By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
CATFISH DERBY: The annual Bob's Bait month-long catfish derby concluded July 31, and there were a flurry of entries the final week. The winner was a 32-pound cat landed by Sam Whelden, Bakersfield, on shad at Lake Isabella. There were 196 entrants, so Whelden won the $296 jackpot. Bob's Bait will be having a Carp Derby for August.
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish action has been very good in most of the coves. Sam Whelden, Bakersfield, had a 32-pound cat, while Hayden Tidwell, landed a 17-pounder and Dennis Conrad, Bakersfield, had a 16-pounder. All three big cats were caught on shad. The trout bite also remains pretty good at the dam for shore anglers fishing deep water with floating baits and trollers on Needlefish-style lures. There continues to be very few quality crappie showing in the tree in 10 to 15 feet of water on live minnows, just no volume. The bluegill bite is good in most coves, but there are more small fish now with the bigger fish fewer and further between. Bass bite fair.
KERN RIVER: Trout action good to excellent on upper river. Good action from the Johnsondale Bridge to Kernville. Good reports from the high elevation waters, mostly for small trout. In the lower river, flows are in the 800 cfs range, which is very fishable. Bass, catfish bites pretty good.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Striper bite tough, but anglers walking the bank and drifting baits or working lures through main flow are still getting a good number of both catfish and stripers.
MILL CREEK PARK: Fair to good action on bluegill on crickets and wax worms. The carp are good on dough baits.
HART PARK LAKE: Bluegill and carp bite good mornings and evenings. A few bass are also showing early and late.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Very good bluegill action early, late in day. Carp action fair to good on dough baits. Bass action fair.
RIVER WALK PARK: Bluegill, carp action good. Bass slow to fair early, late in day.
MING LAKE: Good bluegill, carp action. Bass fair, with best bite early, late in the day.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Catfish fair at night on cut baits. Good bluegill and carp bite. A few bass continue to show early and late in the day.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Very good bluegill action. Also quite a few carp showing.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action fair, bluegill bite good.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has been fair to good on plastics, Brush Hogs, swimbaits and spinnerbaits. The best bite is at first or last light. The bluegill action is good on the usual array of small baits. A few catfish starting to show, but other species slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Catfish bite very good. Johnson, Clark and Cachuma Bay have been the top spots. The bass bite has been fair to good. There have been both largemouths and smallmouths in this action. Bluegill and redear are good in the backs of coves.
CASITAS: Largemouth bass bite fair to good with the morning and evening bite the best. Bluegill and redear action pretty good. Other species slow.
CASTAIC: The striper bite has been good. Largemouth bass bite has good. Good catfish action on mackerel and nightcrawlers in most coves. There is a pretty good bluegill bite.
LOPEZ: Bass bite pretty fair, early and late in the day. The bluegill and redear are also fair. Crappie and catfish slow.
NACIMIENTO: Good to excellent action on white bass. Spotted bass action very good.
PIRU: Crappie, bass bites pretty good. The bass are best early and late in the day. A few nice redear and smaller bluegill are showing in a fair bite.
PYRAMID: Striper bite good. Catfish action fair to good. Black bass action fair. Both smallmouth and largemouth have been showing in this bite.
SAN ANTONIO: Striper bite good to excellent. The catfish bite has been good in most of the coves. Black bass action fair early and late in the day.
SANTA MARGARITA: Largemouth bass bite fair early and late in the day on topwater and reaction baits. Other fish slow.
BRIDGEPORT REGION: The East Walker River very good mornings and evenings. Kirman Lake has improved for fly anglers. Twin Lakes good with a lot of limits or pan-sized fish morning and evening on floating baits, lures and flies. The West Walker has been good for fly and bait anglers. Virginia Lakes remain one of the top spots in the region.
JUNE LAKE LOOP REGION: Silver Lake has been wide open with a lot of limits. Both DFG and Alpers' plants this past week and the number of holdover fish is staggering. Lots of one- to two-pound fish on lures, baits and flies. Grant Lake and Rush Creek both continue to crank out a few nice browns, and the planter rainbows are pretty good. Gull and June are both good. Ellery, Tioga and Saddlebag lakes are all open and the action has been good, mostly on pan-sized fish.
MAMMOTH AREA: Exceptional trout action at Crowley Lake. The trout have stacked up in the inlets in McGee, Little Hilton and Layton Springs. Convict Lake is fair to good. Mammoth Creek has been good on stocked trout with quite a few wild browns. The Twin Lakes and whole upper lakes basin has been fair to good with the best bite in the inlets. The Upper Owens is fair to good with mostly small fish showing now. Hot Creek is excellent with good hatches morning and afternoon (when wind isn't blowing). BISHOP AREA: South Lake remains fair to good on Slammer Jigs and Power Worms. All the forks of Bishop Creek and Intake II have been fair to good with regular DFG plants providing lots of rainbows and the brown trout are showing in fair numbers. North Lake has been fair to good. Sabrina is fair.
LONE PINE-INDEPENDENCE AREA: All the small streams along Highway 395 from Big Pine Creek to Cottonwood Creek remain fair to good, and most have been planted this week.
Trout plants this week
None in Kern, Tulare counties
SAN DIEGO OFFSHORE: The 11/2-21/2-day fleet out of San Diego is finding very consistent fishing for mixed yellowtail, dorado, bluefin and yellowfin tuna. The yellowtail are the real story this year with the vast majority of the fish bigger grade fish from 20 to 30 pounds with just a smattering of smaller fish. Normally, that is reversed. Conditions are great. Blue water everywhere.
SAN DIEGO LOCAL: While the Coronado Islands have been effectively closed down by the Mexican government because of a new check-in requirement that makes fishing the islands unrealistic, the 3/4-day boats out of San Diego had been focusing on La Jolla kelp or fishing offshore. The Mission Belle out of Seaforth was out Saturday with 31 anglers and had six Bluefin and two yellowtail fishing offshore. The Point Loma kelp has also had a few yellowtail and pretty consistent bass action with some barracuda.
OFFSHORE ISLANDS: Both San Clemente and Catalina saw the availability of squid toughen up going into this week's full moon, but Clemente still has an excellent calico bass bite and quite a few yellowtail on the front side and seabass in the coves. Catalina also has a good calico bass bite with a few yellowtail in the mix and the odd seabass showing up. Santa Barbara Island also has been off, but there is still a good volume of yellow and seabass at this island. For the Channel Islands fleet, the white seabass bite has been more of a pick this past week, but the barracuda and rockfish remain solid and continue to provide very good good fishing.