By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: Light fishing pressure with the dismal weather this past weekend, but before the front there was a bite of a crappie bite in 30 to 35 feet of water in the French Gulch Marina area on live minnows. The steady catfish action slowed this past week with just a fair bite on live minnows and frozen shad. A few more largemouth bass are starting to show with the warmer days. Trout slow.
KERN RIVER: Upper river trout bite fair to good for fly anglers fishing the wild or holdover fish, mostly on small nymphs. Trout were planted in all the stretches last week and the few anglers braving weather found good action on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and small spinners.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Flows have been off and on again this week and so has the striper bite. When the flows are on, the action has been pretty good on small stripers, especially on Flukes. When the flows are off, the bite is too. Most of the fish are still below the 18-inch minimum size. Catfish action slow.
MILL CREEK PARK: The bluegill bite is starting here, but the catfish action is slow.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: While the trout action is winding down in the region, the bite here is probably the best in the region with fair action on rainbows averaging around a pound. The bass and bluegill are also starting to show in better numbers. Slow other species.
HART PARK LAKE: The trout bite was fair this past week after an unannounced DFW trout plant. PowerBait and Power Mice were the best bet. The bass and bluegill are also starting to show with the warm weather. The bass are moving into the shallows to spawn and showing on plastics and spinnerbaits. Bluegill best on wax worms and meal worms.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Slowing trout action with the most recent DFW plants last week and three weeks ago. The bass are starting to move shallow to spawn and showing on nightcrawlers and plastics. Also the beginnings of a bluegill bite.
MING LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and three weeks ago. The trout action is slow to fair on Mice Tails, garlic PowerBait, or nightcrawlers with garlic. The bass bite is kicking into gear with quite a few fish showing on Brush Hawgs and large minnows in the shallows. Also some bluegill starting to show.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Slow to fair trout action on PowerBait, nightcrawlers and small trout jigs and worms.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The trout bite has slowed over the past week with only a few fish showing on PowerBait rolled in the new Hatchery Dust. The crappie bite also looks to be slowing down, but some nice fish to 1-8 are still being caught on live minnows. Probably the best bite has been on largemouth bass which are flooding into the shallows for the spawn. The bite has been good on plastics, spinnerbaits and Senkos in Webb. The bluegill are also just starting to show on meal worms and wax worms.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Very slow fishing with such low water conditions, but a few bass and bluegill are starting to show.
SUCCESS LAKE: Bass action has broken open with good action on plastics as the bass start nosing up into the shallows in their annual pre-spawn movement. Lots of 1 to 2-pound fish and bass to 6 pounds reported. There are also still some bass in deeper water and showing on jigging spoons. The bluegill bite is very slow in deep water. DFW trout plant last week.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has continued to improve over the past week with more fish showing in less than 15 feet of water on plastics and small swimbaits. The bluegill action is slow with the best bite in deeper water.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Windy conditions made the crappie bite in the narrows tough this week, but the warm weather has brought it back on. Still have been some very good catches on slabs to 2-8 with a solid average of 1-8. The bass bite has also been improving with the weather and both the smallmouth and largemouth are moving up into the shallows. The trout bite has been slow. Next trout plant set for March 19.
CASITAS: The bass action has continued to improve again this week as the weather warms again, and the fish are showing from very shallow water in a next building mode out into 30 feet of water. Lots of 1-8 to 3-pound fish with some better fish deeper. The trout bite has been very slow. The shore bite is dead. The last trout plant of the season will be just before the Kid's Trout Derby set for March 23. A few redear are also starting to show.
CASTAIC: DFW trout plants last week and three ago. The rainbow bite was best around the marina shoreline on PowerBait, nightcrawlers and small trout jigs. The striper have been showing at the dam on cut baits, but the best fish have been up on trout-like swimbaits and this action always improves after a DFW trout plant. Bass to six pounds reported this past week.
LOPEZ: The bass action has been improving, and while most of the fish are still in 10 to 15 feet, there are some fish moving shallow in a pre-spawn movement with the best action in Cottonwood Cove and at the dam. Also some crappie and bluegill showing around the docks on small jigs. Other species very slow.
NACIMIENTO: Spotted bass have been fair to good with the fish still mostly in 12 to 20 feet of water, but the fish are definitely in a pre-spawn mode and more aggressive. Best bite has been on plastics and Senko-type baits. A few largemouth bass in this bite. Other species have been slower with very few reports of white bass, catfish or panfish.
PIRU: The largemouth bass bite remains just fair with most of the fish showing on plastics with more and more fish moving up shallower in a pre-spawn movement. Still relatively light fishing pressure. The crappie bite improved again this week on small jigs with meal worms or Crappie Nibbles, and there have been some real quality slabs to two pounds or better caught.
PYRAMID: A DFW trout plant last week and three weeks ago have kept the trout action pretty decent on pan-sized fish. The average size has been from 4-8 pounds and some bigger. Also a few catfish in the cut bait bite, but this action is still off. The largemouth bite has been fair and improving with most of the fish moving inshore and hanging on cover preparing for the spawn. Plastics have been best.
SAN ANTONIO: The largemouth bass bite has improved dramatically in the past week to 10 days with fish starting to move shallower and showing on plastic worms. 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.
SANTA MARGARITA: The largemouth bass bite is kicking into gear with more and more fish showing in 10 feet of water or less, and plastic worms, swimbaits and even slow-rolled blades are getting fish that are beginning to think of the spawn. Other species remain slow, although a few redear are also starting to show, mostly still in 10 to 20 feet of water.
None for Kern or Tulare counties scheduled for this week.
LONG RANGE TUNA: The tuna season is progressing and the long range fleet is having to move further south to get into the best yellowfin tuna and wahoo fishing and the quality has slipped a little in the past couple of weeks. The anglers on these boats are still getting plenty of quality yellowfin from 80 to 150 pounds with a few up into the 200-plus class, and the wahoo fishing has been excellent on fish to nearly 70 pounds, but there are just few 300-pound class yellowfin. The Intrepid and Royal Star are both on trips now and the Royal Star reported it's anglers had 108 wahoo to 68 pounds and 58 tuna to 150 pounds Tuesday.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: Captain Ryan Bostian of the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing has been getting his anglers into a pick on yellowtail at the Coronado Islands for over a week, and a number of other boats are now hitting the spot and seeing similar results. The conditions are tough, but the fish are there in pretty good volume and showing with the effort. The San Diego was out Tuesday with 13 anglers and they landed 33 yellowtail to 30 pounds in spite of the 54 to 56-degree water. The Malihini out of H&M Landing was out Tuesday with 27 anglers and they landed 15 yellowtail, 51 rockfish, three sheephead and a ling cod. With the warmer weather, this bite could really take off.
ROCKFISH EXCELLENT ALL ALONG COAST: The rockfish bite has remained excellent all along the coast from San Diego up into the Channel Islands, and anglers who didn't let the weatherman scare them away last weekend had great bags of fish. The bite is perhaps a little better the further north you go with Channel Islands Sportfish and Captain Hook's Landing seeing slightly better quality and volume than landings further south. Just a few example of this bite. The Thunderbird out of Davey's Locker was out Tuesday with 28 anglers who caught 64 rockfish, 46 sand dabs, 23 red snapper, 14 sculpin and 11 bocaccio.