Crappie up to 1 pound biting at BVARA. Striper fishing good in California Aqueduct

Compiled by Jim Matthews
www.OutdoorNewsService.com

     The fish report 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 odwriter@verizon.net.

     The fish report is copyrighted and any use or reposting of the report, or portions of the report, is prohibited without written permission.

COVID-19 UPDATES

     The weekly fishing report has updates each week on the latest closures/restrictions on local fishing waters. With social distancing, fishing is a healthy alternative to staying cooped up in a stuffy home.

     Fishing reports and photos of catches are especially helpful during this time of closures when most marinas and stores – our usual sources of information – are closed. Information should be sent to Jim Matthews at odwriter@verizon.net or call 909-887-3444.



JIM MATTHEWS’S PICKS OF THE WEEK

     1. Big Bear Lake’s trout bite has been pretty good over the past week with a number of limits of holdover rainbows from 1 ½ to three pounds being caught, along with a few bigger fish to six pounds. While float tubes and boats are not allowed on the lake (and likely won’t for some time), the shore bite has been pretty good on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and small trout jigs and plastics. From the dam to the Observatory along the north shore has been best. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

     2. The California Aqueduct striped bass bite stays in the top picks with good action in both the southern San Joaquin Valley near Taft and the west end of the Antelope Valley. In the San Joaquin, most of the stripers are over the 18-inch minimum size and the best bite has been on anchovies and blood worms, but the fish are showing on a wide variety of baits and lures. In the Antelope Valley stretch, the size of the fish is a little smaller (mostly two to three pounds) and the best action has been on Rat-L-Traps or similar shad-like baits. For updates on this bite, check with Bob’s Bait Bucket in the San Joaquin at 661-833-8657 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 for the Antelope Valley. 

     3. Quail Lake stripers remain a top bet. The fish are showing best on bait this week, mostly shad and sardines, but Rat-L-Trap-type lures are also getting fish. Best action at the inlet and along the north shoreline. Most of the fish are two to four pounds with some bigger. There are also a good number of catfish showing for the cut bait anglers at the outlet. For an update on this action, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

WESTERN SIERRA

     LAKE ISABELLA: The lake remains open to fishing and boating, but all marinas and their boat launches are closed. That means only beach boat-launch at Kissack Cove is available. The bite is really starting to break open with fair to good action on largemouth bass as they stage for the spawn. Lots of fish to six pounds and some bigger on plastics, jigs, and deeper running swimbaits. Crappie were turned back on this week with fair to good action for boat, float tube, or kayak anglers fishing the trees in the South Fork Arm of the lake. Shore action a little tougher. Best crappie bait has been live minnows, but some on small jigs. There has also been a good catfish bite on clams and shad with scent with fish to eight pounds reported. No significant bluegill or carp reports. There was a DFW trout plants two and four weeks ago, but few trout reported. DFW also not reporting when plants go in now. The lake surface elevation on Thursday was 2,562.15 feet, up .21 feet from last week. The lake is 32 percent full and very stable right now. 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: Open. Continued fair to good trout action after plants in sections 4 and 5 two weeks ago, and section 4 was supposed to get more trout this week. The DFW is no longer announcing its trout plants. There are also still pretty decent numbers of holdover fish spread throughout the plant areas in both the upper and lower river. Salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, Roostertails and Blue Fox spinners, and SuperDupers are the best baits and lures. Excellent, stable fishing flows in both the upper (438 cfs) and lower river (371 cfs). Fly-fishing action fair and improving on the upper river from Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge and above, and there is increasing dry fly activity. The bass and catfish action remains slow in the lower river. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424. 

     AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Open. Very good striper action right now, and more and more quality fish to 10 and 12 pounds showing on sardines, live minnows, bloodworms, Rat-L-Traps, and bucktails. Most of the fish are at or above the keeper-size minimum. The catfish bite is slow on cut baits, but more and more fish are starting to show. 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: Open. The carp bite is picking up on dough baits. A few catfish continue to show here for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.

     RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Open. The bass action is fair to good, especially on warmer days, with plastics and Flukes the best bets. Some fish are already on beds. Warm weather has brought up more bluegill on wax worms and this bite. Very few trout reported. Last plant over a month ago. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

     HART PARK LAKE: Open. The bass and bluegill bites have been fair to good, with some bass already on beds. Plastics and Brush Hawgs have been the best baits. The bluegill is best on wax worms and meal worms, but the bite is poised to break open with more warmer days.

     TRUXTUN LAKE: Open. The bass have been up and down with the weather, with the action has steadily been getting better with some fish already on beds. Plastic worms and Senko-type baits are still the best bet. A few bluegill are also starting to show on wax worms, meal worms, or red worms. The odd carp is being reported now, but still not much in the way of catfsh.

