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By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish bite has continued good over the past week with the best bite on live minnows and shad. Most fish are from 1-8 to 2 pounds with an occasional bigger fish. Slow action on other species with the odd quality largemouth bass showing on bigger swimbaits.
KERN RIVER: Not much change here. The upper river trout bite remains fair to good for fly anglers fishing the wild or holdover fish, mostly on small nymphs. 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. The lower river also has very low flows and the bite is slow. No DFW plants in the upper or lower Kern this week, but plants are tentatively slated for sections 4, 5 and 6 (all upper river) next week for Whiskey Flat Days, Feb. 15-18.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Light fishing pressure but anglers fishing here are still seeing very good action on smaller stripers. Most are under the 18-inch minimum size, some legal fish are in the mix. The best bite has been on sand worms, blood worms, some on tube baits, Rat-L-Traps and sardines. Slow catfish action.
MILL CREEK PARK: Bluegill and catfish bites are very slow.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Good to excellent trout action after a DFW plants plants this week, last week and two weeks ago. Best action on PowerBait or nightcrawlers, and some fish are showing on small trout jigs and plastic trout worms.
HART PARK LAKE: The water level remains too low for DFW trout plants, but the water levels should come back up within a week or so once dam repairs are completed, and the DFW will plant then. Overall very slow fishing since last cold snap and more cold this weekend probably won't help things.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFW trout plants this week and each of the past two weeks. The bite has been very good on PowerBait, nightcrawlers, small trout jigs and trout plastics. Other species are very slow with the exception of a few bass during the warmer days this week.
MING LAKE: DFW trout plants this week and last week with bonus fish plant to help make up for missed weeks. The bite has been very good on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with scent, and trout plastics. Other species are very slow.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plants this week and two weeks ago. Continued good action on the usual array of floating baits, nightcrawlers and small trout jigs and worms.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: There was a 2,000-pound trout plant this week and the bite has been very good since with a lot of 2- to 3-pound rainbows reported. Yellow PowerBait has been the hot bait this week, but other colors of floating bait, small trout jigs and trout plastics have all been getting fish. There were also reports of rainbows at 10 and 16 pounds last week. The winter crappie bite has been very good on small minnows with slabs to 1-8 reported in recent days.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: The water level remains too low for trout stocking. Very slow fishing with such low water conditions.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action in the low water has been slow to fair. Best action on drop-shot plastics or jigging spoons in deeper water. The bluegill bite is very slow in deep water. Few other reports. DFW trout plant two weeks ago.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite had been slow to fair on plastics and jigs in deeper water. The bluegill action is slow with the best bite in deeper water. DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Other species very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Trout action spotty with some good and some slow periods. The best bite has been for trollers working the northern shorelines with Rapalas in the No. 5, 7 and 9 sizes or chrome Kastmasters. Rainbows to 5-8 reported but fewer limits. Top shore fishing spots were E-Point and the marina point with PowerBait the best bet. The largemouth and smallmouth action has been tough with cold water conditions.
CASITAS: The trout bite has been fair to good for trollers working hard, but the shore bite has dried up. Trollers are mostly flat-lining Rapalas no deeper than 15 feet. Scott Sanford, Ventura, has been getting consistent limits of 2-pound class fish on this tactic, but Greg Galloway, Valencia, was bass fishing with a plastic worm and caught a 12-pound rainbow. The bass bite is slow to fair. Best bite on jigs or plastics on the structure or jigging spoons and ice jigs under shad. Redear slow.
CASTAIC: DFW trout plants this week and three weeks ago and the bite has been good for the rainbows around the marina shoreline area on PowerBait, nightcrawlers and small trout lures and jigs. The stripers have been showing over on big swimbaits as they chase trout with quite a few fish to 12 pounds this past week and more expected after this week's trout plant. C Point has been the hotspot for the stripers. The largemouth bass have been best around the marina, in Utopia and Firebreak Coves on nightcrawlers, spoons, ice jigs and Lunker Plunkers in 50 to 65 feet of water.
LOPEZ: Very slow fishing with light fishing pressure. Only a few bass on deeply-fished plastics or jigs, and there are some crappie showing around the docks on small jigs. Other species slow.
NACIMIENTO: Overall slow fishing with light fishing pressure. Spotted bass have been fair in deeper water on slow-fished plastics and jigs, but white bass, catfish or panfish are slow.
PIRU: A few largemouth bass are showing on jigging spoons and ice jigs in 30 to 70 feet of water. Light fishing pressure, but a few crappie continue to show on deep structure on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles, meal worms, or other small baits. Most are half to three-quarter pounders and numbers have dwindled. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: There was a DFW trout plant last week and three weeks ago, and the bite has been good near the launch ramp on PowerBait and small trout lures. The plant also brought up a few bigger stripers, but most of the striper action has been in deep water with the stripers, like the largemouth bass, shadowing the shad schools in deep water. Drifted anchovies has been best, but both largemouths and a few stripers are showing on jigging spoons and ice jigs. Catfish action slowed.
SAN ANTONIO: Overall, the action has continued slow. Few striper reports but the fish seem to still be on the shad schools and a few have been reported by trollers or anglers soaking bait. Catfish action has been slow. Largemouth bass action is slow.
SANTA MARGARITA: Most species slow with light fishing pressure. A few bass showing on dark plastics in deeper water. Other species very slow.
L.A. COUNTY: Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake.
KERN COUNTY: Brite Valley Reservoir, Ming Lake, River Walk Park, Truxtun Lake.
LONG-RANGE TUNA AWESOME: The giant yellowfin tuna bite for the long range fleet off the tip of Baja continues excellent. The Red Rooster III returned from its most recent trip on Sunday. The anglers on board brought home 189 yellowfin and 49 wahoo. There were 21 yellowfin over 200 pounds and the top fish was a 324-pounder. The Royal Polaris is en route home and the biggest fish on this trip was right around 250 pounds and there were 200-pound class fish landed each day of fishing. The Intrepid returned with yellowfin to 263 pounds.
LOCAL UPDATES: While there are not a lot of options during the mid-winter rockfish closure in California waters, there have been two options for SoCal anglers that are pretty decent. First, a handful of San Diego-based boats are running into Mexican waters for rockfish there. Over the weekend, the Fortune was on a 1-day trip and returned with limits of rockfish, including some big reds and bocaccio, along with a nice bunch of big whitefish. The Voyager was on an overnight on Saturday with 20 passengers and they caught 100 red snapper and 100 mixed rockfish, easy limit. The Premier was on a half-day trip Tuesday with 18 anglers and they landed 180 rockfish. The second option has been the bite in the Santa Monica Bay for sculpin and bass. The average catch has been three to five sculpin per rod and along with a bass or two. Out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing, the New Del Mar had a pair of half-day trips on Monday and the 33 anglers on those two trips landed 151 sculpin, 15 sand bass and seven calicos. The Spitfire was out on Sunday with 22 anglers and they landed 110 sculpin, seven sand bass and a calico. Elsewhere the action is very tough in nearshore waters. California rockfish season reopens March 1.
LOCAL ISLANDS UPDATE: There continues to be cold water conditions at both Catalina and San Clemente islands this week and very little fishing pressure. With the good weather this past weekend, a number of private boats fished both locations and while bait was plentiful, the bite was very tough on bass and there have been no signs of yellowtail or white seabass.