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.


1. The Kern River’s trout action above Lake Isabella moves into the top spot this week. The action is very good to excellent. The water flows are finally down to fish fishable levels and an entire summer’s trout plants have been stockpiled in the bigger pools and riffles. Add in DFW plants again this week and last week, and the upper river is jugged with rainbows. One-hour limits have been common this week on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and SuperDupers. The park in Kernville has been a hot spot, but trout are showing in all the regular stocking areas in good numbers. For an update on this bite, call Bob’s Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657.

2. The California Aqueduct stays in the top picks. The bite remains very good for catfish and stripers. The action is best at night or early morning and late evening in both the Antelope Valley and the southern San Joaquin valley stretches. The best bite throughout for catfish has been on lug or blood worms fished alone or mixed with chicken liver or other cut bait and drifted along the bottom, especially in areas where the flow is constricted, interrupted, or bends. Adding a scent also increases the number of bites. Cats to 10 pounds reported in both stretches. For the stripers, there are flurries of surface action most mornings with topwater baits or small reaction baits getting fish. For updates on this bite, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 for the Palmdale to Hesperia stretch and Bob’s Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657 for the Taft region.

3. The striped bass bite in Quail Lake remains in the top picks with continued very good early morning topwater action much of the past week. Anglers are hurling topwater plugs as the fish chase shad at dawn. While most of the shad are smaller (up to three inches), bigger Pencil Poppers or Whopper Ploppers are getting stripers to 10 pounds in this bite. Most of the fish are along the south shoreline (along Highway 138). For an update on this action, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.



HESPERIA LAKE: The catfish bite remains good with weekly plants. A few limits and quite a few fish to four pounds with most 1 Ω to two pounds. Top baits have been mackerel, nightcrawlers, or shrimp doused or sprayed with scent, and the best spots have been the north shore, The Finger, and Sandy Point. Big fish of the week was a seven-pounder landed by Shaun Merenda, Hesperia, on mackerel off the north shore. Tavin Orendorff, Hesperia, landed a 3-8 cat on chicken liver off The Finger. Gary Moore, Apple Valley, had a five-fish limit using garlic nightcrawlers at the drain. Lake information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout bite has been very slow on both lakes, but a few are being caught off the northern shore of lake 2 and the grassy point and eastern logged shore of lake 3. A few bass are being caught on the north and western shores of lake 2 and the western shore of lake 3 near the pump house, mostly early and late in the day on reaction baits, but some on plastics. Bluegill are pretty fair off the northern and western shores of lake 2 on meal worms and nightcrawlers. Catfish have been caught on the northern shore of lake 2 on shrimp and night crawlers in a slow to fair bite. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com

MOJAVE NARROWS: No reports. The park is only open Thursday through Monday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Information, call 760-245-2226.



APOLLO PARK LAKE: Still very steady action on carp and panfish. The carp are best on dough baits with raisins, and the fish are running from eight inches to 10 pounds with a lot of two to four pounders. The bluegill and warmouth bite is still excellent, but these are mostly small fish (less than hand-sized). Any small bait under a bobber in working. Few catfish reported this past week. For more information or updates on plants, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): There was a DFW trout plant two weeks ago and a fair number of fish continue to be caught along with the odd limit. PowerBait, small jigs, and flies have all been getting the cruising fish. There continues to be a good bite on small bluegill on any small bait suspended under a bobber fished near the weeds. Keep the hook size 14 or smaller for the ëgills. Also a number of small bullhead have been reported. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE: There also continues to be a good bite for catfish for anglers fishing fly-lined cut baits best with a lot of one to three-pounders, but also some holdover and wild fish to 10 pounds. The best action has been on big chunks of mackerel or mussels fishing with a nightcrawler sweetener and fish attractant. Suspending a bait under a bobber so it sits on top of the weeds or fly-lining out gets the same result. Catfish alley, the inlet, or the deep water near the entrance are the best places, but fish have been reported around much of the lake this week. The largemouth bass have been fair to good on nightcrawlers pitched into holes in the weed beds around all of the docks. But anglers fishing just about any weedless lures ñ swimbaits to plastics ñ are also getting fish around much of the lake, especially early and late in the day. There is still a pretty good bluegill bite where the water is flowing into the lake, just so-so fishing outside that honey hole. The carp are good, especially at the back end of the lake. The best bite has been on dough baits with fish over 20 pounds still pretty common. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or go to website at www.palmdalefinandfeatherclub.com.

