By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: Crappie Mania II is taking place here this week. It just took two warm days to break the bite wide open again, with shore and boat anglers in the South Fork Arm getting 25-fish limits of slabs from one pound to 2-8 pretty easily. Many anglers are reporting limits in less than three hours. The best action is still on small minnows, but a few fish are also showing on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Crappie anglers are reminded the limit is 25 per licensed angler. Anglers may not help another angler fill his limit, and each angler must have his own stringer or fish basket. Both the catfish and bass bites also came back on with the warm weather and a few bluegill are starting to show. Trout plant again this week and more and more rainbows are being caught near the dam. The lake remains low. The annual trout derby is Saturday through Monday.
KERN RIVER: The upper river has been fair this week for bait and lure anglers, but the fly anglers are seeing some pretty good afternoon action on wild fish. DFW plants in sections 4 through 6 this week and next week. The best bite has been on salmon eggs and mice tails for bait and lure anglers, and small nymphs and emergers for fly anglers. In the lower river, Democrat Dam has been good, with a few limits reported.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The hot striper action just won't slow down. Other species slow.
MILL CREEK PARK: Overall slow fishing, but carp bite is starting.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The largemouth bass bite is good with a lot of fish in the shallows making beds or cruising. They are whacking Senkos and Brush Hawgs or similar baits. More and more bluegill showing each week, and the carp bite is really starting to kick into gear on dough baits. Trout action slow.
HART PARK LAKE: Bass bite fair to good with the fish moving shallow for the spawn. Bluegill are also showing in a little better numbers.
TRUXTUN LAKE: The big news is that the crappie bite has continued to be pretty good here in the past week on live minnows. The bass bite is also pretty good with the fish in the shallows for the spawn. Nightcrawlers, plastics and Brush Hawgs all getting fish. The carp and bluegill action are also starting to improve, with the carp best on dough baits and the bluegill best on meal and wax worms. The DFW trout plant three weeks ago, and the bite has been mostly dead.
MING LAKE: The crappie bite here has continued to be fair to good on live minnows in a surprising bite. The carp bite has been pretty fair on Powder Bait or other dough baits. The largemouth bass bite has also really started to kick into gear with a lot of fish shallow on beds.
BRITE LAKE: The trout bite has been fair after a DFW plant two weeks ago. PowerBait with garlic, Mice Tails and small jigs with scent have been the best bets. The largemouth bass bite is also starting to get pretty good as the fish move shallow.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bass action exploded here with the warm weather this week with good action on a variety of plastic and nightcrawlers. Brush Hawgs and Senkos have been top baits. The crappie action also came back on. The trout bite is pretty much over for the season.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Catfish action has been fair to good and the water level, while low, is still good for fishing. Trout are over for the season. The bass are pretty fair in the shallows, and more and more bluegill are being caught. Carp are improving.
SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite is pretty good. Other species still slow. DFW trout plant three weeks ago.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout action has been excellent for both boat and shore anglers on trout to eight pounds. Crappie are improving in the east end of the lake. Drifting mini jigs with a piece of nightcrawler or Crappie Nibble is getting the slabs. The largemouth and smallmouth bass action is steady. Catfish are also improving.
CASITAS: The bass bite has kicked into high gear with the fish in the shallows for the spawn. Lots of numbers, but not a lot of big fish. Most are two to three pounds. A few redear and a few bluegill starting to show.
CASTAIC: Stripers are good, with the best action on lug worms, sardines and blood worms in 60 to 100 feet of water. Largemouth bass have been good in 10 to 15 feet, but fish are moving up into the shallows for the spawn. Quite a few smallmouths are also showing in this bass bite.
LOPEZ: The bass bite is very good. The bluegill, redear and crappie are also all just starting to show. A few catfish continue to show.
NACIMIENTO: The action is really starting to take off, with everything moving inshore for the spawn. The white bass have been fair to good in the narrows, Oak Shores Cove and Las Tables, with the fish staging for their spawning run into the mouth of the river. All the black bass, spots, largemouth and smallmouth have been good, with most of the fish showing in less than 10 feet of water.
PIRU: Few reports, but the largemouth bass bite has been fair to good on plastics and reaction baits.
PYRAMID: DFW trout plant this week. Fair to good action around the launch ramp. Lots of small stripers from 10 to 12 inches showing but few bigger fish. Fair catfish bite. The largemouth bass bite has improved.
SAN ANTONIO: Light fishing pressure. The black bass action is also good, with the fish starting to stack up in the shallows along the shorelines.
SANTA MARGARITA: Light fishing pressure. Bass in the shallows for the spawn. Most of the action is in 10 feet or less with a lot of quality bass reported from four to eight pounds. Plastics, nightcrawlers and jigs have been the top baits. Catfish and panfish are slow.
L.A. COUNTY: Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake.
KERN: Kern River (sections 4 and 5), Lake Isabella.
TULARE COUNTY: Kern River (sections 5 and 6).
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: The yellowtail bite was very spotty much of the past week at the Coronado Islands, with five or six fish per boat a good day. That action has improved in recent days with the counts going back up around a fish per rod, with 20 to 40 yellowtail per boat the last couple of days.
LOCAL CONDITION IMPROVING: The warm weather has really started to walk up the spring bites and -- typical of April -- the April winds cool those warming temperatures back down. Surface temperatures have been as high as 64 to 66 degrees after a couple of calm days, and then pushed back down around 58 to 60 degrees after winds. This is starting to improve the local bass fishing around the kelp and at the offshore islands. There have even been schools of small barracuda reported inside the harbors along the coast (most small, undersize fish).
CATALINA AND CLEMENTE UPDATE: The full-day trips to Catalina Island and the overnight boats running to San Clemente Island are seeing exceptional fishing for rockfish and other bottom species and there are hints the spring action on yellowtail, white seabass and calico bass are not far off.