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.
DFW delays Eastern Sierra trout opener
The general trout season opener has been postponed through May 30 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 by Chuck Bonham, director of the DFW, in consultation with Eric Sklar, Fish and Game Commission President. The DFW was given this authority last week by Commission order.
Waters currently open in these three counties will remain open. In 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 waters will also remain open, but with reduced bag limits. This includes the waters in Inyo County that were opened during the “early” trout season opener last month.
The annual event that Eastern Sierra locals refer to as “Fishmas” was originally scheduled for this Saturday. Earlier this month, the Mono County Board of Supervisors, along with the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the Mono County Sheriff, and the Mono County Public Health Officer sent a joint letter to Bonham, requesting postponement of the opening of trout fishing season.
“Decisions like these are never easy, and we appreciate the state’s support in addressing issues unique and specific to the Eastern Sierra. We look forward to welcoming anglers to Mono County when it is safe to do so,” said Stacy Corless, chairman of the Mono County Board of Supervisors.
Bonham said that after talking with county representative, “we agreed this was a necessary step toward being responsive to local needs in this public health emergency.”
Full details on the regulations are available at the DFW website at: https://wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.
San Bernardino County Parks set to reopen for fishing Saturday
San Bernardino County officials announced Wednesday that all its county parks would reopen on Saturday to fishing and most other recreational activities where safe distancing can be practiced. This includes Mojave Narrows Regional Park, which will reopen to fishing and hiking only, Glen Helen, also for fishing and hiking, and Lake Gregory’s parking lots will also reopen for fishermen. Most parks restroom facilities may not be open initially as staffing can accommodate.
“Like other local governments, we are carefully following the rules mandated by the state to help limit the spread of coronavirus, and we are closely following the governor’s timeline for relaxing some of our social distancing requirements,” said Curt Hagman, Board of Supervisors Chairman. “However, there are policies we as a County can control, and so we’re pleased to make this announcement.”
The county’s announcement said, “Recreating outside not only provides a pleasurable change of pace, but it also offers notable health benefits.”
Fishermen and other recreational users should continue to avoid gathering in groups, and to maintain the use of face masks. The use of picnic tables and playgrounds, along with participation in team sports or other similar gatherings, continue to be prohibited.
The announcement emphasized that “members of one household engaging in open space is allowable, but two households means you have a gathering, which is not allowed. Camping and outdoor parties are also not allowed.”
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.
JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. While there are a lot of anglers at Lake Isabella, the crappie and catfish bite have been excellent over the past week or more. The crappie have been best on small minnows in the South Form arm of the lake and fish in the two-plus pound range are being reported again. Catfish to 15-plus pounds and nice stringers of three to five pounders are being reported. Frozen shad has been best if you can find it, but other cut baits are also getting fish. 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 stretch, keeps getting better and better. 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 catfish and striper bites are good. Stripers and catfish have been best on sardines or shad with scent. 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. Big Bear Lake’s trout bite stays in the top picks. Lots of holdover rainbows from 1½ to three pounds, along with a few bigger fish. While float tubes and boats are not allowed on the lake (and likely won’t for some time), the shore bite is best on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and small trout jigs and plastics. From the dam to the Observatory along the north shore has been best. While Big Bear Sporting Goods is currently closed, anglers can get updates on Facebook from the Big Bear Lake Fishing group.
HIGH DESERT WATERS
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: The facility will reopen Saturday to fishing and hiking only. Everyone is asked to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing in line with 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. Few reports, but the carp and panfish bites are starting to take off and the odd trout is still being landed from the plant last month. Dough baits have been the best bet for the carp, and the meal worms or wax worms have been best for the bluegill. 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: Excellent trout action with a lot of quality rainbows and Lightning trout. Limits have been common because of 16,000 of trout were planted while the lake was closed. A lot of the bigger fish are concentrating where the Little Rock water enters the lake. Trolling, casting small jigs and swimbaits, and green pumpkin and rainbow garlic PowerBait. Willie Mays, Palmdale, landed a 7-8 Lightning Trout on a black Jerkit bait. Catfish also pretty good on nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs, and the largemouth bite is excellent with the fish on beds. The lake is only open to members (no guests). For more information, or information on membership, call 661-947-2884 or e-mail email@example.com.
QUAIL LAKE: Fishing has been shut down as security staff and the California Highway Patrol are enforcing all access closures. 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 catfish bite continues to be very good throughout the aqueduct this week, east and west. The fish are best on frozen shad or other cut baits with a lot of quality fish from five to 15 pounds. Fish to six pounds common. Stripers are nearly as good with a lot of fish to four pounds on sardines fished along the bottom or early and late in the day on Rat-L-Traps or jerkbaits. There has also been a pretty decent largemouth bass bite for anglers throwing topwater baits over the tops of moss and weed beds where the bass are spawning, especially Jerkit baits in smoke. The weirs and siphons are the top spots for all species. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Open. The bluegill and carp bites are improving with the warm weather. The bluegill are small, hand-sized fish on nightcrawlers. The carp are also small and showing on dough baits. No bass or catfish reports.