QUAIL LAKE: The lake level has been up and down, but there are still lots of early morning boils. The striper bite has continued good to excellent early mornings this past week with a lot of fish from four to 10 pounds reported. The fish are on top feeding on small shad (to three-inches long) from about 3:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on the Highway 138 side of the lake. The bigger stripers are showing on bigger baits, especially Zara Spooks and Whopper Ploppers. The largemouth slowed some, but some from one to three pounds showing in the striper boils or on nightcrawlers. The catfish bite also remains pretty good for anglers are drifting frozen shad under a slip bobber set so the bait runs six to 15 feet, or big hunks of mackerel with no weight fly-lined at the outlet. Night and early and late in the day have been the best times to fish for the cats. The bluegill bite remains fair along areas with good rocky cover on red worms, wax worms, meal worms, crickets, and nightcrawler pieces fished under a bobber. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): The striper and catfish bites continue very good along most of the aqueduct. The striper action surged this week with a lot of quality fish reported in addition to good numbers. Top was a 17 pounder. The best striper action has been the 47th East to Cheseboro stretch. The catfish are also showing in this same area along with most of the bends and road crossings, weirs and siphons, throughout the Antelope Valley. Best catfish baits have been chicken liver or mussels, both with nightcrawlers used in combination. The striper bite has been good on topwater plugs, especially big Zara Spooks (bone colored) and Whopper Ploppers in black (or Loon). Anglers will to walk some distance from the popular road crossings to isolated spots are getting more fish. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): There continues to be a good bluegill bite with most small, but some up to hand-sized. The carp are also very good. The bluegill are being caught on the usual array of small baits with red worms or nightcrawler pieces perhaps the best. The carp are best on dough baits. A few catfish reported again this week.

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.


SILVERWOOD: Fair to good fishing action for stripers and catfish, but the largemouth, bluegill, and crappie are slow. The cats are been best at the dam, around the marina, off the docks, and in Miller Canyon, with chicken liver, shrimp, and anchovies. The stripers are fair for anglers fishing nightcrawlers, blood worms, anchovies, or sardines at the dam, main channel, and the marina. Most are one to 1½ pounds, but a few bigger. Michael Azpeitia, 12, Upland, landed three stripers, including a 4-8 fish, all on anchovies at the spillway. Silverwood remains high at 92 percent full. The algae bloom problems are subsiding. 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 fall trout fishing has been improving for both trollers and bank anglers as the weather and water continues to cool There are smaller schools of trout scattered from the West Public Launch west to the Buoy Line. Shore anglers fishing the north shore with Carolina rigs and three to four-foot leaders or a sinking slip bobber rig, either baited with PowerBait or nightcrawlers from the red and east to Gray’s Landing are doing the best. The pre-dawn bank crowd is doing good from the old dam to the buoy line on Mice Tails in bubblegum and red head-chartreuse tail colors or nightcrawlers. Both the north and south shores are good, but the bite is dead by 9 a.m. Boat anglers trolling or drifting are having good luck dead center of the lake from the buoy line to Papoo0se Bay fishing 10 to 20 feet of water, either drifting a nightcrawler with a wedding ring harness or slow-trolling a Neelefish in pearl bikini or the shiny watermelon colors. The Trout Alley area has been slower. Largemouth bass are starting to move inshore and feeding more heavily on reaction baits and plastics. The 15th Annual Western Outdoor News ìBig Bear Lake Troutfestî will be October 5-6, and there will be heavy planting before the event. All the lakes’ public and private launch ramps are open. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

GREGORY LAKE: DFW trout plant last week, and there was also a state plant three weeks ago. No fishing report available. Lake and fishing 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 DFW planted 200 pounds of rainbows two weeks ago, and the most recent Jess Ranch plant was three weeks ago. Fishing season is winding down with light pressure and spotty fishing. A few fish showing on small trout jigs, Mice Tails, trout spoons, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic, and PowerBait in yellow or chartreuse are the best baits. Cooler evenings and dropping water temperatures have the fish spread around the lake again. The website is www.gvlfishing.com and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.


