Bass biting early and late in the day
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.
The fish report is copyrighted and any use or reposting of the report, or portions of the report, is prohibited without written permission.
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. We've also added a segment toward the end on nearby open waters. Most major waters have reopened as of this week.
Fishing reports and photos of catch reports from readers are especially helpful during this time of closures when most marinas and stores ñ our usual sources of information ñ are closed. Information should be sent to Jim Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 909-887-3444.
JIM MATTHEWS'S PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. Quail Lake is having an excellent striper bite with topwater boils throughout the night and into the morning. Lots of fish from two to four pounds being caught on frozen shad fished to the boils or on a drop-shot rig. Some stripers topping 10 pounds have been reported. The parking lot opened this past week, and it has been packed with anglers cashing in on this action. For an update on this bite, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
2. Lake Nacimiento on the Central Coast has had an excellent crappie bite in recent days with the warming weather. A lot of fish are in the one to two-pound range with fish at three pounds reported. This bite has been best on small minnows. Boat launching is limited to 120 boats at a time for the time being. For an update on this bite, call the marina at 805-238-1056.
3. The bluegill bite in Castaic Lake's after bay continues to be wide open, and perhaps getting better with the warm weather. A lot of nice stringers of fish continue to be caught on nightcrawlers and red worms. Fish to a pound or better have been reported again this week. There is also a pretty good largemouth bite. For an update on this action call Tackle Express at 661-251-8700 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
LAKE ISABELLA: The heat this week has driving the crappie out to 19 to 25 feet of water, making them pretty much out of reach of shore anglers, but the bite for boat anglers is still pretty decent, mostly on small minnows. Crowds have dropped way off. The catfish bite remains fair to good, mostly on frozen shad, clams, other cut baits, and a variety of stink baits. The fish are running from two to six pounds with some bigger. The trout action is fair for trollers or PowerBait anglers fishing at the auxiliary dam or when either the South Fork or the main stem of the Kern River enters the lake. The fish are deep, however. Carp fishing is also wide open on any of the shallow flats on dough baits. There is also still a fair bite on largemouth bass with the fish still mostly in less than 20 feet of water, especially early and late in the day. 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 2,568.94 feet on Thursday this week, up .42 feet from last week. The lake is at 40 percent capacity. 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 trout bite has continued fair to good with a lot holdover fish along with the new plants that aren't announced, however rhe DFW is still not posting stocking information. Best action on Panther Martins, Blue Fox spinners, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers. 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. The flows in the upper river were 1,269 cfs and the lower river was at 927 cfs on Thursday this week. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Heat has most anglers fishing at night or early and late. The striper and catfish action has remained good. While there are still a lot of small, undersize stripers, getting a pair of keepers over the 18-inch minimum size is doable. Some fish again reported over 10 pounds. 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 good on dough baits and just keeps getting better with warmer weather. A few catfish and bass are also showing for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Open. The bass action is pretty good and the bass remain all over the shallows, even though the spawn is over. Plastics, Flukes, and Brush Hawg-type lures are the best bets, and the heat has moved the action to early and late. The bluegill bite has also taken off with good to excellent action on wax worms or other small baits. Carp are also starting to get really good on dough baits. Information Bob's Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: Open. Continued good bass and bluegill action. The bass remain in the shallows but most spawning is over. The best action has been on plastic worms and Brush Hawgs early and late in the day. 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 cruising the shallows, but the spawn is over. 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 early and late in the day. 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: No reports.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: This park remains open to fishing. The crappie bite has been good with hot weather cranking on this action. The best bite has been on small minnows. Some of the fish are running from one to two pounds. The bass remain fair to good with the best bite early and late in the day on plastics, Brush Hawgs, and Senkos along the tules. 