By The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The winter catfish bite is finally start to perk a little with a pretty fair bite at Engineer's Point on frozen shad. Not a lot of big fish, but pretty numbers on fish around two or three pounds. The trout bite has been slow to fair at the auxiliary dam for bait anglers fishing floating baits, Power Mice, or inflated nightcrawlers. A DFG plant went in last week. Fly anglers are also reporting a fair to good dry fly bite on midges in most coves in the mornings. Few reports on crappie, and the bass and bluegill action is slow.
KERN RIVER: Trout action is slow to fair on the upper river with only a few fish showing in the cold water on salmon eggs, crickets and nightcrawlers. Fly anglers are also seeing slow to fair action in the stretch just above Kernville with mid-day midge and baetis hatches and some dry fly and nymph action. In the lower river flows are down under 400 cfs and the region is very fishable, but the trout bite is slow. Also slow action on the smallmouth bass.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striped bass bite continues to be fair to good on blood worms and sand worms. Lots of 4- to 6-pound fish, but still light fishing pressure. A 25-pound class striper was reported this past week. Few catfish reports.
MILL CREEK PARK: There has been an improvement in the catfish bite here over the past week. The action has been on nightcrawlers.
HART PARK LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and two weeks ago, and the bite has been pretty good. Best action on the Power Mouse, Power eggs, garlic-scented floating baits and inflated nightcrawlers. The bluegill, carp, catfish and bluegill bites are all very slow.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and two weeks ago. Overall pretty good action on garlic nightcrawlers, garlic Power Bait and the Power Mouse doused with garlic oil. The bluegill, crap and bass are all slow.
RIVER WALK PARK: DFG trout plants last week and two weeks ago. Good trout action on the Power Mouse, garlic Power Bait and Power Eggs with garlic oil fished on light leaders and sliding sinkers. Other species slow.
MING LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and two weeks ago with good action on floating dough baits, inflated garlic nightcrawlers, or the new Power Mouse. The bluegill, carp and bass have all been slow.
BRITE LAKE: Trout plant last week.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Still a few trout showing and there will be another plant later in February. The winter crappie bite is dead. Catfish and bass also slow.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and two weeks ago, and there has been pretty good action since on Power Mice, Power Bait in garlic and hatchery formulas, and garlic-flavored nightcrawlers. All other species have been slow.
SUCCESS LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Trout providing the best action. A few bass on deep, slow presentions with plastics and nightcrawlers the best bet. Other species slow.
KAWEAH LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Fair action on the rainbows with small lures and floating baits in garlic and hatchery formulas. The bass bite has slowed with just a fair bite, mostly on plastics in deeper water. The bluegill action is slow with only a few fish on red worms or nightcrawler pieces in deeper water. Crappie very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Trout action fair with some diligent anglers getting limits. Bass action improved with both smallmouth and largemouth showing in water as shallow as three feet with the warm weather bringing them up.
CASITAS: The trout action has continued to slow with just fair action, mostly on bait. The best bite is still on the outside edges of weed lines and off the points. A handful to redear to nearly 2 pounds have been reported in past week in a slow bite.
CASTAIC: The trout bite has continued fair to good and DFG plants went in this week and two weeks ago. Lagoon has been better for the bass, mostly on plastics and swimbaits. Catfish, crappie, bluegill slow.
LOPEZ: A few crappie continue to show on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles fished around structure. The bass bite is slow to fair with only a few fish showing on nightcrawlers, plastics and jigs in 15 feet or deeper. Other species very slow.
NACIMIENTO: The spotted bass bite has remained fair on jigs and drop-shotted baits in 12 to 35 feet of water. No other reports.
PIRU: Very light fishing pressure, but the bass bite has been fair in deeper water with plastics, jigs and nightcrawlers. The redear, bluegill and crappie bites have all continued to slow down with very few reports. The catfish have also been very slow.
PYRAMID: Trout were planted this week and three weeks ago. The bite has remained fair in the marina on small lures, flies and floating baits. Slow bluegill and catfish action.
SAN ANTONIO: Continued light fishing pressure and few reports. No recent striper reports. The action on black bass has been pretty fair on drop-shot plastics or jigs in 20 to 45 feet of water and slow presentations.
SANTA MARGARITA: Very light fishing pressure and mostly slow fishing. A few bass continue to be caught in 20 to 30 feet on slow presentations with plastic worms, lizards and jigs the best bet. Few bluegill or redear showing. Very slow other species.
LONG-RANGE YELLOWFIN: The great action has continued for the long-range fleet out of San Diego fishing the big yellowfin tuna grounds off the tip of Baja on 18 to 22-day trips. Slow days are 20 to 30 fish from 70 to 250 pounds. Good days are 45 to 70 fish in that size class.
MEXICO VISA FIASCO: The new Mexican visa requirements have added a $35 cost per angler on 3/4-day and one-day trips to the Coronado Islands and other nearby water. This has effectively put the 3/4-day San Diego fleet out of business.
MEXICAN ROCKFISH: That $35 fee is a little easier to swallow on the 11â2- to 21â2-day trips into Mexican water to fish for rockfish while the season is closed on this side of the border. The action has been exceptional on 4- to 6-pound red rockfish, whitefish and sheephead, although fewer lings were in the bag this past week. Boats reporting full limits of rockfish in recent days.
NEARSHORE ACTION UPDATE: The bite has been surprisingly good for the half- and three-quarter day local fleet fishing nearshore waters from San Diego up into the Santa Monica Bay. There has been a modest pick on the halibut along the sandy beaches with some bigger fish to 20-plus pounds showing, but this bite has been tough. Calico and sand bass have been providing better action, and the perch and sculpin are adding to the action.
ISLANDS UPDATE: Light fishing pressure at both San Clemente and Catalina, but both have some bites worth noting and watching. At Clemente, a few anglers are hammering the calicos by fishing right in the kelp and getting a decent number of 4- to 8-pound fish.