CASTAIC: The striper boils have been hit and miss the past week with most of the action right after the sun hits the water and the late in the evening. When anglers are able to get some casts into the boils, they have been having some success. Top water, reaction baits, and flukes all have been working. The anglers who are downsizing their lures and baits to match the size of the shad have been having the best luck. The stripers are still biting cut bait and worms down in deeper water, and guys working these baits on a fly-line have been having the most success. Most catches have been off main points and steep drop offs. The largemouth and smallmouth bite has also been off and on. The fish seem to be keyed on the shad, and shad imitation baits are working best. During the middle part of the day, drop-shot plastics are working pretty well. A sure bet for stripers or the black bass has been to dip-net some live shad. Cooling weather has more catfish showing up in the bag, mostly on cut baits or garlic scented worms. The bluegill and crappie bite still remains good, with good numbers to report this past week. They’ve been biting meal worms and wax worms, with red worms and pieces of nightcrawlers also doing the trick. Few trout reported. The lake’s elevation is pretty stable, with Castaic 89 percent full, up about one percent from last week. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700. 

PYRAMID: The stripers continue to boil most mornings, especially around Chumash Island, Bear Trip, Serrano, and Yellowbar. Topwater baits, spoons, or Fluke-type baits are all getting fish when fished through the boils. During the day, trolled umbrella rigs with shad-like baits. Jigging spoons or sardines, anchovies, blood or lug worms, and even nightcrawlers are get the deep (100 feet!) bait or jigged fish. Most stripers two to three pounds with some bigger, and limits have been pretty common. The largemouth and smallmouth bass bites have been good in most coves on soft plastic worms or drop-shot nightcrawlers during the day, with boiling fish on bait balls in the mornings. Flukes and Senkos (rigged weedless) are best on the boiling fish. Most are 1-8 to 3-0. A fair number of catfish are also showing on cut baits, especially blood, lug, and sand worms, but frozen sardines, anchovies, and shad are nearly as good, especially when scent is added. The fish are deep in most coves, and the channel along the entrance booth is still a hot spot along with the ramp. Jonathan Bonilla, Van Nuys, landed an eight-plus pound channel cat on sardines. The bluegill bite is still fair to good along the shoreline structure on meal worm, wax worms, red worms, and crickets. Amazingly, a few trout continue to show from deeper water in the channel near the front of the lake. Nightcrawlers and PowerBait fished in deep water with long leaders has been the ticket, with some showing in the marina area on spinners. The lake’s level is not changing much. It remains at 92 percent full this week, the same as last week. 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. Information: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155 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.