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: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reopened the lake on Wednesday last week. This is a partial reopening with some boat ramps, parking lots, and restrooms reopening. The reopening does not include all boat ramps, day-use areas, playgrounds or campgrounds. The big news is a very good crappie bite for shore, float tube, and boat anglers. Fish to two pounds reported on live minnows or small jigs. Bass also good on plastics and reaction baits early and late in the day. The lake elevation was 632.24 feet on Thursday this week, up .84 feet from last week. It is at 53 percent of capacity. Information: Cope's Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KAWEAH LAKE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reopened the lake on Wednesday this week. The boat ramp, parking lot, and restroom facilities associated with the privately-operated marina at the Lemon Hill Recreation Area is open for public use. The partial opening does not include all boat ramps, day-use areas, playgrounds or campgrounds at Lake Kaweah. Fishing has been slow with the water level contining to rocket up, rising nearly 12 feet in the past two weeks. The lake elevation was 691.12 feet on Thursday this week, up 4.27 feet from last week. It is at 74 percent of full pool. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
HESPERIA LAKE: The park is open, and the campground reopens June 1. There has been a fair to good bite on catfish after plants last week and three weeks ago. Best action has been on cut baits, especially shad or sardines with scent added. 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. Plants are every two weeks this season. 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: The lakes reopened last Friday with protocols in place to address health and safety concerns. Anglers are required to have masks, and social distancing will be enforced. The Angling Pond and Bait Shop are still not open, but nightcrawlers are available at front ticket office for $5 (exact amount required). No fish cleaning service is available. Few reports, and the heat has the trout pretty lethargic. The bluegill action is pretty good, and a few bass are being caught early and late on reaction baits. Anglers can call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com for updates.
MOJAVE NARROWS: The park is open. The catfish bite is pretty fair now that weekly stocks have begun every Thursday. The first plant of the season was last week and another went in this week. Weekly plants continue through Sept. 3. Plants will be 740 pounds per week. 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: Continued good action with good to excellent carp and panfish bites. The carp are running from three to six pounds with some up to 10-plus pounds. The best bite on carp has been on dough baits around much of the lake. The action on little bluegill and warmouth is very good on red worms fished under a bobber around the dock or most shoreline areas. Most are very small, under five inches long, but a lot of fun to catch. The warming water has pretty much killed off the remaining trout in the lake. For more information on plants and events, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
LAKE PALMDALE: The trout bite has slowed to nearly nothing with the heat, but the bass, bluegill, and catfish action is pretty steady and the first catfish plant of the season went in this week which should make it even better. The catfish have been good on fly-lined baits that sit on top of the weeds. Frozen shad fished in conjunction with nightcrawlers and scent added has been particularly good. The largemouth bass are showing early and late in the day all around lake and at all the docks and aggressively chasing baitfish. Spinnerbaits and chatter baits with the skirts doused with scent and nightcrawlers or plastics have been the best baits. The bluegill bite is very good off any of the docks on fly-lined nightcrawlers with a lot of hand-sized and bigger fish. For more information on 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.
QUAIL LAKE: Parking lot has reopened and it has been packed with anglers cashing in on a great striper bite along the north shore. The stripers are boing all through the night and early morning, but some boils can pop up anytime. Most are three to four pounds with some bigger fish reported. Best action on frozen shad and spoons anglers can hurl into the boils. Still pretty fair action for largemouth bass on plastics and nightcrawlers, and catfish are also being caught on the frozen shad and other cut baits, mostly at the outlet. There is a good bluegill bite on nightcrawlers along the south shore tules. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): Open. With low flows, the largemouth bass and bluegill bites have been the best bets with schools of fish cruising and haunting the grass and weed beds. The largemouth are running up to four pounds and better, mostly on nightcrawlers and reaction baits. The bluegill are also hitting nightcrawlers and some are running up to a pound. Carp are everywhere with some huge cruising fish to 20-plus pounds, but few anglers are targeting them. Stripers are also still fair, but mostly where flows are changed or constricted and flow in increased. Frozen shad and Rat-L-Trap baits are best. 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. 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. A few bass and catfish reports this past week, too.
LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: The anglers walking in to this lake are finding good action on largemouth bass to three pounds and hand-sized bluegill with early morning and evening the best. Best bite has been on fly-lined nightcrawlers. Lake is full with water running over the spillway. Also some action on panfish, catfish, 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.
JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): Open to fishing, but no fishing reports. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAIN WATERS
SILVERWOOD: The state park and marina operations reopened last Friday, with restrictions. It has not been as crowded as usual because parks has restricted the park to half-capacity and the swimming beach is still closed and only fishing, boating, and hiking are allowed. The fishing has been pretty good, with a good bluegill and crappie bite off the marina docks and around most flooded brush. Stripers have remained fair to good at the dam, in Miller Canyon, and on the main lake points on swimbaits early and late in the day and cut baits in deep water later in the day. The largemouth bite has been fair to good with some topwater already early and then a pretty good plastic and nightcrawler bite. There have been some 10-plus pound catfish reported in Cleghorn. A few trout are still showing in Miller and Cleghorn canyons on PowerBait, MiceTails, and small trout lures, mostly trout jigs, but no one is sure when the last DFW plant went in. The water level elevation was 3,348.30 feet on Thursday this week, down .29 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: The east public launch ramp is open, but the lot is limited to 25 vehicles/trailers. Shore fishing remains open. The trout bite is slow to fair, but the carp bite is very good. The trout are running from a pound to 2-8, but the fish are on the outside edges of the weed beds and tough to get for shore anglers. 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 both regular anglers fishing dough bait and bowfishermen sticking them in the shallows. The carp are congregating in the shallows for the spawn. The bass bite is fair, especially on warmer days, both largemouth and smallmouth 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, and still no opening day set. Although the website has a (plan) on the process. For now, 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. The marina could reopen soon. All swim beaches are closed. Little change in the fishing with 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. In both the upper and lower lakes, the bluegill are stacked up in the shallows and pretty much wide open, especially in the lower lake on fly-lined nightcrawlers with fish to a pound or better reported along with a lot of hand-sized fish. The lake's surface elevation was 1,504.14 on Thursday this week, up 2.02 feet from last week. The lake is at 92 percent full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PYRAMID: The lake reopened this past Saturday and the fishing has been good along most open shorelines for largemouth, smallmouth, and bluegill. In fact, the bluegill bite is pretty much wide open. There is also a good catfish bite around the docks with some quality fish over eight pounds reported. The lake elevation was 2,574.75 feet on Thursday this week, down .21 feet from last week. The lake is at 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 updates on closures and restrictions, anglers can 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.
OTHER OPEN WATERS
NACIMIENTO: Lake Nacimiento is open to fishing and trail use-only The fishing action has been excellent for all bass species, including white bass. There is also an excellent crappie bite, with fish to three pounds reported, mostly on small minnows. The boat launch is allowing a maximum 120 boats on the water at a time, with up to four (4) persons from same household per boat. Developed areas are closed. Emergency restrooms only.
SAN ANTONIO: The south shore is open for trail use and fishing. All developed areas closed and there are only emergency restrooms (whatever that means). There is a maximum of 50 boats at a time from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only. The north shore is open for trail use and shoreline fishing.
LAKE CACHUMA: This lake is open for day use, with boat rentals, fishing equipment, and one-day fishing licenses available from the Bait and Tackle shop located in the marina. Countertops and boats are being disinfected between customers, and social distancing is being practiced. Bass fishing is wide open with excellent catches on plastics and reaction baits, and the panfish and catfish bites are starting to take off.
SANTA MARGARITA LAKE: Only open to San Luis Obispo County residents.
LOPEZ LAKE: Only open to San Luis Obispo County residents.
LAKE SKINNER: Open with restrictions. Bluegill, bass, and striper bites all pretty good.
LAKE PERRIS: Open with restrictions. Bass bite has been good, bluegill are also starting to show in big numbers. Carp are good.
DIAMOND VALLEY RESERVOIR: Open with restrictions. Stripers and largemouth bass are pretty good for boat anglers. Stripers to six pounds reported. Bluegill starting to show in good numbers for shoreline anglers.
Inyo County opened to trout fishing this week and Mono County opened last week, but Inyo National Forest Campgrounds remain closed. Crowley Lake Fish Camp opens this weekend. Bridgeport Reservoir has been a hot spot, with a lot of nice rainbows and browns reported, but the whole region has been good.
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.