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976-FRESH Freshwater Fish Report

976-FRESH Freshwater Fish Report

A news source for California freshwater fishing.


GENERAL UPDATE: Anglers should check the regulations. Many waters have special restrictions. Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: (Bridgeport region),, and

TOP FISHING NEWS: Fair to good action throughout the Eastern Sierra. The best bites are listed by region.

In the Bridgeport region, Bridgeport Reservoir, Virginia Lakes, and Lower Twin Lake remain the hot spots with all three still providing good action. At Bridgeport, the bigger browns and rainbows are starting to show in good numbers down by the dam for both shore and boat anglers (like they do each fall), and fish to six pounds reported this week. There was also a six-pound brown from Upper Twin this past week. The East Walker is down to 120 cfs, which is an excellent fishing flow. The bite has improved throughout the river, including the Nevada side, with good action for streamer anglers but the nymph bite is also still pretty fair. Fish to four pounds reported. The West Walker is also pretty good now with flows down to 65 cfs.

In the June Lake region, all of the lakes and streams have been fishing fair to good again this week. Silver Lake has been fair with an occasional limit on fish to 2-8. Most pan-sized. Planted rainbow action has been good at all the lakes with the stockers showing on garlic PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, Mice Tails, Pinched Crawlers, and a wide variety of small trout jigs. Trollers are mostly working two to three colors of leadcore in Gull, Silver, and Grant with Needlefish and Tasmanian Devils, and small Rapalas the go-to lures. The walk-in lakes of Fern, Gem, Parker, and Little Walker lakes are starting to see some bigger browns at the steam inlets and outlets. Rush Creek is very fishable and producing quite a few rainbows and browns on nightcrawlers and small lures, and for fly anglers.

In the Mammoth region, Crowley Lake remains the hotspot with good fly action small perch fry patterns and leeches with the hatches dwindling. Lots of quality fish topping four pounds, but most 15 to 20 inches and running 1-8 to 3-0. Good anglers can still get into five to 10 fish per day or more. Convict Lake continues to be hot and there has been a steady procession of good fish. The inlets and outlet are still the best spots to fish. The Rock Creek drainage has been fair to good, and the high country above Rock Creek Lake has very good action on small fish with lots of spawning brook trout in all waters at stream inlets and outlets. Other waters in this region are slow to fair except right after DFW plants.

In the Bishop region, the entire Bishop Creek drainage, including Sabrina, Intake 2, Cardinal Pond, Ron’s Pond, Weir Pond, South Lake, and both forks of Bishop Creek, has been fair but generally slowing with no plants in several weeks. The lower Owens River remains high with flows over 500 cfs and still difficulty to fish.

NOTEABLE CATCHES: At Convict Lake, a 7-1 rainbow landed by Benjamin Dessert, Torrance, on Gulp! off the south shore. Gary Chagolla, Yucaipa, landed a 5-4 rainbow on garlic PowerBait at the inlet.

BRIDGEPORT REGION: Information: Ken’s Sporting Goods 760-932-7707 or

JUNE LAKE LOOP-LEE VINING REGION: Information: Silver Lake Resort at 760-648-7726 or at or Ernie’s Tackle at 760-648-7756.

MAMMOTH AREA: Information: The Troutfitter at 760-934-2517.

BISHOP AND BIG PINE AREA: Fishing information: Culver’s Sporting Goods 760-872-8361, Sierra Drifters Guide Service 760-935-4250, or Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop 760-873-0010.

INDEPENDENCE TO LONE PINE AREA: Check trout plants list for waters planted recently.


LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish bite continues to be fair to good around most of the lake from French Gulch around and into the South Fork arm. Frozen shad, minnows, clams, jumbo meal worms in scent, dip baits, and other cut baits have been the best. Fish to six pounds or better. Also a few bass reports this past week, mostly on plastics or reaction baits. Everything else is very slow. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812.

KERN RIVER: The trout bite in the upper river above Isabella has been fair. The flows have dropped to around 225 cfs at Kernville, and planted trout have spread out along the river and are still showing in fair numbers on crickets, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers. More and more fish on spinners, too. Fly anglers fishing the upper 20-mile stretch are seeing good action on wild fish, especially on stripped streamers. No trout plants for over a month. The lower Kern is still flowing at 1,200 cfs, but it is becoming more fishable. There is a fair trout bite and a few bass are showing. Best news is that the catfish action is improving. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or ( or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Still light fishing pressure and not much change in the bite. The striper action remains fair, mostly on blood worms and sardines. A few showing on topwater lures. Most of the fish are very small. Very few cats this week. 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

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: A fair carp bite on dough baits, and an occasional catfish reported on nightcrawlers,

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Fair to good bluegill action on meal worms, red worms, crickets, and nigthcrawler pieces. Carp have been fair to good on Powder and Wussy baits. Very few bass. Information: Bob’s Bait at 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The carp bite has been fair on dough baits, especially the locally-made Wussy’s Poor Man’s Bait and Powder Bait. Also a pretty fair bluegill bite on meal worms and crickets. Bass pretty slow with only a few early and late in the day on plastics or reaction baits. Other species slow.

TRUXTUN LAKE: There is fair action on bluegill, and meal worms, wax worms, red worms, crickets, and nightcrawler pieces are the best baits for the ëgills. The carp bite is fair on dough baits, while bass are slow. Few other reports.

