By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: Fair crappie bite has emerged in the French Gulch region on live minnows. With the water so low and so little fishing pressure, the bite is hard to gauge, but there have been a few decent catches of fish over a pound. The catfish bite continues to be good with the best bite on live minnows and frozen shad. The fish are mostly from 1-8 to two pounds with an occasional bigger fish. Overall slow action on other species with the odd quality largemouth bass showing on bigger swimbaits.
KERN RIVER: The upper river trout bite remains fair to good for fly anglers fishing the wild or holdover fish, mostly on small nymphs, but the entire upper river was also planted with DFW trout this week for Whiskey Flat Days which runs today through the Monday holiday in the Kernville region. Water flows remain very low and the fish are congregated in the bigger pools. Best bite for bait anglers has been on deeply fished salmon eggs. Fishing is slow in lower river.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The bite on small stripers remains good. Most are under 18-inch minimum size, but some legal fish are in the mix. The best bite has been on sand worms, blood worms (which have been in short supply due to the big storm back east), 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 last week and the previous two weeks. Limits are still pretty easy to come by. Best action on a variety of PowerBaits or inflated nightcrawlers doused in garlic oil. Some fish are showing on small trout jigs and plastic trout worms. Slow other species.
HART PARK LAKE: The water level remains too low for DFW trout plants, but the water levels should come back up soon once dam repairs are completed, and the DFW will plant then with a stock tentatively slated for next week. Overall very slow fishing.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Fair to good trout action with DFW trout plants last week and the previous two weeks. Still a lot of limits reported on PowerBait, nightcrawlers, trout jigs and trout plastics.
MING LAKE: While there have been DFW trout plants last week and two weeks ago, the action here is just fair. The best action has been on PowerBait with garlic additives or pre-flavored the best bet. Nightcrawlers, trout plastics and trout jigs are all a notch behind in producing fish. Other species are slow, but the warm weather could bring up some bass, bluegill this weekend.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Continued good action on the usual array of floating baits, nightcrawlers and small trout jigs and worms.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Two very good bites over the past week. First, the trout action was excellent after the 2,000-pound plant last week with a lot of 2- to 3-pound rainbows. Yellow PowerBait with garlic oil or garlic PowerBait have been the top baits. Second, the crappie action remains very good with a lot of fish in the one-pound range but some to 2-8. The bite is almost exclusively on small minnows. A surprise has been the good number of early season bass already starting to show on minnows, spinnerbaits and Senkos.
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.
KAWEAH LAKE: Bass bite has 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 plants this week and three weeks ago. Other species very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Trout action was fair with rainbows to 6 pounds reported. The bulk of the trout were reported by trollers working the northeast shoreline with Rapalas. The largemouth and smallmouth action has been inconsistent, but the warm days this week are perking thing a little. Other species have been very slow. Good news for bowfishermen. The carp are showing up on the surface in force this week with Cachuma Bay a hot spot.
CASITAS: The trout action remains pretty good for trollers with a smattering of fish showing for shore anglers. Adam Skinner, Oakview, had a 6-12 rainbow on a nightcrawler, while Marissa Novak, 5, Ojai, landed a 2-8 trout on a Needlefish while trolling with dad. The warm weather seems to be turning on the bass bite with fish actually moving up into shallower water this week. Mason Montesinos, 7, Camarillo, caught and released a 9-pound bass on a nightcrawler.
CASTAIC: DFW trout plants last week and four weeks ago made for good trout and striper action this past week. The rainbows are best around the marina shoreline on PowerBait, nightcrawlers and small trout lures and jigs. Top striper reported was an 18-pounder, but there were quite a few in the 10-pound class. Quite a few smallmouths have been reported in recent days on cranks in the Fishing Arm of the lake, while the largemouth bass have been best around the marina, in 30 to 50 feet of water.
LOPEZ: Very slow fishing with light fishing pressure.
NACIMIENTO: Overall slow fishing with light fishing pressure. Spotted bass have been fair in deeper water on slow-fished plastics and jigs, but the white bass, catfish or panfish have been very slow.
PIRU: The largemouth bass bite remains just fair with most of the fishing showing on jigging spoons and ice jigs in 30 to 70 feet of water. Other species slow.
PYRAMID: The striped bass bite has been fair to good with a few real quality fish showing after trout plants. There was a 33-pounder and a 15-pounder caught in the past two weeks. Most of the bigger fish are showing on trout-like swimbaits.
SAN ANTONIO: Overall, the action has continued slow.
SANTA MARGARITA: Most species slow with light fishing pressure. A few bass showing on dark plastics in deeper water. Other species very slow.
KERN: Kern River (sections 4, 5).
TULARE: Del Lago Park Lake, Kaweah Reservoir, Kern River (section 5), Murray Park Pond.
LONG-RANGE TUNA AWESOME: The long range boats out of San Diego continue to have excellent action on giant yellowfin tuna off the tip of Baja. The American Angler reported in on Tuesday with a final daily count of four yellowfin over 300 pounds and most of the fish landed were in the 250 to 280 pound class. The Royal Star was in a different zone and mostly on 80 to 170-pound fish, but the big fish on Monday was a 290-pounder. Several other boats were just getting onto the fishing grounds on Wednesday this week. The action is simply spectacular.
ENSENADA: Before the weekend storm, there were some very good reports from Ensenada about yellowtail to 20 pounds for Mexican-based boats. These boats were also reporting good action on rockfish along with a few halibut on the flats.
SAN DIEGO: The Pacific Voyager out of H&M Landing continues to make 11/2-day trips into Mexican waters for rockfish. The most recent trip returned with limits of quality red rockfish, focusing on deeper water spots, along with a few lings. Limits of rockfish have been the rule on these trips. The Premier, also out of H&M, had a half-day Mexican rockfish trip on Tuesday with 23 anglers and they had limits. A little further up the coast, the Sea Trek out of Helgren's in Oceanside has been averaging 50-70 mixed sand and calico bass on half-day trips, or three to five bass per rod, on good-weather days.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY UPDATES: The action along the Los Angeles and Orange County coastline has been steady on the sculpin with a fair pick on the bass. The Western Pride out of DaveyÃs Locker in Newport was on a half-day on Tuesday with nine anglers and they landed 45 sculpin (limits), 15 sand dabs, and two perch. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach had 13 anglers on a half-day Tuesday and they caught 27 sand bass and 16 sculpin. On a Sunday trip, 15 anglers on the same boat had 62 sand bass and 13 sculpin. There were 18 anglers on the New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing on Monday and they had 83 sculpin, 25 sand bass and seven calicos. This is solid winter fishing and the loads are light.
ISLANDS UPDATE: Still very slow action at both Catalina and San Clemente because of cold water conditions. There is still a lot of squid available at both locations, but outside of few bass and odd halibut showing, the yellowtail and white seabass remains slow.