Kern county, southernSan Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: In spite of low water levels, the crappie action broke open this week with a lot of fish from two to three pounds reported off the bank in Paradise Cove. Most anglers are getting the fish on small minnows or small crappie jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. The bass action is getting better as the fish move up to spawn, and a few more trout are starting to show in the dam area. The 24th Annual Lake Isabella Fishing Derby will be held April 20-22 and there will be over $250,000 in potential prizes, including one tagged trout worth $20,000 and nine others worth $10,000 if caught during the event. Registration is $20 per person or $45 per family (husband and wife and up to three kids with additional kids just $5 each). More derby information at isabellafishingderby.com or by calling (866) 578-4386. The catfish bite has also been pretty fair, but no reports on bluegill or carp.
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 the entire river this week.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Wide open striper action, but most of the fish are just under the legal keeper size. The fish seem to be growing by the day and more and more are over the 18-inch minimum size, but anglers are having a blast catching and releasing dozens of fish a day. The catfish bite is also breaking open. Robert Hernandez, Bakersfield, caught a 7-12 cat on an anchovy.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports, but there has been a pretty decent bite on bluegill with a few bass also showing. No catfish reports.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The bass are pretty good with a lot of fish showing on plastics and minnows along the shorelines in the spawn. The bluegill bite is also starting to take off. Carp starting to show in decent numbers on Powder Bait.
HART PARK LAKE: Good crappie bite on fish to a pound or a little better on live minnows or small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. The bluegill bite is also turning on. Most bass action is on minnows, plastics, nightcrawlers. Bluegill bite fair.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Fair overall. Bass are shallow to spawn and the bite has been fair to good on nightcrawlers and plastics. The bluegill action is also improving. Carp biting on dough baits.
MING LAKE: Nice crappie bite on live minnows. The fish are running from 3/4 of a pound to 1-8. Bass bite is improving.
BRITE LAKE: Few reports. No DFW trout plants for over a month and that bite is slow.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Trout bite has slowed. The crappie bite is still going, but instead of limits, the better catches are 6-10 fish per angler. The bass action has been fair to good. The bluegill are improving. Catfish are slow.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Very slow fishing with such low water conditions, but a few bass and bluegill are starting to show. Also some carp starting to show.
SUCCESS LAKE: Good bluegill action with nice stringers of fish showing up along most shoreline areas with some structure. The bass bite has also remained good. Lots of 1- to 2-pound fish and bass to 6 pounds reported.
KAWEAH LAKE: Bass bite has continued to improve. The bluegill action is also improving. Other species very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Pretty good trout bite for shore anglers and trollers after the 4,000-pound trout plants last week and three weeks ago. The final plant of the season will be April 18, just before the April 20-21 Cachuma Trout Derby. Crappie bite looked to be taking off again in the narrows on small jigs and trolled Rapalas. The largemouth and smallmouth bites were also improving again at mid-week.
CASITAS: The bass bite has been good to excellent. Most in the 1-8- to 3-pound class, but a six-pounder was caught on live shad by Chuck Guernsey, Ojai. The shad are back on the surface and anglers have been able to dip net some of the candy bait for nearly two weeks now. The trout bite has been fair. Mike Neuman, Ventura, landed a 6-pound rainbow on the live shad. The redear are starting to show.
CASTAIC: The rainbow bite has been best around the marina shoreline. The hot action has been for largemouths and stripers. Most stripers under 6 pounds, but Brett Packard, Castaic, landed a 27-pounder April 5 on a swimbait at the dam.
LOPEZ: Bass bite is breaking wide open. Also some crappie and bluegill showing around the docks on small jigs.
PIRU: The bass bite has been excellent. The average fish are from 1-2 pounds. Crappie bite is fair to good. Other species slow.
NACIMIENTO: Spotted, white bass have been busting shad on the surface. Catches of 30 to 50 white bass a day have been common. Very few reports of catfish or panfish.
PYRAMID: There has been generally good action on stripers, in spite of the winds. The stripers are mostly from 2-6 pounds, but some fish in the 20-pound class are caught after the DFW trout plants. There have also been some nice catfish showing. The largemouth bass bite is good.
SAN ANTONIO: The black bass bite has been good. Crappie bite has been fair to good. Catfish are also improving.
SANTA MARGARITA: The largemouth bass bite is very good with a lot of quality fish from 8-11 pounds. Fair crappie bite.
KERN: Kern River (sections 0 through 5).
TULARE: Kaweah Reservoir, Kern River (sections 5 and 6).
LONG RANGE UPDATE: The San Diego long range fleet has continued to focus on distant spots south of the top of Baja, and few giant yellowfin have been caught on these recent trips. The bite remains excellent on tuna in the 80 to 140-pound range, and the Independence reported in this week with a 190-pound class yellowfin on Tuesday.
CORONADO ISLANDS BITE: Wind and high swells much to the past week have made the bite here difficult, but the volume of yellowtail at the Corona Islands is still excellent. Late last week, skippers on boat out of H&M, Seaforth, and Point Loma were all reporting 12 to 20 fish days with the yellowtail running to 35 pounds. The winds and swell was moderating on Wednesday and this bite was expected to come back on.
ROCKFISH CONDITIONS TOUGH: The rockfish bite all along the coast remains good, but the conditions have been difficult since Sunday with winds and a high swell. That was moderating Wednesday and the scores were going back up again. On Tuesday, the Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing (San Pedro) had a bumpy ride for its 15 anglers but they still landed 29 red snapper, 24 rockfish, one white fish and 193 sand dabs. The New Del Mar on a half-day Tuesday with 21 anglers came back with 78 rockfish and one sand bass on board.
BASS NEWS: The warming water conditions have perked the calico bass fishing, especially in the San Diego-to-Oceanside region, but the new regulations that require the minimum size to be 14 1/2-inches will mean that most boats will be doing catch-and-release on the bass this season. Most skippers say that only one out of 100 bass will meet that minimum size along the coast with most in the 12- to 13-inch range.
ISLANDS UPDATE: Less fishing pressure this past week with the winds, but there's still not much happening at Catalina in the way of white seabass, yellowtail, or bass. At Clemente, there are a few yellowtail bouncing around, but simply no action on them yet, and the conditions were dismal out here this week. There is excellent rockfish action.