Where they're biting

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 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.


Anglers should expect restrictions at certain city, county, and state facilities on the number of anglers/boats allowed at these places during the holiday weekend. If at all possible, angles should call ahead to make sure waters are open.

Most waters remain open to fishing, parking, and boat launching but many places still have restrictions on hours and rules on social distancing and use of masks. Most recreational accommodations (campgrounds, motels, and restaurants) have also reopened for anglers who travel to Eastern Sierra, Colorado River, or other areas to fish.


1. Trout fishing in the upper Kern River is staying the top pick. It has been good to excellent thanks to weekly DFW plants for the past six weeks plus. Most of the fish are pan-sized and showing in sections 4 and 5 above Kernville. The action has been best on salmon eggs, small spinners, and MiceTails bounced on the bottom. It’s still warm even in the upper Kern River Canyon, so you’re not going to get out of the heat completely. For an update on this action, check with Bob’s Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657, Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351, or Gateway Market in Kernville at 760-376-2424.

2. Piru Lake has been a secret hotspot for crappie and bluegill, in spite of being in the hotspots last week. The crappie have been best in the flooding bush on the shoreline opposite the marina, and the bluegill are showing around much of the lake. Both species are showing up on small mini jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or wax worms. The bluegill are also biting red worms. For an update on this action, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

3. For you fly-fishermen, the dry-fly hopper bite in the Crowley Lake basin ñ especially the upper Owens River and Hot Creek ñ has been excellent over the past two weeks with more and more hoppers each day. The fish are gorging on them and taking No. 12 or 14 hopper patterns (smaller than last year’s bugs), and the Owens has been producing browns to 18 inches. It is wide open, and now is the time to go. For an update, call the Troutfitter in Mammoth at 760-924-3676 (or one of the other fly shops from Bishop to Mammoth Lakes.



HESPERIA LAKE: Catfish plant last week and there has been fair to good action early and late in the day on mackerel, garlic nightcrawlers or the M&M combo (marshmallow-meal worm). Most are 1- to 2- pounds. Plants are normally 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: Very slow trout fishing. There is a pretty fair bass bite on Senko-type plastics or nightcrawlers. The bluegill action has been pretty fair on mealworms, wax worms, red worms, or small jigs tipped with bait. A few catfish have been caught on shrimp from the northern shore of Lake 2 and the grassy point of Lake 3. For an update, call 760-240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com. The site also has COVID-19 protocols.

MOJAVE NARROWS: The catfish bite is good with plants every Thursday. Weekly plants continue through Sept. 3. Plants will be 740 pounds per week. Limits have not been uncommon. The action is best on a variety of cut baits, nightcrawlers, and dough baits. There is also a good bite on carp and small bluegill. 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.



APOLLO PARK LAKE: This is still a great spot to take kids. There is a hot bite on both bluegill and warmouth, mostly earlier and later in the day, and the good carp bite continues. The panfish are showing in excellent numbers on a piece nightcrawler or a wax worm fished beneath a bobber. The fish are small. The carp action is fair to good on dough baits with a wide range of sizes from a pound up being caught, including some bigger fish. 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: Continued good catfish action on stink baits fished in sponge rigs are the hot ticket. Cut baits like shad, mackerel, chicken liver, or sardines are also good. Top spots have been the north side of the Blacktop or Pier One — the deep water parts of the lake — but the fish are showing all around the lake now, cruising the weed beds. The largemouth bass are fair to good and 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 fair to good off any of the docks on fly-lined nightcrawlers with a lot of hand-sized and bigger fish. The trout bite is still decent with some good catches again this week. The fish are mostly in the deep water at the inlets, with both rainbow or Lightning Trout showing on small jigs, PowerBait, and the salmon egg-nightcrawler combo. For more information on membership, call 661-947-2884 or e-mail palmdalefinandfeatherclub@gmail.com. The club’s Facebook page is the best source for the latest fishing and news updates.

