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976-FRESH Freshwater Fish Report

976-FRESH Freshwater Fish Report

A news source for California freshwater fishing.



LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish bite continues to be fair with some improvement this week. The bite has been around much of the lake from French Gulch and into the South Fork arm. Clams and shrimp have been the best baits, but a variety of cut baits are working. The cats are mostly two to four pounds with an occasional bigger fish. The bass bite slowed, but a few fish are still showing on plastics. No reports on other species. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KERN RIVER: The trout bite in the upper river above Isabella has been fair after sections two and four were planted with DFW trout two weeks ago, but none since and none on the list for this week. Crickets, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers have been the best baits. Fly anglers fishing the upper 20-mile stretch are seeing fair action on wild fish, especially on stripped streamers. The lower Kern has a slow trout bite, and a few more smallmouths and largemouths are showing on small plastics and jerkbaits in the quieter pools. Most are small. Also still the odd catfish showing up. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or ( or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite remains fair to good, mostly on sardines and blood worms, but finally more fishing are showing on Gitzit-type baits and Rat-L-Traps. More and more keeper fish showing as the water cools and weeds disappear. Terry Ybarra Jr., Bakersfield, landed a 16-pound striper on a sardine this past week. Catfish are slow, but a few are showing on cut baits, especially sardines, and dip 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 or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Slow action. Only an occasional carp dough baits and Powder Bait, and an the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers,

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant two weeks ago. The bite has been slow with an occasional fish on PowerBait and Mice Tails. Other bites have also slowed way down as the water cools.

HART PARK LAKE: First DFW trout plant of the season went in two weeks ago, and the bite has slowed way down since. Still an occasional fish on garlic and chunky cheese PowerBaits. The carp bite is slow to fair on dough baits, especially the locally-made Wussy’s Poor Man’s Bait and Powder Bait. The bluegill and bass bites have slowed way down.

TRUXTUN LAKE: First DFW trout plant of the season was two weeks ago, and the bite is slow now. Still an occasional trout showing on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers. The bluegill bite has slowed to nearly nothing, and only an occasional catfish or carp being reported now.

MING LAKE: First DFW trout plant of the season two weeks ago, but the bite has slowed to nearly nothing since. An occasional fish still being caught on PowerBait. Even the carp bite has slowed with a few showing on paste baits. Other species very slow.

BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plant three weeks ago, and the odd trout is still being caught on floating dough baits or Mice Tails, or nightcrawlers in garlic oil.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: County trout plant Wednesday this week, and the bite has been good since. The bite has remained fair since the derby three weeks ago with the plants that went in then, and the bigger fish that didn’t show up in the derby started being caught last week, including a number of fish over five pounds. Eric Rivera, Bakersfield, had several trout to about 10 pounds. The best action has been on garlic and chunky cheese Power Baits on Mice Tails. The county will be planting nine times this season instead of five times, like last season. This was plant No. 2. Other species have slowed way down with the cool weather. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or


SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite has slowed a little with the cooler weather, but the bite is still pretty fair. The water level continues to drop and the pressure remains high on weekends. Mostly smaller fish are showing on reaction baits and plastics, with the bite moving slower and deeper. There bluegill bite has finally slowed way down, with only a few hand-sized fish showing now on wax worms and meal worms. Still a decent carp bite on dip baits, especially Powder Bait or Wussy Bait, with some quality carp in this action. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KAWEAH LAKE: The bass are tough with only a few fish on plastics. Most are two- to three-pounders, but some bigger fish. Other species are very slow. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


GENERAL UPDATE: The general fishing came to an end Nov. 15. Only the year-around waters with special regulations remain open. For information on the regulations, anglers should check the Department of Fish and Wildlife website’s regulations pages. Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: (Bridgeport region),, and

TOP FISHING NEWS: In the Bridgeport region, the East and West Walker rivers remain open year-around to catch-and-release fishing. The East Walker has been good with flows steady at around 50 cfs, and the trout showing on small nymphs with a few on streamers. In the Mammoth region, Hot Creek and the upper Owens River above Benton Crossing remain open, and the fishing has been slow to fair in the Owens, but fair to good at Hot Creek, where there has been a good caddis hatch most mornings and evenings. In the Bishop region, the lower Owens River, including the gorge below Crowley Lake, remains open to year-around fishing, but the flows remain high below the gorge with flows over 400 cfs below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. Very difficult fishing.

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

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

BISHOP 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.


HESPERIA LAKE: First trout of the season is set for this week and most should be about a pound. The last catfish plant went in Nov. 22. A few catfish to four pounds reported this past week. Shrimp, the marshmallow-meal worm combo, and chicken liver have been the top baits. Information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout bite has been good this past week. The best bite has been on PowerBait in rainbow, cheddar-garlic, and salmon peach. Inflated nightcrawlers and small artificials are also getting fish. Also 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: County trout plants started the last week of November. Plants will be 780 pounds per week. Information, call 760-245-2226.


TROUT: Trout season is in full swing across Southern California urban lakes getting private plants. DFW fish continue to be a no-show. Top picks for this week are Hesperia Lake (first plant of the season) Dixon Lake (6,000 pounds of plants last week for its big weekend tournament), Santa Ana River Lakes, Apollo Park Lake in Lancaster (plants two weeks in a row), and all the San Bernardino County park lakes (Glen Helen, Cucamonga-Guasti, Yucaipa, Prado, and Mojave Narrows) which get plants weekly now. In San Diego County, Cuyamaca is as good as Dixon and Santee Lake and Jennings are decent bets.

BLACK BASS: The action is finally slowing at many waters, but it is still darn good other places with the fish still up chasing baitfish most mornings. Top bets continue to be Castaic, Pyramid, El Capitan, San Vicente, Lower Otay, and Diamond Valley, but all have slowed from last week. On the Colorado River, the bites are fair in Havasu and Mohave along with the lower river backwaters. Smallmouth have also been fair 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. Top spots continue to be Castaic, Pyramid, Diamond Valley, and Skinner are the best bets. Silverwood hase been fair. Diamond Valley cranked out an 10-plus this past week and it received another trout plant this week. Not as much surface action, but still a lot of fish on deeper swimbaits, trolled flies, umbrella rigs, jigging spoons, and — of course ñ the usual array of baits, especially lug and blood worms.. The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair on frozen sardines and blood worms, and more keeper fish are starting to show, including a 16-pounder this week. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair to good. Both are cranking out some fish over 10 pounds, but most two to six pounds. Lots of small stripers in the river between Davis Dam and Topoc Gorge.

PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are pretty much slow across the board now. Murray produced a few bigger fish this week, and a few big redear continue to show from Havasu in deep water on nightcrawlers, but few other reports.

CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites have been pretty fair across the region, but getting very little fishing pressure so the action is hard to gauge. Catfish anglers should focus on Skinner, Lower Otay, Pyramid, and Isabella. The lower Colorado River has also slowed way down as water levels drop, but there is very light fishing pressure.

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