LAKE ISABELLA: The very good catfish bite continues here, but there is light fishing pressure. The action has been very good early in the morning and again after dark in the evening. Top baits have been the Triple S dip bait, with some fish also on clams, shad, sardines, chicken liver, all used with scent added. Lots of fish from three to six pounds and some bigger. Quite a few crappie continue to show for the dedicated crappie anglers, and there were a number of limits reported in Paradise Cove for anglers fishing small jigs or live minnows. The south shore in the Mesa Verde area has also been pretty good for the crappie. Still fair largemouth bass action, especially early and late in the way when the fish are up chasing bait. The lake level continues to drop with it down to 36 percent full this week, down from 39 percent full last week. Few trout or carp reports, but the bluegill bite has been slow to fair most coves with mostly small fish 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 trout bite is very good, and the DFW added planted in sections 4 and 5 of the upper river this week. There were also plants in section 3, 4, and 6 last week. But a lot of limits of holdover planters are being caught on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, Blue Fox spinners, SuperDupers. The park area in Kernville has been good. Flows in the upper river have dropped come up slightly from the 490 cfs flows last week to 540 cfs this week. These flows are ideal for fishermen, concentrating the fish in the big pools and riffles. Also improved fly action on the upper river and above the Johnsondale Bridge. Some bigger trout moving up out of Lake Isabella into the cooler water of the river, and the old Cemetery area has been best for these rainbows. Lower river flows were pretty stable but down just a little over the past week at about 1,400 cfs. This is a more fishable level but pretty high. Just a few reports of bass and catfish in the bigger pools. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: There continues to be a fair to good bite on catfish when using cut baits and dip baits, especially in the Highway 166 area. More and more are showing in other areas as the weather and water cools. Lots of fish on Triple S dip bait, mackerel, blood or lug worms, or chicken liver fished along the bottom. The fair to good bite on small stripers continues, with a lot of 15 to 17 inchers caught, but still few over the 18-inch minimum keeper size. The best bite has been on blood and sand worms, with a few fish on Flukes. Moss is starting to subside a little. There have also been a lot of schools of smaller largemouth bass moving and taking reaction baits in the past few weeks. 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: Few anglers, but the carp and bluegill bites are both fair, and the catfish action is spotty. Carp have been best on best on Wussy Bait and Powder Bait, while the catfish are showing on nightcrawlers or past baits. The bluegill are showing on crickets and wax worms. Still some bass showing, mostly early and late. In fact, all the bites are best early and late.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites are fair to good most mornings and evenings, and a few bass are being caught early mornings on Senko-type baits, jigs, and crankbaits. The carp bite is best on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait and Powder Bait. The bluegill are best on wax worms or red worms. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: Very light fishing pressure, but the carp and bluegill bites remain fair to good, but few anglers are fishing with the fair in town. The bass are still fair and they are showing on plastics, jigs, and reaction baits early and late in the day. The bluegill are best on wax and meal worms or red worms. The carp are best on Powder Bait, Wussy Bait, or other dough baits. A few smaller catfish are being reported on cut baits or paste baits, and some bass are showing on drop-shot plastics or cranks early and late in the day.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites are both fair to good, especially morning and evening, but darn few anglers are out. The bass remain fair with a few on plastics or swimbaits early in the morning. The carp are best on Wussy Bait, Powder Bait, or a variety of homemade dough baits. The bluegill are showing in fair numbers on wax worms, red worms, crickets, and meal worms. The odd catfish is showing on Triple S Dip Bait.

MING LAKE: Continued good carp action on Powder Bait and other dough baits, especially Wussy Bait. The bluegill are fair to good early and late in the day on meal, wax, or red worms. The bass are fair on topwater early and then on live minnows and reaction baits, small cranks, and Senkos. 

BRITE LAKE: There has continued to be a pretty fair bite on small bluegill, and lots of small largemouth around the weeds. Still a few holdover trout showing from deep water. 

BUENA VISTA LAKES: Light fishing pressure, but there is a fair bluegill bite. The catfish are slowish on cut baits with scents added, but the Triple S dip bait has been best. Early in the morning and late in the evening is best for the cats. For the bluegill, wax worms, meal worms, red worms, or nightcrawlers pieces have all be good bets, with some on tiny jigs, especially if tipped with bait. The carp action is fair to good with fish to eight pounds. The best bite has been on Powder Bait or other dough baits. Some morning largemouth action, and still the occasional crappie showing. Fishing 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.


SUCCESS LAKE: Dropping water levels have scattered the fish or moved the bass out to suspend. The bass action remains fair on reaction baits and Senkos, with some good surface action on frogs and topwater plugs early. Few crappie reports, but the bluegill action is fair on crickets, wax worms, or meal worms, but finding fish has been the challenge. Catfish are fair on cut baits. The lake level continues to fall steadily, dropping to just 16 percent this week, down from 22 percent full two weeks ago, and 41 percent full a month ago. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

KAWEAH LAKE: The lake level continues to come down with the level at just nine percent full again this week. This is about as low as it gets. The bite is improving as the water level stabilizes, with pretty fair bass action on surface baits, reaction baits, and small swimbaits early mornings on or near the surface. A few bluegill and catfish also staring to show in better numbers. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


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).


For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW’s stocking page at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/.

This week’s trout plants: In Kern and Tulare counties, sections four and five of the Kern River are slated to be planted. In Inyo County, Baker Creek, Big Pine Creek, Lower Bishop Creek, Lone Pine Creek, the Owens River in the Bishop to Big Pine stretch and below Tinnemaha, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, and Rock Creek Lake are on the schedule.


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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