QUAIL LAKE: There’s a good bite on both striped bass and catfish. Stripers also continue boiling early and late in the day and at night at the inlet and along the north shore. The bite for both species has been best on frozen shad or lug worms fished in deeper water. The cats are running from three to six pounds are showing all around the lake, but especially at the outlet. The stripers are mostly a little smaller with the occasional bigger fish over six pounds. There are also a lot of 12 to 14-inch stripers showing on chicken liver. The largemouth bass are fair on plastics and topwater early, and the bluegill action is pretty good. Both of those species are best along the south shore tules. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): More and more weeds starting to show and making fishing a little more problematic, but the catfish and striper bites remain fair to good with fish showing everywhere throughout the aqueduct across the whole Antelope Valley. Lots of good reports at 14th and Avenue S, but most spots are good right now. Best bite has been on a wide variety of cut baits — mackerel, chicken liver, or anchovies — nightcrawlers, or stinkbaits. The stripers also continue to show on topwater and swimbaits. Stripers are mostly in the two to three pounds class while cats are showing in a wide range of sizes. A few largemouth are also still showing on topwater or nightcrawlers in surprisingly good numbers. Best fishing for all species is at weirs, bridges, and bends, and the west end of the valley has been best, but the east end is also producing. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824. 

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Little change here, with 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 good. The carp bite is also pretty good 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.

LITTLEROCK RESERVOIR: The U.S. Forest Service has been asking anglers to leave who have been walking in and fishing the lake. Anglers are encouraged to call the Angeles National Forest office (747-322-6574) and leave a message, asking for a return call to explain why the lake is closed to fishing. Most of the lake is well outside of the habitat of the endangered arroyo toad. The Palmdale Water District has an ongoing sediment removal project and access is restricted by the water district at times. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): The bite has finally broken wide open here with a lot of small bluegill being caught, and anglers are reporting very small bass in the mix this year. The best action on bluegill has been on wax worms. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.


SILVERWOOD: There is a continued good striper bite over much of the lake with the fish showing on anchovies and nightcrawlers for bait anglers and trolling umbrella rigs or shad-line spoons and lures in deeper water. The fish are running up to three pounds with an occasional larger fish, including an 18-pound reported late last week. A few largemouth bass are showing in Cleghorn and off points in the main channel, mostly on plastics with some jerkbait fish early. There is good bluegill and crappie action the marina docks and around most flooded brush in the main channel coves. Jigs tipped with meal worms or Crappie Nibbles have been the best bet for both. Not big ones. Catfish continue to show in Cleghorn and for shoreline anglers fishing in the coves east and west of the dam at night (requiring walks down from the road). No trout reports this week, but there have been angler reports of a huge plant two to three weeks ago, and excellent action on small jigs, PowerBait, and trout plastics in deeper water in the mouth of Cleghorn, Miller Canyon, and at the dam. This plant was not on any DFW plants list, and there have been none listed since March. The water level elevation was 3,346.34 feet on Thursday this week, down .51 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 trout action is slow, with only troll anglers getting a few fish in the Trout Triangle. Only a handful of trout have been showing for shore anglers, mostly from deeper water off the north shore from the dam to Grout Bay. 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. The best action has been on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent, MiceTails, and small spoons. Carp are fair to good for both regular anglers fishing dough bait and bowfishermen are still sticking them in the shallows early and late in the day. The bass bite is fair on topwater baits most mornings and evenings. Nightcrawlers and plastics are also good bets, with both largemouth and smallmouth in this bite. 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: Dead slow fishing. Only two plants in June, both 300 pounds and nothing since. The park is open to fishing and hiking, and the parking lots are open. The restroom facilities and group recreation areas remain closed. 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: The lake is open. No reported plants since June 11, when both DFW and Mt. Lassen rainbows were planted. No reports. The website at www.gvlfishing.com has stocking updates, and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.


CASTAIC: The marina is reporting there was a 10,000-pound trout plant two weeks ago at the west ramp, but the plant was not reported on the DFW website. Curious. Anyway, the trout action has been a top bet with very good action continuing as the fish spread out around the lake. PowerBait, Pinched Crawlers, Mice Tails, and garlic scented nightcrawlers have all been getting fish. Most of the action is at the west ramp and adjacent shoreline areas. The largemouth and smallmouth action has been pretty good, especially if you can dip-net some live shad, but fish are also showing on drop-shot plastics around cover. Most of the fish are in the one to two-pound class. Satoshi Ichiyanagi, Carson, landed five bass to two pounds on a Jackball Spybait. Stripers have been tougher with some surface boils early in the morning, but at random times through the day. Finding fish up and hurling shad-line lures has been a good bet. At other times, the fish are deep and some are showing on trolled umbrella rigs or jigging spoons. Catfish are fair on garlic-scented mackerel or nightcrawlers in deeper coves. There continues to be a good bluegill bite in the lower lake, but the bite is all pretty much morning and evening now. The best action is on wax worms, nightcrawlers, red worms, or meal worms fly-lined or split-shotted, or fished under a bobber. There is also a good bluegill and crappie bite in the upper lake on small jigs tipped with meal worms or wax worms. The lake’s surface elevation was 1,506.40 feet on Thursday this week, down .50 feet from last week. The lake is at 94 percent full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700. 

