BVARA crowded. Lake Isabella has 'incredible crappie action'
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 email@example.com.
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Lake Nacimiento was scheduled to open Friday (May 8) this week with limited operations and park entry.
There is a limit on the number of people allowed, however. Only 120 truck and trailer combos will be allowed at at a time, but this does not include annual slip holders. The shore fishing parking lot is limited to just 30 vehicles. All vehicles/boats are restricted to four anglers.
Similar restrictions at other waters on the Central Coast have led to anglers lining up at 2 to 4 a.m. in the morning in hopes of getting into a fishing water to fish or launch.
No other facilities will be open at Nacimiento, including restrooms, and park hours will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The weekly fishing report has updates each week on the latest closures/restrictions/reopenings 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 catch reports from readers 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 909-887-3444.
LAKE PALMDALE: The lake will reopen to fishing sunrise on Saturday (May 9) after being closed the second time since April 24. The announcement was made late Thursday afternoon after the County was inundated with phone calls and e-mails from members. The safety precautions still must be followed, and the club’s trap range will not be open. Before this second county closure, tishing had been excellent for trout with good bass, bluegill, and catfish action, too. For more information on reopening or membership, call 661-947-2884 or e-mail email@example.com. The club’s Facebook page is the best source for the latest fishing and news updates.
JIM MATTHEWS'S PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. Lake Isabella moves back to the top picks for its incredible crappie action, and good bites on catfish, trout, carp, and bass. But it's the crappie that is generating all the attention with limits of 25 fish from one to two pounds common for anglers fishing minnows in areas with flooded trees and vegetation all around the lake. The night bite has been particularly good. For an update on this action, call Bob's Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657.
2. The California Aqueduct, both in the southern San Joaquin Valley near Taft and in the Antelope Valley, has just stayed good to excellent for stripers. The aqueduct would be in the top spot with action like this most weeks. In the Taft region, there are a ton of small stripers being landed, but enough fish over the 18-inch minimum size to keep anglers happy. Best bite on sardines, blood worms, and jerk baits. In the Antelope Valley stretch, the stripers are best on frozen shad or Rat-L-Traps and Zara Spooks (or similar lures). 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. The bass bite, especially the smallmouth bass, is very good at Castaic Lake. The fish are moving into the shallows for the spawn and showing on plastics and nightcrawlers all around the lake. Smallmouth have been stacked up on the dam and both shore and boat anglers are getting them. For an update on this action call Tackle Express at 661-251-8700 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CLOSURE UPDATES: Kern County and city parks remain open but anglers should follow distancing guidelines. Some parking areas may be closed.
LAKE ISABELLA: Crappie mania. The crappie bite is simply wide open here and has been for nearly two weeks. The best action is early and late in the day or at night on live minnows fished under a float near structure. Many anglers are fishing at night with lighted floats. Some fish also on small, micro jigs. The fish are showing pretty much all around the lake, but the south shoreline, Hanning Flats, and around any of the marinas are top spots. The fish are mostly running from one to two pounds. But there's more. The trout and kokanee action is also excellent. Apparently kokanee were also planted about the same time as the trout for the cancelled trout derby were all released into the lake. The fish have seemed to aggregate in both the south fork and north fork arms of the lake. Trolling small, shad-like lures or still-fishing PowerBait have been the best options, although some crappie anglers fishing small jigs are also getting the odd rainbow. Carp fishing is also wide open on any of the shallow flats on dough baits. The catfish bite is also good, mostly on frozen shad, other cut baits, and a variety of stink baits. The fish are running from two to six pounds with some bigger. There is also still a fair bite on largemouth bass with the fish mostly in the shallows. Best bite has been on plastics, jigs, and swimbaits. Anglers going here are reminded they need to be self-contained with no camping or restroom facilities open. There are two boat ramps open, one in the South Fork at Red's Marina and the ramp in the North Fork is open. Beach launching for small boats is also available in Kissack Cove. The lake surface elevation was not available this week, but the lake is at 34 percent capacity 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: The DFW is still not posting stocking information, but the trout bite has continued fair to good with a lot holdover fish along with the new plants that aren't announced. Panther Martins, Blue Fox spinners, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers have been the top baits. 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. Some bass showing in the lower river and fishing flows remain excellent, however they are coming up. Anglers need to know that few stores in Kernville are open and there are no open campgrounds or motels. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Fishing pressure dropped a little this week, but the striper action has remained very good, with a ton of small fish from eight to 10 inches and a fair to good number of keepers over the 18-inch minimum size. Some fish again reported in the 12 to 25-pound class. The fish are showing on jerk baits, blood worms, lug worms, sand worms, and sardines. The catfish bite is also pretty good on sardines, mackerel, and other cut baits and paste baits. 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 fair to good on dough baits and improving with each warm day. A few catfish continue to show for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Open. The bass action is pretty good and the bass remain all over the shallows. Plastics and Flukes are the best bets. Lots of fish still on beds. The bluegill bite has also taken off with good to excellent action on wax worms or other small baits. Information Bob's Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: Open. Continued good bass and bluegill action. The bass remain in the shallows with many still on beds. The best action has been on plastic worms and Brush Hawgs. The bluegill bite is best on wax worms and meal worms and big catches have been more common in the past week. Carp are also pretty good now on dough baits or Wussy Bait.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Open. The bass action is good with the fish still on beds and cruising the shallows. Plastic worms and Senko-type baits are the best bets, but nightcrawlers are also good. The bluegill action now very good on wax worms, meal worms, or red worms. The carp bite is also pretty good on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait, and a few more catfish are showing.
