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.

COVID-19 UPDATES

Anglers can continue to expect restrictions at certain city, county, and state facilities. If at all possible, anglers 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. 

With few other recreational activities available, open waters are mobbed with anglers and recreational users, and many facilities close to boat launching on weekends because maximum lake quotas are filled by early morning.

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The Kern River trout bite remains excellent and this spot just continues to be the top spot in the region. It was also planted again this week by the DFW. Be forewarned. It will be mobbed this holiday weekend. Many anglers are still reporting on pan-sized trout throughout the upper river above Kernville on salmon eggs, small spinners, and MiceTails bounced on the bottom. 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. The entire California Aqueduct remains in the top picks for both stripers and catfish. The Antelope Valley stretch has all the fish keying on the huge schools of shad, and fresh-dipped shad are the candy bait for both stripers and catfsh here. The San Joaquin Valley stretch is good for stipers on lug or blood worms with a few on topwater. Catfish have been good on most cut baits, especially when fished in combination with nightcrawlers and scent. Most of the action is pre-dawn and at night in both areas. The day bite is much tougher. For an update on this action, check with Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657 for the San Joaquin stretch, and Amaysing Fishing in Palmdale for the Antelope Valley at 661-429-5824.

3. The Quail Lake striped bass bite has been very good, although the lake remains crowded. Stripers are showing in very good numbers with some boiling fish at dusk, through the night, and again at dawn. During those times, the topwater and rip baits are working. But most of the action has been on cut baits, especially frozen shad and the chicken liver or shrimp-nightcrawler combos. Those same baits are also working for the catfish in a good bite. The limit on stripers here is 10 fish and there is no minimum size. For an update on this action, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

HIGH DESERT WATERS

VICTORVILLE REGION

HESPERIA LAKE: Fair to good catfish action with only a few five-fish limits reported. Most of the cats are from 1 Ω to 2 Ω pounds, and many stringers have two to four fish that size. Plants are every week this month. 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: No report. 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 but the last plants of the season are this week with a final 740-pound plant. 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. The lake is closed Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Information, call 760-245-2226.

HIGH DESERT WATERS

ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION

APOLLO PARK LAKE: This continues to be a great place to catch fish, especially for the kids. There is very good action on small bluegill, warmouth, and even small catfish. Some of the cats have been from two to five pounds, but mostly smaller fish. Carp are very good but most are small with a few bigger carp showing on bigger dough baits the little guys can’t eat. The carp can range from six-inches long up to four or five pounds. The bluegill and warmouth are mostly less than six-inches long, but the bite is excellent on meal worms, red worms, or nightcrawler pieces fished under a bobber close to shore or any structure. 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: Night catfishing this Friday and Saturday. Shrimp and stink baits are the best bet in a good bite. The stink baits are fished in sponge rigs. The blacktop peninsula and Docks 25 and 26 have been hot spots in deeper water. The weeds are pretty thick, so flying the baits has been the best bet so the bait settles on the top layer of the weeds where the catfish can root it out. The largemouth bass are fair and showing early and late in the day all around lake and at all the docks and aggressively chasing baitfish on top. Spinnerbaits and chatter baits with the skirts doused with scent and nightcrawlers or plastics have been the best baits fishing over the tops of the weeds. The bluegill bite is fair off any of the docks on fly-lined nightcrawlers with a lot of hand-sized and bigger fish, especially at the main launch ramp. Pretty good carp action for those targeting the carp with dough baits. 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: Good action continues here, and the crowds remain. The parking lot has been full on weekends, especially early and late in the day and at night. The bite has been very good on both stripers and catfish, with a lot of bluegill and largemouth showing for anglers targeting them. Top baits have been the chicken liver-nightcrawler combo, frozen shad, sardines, anchovies, or lug worms for both stripers and catfish. Stripers are also boiling so topwater is also working. They are running up to seven pounds or better, but most are still two to three pounds. The catfish are mostly three to six pounds. The bluegill have been best on nightcrawler pieces along the south shore. The largemouth bass are also showing on topwater, but spinnerbaits and jigs fished in and along the tules have been the best baits. The bluegill are hot with nightcrawlers fished under floats. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): When you find big schools of shad, the fishing will be good if you can dip net some shad. Without the candy bait, the action is tough. Both the stripers and catfish are keying on the shad and the bite has been almost exclusively on dipped fresh shad, with a few on the chicken liver-nightcrawler combo. Find the shad fish are biting. Most three to five pounds of both species, but catfish to 17 pounds were reported. Top spots continue to be the weirs, bridges, and bends. But those are the best places to fish for all species. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824. 

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): The bluegill bite is very good, and a few bass are showing on chartreuse spinnerbaits. The carp are also still pretty good on dough baits. The bluegill are small but the action on nightcrawler pieces fly-lined or fished under a bobber is wide open. The carp bite are best on dough baits. Most or small fish under three pounds, but they are showing in good numbers. 

