By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish action has been good in most of the coves on cut baits, dip baits, frozen shad, and clams with a lot of two to four-pound fish. Other bites have slowed way down. Very few crappie showing, the trout bite is off, and the bass are very spotty. Low water and cooling water conditions have really slowed the action.
KERN RIVER: The upper river trout bite is very good, especially in the Kernville Park region. Water flows remain very low with the fish stacked up in the bigger pools and showing on salmon eggs or small flies fished below indicators. The lower river also has very low flows and there has been a good 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. DFG trout plants in the upper river this week.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite has broken open in the past week on keeper-sized fish from three to six pounds. The bite has been good for over a month, but most of the fish have been sub-legal. The bite now is mostly on better fish and they are showing on sardines, swimbaits, Gitzits, blood worms, or sand worms. The catfish action is just fair on shad, mackerel or Sonny's Catfish bait.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports. The bluegill and catfish bites have slowed way down.
HART PARK LAKE: DFG trout plant this week. The trout action has been a little slow and the water level is still very low. A fair bluegill bite continues on wax worms, meal worms, and crickets. The carp bite is also fair to good on Powder Bait or homemade dough baits. The bite is best mornings and evenings. Decent bass bite.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFG plants this week and two weeks ago. Trout action fair with the best bite in the mornings. Fair to good bluegill action on red worms, meal worms, wax worms, crickets, and nightcrawler pieces, but the best bite has been early and late in the day. Carp action is also fair to good.
MING LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and two weeks ago. The bite has been fair to good early in the mornings, but slower during the day. Low water conditions has stacked the fish on a few spots. Bluegills continue fair, but slowing as water temps drop.
BRITE LAKE: DFG trout plant this week. The bite has been fair to good as the water cools.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The annual Taft Chamber of Commerce Fishing Derby attracted 724 entries, and the $1,000 big fish prize went to Robert Mendell, Bakersfield, with a 4.3-pound rainbow. The lake reopened Wednesday for trout season with another big plant and the bite has been good on garlic, rainbow garlic, and chartreuse garlic PowerBaits and inflated nightcrawlers.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Low water levels. Trout were stocked in early November, but none since. The early morning and late evening bass bite is just rated fair on Senkos, Brush Hogs, plastics or nightcrawlers. Panfish slowing.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action in the low water continues fair to good for some anglers. If temperatures go back up, the bass fishing will go up with it. Best action on drop-shot plastics and Senko-type lures with some topwater around weed mats. Level is about seven percent. The bluegill bite is good in six to 20 feet of water.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite had been fair to good on plastics. The bluegill action is good on the usual array of small baits. Catfish starting to show. Other species slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout bite has been fair, even without any plants since Nov. 1. Trout to 6 pounds are showing for both trollers. The smallmouth and largemouth bass action has improved. A few catfish are showing in coves.
CASITAS: The big Nebraska Tailwalker trout plant went in Tuesday this week and the bite has been good since. Most of the fish are in the 1- to 2-pound range, but there were some quality fish in the plant. The bass bite remains fair to good. There continue to be a few redear showing, mostly on nightcrawlers.
CASTAIC: There continues to be a good bite on both stripers and largemouth bass. A few smallmouth have been reported in Oak Canyon on plastics. Trout fair.
PIRU: The water level has come back up four to five feet after being dropped 25 feet recently. The bass bite has improved. Pretty good crappie bite on structures. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: There was a 2,700-pound DFG plant on Monday, the third of the season, and the bite on the rainbows has been good. The trout have also brought up the stripers and the bite has been very good on swimbaits with a lot of six to 12-pound striper and some real quality largemouth, also up eating the trout. There are also a lot of largemouth showing on plastics and smaller reaction baits. There is also a pretty fair catfish bite in deeper water.
LOPEZ: Crappie and redear sunfish the best bite on the standard baits for both. The bass bite is just fair.
NACIMIENTO: Spotted bass and white bass can be caught, but it takes work and luck by anglers who locate the fish. Few reports on catfish, but that bite has been fair to good on cut baits.
SAN ANTONIO: Stripers are chasing shad early in the mornings and then again late in the afternoon. Catfish action has slowed. Largemouth bass action is slow. Crappie action has slowed.
SANTA MARGARITA: No report. Most species slow. Another storm front scheduled to arrive just before the weekend. Anglers need to think cleaned, drained, and dry boats or they are likely to be denied access. The marina store is open Wednesday through Sunday.
LOS ANGELES: Castaic Lake
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, Hart Park Lake, Kern River (sections 4 and 5), Ming Lake, River Walk Lake, Truxtun Lake.
TULARE: Kern River (section 5).
LONG-RANGE UPDATE: The action for the 12 to 16-day long range fleet fishing out of San Diego has been spectacular over the past week. The Royal Polaris reported it was returning with 15 yellowfin topping the 200 pound mark and over 100 wahoo. The Excel reported 60 wahoo in a single day this past weekend. The Gordo Banks off Cabo have been producing yellowfin to 300 pounds and a little over the past three weeks, and the action is good all the way south to the Clipperton region. For the three- to five-day boats, the action on yellowfin to 65 pounds, dorado and yellowtail is excellent. The Ocean Odyssey, on a three-day trip this past week, returned with limits of yellowfin and yellowtail, mostly 25 to 40-pound class fish.
SQUID AND ROCKFISH: The whole Southern California half-day and three-quarter day fleet has been focusing on rockfish since the water temperatures have dropped. But the easy availability of squid (all along the coast and at all the offshore islands) has made this bite even better than normal, and there has been a nice mix of halibut, white seabass, and bass in the action.
LOCAL ISLANDS: The fishing pressure at both Catalina and San Clemente islands has dropped to nothing. A few locals are getting a few white seabass at Catalina, but keeping that bite pretty quiet. The squid are stacked up around both islands and making the candy bait is easy, but few anglers are targeting these spots.