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Dough dunkers braving winter chill still picking off BBL rainbows

Published: Dec 28, 2017
BIG BEAR LAKE — It takes a little gumption and a well-carved coldness groove to stave off and try to ignore the late-December mountain chill, but those Big Bear Lake anglers who are shunning the thermometer and looking to stringer some trout are finding their quarry from the lake’s frigid shorelines in rewards for their efforts. The meat of the week saw highs as frigid as 32 and lows down into the mid-teens but temps crept back as high as a much more manageable mid-50s by the weekend to mildly ease the icy sting for those looking to creel a winter trout dinner.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, but Big Bear’s rainbows aren’t seemingly minding the recent chill, taking dough baits on 1- to 2-foot leaders in the mornings and late afternoons.


Both the north and south shores are kicking out ‘bows, and the icy day and night temps have the lake’s trout active and coming up tight to the banks and willingly taking floating baits in both the mornings and late afternoons.

“The shoreline anglers getting out are taking good advantage of this cold-water behavior and bringing more fish to the net,” said Steve Raphael at Big Bear Sporting Goods. “Floating PowerBait up from the bottom in garlic, corn or salmon egg flavors on a 12- to 24-inch leader has been most productive. It’s cold, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some good trout fishing to be had.” Water clarity is also improving throughout the lake, and with water temps falling along with air temps, adding some scent to a dough offering could very well help one’s bait stand out from the next guy’s.

The lake’s usual shoreline haunts continue to produce most consistently: from Windy Point to the dam on the north end of the lake and from Lagonita Point to Fisher Road on the south shoreline. “We are even seeing more consistent action at Juniper Point lately early in the morning,” Raphael added. Most recent catches are running in the 1- to 2-pound range, but a handful of 3- to 4-plus ’bows are also making an occasional appearance.

While very few folks are out targeting them, there have been some decent reports of smallmouth bass biting well enough around rocky structure near the buoy line at the west end of the lake. Finesse worms on the drop-shot and smaller, wacky-rigged Senkos have reportedly been the ticket for that current bite.

Day temps are forecast to average around 50 for the highs and 25 for the lows for the coming week.

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