LITTLEROCK RESERVOIR: The action has been good with anglers reporting mixed catches of bass, catfish, and bluegill. Nightcrawlers have been getting all three species. The bass are running up to four-plus pounds, and a five-pound catfish was reported. Most of the bluegill are hand-sized. The U.S. Forest Service’s dam area closure has been lifted, but the area beyond the entrance gate remains closed to motorized recreation.  No cars, no motorcycles, no OHV of any sort are allowed past the gate. This  means only walk-in anglers can fish the lake, but anglers not parking legally below the dam will be cited. The roadway may not be blocked at all and parking can only take place in pullouts, not shoulders. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): Continued fair to good action on small goldfish and bluegill. Best action has been mornings and evenings on meal worms, red worms, or wax worms for the bluegill. The goldfish have been best on small dough baits. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAIN WATERS

SILVERWOOD: Fair to good action for stripers. The fish are showing around much of the lake and a few limits have been reported. Most of the action is on sardines, anchovies, or chicken liver-nightcrawler combo for bait anglers. Trolled umbrella rigs or shad-like spoons and lures fished in deeper water in the main channel are also producing. The fish are running up to six pounds, but most two to three. The catfish bite is also pretty fair on the same baits in Miller Canyon and at the dam. Bluegill are fair to good, also in Miller Canyon and the coves off the main channel, on meal worms or wax worms. A few largemouth bass are showing in Cleghorn and off points in the main channel, mostly on plastics with some jerkbait fish early. Trout have been very slow. Lake elevation was 3,348.85 feet on Thursday this week, up 1.24 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 has been slow to fair, but the evening catfish bite and the largemouth bass bite has been fair. For trout, only a few fish showing for troll anglers fishing the Trout Triangle, but some of the fish being caught are nice quality rainbows in the two-pound class. Only a handful of trout have been reported by shore anglers, mostly from deeper water off the north shore from the dam to Grout Bay. The best action has been on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent fish with a water-filled fishing float that sinks slowly and settles on top of the weed beds so the floating baits stay visible to the fish. The bass bite is fair on topwater baits most mornings and evenings. Nightcrawlers and plastics are also good bets, with some smallmouth in this bite. Catfish are best evenings and at night and most anglers are reporting using hotdogs. A warning for a harmful algal bloom (HAB) has been issued for the shoreline water in the Mallard Lagoon, Kidd Cove, and the west side of Stanfield Cutoff. Contact with the algae and water in these areas should be avoided. For more information go to this direct link: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/press_room/press_releases/2020/pr08202020_big_bear_lake_habs.pdf. 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: Very 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 reports. No plants have been made 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.

INTERSTATE 5 LAKES

CASTAIC: After being closed for nearly two weeks so lake facilities could be used by fire crews fighting the Lake Fire, Castaic opened back up this weekend to private boat and shore fishing-only. No word on when rental boats would be out again, but it should be soon. The action has been pretty good for largemouth, smallmouth, and striped bass since the reopen, and the catfish action is good. The black bass have been good on reaction baits mimicking shad, throughout the lake’s coves and points. The stripers have been on the boil at the end of the ski arm and at the buoy line, and shad like baits thrown in the boils has been the ticket. Some deep-water bait fish at the buoy line, too. Catfish have been best on sardines and anchovies in most coves. Some bluegill and trout continue to show, with very good bluegill in the afterbay early and late in the day on small baits like meal worms and wax worms. The trout are best at the west ramp, mostly on PowerBait in deeper waters. The lake’s surface elevation was 1,501.77 feet on Thursday this week, down, .67 feet from last week. The lake is at 91 percent full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700. 

PYRAMID: The striped bass boils have slowed down during the day as we moved into the full moon phase. There have still been some boils early in the morning in the yellowbar area and topwater and rip  baits are working then. The most consistent bite has been for trollers working umbrella rigs or fishing bait like lug worms, anchovies, or mackeral in the canal along the rip rap. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are both pretty good and 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. 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 fair to good catfish bite around the docks, but fish are showing from deep water all over the lake on sardines, anchovies, nightcrawlers, and dip baits in deeper coves. No trout reports. The lake elevation was 2,575.52 feet on Thursday this week, down up .35 feet from last week. The lake is 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 call: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155, the boat shop at 661-294-9403, or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

COLORADO RIVER

ARIZONA FISHING REPORTS: The Arizona Game and Fish Department compiles a weekly report for most waters in the state, including the Colorado Rivers. Anglers can read the report at this direct link: http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/FishingReport/.

FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this web site with information updated hourly: www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.