     MING LAKE: Open. The largemouth bite has been fair to good with some fish already on beds. Senkos, Brush Hawgs, and live minnows have been the top baits. More and more bluegill are starting to show, too. Most recent DFW trout plant over a month ago, and no trout reports.

     BRITE LAKE: Open. There continues to be a fair bite on hand-sized crappie on small jigs fished under a float, and the trout bite has been slow to fair on Drew’s plastics and PowerBait but there hasn’t been a DFW plant in over a month. Other species are slow.

     BUENA VISTA LAKES: This park remains open to fishing. The best action has been on crappie with fair numbers of fish to a pound or so showing on live minnows and small jigs. The most recent trout plant was four weeks ago, and very few rainbows still being caught. The bass have also started to show in pretty fair numbers for anglers fishing Senkos along the tules. Few reports of other species. 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: Marinas are closed, but the lake is still open to shore fishing. A few crappie continue to show on live minnows, but that bite has been up and down, mostly down lately. The bass bite was also starting to really take off over the weekend with fish on plastics and reaction baits, but that has lulled to just fair late this week. Other species have been mostly slow. Most recent DFW trout plant was four weeks ago. The lake elevation as of Thursday this week was 613.66 feet, up 2.32 feet from last week. The lake is 27 percent capacity. Information: Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

     KAWEAH LAKE: Marina are closed, but the lake is still open to shore fishing. Most recent trout plants were three and six weeks ago. Few trout reports. The largemouth bass bite has been fair, but the weather changes and fluctuating water levels keep hammering this bite. The fish are trying to move tight for the spawn. Best action has been on plastics or small swimbaits. Still few bluegill and catfish being reported. Lake elevation as of Thursday this week was 626.47 feet, up 4.20 feet from last week. The lake is 23 percent capacity. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.



HIGH DESERT WATERS

VICTORVILLE REGION

     HESPERIA LAKE: All of the park facilities are closed, but the public can still fish and use the park. The park district recommends that all anglers practice correct social distancing during the Coronavirus outbreak. No fishing reports. For more information go to the park’s website at https://www.hesperiaparks.com/hesperia-lake-park or Hesperia Lake’s Facebook or Instagram pages. While not being answered with staff not on the job, the phones are 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

     JESS RANCH LAKES: This lake has also been closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com. 

     MOJAVE NARROWS: This facility and fishing lake are closed to the public because of Coronavirus safety precautions. Information, call 760-245-2226.



HIGH DESERT WATERS

ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION

     APOLLO PARK LAKE: This park is still open to the public. Anglers are encouraged to use social distancing. While the lake was planted with trout two weeks ago, the bite is just fair overall with a few trout still showing on PowerBait, small jigs (Drew’s and Black Minnow brands have been best), and Mice Tails. A few carp are also starting to show on dough baits, but mostly small fish right now. Still no bluegill or catfish reports. For more information on plants and events, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

     JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): Open, but no fishing reports. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

     LAKE PALMDALE: The lake and all the Fin and Feather Club facilities closed on Monday this week due to the Corona virus outbreak and to help ensure social distancing. The derby originally slated for this weekend has been postponed and will be rescheduled later. Members may schedule an appointment during the closure to access an RV or boat or site. While the phone (661-947-2884) is not being staffed right now, anglers can contact the stage via e-mail at palmdalefinandfeatherclub@gmail.com or via Facebook messenger. Update on the closure and other club information is posted on the lake/club page. 

     QUAIL LAKE: Open. The striper bite has been fair to good, especially for anglers fishing the inlet area on the north shore, which is a fair walk or bicycle ride from the parking area at the outlet. The fish are mostly two to five pounds and the best action has been on sardines and shad, especially the Triple X brand. Also some stripers showing on Rat-L-Trap or similar shad-like baits. A few catfish continue to show at the outlet (at the parking lot) on big chunks of fly-lined mackerel. The cats are running from two to 10 pounds. The largemouth bite is still fair, but they are still showing along the south shore in five to 20 feet of water off the tules staging for the spawn. Nightcrawlers or plastics have been good bets with added scent. Lots of two to three-pound class fish and some bigger. Few anglers targeting bluegill. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

     CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): The striper bite has been good throughout the west end of the Antelope Valley at all road crossings, siphons, and bends – any interruptions or changes in the flow. The flow has been slow this past week, and the fish are cruising with some good boils reported. The fish are two to four pounds with some to 13 pounds reported in the past week, mostly on Rat-L-Traps or similar lures. The catfish bite is also fair on shrimp, chicken liver, sardines, or mackerel, and added scent helps. Most of the fish are two to 10 pounds. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

     CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Open. Few reports with a few bluegill and carp showing. The bluegill are small, hand-sized fish on nightcrawlers. The carp are also small and showing on dough baits. No bass or catfish reports.

     LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: No reports 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: The park and marina are effectively closed. A statewide closure of vehicle traffic and parking in all state parks was announced this week. Crowds and use at Silverwood had been light, but it was still closed. Walk-in and bicycle-in use is still allowed, but anglers are cautioned to make sure they are parking in legal areas. Many tickets are being written when anglers or hikers park in closed areas on road shoulder and pullouts where a parked car is still in traffic lanes (even slightly). The fishing remains fair for both stripers and trout, but the closure will make the better fishing areas tough to access without a boat and the marina docks are closed (and gated). Shore anglers are getting trout in both Miller and Cleghorn canyons on PowerBait, MiceTails, and small trout lures, mostly trout jigs. A few stripers are showing off the marina rip-rap and at the mouths of Clehorn, Miller, and in the coves below Highway 138 toward the dam. The best action has been on sardines or nightcrawlers with scent. A few more largemouth have been reported for anglers fishing plastics off the points with the fish moving up into less than 30 feet of water, with some as shallow as six feet. Lake elevation was 2,248.39 feet on Thursday this week, up 1.37 feet from last week. 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: Open to shore fishing only. Marinas and boat launches will remain closed during the Coronavirus outbreak. Float tubes, kayaks, canoes and all other surface craft are also not allowed. The bite for shore anglers has been fair to good for trout with many anglers reporting limits of 1-8 to three-pound trout. The best action has been at the dam and all along the north shoreline. Best action on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent, MiceTails, and small spoons. The bass bite is still mostly tough, but a few smallmouth are starting to show. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

     GREGORY LAKE: The county park closed all of its facilities to use 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: No fishing reports. The opening of the lake’s facilities and all trout stocking has been posted until later in the year, depending on the Coronavirus outbreak status. All facilities remain closed, including restrooms and boat/tackle shop, and will throughout April. Updates are posted on the website at www.gvlfishing.com and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.



INTERSTATE 5 LAKES

     CASTAIC: Open. While the marina is now closed, the lake is open for boating and shoreline fishing as long as social distancing is maintained, according to LA County Parks (as of Thursday this week). Walking, running, biking, on the swim beach walking paths is permitted. The hiking trails, playgrounds, and fishing pier are closed. Overall, fishing has been fair, especially for trout, which were planted last week at the main launch ramp. The bite was pretty good around the marina and ramp through the weekend. PowerBait and small jigs (or Mice Tail-type baits) have been the best baits. The largemouth and smallmouth bites have continued slow to fair, but more fish moved shallow during the warm weather this week as they move into the spawn. The lower lake, which also remains open, has been fair to good for bass with the fish moving shallow and showing on drop-shot plastics or nightcrawlers. There has also been a pretty fair crappie bite in the lower lake with fish to 1-8, while the crappie bite in the upper lake is lagging behind the action in the lower lake. The stripers have been tough, and most of the fish have been caught on cut baits, mostly sardines, anchovies, or lug worms. A few catfish have been reported in deep water off sandy beaches on sardines or chicken liver. The bluegill bite is slow. Lake level is rocketing up. The lake’s surface elevation was 1,498.73 feet as of Thursday this week, up 5.19 feet from last week. The lake is at 89 percent of full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700. 

     PYRAMID: Closed by the Department of Water Resources to all activities on Friday last week. It is unclear if the lake is open to walk-in or bicycle-in fishing. The lake’s surface elevation was 2,574.30 feet on Thursday this week, down .81 feet from last week. The lake is 92 percent of full pool. 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. For upldates on closures and restricts, angler can try to call: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155, the boat shop at 661-294-9403, or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700. 



COLORADO RIVER

     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.



EASTERN SIERRA

     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). 



TROUT PLANTS

     It’s like an Easter egg hunt. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has removed the trout planting schedule from its website “in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 by preventing public crowding at water bodies. 

“Fishing is still open and CDFW will continue stocking trout at locations where social distancing by anglers and physical distancing of Hatchery Staff can be maintained.

“All Fishing in the City stocking events have been canceled through April 30th.

“We ask that members of the public avoid interacting with Hatchery Staff while fish are being stocked, and to please continue to implement social distancing.

And don’t try to call the local DFW office’s to find what waters will be planted: “Local CDFW offices will not have access to the Fish Plant Schedule.”

Normally, statewide trout plants are available at the DFW’s stocking page at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/.

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 odwriter@verizon.net and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.

     END