to improve with the warmer weather, and the action has been good on a wide variety of cut baits and dip baits, especially in the French Gulch area. The largemouth bass have been fair to good on jerkbaits, cranks, and underspins, but also a lot of fish on plastics. The trout bite is fair for trollers, but also for bait anglers fishing MiceTails or PowerBait near the auxiliary dam. There is also a very good carp bite on the newly flooded flats, especially in the North Fork arm for fly anglers. For fishing information: Bob's Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KERN RIVER: The upper river flows have remained high over the past week, ranging from a low of 3,500 cfs to a high of 5,400 cfs with an average of around 4,300 cfs (in Kernville). The lower river flows have dropped back down a little, back down into the 2,500 cfs range. DFW trout are scheduled to be planted in section 4 through 6 this week, and those same areaea were planted two and three weeks ago. Flows are making the trout fishing challenging, but the bite is pretty fair on mice tails, spinners, crickets, or salmon eggs. Fly-fishing for wild fish has also been tough with the best action on small nymphs fished along the edges of heavier flow, especially in the upper reaches of the roadside water and up into the wild trout water past the Johnsondale bridge. The lower river bite has been fair, especially for smallmouth on nightcrawlers, small reaction baits, or plastic worms. The catfish action has been improving in the pools on clams and nightcrawlers. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite remains very good on bloodworms or lug worms. While most of the fish are below keeper size, enough over are being caught to make it likely an anglers can go home with a limit. Fish also continue to be caught on jumbo minnows, Rat-L-Traps, and Flukes (white with chartreuse) but not is the volume as blood or lug worms. The catfish bite was slow to fair over the past week, but some showing on cut sardines, chicken liver, and Wussy Bait. The flows are up and anglers need to be prepared to use heavier weight to get down through the heavy current. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bob's Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Pretty fair bass action on plastics and reaction baits, and the carp bite is good on Wussy Bait and Powder Bait.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The carp bite is good on dough baits. The bass and bluegill bites are also fair to good. The bass have been best on plastics and Senko-type baits, and the bluegill best on wax worms or red worms. Information Bob's Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: The carp, bass, and bluegill bites are all pretty good, especially on warm-weather days. The bass are showing on plastics, jigs, and reaction baits, while the usual array of dough baits are working for the carp. Bluegill best on wax and meal worms or red worms.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Fair to good carp and bass bites, and more and more bluegill are showing with fair to good action now on warmer days. The bass remain shallow and best on plastics or swimbaits. The carp are best on Wussy Bait, Powder Bait, or a variety of homemade dough baits. The bluegill are showing on wax worms, red worms, and meal worms.
MING LAKE: The carp and bass bites are both very good. The carp are showing all around the lake on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait and Powder Bait. The bass are best on dark plastics, but some are also showing on small swimbaits, cranks, buzz baits, or live minnows. Bluegill are also pretty good, and they are showing on meal, wax, and red worms, or micro jigs tipped with bait.
BRITE LAKE: The trout action remains fair, with some quality fish over two pounds. Best bite on PowerBait, MiceTails, and small trout plastics or jigs. More and more bass, bluegill, and crappie are also starting to show as the lake warms and more anglers target these species.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The lake is still closed for a concert. Before anglers were closed out, the bass and crappie bite were both fair to good. The bass have been best on plastics and jerk baits, while the crappie are best on small minnows or jigs with Crappie Nibbles. The carp bite was also good on a variety of dough baits, with Wussy Bait and Powder Bait the two best bets. The bluegill action had been fair on wax worms. Fishing information: Bob's Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: No reports.
SUCCESS LAKE: The good crappie and largemouth action continues here. The crappie are showing on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or small minnows. The bass bite is best on drop-shot plastics and reaction baits. The bluegill are fair to good on small worms, while the catfish are finally turning on with a fair bite on cut baits. The lake is 80 percent full. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com or Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KAWEAH LAKE: Lake levels are coming up rapidly with runoff, but the lake is above 70 percent full and still rising rapidly. The bass action has been good on plastics and reaction baits in less than 15 feet of water with 20 to 30 fish days common. The bluegill are starting to show in better numbers and a few catfish and crappie are being caught. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.
Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: www.KensSport.com (Bridgeport region), www.TheTroutFly.com (Mammoth Lakes region), and www.SierraDrifters.com (Bishop and Mammoth Lakes region).
For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW's stocking page at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/. In Kern and Tulare County, all of the upper river (sections 4, 5, and 6) were scheduled to get DFW fish this week. In Inyo County, Baker Creek, Big Pine Creek, the South Fork, Middle Fork and Intake II sections of Bishop Creek, Gooddale Creek, Taboose Creek, and Tinnemaha Creek were all on the list.
OCEAN FISHING REPORT
For the most comprehensive and up-to-date ocean fishing available, go to www.976-TUNA.com.
YOUR FISHING REPORTS
Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at email@example.com and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.