WESTERN SIERRA

LAKE ISABELLA: Continued good catfish action with the best bite at night on fish from two to five pounds with some fish up into the double digits. The cats are showing mostly on frozen shad, clams, other cut baits, and a variety of stink baits with Triple S the most popular. The crappie bite has slowed to near-nothing, but just the odd fish still showing from deep water off Rocky Point and Camp 9 on live minnows. The few anglers with permission to fish off boat docks are doing pretty good. 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. Trout have slowed down with only a few fish showing in deep water for trollers working the dam areas. Carp fishing is also fair on any of the shallow flats on dough baits early in the morning. The warning to avoid contact with algae blooms is ongoing. The warning was issued early this summer 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 3,548.49 feet on Thursday this week, down .90 feet from last week. The lake is at 18 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: Trout action continues pretty good. The DFW planted sections 4 and 5 in Kern and Tulare counties. Many anglers are reporting limits throughout the upper river on Panther Martins, Blue Fox spinners, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers. Fly-fishing action is fair to good on the upper river from Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge and above with some dry-fly action most evenings. In the lower river, there is pretty fair smallmouth bass action, and some catfish and carp are showing. The flows are very low in both the upper and lower river. The upper river at Kernville was at 173 cfs on Thursday this week. In the lower river, the flow was 428 cfs. 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 picked back up and the catfish bite remains good. The best action is at night or early and late in the day. The Triple S Bait has been best for the cats, but some are showing on a wide variety of cut baits and dough baits. Stripers have perked back up with a few fish on jerk baits or other artificial baits, but most of the action is on blood worms, lug worms, sand worms, and sardines. Carp are fair to good on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait. Some largemouth showing around the weeds on Senko-type 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: The best action has been for bluegill with a fair to good bite early and late in the day on red worms and meal worms. The carp bite is fair on dough baits. A few catfish and bass are also showing, but that bite is tougher.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Summer doldrums and not much change in action. The bluegill are fair to good on red worms, meal worms, or wax worms. Carp are fair on dough baits. The bass action is slow to fair on plastics, Flukes, and Brush Hawg-type lures early and late in the day. Some catfish also showing early and late in the day on cut baits. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: Summer dog days with the same acton. The bluegill bite is good on wax worms, red worms, or meal worms. Carp are fish on homemade dough baits, Triple S, or Wussy Bait. The bass action is fair on plastics, Senko-type baits, and topwater, mostly early and late in the day around heavy cover.

TRUXTUN LAKE: Little change here with good bluegill action on wax worms, meal worms, or red worms, especially near lily pads and other cover. The carp bite is also good on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait, and a few more catfish are showing. Bass are tough, but some are showing on drop-shot plastics, Creature baits, and topwater early and late in the day.

MING LAKE: Continued good bluegill and fair carp 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 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: The best action has been on panfish, both bluegill and crappie, with most of the fish small, but the odd trout is still being reported, along with a few catfish and bass. The crappie and bluegill are best on small jigs tipped with meal worms or Crappie Nibbles, especially black and yellow jigs, with some float tube anglers reported hefty stringers.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: Morning and evening are still the best times to fish. The best action has been on small catfish, while the carp, crappie, and bluegill bites are fair. There is also a decent early morning or evening bass bite for anglers fishing the tules. The catfish have been best on dip baits or sardines, while the carp are showing on dough baits, especially Triple S. The bluegill and crappie are along most brushy, grassy shoreline and hitting meal worms and red worms, either on jigs or not. A few bass early in the morning on nightcrawlers or topwater fished near cover with some frog action in the tules. 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: As the water continues to fall, the fishing is pretty slow. Overall, the cats are still fair on cutbaits and blood worms. A few bass are showing on topwater and reaction baits early and late in the day, on dropshot plastics after the topwater flurry. A few bluegill are still fair on meal worms or red worms. Other species have slowed way down. The lake elevation was 591.83 feet on Thursday this week, down .97 feet from last week. The lake is at 10 percent capacity. Information: Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

KAWEAH LAKE: Water level continues to plummet and fishing remains 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. Very few bluegill, catfish, or crappie reported in recent days. The lake elevation was 588.49 feet on Thursday this week, down 2.41 feet from last week. The lake is now 7 percent capacity. To reserve a rental boat, call the marina at 559-597-2526. Additional fishing information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.

EASTERN SIERRA

Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: www.KensSport.com (Bridgeport region), www.TheTroutFly.com (Mammoth Lakes region), and www.SierraDrifters.com (Bishop and Mammoth Lakes region).

TROUT PLANTS

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is again posting its trout plants again on its website at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/.

For the week of August 30-Sept. 5, the following waters will be planted. They are listed by county.

Inyo: Middle For Bishop Creek, Lake Sabrina, South Lake. 

Kern-Tulare: Kern River (sections 4 and 5).

There will be few plants in Southern California and reduced plants in the Eastern Sierra until at least late fall or winter because of a bacterial outbreak at Mojave Narrows Fish Hatchery, Black Rock Hatchery, and Fish Springs Hatchery. The DFW has decided to destroy the 3.2 million trout at these three facilities to prevent the spread of the bacteria. The loss will impact trout plants in Southern California and the Eastern Sierra well into 2021. 

OCEAN FISHING REPORT

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

YOUR FISHING REPORTS

Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at odwriter@verizon.net and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.

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