PYRAMID: There was apparently an unannounced DFW double truckload stock of rainbow trout in late June and the bite has been pretty good on Roostertails or similar spinners, PowerBait, or scented and inflated nightcrawlers. Most of the rainbows are one-pounders, and they have spread around much of the lake. The striped bass boiling most mornings in the marina and around Chumash Island, and there is a decent topwater or jerkbait bite when the fish are up. Shore and bait anglers continue to get stripers throughout the day in the canal up from the boat entrance when the water is flowing. Bait anglers are scoring best on lug worms, nightcrawlers, and cut baits. Trollers are getting fish on umbrella rigs in 20 to 30 feet of water. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are showing on split-shot nightcrawlers, plastics, and topwater early and late in the day when the fish are up in grass and weeds on or near the surface early and late in the day. Most of the fish are focused on shad, so shad sizes and colors are best. The bluegill bite is good on nightcrawlers with a lot of hand-sized fish or bigger along most shorelines with any cover. There is also a good catfish bite around the docks with some quality fish over eight pounds reported, but fish are showing from deep water all over the lake on sardines, anchovies, nightcrawlers, and dip baits in deeper coves. The lake elevation was 2,574.82 feet on Thursday this week, down .41 feet from last week. The lake remains 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.


LAKE ISABELLA: There is still a pretty good crappie bite in deeper water off Rocky Point and Camp 9 on live minnows. Some fish on jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles vertically jigged or slow-trolled. Most fish are from a half-pound to a pound. The catfish bite remains good to excellent, mostly on frozen shad, clams, other cut baits, and a variety of stink baits with Triple S the most popular. The best bite is at night or early and late in the day. 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 still in deeper water during the day and moving up early and late. Best bite has been on plastics, jigs, spinnerbaits, topwater, and swimbaits. The trout action is fair to good for trollers working Needlefish or Tasmanian Devils at the dam. Bait anglers are mostly fishing PowerBait. Top areas are the deep water at either the South Fork or the main stem of the Kern and the auxiliary dam. PowerBait, Mice Tails, and Pinched Craws have been best. Carp fishing is also fair to good on any of the shallow flats on dough baits. The warning to avoid contact with algae blooms is ongoing. The warning was issued a month ago by the Kern County Public Health Department. Anglers and dog owners should exercise cautions to avoid contact or ingesting water in posted areas. Fishing is allowed, but anglers should take precautions. (Here is the direct link to the website explaining the problem and precautions: https://kernpublichealth.com/cyanobacteria-blooms-blue-green-algae/). The lake surface elevation was 2,560.31 feet on Thursday this week, down 2.34 feet from last week. The lake is at 30 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 good, with a lot of both fresh planters and holdover fish in the mix. The DFW has planted sections 4 and 5 in both Kern and Tulare counties for the past six weeks and those sections are on the list again this week. Best action on Panther Martins, Blue Fox spinners, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers. The Kernville stretch is the best, but trout are showing throughout the upper river. 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. In the lower river, there is pretty fair smallmouth bass action, and some catfish and carp are showing, but the flows are high enough to make fishing tougher in many areas. Flow in the upper river at Kernville were at 308 cfs on Thursday this week, up .04 feet from last week. In the lower river, the flow was 1,209 cfs, again almost identical to last week. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Much lighter fishing pressure with the heat, but the striper and catfish action has remained fair to good, especially for anglers working at it and dealing with the moss and vegetation. While there are still a lot of small, undersize stripers, a lot of the fish are over the 18-inch minimum keeper size, including some bigger fish. A few fish are showing on jerk baits or other artificial baits, but most of the action is on blood worms, lug worms, sand worms, and sardines. The catfish bite is also good on sardines, mackerel, crickets, and other cut baits and paste baits like Wussy Bait. 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: The carp bite is good on dough baits. Bluegill are also good on wax worms. A few catfish and bass are also showing for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites are both good. The ëgills are best on wax worms or other small baits. Carp are best on dough baits. The bass action is fair to good on plastics, Flukes, and Brush Hawg-type lures early and late in the day. Some bass and catfish showing early and late in the day. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: Good to excellent carp and bluegill bites, and the bass are still decent early and late in the day. The bass are best on plastic worms and Brush Hawgs. The bluegill bite is best on wax worms, red worms, or meal worms. Carp to eight pounds are reported on homemade dough baits, Triple S, or Wussy Bait.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The bluegill action is good on wax worms, meal worms, or red worms, especially near lily pads. The carp bite is also good on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait, and a few more catfish are showing. The bass action is fair to good on plastics, Senko-type baits, and topwater, mostly early and late in the day.

