By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish action has been good in most of the coves on frozen shad, cut baits, dip baits and clams with a lot of two to four-pound fish. Other bites have slowed way down. Very few crappie showing and the trout bite is off (but there was a DFG plant this week). The bass have mostly been spotty, but Rocky Brown, Bakersfield, caught a 14.3-pound bass on Pro Line jig this past week. Late fall-early winter is always produces a few bigger bass even when the overall bite is tough. The trout plants also mean it's a good time to hurl bigger swimbaits for the big bass. Low water conditions and cooling water temperatures have really slowed the action on warm water species.
KERN RIVER: The upper river trout bite is 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. No DFG plants in the Kern slated for this week or next week.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite is the best bite in the whole region with an excellent bite on smaller stripers below the 18-inch minimum keeper size and a few bigger fish to about six pounds. This bite is best on sardines, blood worms, or sand worms, with a few fish on Gitzits and Rat-L-Traps. Catfish slow.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports. The bluegill and catfish bites have slowed way down.
HART PARK LAKE: DFG trout plant last week, but the trout bite has been spotty. The few fish showing are being caught on PowerBait in garlic, chunky cheese and chartreuse garlic flavors fished on light line. While slowing a few bluegill continue to show on wax worms, meal worms and crickets. The carp bite is also fair.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFG plants last week and three weeks ago. Trout action fair with the best bite in the mornings. Most of the fish are showing on PowerBait with few fish reported on PowerMice or other small trout jigs and worms. Fair bluegill action. Carp fair to good on dough baits.
MING LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago. The bite has been fair early in the mornings, but slower during the day. Low water conditions has stacked the fish on a few spots. Bluegill continue fair, but slowing as water temps drop.
BRITE LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and two weeks ago. The bite has been fair to good as the water cools, mostly on floating baits and inflated nightcrawlers.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The winter crappie bite has kicked into gear at least two weeks early this year with some fairly good action on crappie to a pound or better on small minnows and mini jigs. Trout bite slow to fair, even after a county plant last week. The plants are not weekly this season, with trout going in most alternating weeks. A few trout anglers are reporting as many largemouth bass on their nightcrawlers as trout.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Low water levels. DFG trout plant is slated for this week. The trout bite has been slow prior to this plant. The early morning and late evening bass bite is just rated fair on Senkos, Brush Hogs, plastics or nightcrawlers.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action in the low water continues fair to good for some anglers. Best action on drop-shot plastics and Senko-type lures with some topwater around weed mats. The bluegill bite is slowing with only a few fish on wax worms or redworms in 12 to 20 feet of water.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite had been fair to good on plastics. The bluegill action is fair and slowing on the usual array of small baits. A few catfish are being caught on cut baits, but other species slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Trout bite fair, even without any plants since Nov. 1. Next plant set for Dec. 13. The smallmouth and largemouth bass action slow. A few catfish are showing in coves with runoff entering the lake on cut baits.
CASITAS: The big Nebraska Tailwalker trout plant that went in last week has made for a pretty good trout bite. Catfish bite has been ignored by most anglers, but the few anglers fishing cut mackerel are getting some quality fish from 12-20 pounds, mostly on cut mackerel.
CASTAIC: There continues to be a good bite on stripers along the marina shoreline stretch. The largemouth bass have been best in Hawk's Nest on nightcrawlers and jigs in deeper water. The trout action is fair.
NACIMIENTO: Lake level is low and until it comes up, things are likely to be on and off for spotted and white bass.
PIRU: Bass bite improved with the rising water levels. Pretty good crappie bite.
PYRAMID: Pretty good striper bite since the 2,700-pound DFG plant last week, and the rainbow trout action has also been good. Largemouth bass bite is still fair to good. Fair catfish bite.
SAN ANTONIO: Stripers are chasing shad early in the mornings and then again late in the afternoon. Largemouth bass action is slow. Crappie slow.
SANTA MARGARITA: Most species slow.
LOPEZ: Crappie and redear sunfish are best bites. Bass fair. Catfish have been slow.
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, Lake Isabella, Woollomes Lake.
LONG RANGE AWESOME: The early part of the long-range season off the tip of Baja is already showing signs of another awesome yellowfin tuna year. The long-range fleet was in for Thanksgiving and several boats were just arriving on the tuna grounds on Tuesday, and the bite has been exceptional for anglers on these trips. The Excel reported in with very good tuna action on Tuesday, including five fish over 200 pounds. The Independence report six fish over 200 pounds with great action on other fish from 130 to 180 pounds. The Intrepid, en route to the trophy tuna grounds, stopped at The Ridge on Wednesday and there were 90 mixed yellowfin and wahoo to 70 pounds for the anglers on board.
NORTHERN BAJA UPDATE: While few boats from the San Diego fleet are tapping the bite, the unusually warm conditions that led to a great fall fishing season for San Diego are still lingering off northern Baja. Private boaters and panga anglers are still reporting consistently good action on yellowfin, yellowtail and dorado off San Quintin just south of the border.
EXCEPTIONAL ROCKFISH ALONG COAST: From San Diego into the Santa Barbara region, the landings are focusing on the excellent rockfish action all along the coast. The easy availability of squid for bait is making for some interesting mixed bags on many of these trips. In San Diego, the Daily Double out of Point Loma was out Wednesday with nine anglers who caught 17 calico bass, 27 sand bass, 16 sheephead, 24 rockfish and 33 perch on the squid. The Seawatch out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a pair of half-day trips Wednesday and the 39 anglers on these trips landed 80 calicos, five sand bass, a white seabass, 50 rockfish, 39 sheephead, 28 red snapper, nine whitefish and seven sculpin. In Marina del Rey, the Spitfire was on a three-quarter day trip with 18 anglers on Wednesday who caught 90 rockfish, 85 sculpin, three ling cod and one sheephead. The Redondo Special on a half-day with 15 anglers returned with 123 rockfish, two lings and a sheephead. In the Channel Islands, most of the boats are getting limits or near-limits of rockfish each day, along with a good mix of whitefish, lings and sheephead.