MING LAKE: Probably the best overall bite in the Bakersfield region. The carp bite has been fair to good on dough and paste baits, especially Powder Bait and Wussy’s. The bluegill bite is also fair to good on meal worms. Slow other species, with only the occasional bass reported. Drag boat races this past weekend, shut down the action for a couple of days.

BRITE LAKE: No reports.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: Light fishing pressure with only a few small catfish showing on shad or mackerel. The bluegill bite improved again and has been fair with the best bite wax and meal worms. Carp have also been pretty fair on Wussy Bait. The 2017 Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Fishing Derby will be Saturday, Nov. 18, starting at 6 a.m. at Evans Lake. Entry fee is $20 per adult (14 and over) and $10 for kids 13 and under). Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or


SUCCESS LAKE: This lake remains one of the top spots in the region with a very good bluegill bite for anglers fishing wax worms and meal worms. There is also a good bite on bass with drop-shot plastics, Senkos, nightcrawlers, and Rat-L-Traps. While most of the bass are small, there is very good action, and a few bigger fish are in the mix. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626,

KAWEAH LAKE: The bass are fair on plastics and topwater or reaction baits early in the day. Most are two- to three-pounders, but some bigger fish. A few bluegill reports, but little else. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


The bass bite is fair at all four lakes. At Santa Margarita, the bass have been very good on plastics and reaction baits, with some topwater, and fish to three pounds. The bluegill and crappie bites are also both good on Crappie Nibbles and jigs or worms with some quality slabs. Lopez has a fair bass bite, especially early on topwater baits, with panfish action also fair to good on small baits. No recent reports from San Antonio. At Nacimiento, the spotted bass action is fair to good and improving, with a lot of fish on plastics and reaction baits early and late in the day and the cooler nights have brought the fish up a little.


TROUT: In the Eastern Sierra Nevada the trout bite has been generally good across the board again this past week with most waters in the region producing a lot of fish. The best bet is still Crowley Lake, which has continued to be very good for fly-anglers fishing perch fry and leech patterns in less than 10 feet of water. There is also a good bite Bridgeport Reservoir, Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport, Virginia Lakes, Silver Lake in the June Lake loop, and Convict Lake. Both the East and West Walker rivers are also fishing pretty good now. In Southern California, Big Bear Lake is breaking wide open around most of the lake for shore and boat anglers. In San Diego County, Cuyamaca was planted two weeks ago and twice in September and has been pretty fair with cooling water conditions.

BLACK BASS: The action is fair to good across the region with the bass up chasing baitfish early and late in the day. Top bets are El Capitan, San Vicente, Lower Otay, Diamond Valley, Pyramid, and Castaic. On the Colorado River, the bites are fair and improving in Havasu and Mohave along with the lower river backwaters. Smallmouth have also been fair to good in the lower Colorado River, but there is just no fishing pressure.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action was generally fair to good most places this past week. Castaic is the best bet with more quality fish than the other waters, but Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood have all been fair with flurries of good action. Lots of small fish at all four, but Castaic has consistently been producing double digit fish over three weeks. Diamond Valley is also finally turning on with fish six pounds and some bigger. The best action at all the lakes has been to fish jerk baits in boils, trolled shad-like lures or flies, or resorting to cut baits or lug worms once the fish go deep. The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair on frozen sardines and blood worms, but most of the fish are small. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair to good and getter better by the day. Both cranking out some fish over 10 pounds, but most two to four pounds. Lots of small stripers in the river between Davis Dam and Topoc Gorge.

PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are fair to good all over the region, but Perris stepped to the forefront this week with redear to three pounds caught in a pretty fair bite. Other good decent bets are Lower Otay, Lake Perris, El Capitan, Lake Murry, Castaic Lake and Lagoon, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Havasu, and Topoc Gorge. The Silverwood Lake crappie bite reported last week seems to have died on the vine.

CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites have been fair to good across the region but getting light pressure. Some nice catches continue at Skinner, but Pyramid is also pretty fair. The lower Colorado River has excellent conditions but almost no pressure for channel and flathead catfish. Of the planted lakes, Santa Ana River is still a fair bet.

HESPERIA LAKE: No report. No plant information available. Information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout bite has been fair to very good on both lakes with the best bite in the morning on PowerBait in corn yellow, cheddar-garlic, and rainbow or nightcrawlers and variety of small lures. Best spots include the northern and western shores of lake 2 as well as the western shore and grassy point of lake 3. Anglers reported fair bass action on the western shore of lake 3 and the north and western shore of lake 2 with fish up to 4 pounds. A few catfish are showing on mackerel and shrimp from the western shore of lake 2 and the western shore of lake 3 near the pump house. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to

MOJAVE NARROWS: The last county catfish plant of the season was Sept. 21. No start date yet for trout season. Information, call 760-245-2226.


APOLLO PARK LAKE: The 2017 Fall Classic Fishing Derby will be held from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. Cash prizes are paid through 10th place for the heaviest trout caught during the event. Tickets to participate are $20 per person and must be purchased in advance either on-line ( under the ìClasses and Activitiesî tab) or at Apollo Park, Lancaster; El Cariso Park, Sylmar; or George Lake Park, Quartz Hill. For more information, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701.

LAKE PALMDALE: The fishing season is currently closed. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884.

QUAIL LAKE: No report. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.


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