MING LAKE: The bluegill and carp bites are pretty good, with the best action early and late in the day. The bluegill are showing on wax worms or meal worms, and while the carp are best on Wussy Bait or homemade dough baits. The bass action is fair to good early and late in the day on plastic worms, Senkos, Brush Hawgs, and live minnows. A few catfish are also being landed on cut baits or dough baits. 

BRITE LAKE: Still fair to good trout action even though there has not been a reported trout plant since early June. The best action is along the rocks. The best bite has been on Drew’s plastics, nightcrawlers with scent added, and PowerBait. Also pretty good action on small bluegill and crappie. 

BUENA VISTA LAKES: Heat has made morning and evening the best times to fish. The carp and blugill bite are the best bets here, with some quality carp showing on dough baits, especially Triple S. The bluegill are along most brushy, grassy shoreline and hitting wax worms, meal worms, and red worms. A few, emphasis on few, crappie continue to show on small minnows. Bass are pretty good early in the morning on nightcrawlers or topwater fished near cover with some frog action in the tules. There have been a lot of catfish in the past week or two, mostly small fish, but some bigger fish on Wussy Bait. 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.


SUCCESS LAKE: The largemouth bass action is still fair to good on plastics pitched in and around heavy brush cover in deeper water. Some fish on topwater and reaction baits early and late in the day, especially chatter baits (Whopper Ploppers). Also some catfish showing for cut bait anglers or those fishing dip baits, especially Triple S. Some crappie continue to show on small jigs or minnows but this bite has really slowed down, and the bluegill is also pretty good on bluegill for anglers fishing wax worms. The lake elevation was 630.08 feet on Thursday this week, down 2.23 feet from last week. The lake is at 50 percent of capacity. Information: Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

KAWEAH LAKE: Fishing is extremely difficult with only a few suspended largemouth bass showing on reaction baits early and jigging spoons or plastics in deep water. A few catfish continue to show, but the other bites are really slow. The rapidly falling water level has just hammered the bite (data below). Very few bluegill, catfish, or crappie reported in recent days. The lake elevation was 630.08 feet on Thursday this week down another 6.14 after falling nearly 22 feet the week before and over 55 feet in the last month. The lake level is down to 20 percent capacity, down 8 percent from last week. To reserve a rental boat, call the marina at 559-597-2526. Additional fishing information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


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.


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 is again postng its trout plants again on its website at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/.

For the week of July 12-18, the following waters will be planted. They are listed by county.

Inyo: Lower Bishop Creek, Lone Pine Creek, Owens River below Tinnemaha and in Section 2. All of these waters were also planted last week, but no other waters in the county have received fish.

MONO: Crowley Lake, and section 3 of the upper Owens River. These two waters were also planted last week, but no other waters in the county have received fish.

Kern: The Kern River, sections 4 and 5, in the upper river. These same stretches were also planted each of the past six weeks. 

Tulare: Kern River, section 5, in the upper river. This stretch has been planted each of the past six weeks. Also planted, Nobe Young Creek, lower Peppermint Creek, and Stoney Creek.

There will be no plants in Southern California until at least late fall or winter because of a bacterial outbreak at Mojave Narrows Fish Hatchery that has already killed at least 75,000-plus trout of the 650,000 fish at the hatchery. No plants of fish from the hatchery will be made to make sure the disease is not spread. Two hatcheries in Inyo County also have the bacterial infection, so plants will be reduced in Inyo County while the DFW tries to combat the infection. Testing at the Fillmore Hatchery proved this site did not have the bacteria, so trout from this facility will be available to plant later in the year. Other hatcheries in the state are still in the process of being tested for the bacteria.


For the most comprehensive and up-to-date ocean fishing available, go to www.976-TUNA.com.


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.

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