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By Travis Bradshaw of Bakersfield caught this 4 1/2 pound rock fish Nov. 14 with squid strips off shore out of Avila Beach.
By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: Catfish bite has continued. The catfish have been best on live minnows and shad with fish to 4 pounds or better showing. Few reports on crappie over the holiday weekend with light pressure, but they have been fair to good in 25 to 30 feet of water around structure on small minnows. The crappie have been about a pound or better. DFG trout plant last week.
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. DFG plants on the upper river last week. 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 2 or 3 pounds showing. There is also a pretty good smallmouth bite in the lower, lower river but most of the fish are small.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite is excellent and remains the best bite in the whole region. While most of the fish are still below the 18-inch minimum keeper size, there are more and more fish showing above that size than in the past month with quite a few six to eight-pound fish reported. Many anglers still landing 10 or 15 fish per trip. Slow catfish action.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports. The bluegill and catfish bites have slowed.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The trout action has been very good since last week's plant with the best bite on spinners and mini jigs. Also some fishing showing on PowerBait and Mice Tails. Little pressure on other species.
HART PARK LAKE: The water level is very low and there have been few reports from this lake. The DFG was scheduled to plant trout last week, but no reports of rainbows. A few bluegill continue to show.
TRUXTUN LAKE: The DFG trout plant last week made for very good fishing over the weekend on the usual array of trout baits and lures. Other bites have slowed with the cooler weather and rain, but the odd bluegill is still being landed.
MING LAKE: Good trout action after a DFG plant last week. PowerBait, Mice Tails, small trout jigs and spinners are all getting fish. Other species slow.
BRITE LAKE: DFG trout plant last week.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Light fishing pressure, but the trout action has been pretty fair with plants this week and two weeks ago. The bite 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. Few reports on other species.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: While the DFG was slated to plant last week, there have been no trout reports here with the very low water conditions. Other species have also slowed.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action in the low water has been slow to fair. Best action on drop-shot plastics in deeper water. The bluegill bite is slowing with only a few fish on wax worms or redworms in 18 to 30 feet of water. Few other reports.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite had been slow to fair on plastics and some crankbait fish. The bluegill action is slow with the best bite in deeper water. Other species very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout bite has remained fair to good after the plant two weeks ago. Rain put some runoff into the lake and this perked the catfish bite in coves where there was runoff. The smallmouth and largemouth bass action has been slow.
CASITAS: The trout bite has been good to excellent since the 4,000-pound trout plant last Wednesday. The rainbows have been best in less than 10 feet of water for shore anglers. A few catfish continue to show in the canyons with some rain runoff.
CASTAIC: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago and these plants have kept both the striper and trout bites perking.
LOPEZ: Weather slowed the bite even more this past week, but a few crappie and redear continue to show on small baits and jigs. The bass bite is just fair. Catfish have been slow.
PIRU: Bass bite has been spotty. Sslow to fair crappie bite. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: Fair striper bite, but the fish have scattered throughout the lake and are showing mostly under schools of shad and on drifted baits or shad-like lures. Trout bite spotty. Largemouth bass bite fair. There is also a pretty fair catfish bite.
SAN ANTONIO: The action has continued slow with the weather this past week. The stripers are still keying on shad, and trollers are getting fish working shad schools. The fish are mostly eight to 12 pounds and smaller. Catfish action has been slow. Largemouth bass action is slow. Crappie action also slowed.
NACIMIENTO: Spotted bass and white bass have been slow with the weather keeping most anglers away. Before the latest rains a few fish were caught on deeper-running cranks. Few reports on catfish or panfish.
SANTA MARGARITA: Most species slow and another series of storms haven't helped the bites at all. A few bass showing on dark plastics, and a few catfish are showing water is running into the main coves. Other species very slow.
LONG RANGE CONTINUES HOT: The long range fleet was mostly in port for Christmas, but the boats returning over the weekend showed the giant tuna bite off the tip of Baja was alive and well. The Royal Polaris returned on Saturday with 239 yellowfin tuna with 15 over 200 along with 9a wahoo. The big tuna on this trip was a 226 pounder. A number of boats are running five-day trips in the coming weeks, so there will be news from the Cedros-Benitos region that will be more than just a passing glimpse. The bulk of the boats will be back on the giant tuna grounds later this week.
LOCAL UPDATE: While weather has been a factor for local trips running out of the San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles areas this week, this local fishing is still very good. The half- and three-quarter day boats are averaging from four or five to full limits of rockfish. While most of the fleet was blown off the ocean Wednesday, here are some samples of the counts this past week. The New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing in San Diego was on a Sunday afternoon half day trip with 27 anglers and they landed 93 rockfish, 29 red snapper, a sheephead, and even a calico bass. The Daily Double out of Point Loma in San Diego was out Monday with 15 anglers and thney landed 54 rockfish, 17 perch, seven sheephead, three calicos and two sand bass. Up the coast at Pierpoint Landing in Orange County, the Victory was on a Saturday three-quarter day trip with 12 anglers and they caught 100 rockfish, 48 whitefish, 25 sheephead, two sculpin, and one sand bass. The Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing had 26 anglers braving dismal conditions Sunday and they still caught 131 rockfish on the morning half-day and the afternoon half-day trip had 17 anglers who landed 86 rockfish. On Friday, the anglers on both the morning and afternoon trips had full 10-fish limits in better conditions.
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 month except on dismal weather days, and there have been a few of this this past week. Besides the rockfish, there has been some excellent variety on these trips. For example, the Aloha Spirit was on a full-day trip Saturday with just 11 anglers and they landed 110 rockfish (limits), 18 ling cod, 14 sheephead, three whitefish and one sculpin.