MING LAKE: Open. The bass action is good with the fish still shallow and many on beds. Plastic worms, Senkos, Brush Hawgs, and live minnows have been the top baits. The bluegill and carp bite are also good. The bluegill are showing on wax worms or meal worms, and while the carp are best on Wussy Bait or homemade dough baits.
BRITE LAKE: Closed. Tournaments have been cancelled. No news on DFW plants.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: This park remains open to fishing, and it has been crowded with anglers. The crappie bite has been good with some nice fish between one and two pounds. While busy, the crowds are far less than at Isabella. The best bite is on small minnows, but some on jigs. The bass remain good with most in the shallows for the spawn. Plastics and Senkos along the tules have been the best baits. Only a few catfish reported. Fishing information: Bob's Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com; Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com; or the park entrance gate at 661-763-1526.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: No reports.
SUCCESS LAKE: Marinas, launch ramps, and parking lots are still closed, making fishing access difficult, but the lake is still technically open to fishing. No reports from walk-in anglers. No lake elevation data available. Information: Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KAWEAH LAKE: Marinas, launch ramps, and parking lots are closed. The lake is technically still open to shore fishing but access is difficult. No fishing reports this week. No lake elevation information available this week. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
HESPERIA LAKE: The park reopened last Friday and since then, there has been a fair bite on catfish with a few trout showing. The lake is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fishing is limited to 200 anglers at a time and they all must have a wrist band, and only two customers at a time will be allowed in the store. The first catfish plant of the season was slated for Thursday this week. 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. For updates, you can also call the park at 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.
JESS RANCH LAKES: As of Thursday this week, no reopening date has been set for this facility. Anglers can call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com for updates.
MOJAVE NARROWS: The park reopened this past Saturday to fishing and hiking only. Fair trout action on PowerBait and small trout jigs. The bass and bluegill bites are pretty good, but they are getting little pressure. The carp bite is also good with some fish over six pounds reported. Also a few catfish reports. Everyone is asked to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing in line with Coronavirus safety precautions. The lake is closed Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Information, call 760-245-2226.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION
APOLLO PARK LAKE: The bite on small panfish is wide open with the bluegill and warmouth excellent for anglers fishing a nightcrawler piece or wax worms under a bobber around any cover or close to shore. Carp are also good on home-made or Amayzing Dough Bait. The fish are running from three to six pounds with some up to 15 pounds reported this week. Trout are slow. 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 to fishing, but no fishing reports. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
LAKE PALMDALE: The lake has been closed since April 24, but could reopen May 15 if approval from Los Angeles County health department come through. Fishing had been excellent for trout with good bass, bluegill, and catfish action, too. For more information on reopening or membership, call 661-947-2884 or go to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUAIL LAKE: Fishing has been shut down as security staff and the California Highway Patrol are enforcing all access closures, however, no one has been cited. The parking is closed and anglers who have been walking in are being threatened with trespass citations. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): The striper bite is very good to excellent all along the aqueduct on Rat-L-Traps or frozen shad. Flows are down, so anglers are using less weight so the bait drifts along the bottom with the flow. Catfish are also pretty fair and showing in the bite. Some anglers are also fishing sardines or the mackerel-nightcrawler combo doused in scent and getting cats to 10 pounds or better, but most are two or three pounds. The largemouth bass bite has also been pretty good in the 60th to 110th stretch for anglers fishing small, curly-tail grubs and JerkIt baits along the grass and weeds beds. Fish to three pounds reported. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Open. The bluegill and carp bites are both good to excellent. While the bluegill are small, the bite on nightcrawler pieces fly-lined or fished under a bobber is excellent. The carp bite has also broken open on dough baits. Most or small fish under three pounds, but they are showing in good numbers. No bass or catfish reports.
LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: Full on bass bite for walk-in anglers. Most of the action is on nightcrawlers, plastics, or small crank or jerk baits with largemouth up to five pounds reported. Lake is full with water running over the spillway. Also some action on bluegill and trout. 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 state parks closure to all vehicle traffic and parking is still in effect. 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 or it is a no-parking area. A few fishing reports continue to come in, and overall the action is still fair to good for both stripers and trout, and the largemouth bass action is really starting to take off. Even a few catfish and bluegill reported now. Shore anglers are getting trout in both Miller and Cleghorn canyons on PowerBait, MiceTails, and small trout lures, mostly trout jigs, with the fish showing in slightly deeper water. The stripers have been from the marina rip-rap and the coves below Highway 138 toward the dam, and along Forest Road 2N33 adjacent to the dam. The best action has been on sardines, frozen shad, or nightcrawlers with scent. The largemouth are showing on plastics off the points with the fish moving up into less than 10 feet of water. Please e-mail your fishing reports and photos to Jim Matthews at email@example.com. The water level elevation was 3,348.13 feet on Thursday this week, nearly identical to 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: The east public launch ramp is now opener, but the lot is limited to 25 vehicles/trailers. Big Bear Sporting Goods is slated to reopen Friday this week. And, of course, shore fishing remains open. The trout bite remains fair with nice quality fish from 1-8 to two pounds. Catches of one to four fish for a morning or afternoon of fishing continue to be common. Early and late are best times to fish. The best areas have been at the dam and all along the north shoreline on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent, MiceTails, and small spoons. Carp are wide open for bowfishermen or anglers using dough baits in all shallow areas where the carp are congregating for the spawn. The bass bite is also getting really good with the warm weather with both largemouth and smallmouth are being caught in fair to good numbers, mostly on nightcrawlers or plastics. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store's Facebook page. There have been nearly daily fishing reports posted on the Big Bear Lake Fishing Facebook group page.
GREGORY LAKE: The park is open to fishing and hiking, and the parking lots are open. The restroom facilities and group recreation areas remain closed. No fishing reports. 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 postponed until later in the year, depending on the Coronavirus outbreak status. All facilities remain closed, including restrooms and boat/tackle shop, and will remain closed until the state lifts its closure of 'non-essential businesses.' Updates are posted on the website at www.gvlfishing.com and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.
INTERSTATE 5 LAKES
CASTAIC: 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 to good. Shore anglers are getting a good numbers of smallmouth bass off the dam and adjacent to the west launch ramp. Nghtcrawlers and black plastic worms have been getting the smallies. The striper bite is also pretty fair with cut sardines in deep water the hot ticket. Also some fish showing on trolled umbrella rigs. The bluegill are moving shallow, and while the fishing piers are closed, the 'gills were congregating in those areas. The lake's surface elevation was 1,501.45 feet on Thursday this week, down a fractional .53 feet from last week. The lake is at 91 percent of full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PYRAMID: The lake is still closed to all vehicle access and public use. No tentative open date has been set. Technically, because it is a developed facility on U.S. Forest Service land, it is closed to the public under a Forest Service order, which was extended this week to May 15. The lake elevation was 2,575.46 feet this week, nearly identical to last week, with the lake remaining at 93 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 updates on closures and restrictions, anglers 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.
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.
The general trout season opener has been postponed until June 1 in Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in consultation with the Fish and Game Commission. The decision was made Tuesday. Waters currently open will remain open, but waters where harvest is allowed, the limit has been reduced to two fish per day from five trout. All zero-limit catch-and-release waters will remain open in all three counties, and all lower-elevation, year-around and 'early' trout opener waters (which opened March 1) will also remain open, but with reduced bag limits.
The delay does not include any other counties in the state, and no other fishing seasons have been delayed or closed.
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).
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has continued its policy of posting the trout planting schedule on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.