LITTLEROCK 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 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 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. The stripers reported in the past week 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Lake elevation was 3,348.25 feet as of Wednesday this week, up .75 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. Little change with the trout bite pretty fair with nice quality fish from 1-8 to two pounds. Catches of one to four fish for a morning or afternoon of fishing has been pretty common. The best action has been at the dam and all along the north shoreline on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent, MiceTails, and small spoons. The bass bite is still mostly tough, but a few largemouth and smallmouth are being caught each week. 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 will reopen to fishing and hiking this Saturday, with the parking lots open again. While the restroom facilities and group recreation areas will remain closed, it is open to fishing with proper social distancing. 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 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, however, the marina remains 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). Winds have closed the lake to boats late this week, however. 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. Shore anglers are getting a good numbers of stripers and smallmouth bass adjacent to the west launch ramp. Cut sardines for the stripers, and drop-shot nightcrawlers for the smallmouth. Boat anglers are seeing a good bite in deep water with bait for the stripers, with some on trolled umbrella rigs. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are both good on plastics with the fish moving shallow for the spawn. A fair number of trout are showing around the main launch ramp and out to the point on PowerBait, small jigs, or Mice Tail-type baits, but this bite has slowed. 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 1,502.44 feet on Wednesday this week, down 2.17 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 until at least April 30. Technically, because it is a developed facility on U.S. Forest Service land, it is closed to the public under a Forest Service order. The lake’s surface elevation was 2,576.73 feet on Wednesday this week, up 1.80 feet from last week. The lake is 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, 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.
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.
CLOSURE UPDATES: Kern County and city parks remain open but anglers should follow distancing guidelines. Some parking areas may be closed.
LAKE ISABELLA: Between the good fishing, the excellent weather, and the lake being one of just a handful of waters open because of COVID-19 closures, Isabella is crowded with anglers. But the good news is that social distancing has been excellent, but the number of anglers is stressing bait supply. On Thursday, Clay Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield, said there wasn’t a nightcrawler available in town. He said anglers were coming from all over the state to fish Isabella. “I sold 2,000 small minnows in three days, and that should have last me a week, even during a good crappie bite.” Crappie have been the big attraction with good action in the South Fork Arm of the lake for both shore and anglers fishing from boats or float tubes in structure. There are also fish showing at Camp 9 and around Red’s Marina. Most are three-quarters of a pound to a pound, but there are also fish to two pounds showing. The catfish bite is also good, mostly on frozen shad (which is just about impossible to find now) 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 now for the spawn. Best bite has been on plastics, jigs, and swimbaits. No recent reported DFW plants, but a few trout have been reported by crappie anglers fishing small jigs. Anglers going here 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 2,563.92 feet on Wednesday, up .57 feet from last week. 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 planted the upper river spots on Friday last week, and the bite has been fair to good with a lot holdover fish along with the new plants. 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 with the warmer weather and fishing flows remain excellent. Upper river flows were 910 cfs on Wednesday, and they were 678 cfs in the lower river. 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: The striper action has remained very good with a ton of small fish from eight to 10 inches and then a lot of keepers over the 18-inch minimum size, including a number of fish from 12 to 25 pounds in the past week. Angling pressure has really ramped up with warmer weather. The fish are showing on jerk baits, blood worms, and sardines (if you can find them). The catfish bite has improved on 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 here for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Open. The bass action is fair to good and the warm weather has fish all over the shallows. Plastics and Flukes are the best bets. Lots of fish on beds. The bluegill bite has also taken off with good action on wax worms or other small baits. Very few trout reported. Last plant over a month ago. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: Open. Good bass and bluegill bites. The warm weather has the bass flooding into the shallows and on beds. The best action has been on plastic worms and Brush Hawgs. The bluegill bite is best on wax worms and meal worms. Carp are also beginning to show in much better numbers on dough baits.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Open. The bass action is good with the stacking up 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 good with the warmer weather heating up the shallows quickly. Best baits are wax worms, meal worms, or red worms. The carp bite is improving on dough baits, and a few more catfish are being reported.
MING LAKE: Open. The bass action is excellent with the fish all over the shallows and on beds. Plastic worms, Senkos, Brush Hawgs, and live minnows have been the top baits. More and more bluegill are showing and the bite is good now on wax worms or meal worms.
BRITE LAKE: Closed last week. Tournaments have been cancelled. No news on DFW plants.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: This park remains open to fishing. The bass have broken open with the show moving into the shallows for the spawn in showing on plastics and Senkos along the tules. The crappie are fair on fish to a pound or so showing on live minnows and small jigs. Catches of 10 to 12 have been common. Only a few catfish or trout 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 closed, making fishing access difficult, but the lake is still technically open to fishing. Few reports again this week, but the bass bite has been good on plastics and reaction baits for the anglers walking in. The lake elevation as of Wednesday this week was 623.65 feet, up 3.05 feet from last week. The lake is at 40 percent of capacity. 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. Few fishing reports, but there have been some largemouth bass reports on plastics. No other reports. Lake elevation as of Wednesday this week was 647.15 feet, up 7.15 feet from last week. The lake is at 36 percent of capacity. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.
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 opens 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.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has continued not to post 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 email@example.com and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.