By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
TROUT PLANTS NOTE: Trout plants in the Bakersfield area remain on hold yet another week as final repairs are completed on the Kern River Hatchery where a major pump failure shut the facility down. Water was coming into the facility again at mid-week and fish were expected to be delivered by early next week and plants resume with major plants then. The plants have been suspended for over a month.
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish and crappie bites have both been very good over the past week. The catfish have been best on live minnow with fish to four pounds or better showing, while the crappie are very good in 25 to 30 feet of water around structure on small minnows. The crappie are running up to a pound or better. Late fall-early winter is always produces a few bigger bass even when the overall bite is tough. When the trout plants resume, it will be a good time to hurl bigger swimbaits for the big bass.
KERN RIVER: The upper river trout bite is good, but mostly for fly anglers fishing the wild or holdover fish with some surface action this past week, but very good nymph fishing. Water flows remain very low with the fish stacked up in the bigger pools and bait anglers are still getting some fish on salmon eggs. The lower river also has very low flows and there has been a fair bite on trout in the Sandy Flat area with fish to two or three pounds showing. There is also a pretty good smallmouth bite in the lower, lower river but most of the fish are small. No DFG plants slated for this week.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite excellent and remains the best bite in the whole region. Most of the stripers are smaller fish below the 18-inch minimum keeper size and a few bigger fish to about six pounds. Anglers are having 15 to 20 fish days (or more) with just one or two legal fish in the catch. This bite is best on sardines, blood worms or sand worms, with a few fish on Gitzits and Rat-L-Traps. Slow catfish action, but Justin Pereyra, Bakersfield, landed a 14-pounder on an anchovy.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports. The bluegill and catfish bites have slowed but still providing a little action.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Light fishing pressure and mostly slow fishing with no DFG trout plants yet this season.
HART PARK LAKE: A few bluegill continue to show on wax worms, meal worms and crickets, but this bite is slowing with the cool weather. The carp bite is also slowing with a few on Powder Bait or homemade dough baits. Few bass. No trout plants in over a month.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Slow to fair bluegill action on red worms, meal worms, wax worms, crickets and nightcrawler pieces. The carp action has slowed. No trout plants in over a month.
MING LAKE: Low water conditions has stacked the fish on a few spots. Bluegill continue fair, but slowing as water temps drop. No trout plants lately.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Trout plant slated for this week. The action has been best on small trout jigs and plastics or the usual array of floating baits. The winter crappie bite is still fair with fish to a pound or better on small minnows and mini jigs.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Low water levels. The early morning and late evening bass bite is just rated fair. Panfish action slowing with only a few bluegill reported on small baits.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action in the low water continues fair to good for some anglers. Best action on drop-shot plastics and Senko-type lures with some topwater around weed mats. The bluegill bite is slowing with only a few fish on wax worms or redworms in 12 to 20 feet of water.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite had been fair on plastics and some reaction bait fish. The bluegill action is fair and slowing on the usual array of small baits. A few catfish are being caught on cut baits. Other species slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout bite has been slow to fair without any plants since Nov. 1. A few trout to 6 pounds are showing for both trollers and shore anglers. The smallmouth and largemouth bass action has been slowish with only a few fish on plastics, jigs and some on reaction baits. Most are under 3-8.
CASITAS: The big Nebraska Tailwalker trout plant that went in three weeks ago has made for a consistent trout bite for those working at it. The next trout plant will be there just before Christmas. The bass bite slowed way down with the rain, but sunny weather between the storms seems to perk the action up. The catfish bite has been ignored by most anglers, but the few anglers fishing cut mackerel are getting some quality fish from 12 to 20 pounds, mostly on cut mackerel. A few redear showing, in deeper water.
CASTAIC: DFG trout plant last week and three weeks ago and the recent plant perked up both the trout action and the striper bite. The stripers have been best along the marina shoreline stretch, Necktie Canyon, and off Kong Island. The trout are best along the marina shoreline. A few catfish at the buoy line and Necktie Canyon on cut baits.
PIRU: Water level continues to rise after big drop in November. The bass bite has improved. Pretty good crappie bite on structure. Many catches of 10 to 15 fish this past week, but most are half to three-quarter pounders. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: Pretty good striper bite after DFG plants last week and three weeks ago. The rainbow trout action has also been fair to good. The stripers are running up to 10-plus pounds. Largemouth bass bite fair to good. Fair catfish bite.
SAN ANTONIO: Catfish, largemouth bass action is slow. Crappie action also slowed this week.
LOPEZ: A few crappie and redear continue to show on small baits and jigs. Bass fair. Catfish slow.
NACIMIENTO: Spotted bass and white bass have been slow.
SANTA MARGARITA: Most species slow. A few bass showing on dark plastics, and the catfish action perked where water was running into the main coves.
TULARE: Kaweah Reservoir.
LOCAL UPDATE: All along the coast, the loads are very light and the fishing excellent for shallow-water rockfish along with a nice mix of ling cod, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. The Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing was out with just eight anglers on Wednesday and they had 80 (limits) of rockfish, a ling cod and a whitefish. The New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfish made two half-day runs Wednesday and the anglers on these trips averaged about five fish per angler, a mix of rockfish, bass, lings and sculpin, all on the live squid. This is the story from the Los Angeles/Orange County landings south to San Diego.
CHANNEL ISLANDS STILL EXCEPTIONAL: Limits of rockfish have been the rule for virtually all of the boats running out of Channel Islands Sportfishing over the past week, and most of these trips also add a couple of other fish per rod, whitefish, sheephead and lings. On Wednesday this week, only the Gentleman was out with 25 anglers but they returned with 250 rockfish and two lings. On Tuesday, the Aloha Spirit was on a full-day trip with 19 anglers and they caught 185 rockfish, five cabezon, 58 whitefish, 12 lings, nine sheephead, 14 blue perch, two sole and a sculpin.
LOBSTER CRAWL: The lobster action has been up and down for hoop netters this past week, but the stormy weather usually improves the action. The Condor out of Fisherman's Landing was out Saturday with 10 anglers and they had 14 lobsters and 29 rock crabs, while on Sunday, the Jig Strike out of FishermanÃs Landing had four anglers who captured 22 lobsters.