By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish bite has been improving with the balmy weather the past couple of weeks with the best bite still on garlic nightcrawlers and clams. A few trout are starting to show from the plants three weeks ago and this week. There is also a budding crappie bite off the French Gulch marina in about 14 feet of water with some real quality fish showing on minnows and small jigs. The lake remains so low the boat ramps pretty much require four-wheel drive to launch boats. The annual trout derby dates have been set for April 12-14.
KERN RIVER: The upper river has been fair this past week, especially in the Democrat Dam area and the Kernville Park to the powerhouse stretches. The best bite has been on salmon eggs and mice tails. Fly anglers are also still seeing a pretty fair bite on the wild trout, mostly on small nymphs. The lower river continues be very slow on both smallmouth and trout.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Good action for the small stripers. Most of the fish remain under the minimum keeper size the bite has been hot on tube baits in white and pumpkin seed colors, blood worms and sardines. The fish are running from 1-3 pounds with a few over the 18-inch minimum size. The catfish bite is very slow.
MILL CREEK PARK: Overall slow.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant early this week and the bite has been good on chunky cheese PowerBaits in garlic and salmon egg. Mice Tails doused with garlic oil or the new Power Dust are also good. Other species are slow.
HART PARK LAKE: DFW trout plants this week and two weeks ago. Garlic chunky cheese PowerBait has been the top bait. Other species slow.
TRUXTUN LAKE: The DFW trout plants this week and two weeks ago. Good action on PowerBaits in garlic or salmon egg chunky cheese flavors. Mice Tails have also been effective. Other species very slow.
MING LAKE: Good trout action after a DFW trout plant early this week and two weeks ago. PowerBait in the garlic flavors and Mice Tails with garlic oil are the top bets. Other species slow.
BRITE LAKE: Very good trout action after the DFW plants this week and last week. PowerBait with garlic, Mice Tails, and small jigs with scent have been best.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Trout bite has slowed. Chunky cheese PowerBait in garlic and salmon egg have been the top baits. Plants tentatively slated for every three weeks. Some quality catfish continue to show on shad, live minnows and anchovies from the big lake. The crappie, normally breaking open by now, have remains very slow. Other species mostly slow.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: DFW trout plant went in this week. Pretty good bite on the trout with PowerBait in garlic flavors.
SUCCESS LAKE: Overall slow fishing. DFW trout plant slated for next week.
KAWEAH LAKE: Overall slow fishing. DFW trout plant slated next week.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout bite from the plant four weeks ago was fair this past week for trollers, but another 4,000-pound plant was slated for Thursday. Trout are averaging more than a pound.
CASITAS: The bass action remains pretty fair but the bulk of the action in now in 30 or more feet of water with the fish mostly hugging structure and showing on plastics and nightcrawlers. The warm weather this past week has brought the fish up a little, but overall the bite is still a deep-water affair. A few catfish are showing.
CASTAIC: DFW trout plant last Tuesday (which was not on the DFW stock list). The trout were fair for shore anglers fishing small spinners or spoons. The plant seemed to spark the striper action which has been fair to good, but mostly on smaller fish to 3 pounds on cut baits -- mostly anchovies or sardines -- fishing at the dam, Kong Island, Necktie Canyon, and shoreline areas near the trout plant. Casting swim baits is a good bet and produced some bigger fish. For the largemouth, the best action has been on nightcrawlers and plastics off the points in deeper water, but this bite is pretty tough. Other species very slow.
LOPEZ: There has been a fair bass bite on jigs and plastics, but this bite has really slowed. A few catfish continue to show on cut baits in deeper water, but all other action is slow. First DFW trout plant of the season is scheduled for next week.
NACIMIENTO: Few reports. Still slow to fair spotted bass action on nightcrawlers, jumbo red worms, or slow-fished jigs and plastics. Other species getting very little pressure so there have been few reports.
PIRU: Overall slowing fishing. The largemouth bass bite has been fair on plastics and reaction baits. The average fish is from 1-2 pounds. A few catfish reports, and a few deep-water crappie anglers have plucked a few fish from 30 to 40 feet of water on small jigs. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: Last reported DFW trout plant was three weeks ago. Slow action on small spinners, spoons, and floating baits. Lots of small stripers from 10 to 12 inches showing but few bigger fish. The best action has been on nightcrawlers, cut baits and bloodworms. Fair catfish bite in the main channel by the gate house and in most of the deeper coves and bays. The best catfish bite has been on nightcrawlers, blood worms and cut baits. The largemouth bass bite has improved a little this past week with the best bite on plastics and nightcrawlers. Most are 1-2 pounds with a few bigger fish. No reports on other species.
SAN ANTONIO: Little fishing pressure and few reports. With no launch ramps available now, only kayaks, canoes or inflatables can get on the water.
SANTA MARGARITA: Very little fishing pressure and the action has slowed. A fair bite on largemouth bite with nightcrawlers and plastics. Catfish, panfish slow.
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, Cat Fish Lake, Hart Park Lake, Lake Isabella, Ming Lake, River Walk Lake, Truxtun Lake, Woollomes Lake.
TULARE: Del Lago Park Lake.
GIANT YELLOWFIN FOR LONG RANGE FLEET: The San Diego long range fleet is back on the giant yellowfin tuna grounds this week and seeing excellent fishing. The Royal Polaris reported in with four fish over 200 pounds on Tuesday, including one fish at 255 pounds. The Excel had a 216-pound on Tuesday as its top fish. The action has been nearly non-stop for 70 to 150-pound class yellowfin, and handfuls of bigger fish each day. There is also good wahoo fishing on these trips.
MEXICAN ROCKFISH: The San Diego overnight boats are focusing on Mexican waters for rockfish and seeing excellent action off Colonet. Most of the rockfish are in the 5- to 8-pound range.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: The half- and three-quarter day boats out of San Diego, and some of the overnight boats, are heading to the Coronado Islands for the sustained bite on yellowtail in the 15 to 25-pound class -- along with the rockfish.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY LOCAL UPDATE: Local skippers running half- and three-quarter boats along the Los Angeles and Orange county coastline have shifted gears since the Jan. 1 two-month rockfish closure, and they are now targeting bass, sculpin, and sand dabs. The bite has actually been pretty good, in spite of the bass minimum size restrictions. The Spitfire out of Marina del Ray Sportfishing, was on a three-quarter day trip Saturday with 21 anglers and they landed 17 sand bass and seven calicos along with limits (105) sculpin.