Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: Crappie Mania is still in full swing, but wind has been a problem in recent days. The bite is still very good with shore and boat anglers in the South Fork Arm getting 25-fish limits of slabs from one pound to 2-8 pretty. The best action is still on small minnows, but a few fish are also showing on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Crappie anglers are reminded the limit is 25 per licensed angler. Anglers may not help another angler fill his limit, and each angler must have his own stringer or fish basket. The catfish bite has also been pretty good, but the largemouth bass action has been surprisingly tough. A few bluegill are starting to show. In spite of heavy plants, the trout fishing was tough last weekend. The big annual trout derby reflected that fact, with lighter turnout than most years and much slower fishing. The highest value tag reported was worth $500, and the $1,000 winner for the longest fish was Thomas Amaro, Oxnard, with an 18 1/8th-inch rainbow. In total, there were $2,750 in prizes awarded during the three-day event.
KERN RIVER: The upper river has been fair this past week for bait and lure anglers, but the fly anglers are seeing some pretty good afternoon action on wild fish. DFW plants in sections 4 through 6 this week, and next week all sections will be planted for the trout season opener. The best bite has been on salmon eggs and mice tails for bait and lure anglers and small nymphs and emergers for fly anglers. In the lower river, Democrat Dam has been good with a few limits reported.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The hot striper action just won't slow down, and while most of the fish are under the 18-inch minimum size, the bite has been very good. Sardines, blood worms or lug worms are the best baits with the odd bigger fish.
MILL CREEK PARK: Overall slow fishing, but the carp bite is starting to turn on a little on dough baits.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The largemouth bass bite is good with a lot of fish in the shallows on beds. They are whacking Senkos and Brush Hawgs or similar baits. More and more bluegill showing each week, and the carp bite is really starting to kick into gear on dough baits. Trout action is very slow with only the odd fish showing on PowerBait or Mice Tails.
HART PARK LAKE: The bass bite has been fair to good with the fish moving shallow for the spawn. Most smaller fish under two pounds showing on Brush Hawgs and Senkos. The bluegill action is pretty good now on wax worms and meal worms. The crappie bite has slowed, but the carp action is pretty good on Powder Bait. Trout pretty much over for season.
TRUXTUN LAKE: The crappie bite slowed this past week, but the bass remain pretty good in the shallows on nightcrawlers, plastics and Brush Hawgs. The carp and bluegill are also fair to good. The carp are best on dough baits and the bluegill best on meal and wax worms. Trout season is pretty much over.
MING LAKE: The bass, bluegill and carp are all pretty good, but the crappie bite has slowed from last week. The carp bite has been good on Powder Bait or other dough baits. The largemouth bass bite is best on plastics and nightcrawlers with the fish shallow for the spawn. The bluegill are also moving shallow preparing to spawn and this bite is good.
BRITE LAKE: The trout bite is slow with the most recent DFW plant three weeks ago. PowerBait with garlic, Mice Tails and small jigs with scent have been the best bets. The largemouth bass bite is also starting to get pretty good as the fish move shallow, and the bluegill action is starting.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bass action is very good on a variety of plastic baits and nightcrawlers, but Brush Hawgs and Senkos have been top bets. The crappie action slowed again this week, but a few continues to show on live minnows. The catfish action remains pretty fair on shad and nightcrawlers. The bluegill action is also starting to take off as they move shallow for the spawn.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Catfish action has been fair to good and the water level, while low, is still good for fishing. The bass are pretty fair in the shallows, and more and more bluegill are being caught. Carp are fair and improving with each warm day.
SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite is pretty good this week with the fish up shallow for the spawn. Other species still slow. DFW trout plant this week.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has been good as the fish stack in the shallows for the spawn. Plastics and nightcrawlers the best bet. DFW trout plant this week.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: The trout action was excellent for the derby this past weekend, and it took a seven-pound rainbow to win the event. Crappie remain just fair in the east end of the lake on mini jigs tipped with a meal worm or Crappie Nibble. The largemouth and smallmouth bass action is steadily improving as more and more fish move shallow for the spawn.
CASITAS: The bass look to be on the backside of the spawn, but the action is still very good with a lot of fish in 20 feet of water or less on plastics, nightcrawlers and reaction baits. The shad even started showing on top and a few anglers were able to dip net some of the candy bait and posted some good scores.
CASTAIC: Stripers are good with the best action on lug worms, sardines and blood worms in 60 to 100 feet of water in the Ski Arm, off Kong Island, and Necktie Canyon. Most are small, but a few fish from four to six pounds show. Kreig Hayes, Valencia, had five stripers to four pounds on sardines off Kong Island. DFW trout plant last week resulted in fair shore action into the weekend, slow since. Largemouth bass have been good in five to 25 feet during the spawn.
LOPEZ: The bass bite is very good with still in the spawn. The best action has been on plastics and nightcrawlers. The bluegill, redear and crappie are also all just starting to show with the bluegill and redear best on red worms while the crappie are best on small jigs tipped with a meal worm or Crappie Nibble. A few catfish continue to show on cut baits in deeper water, but that is still slow.
NACIMIENTO: Very good black bass action continues good with smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth all pretty much in a spawn mode and biting good on plastics, especially in the area from Las Tables to the dam. The white bass have been fair to good for anglers casting or trolling small lures.
PIRU: No much change with a light number of reports. The largemouth bass bite has been fair to good on plastics and reaction baits with most fish shallow. The average fish is from one to two pounds.
PYRAMID: DFW trout plant last week. Fair to good action around the launch ramp. The striper bite is good with a lot of small fish from 10 to 12 inches showing but few bigger fish.
SAN ANTONIO: Light fishing pressure. The black bass action is also good, with the fish starting to stack up in the shallows along the shorelines.
SANTA MARGARITA: The black bass are still in the spawn and in from four to 20 feet of water along most shorelines with structure. No reports on other species. With no launch ramps available now, only kayaks, canoes or inflatables can get on the water.
BISHOP AND BIG PINE AREA: Pleasant Valley Reservoir has been fair to good for float tubers fishing jigs or floating baits. The Owens River gorge is fair in the afternoons. The lower Owens has been good with some surprisingly big holdover and planted rainbows showing for float anglers.
KERN: Alder Creek, Cedar Creek, Kern River (sections 1 through 5).
TULARE COUNTY: Balch Park Lake (upper and lower), Bone Creek, Deer Creek, Dry Meadow Creek, Freeman Creek, Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake), Kaweah Reservoir, Kern River (sections 5 and 6), Murry Park Pond, Nobe Young Creek, Peppermint Creek (upper and lower), Tule River Middle Fork, Tule River North Fork (Middle Fork No. 1), Tule River South Fork (Middle Fork No. 2 and No. 3), White River.
ISLANDS BREAKING OPEN: The action at all of the offshore islands has been broken wide open this past week with the unseasonably mild April weather. The first white seabass of the Catalina season was caught Monday this week by Captain Jeff Jones, and the bite has been pretty good since with several boats getting limits (one fish per angler) on seabass and on Tuesday yellowtail started showing on live squid for private boaters. Catalina has also been pretty good for calico bass, and the rockfish, sheephead, and whitefish action remains excellent. At San Clemente, the calico bite has been wide open on quality fish averaging from four to six pounds, and the early-season bite on yellowtail is poised to break wide open.
LOCAL CONDITIONS IMPROVING: The warm weather and unusual lack of hard winds have really kicked the bites off for the half- and three-quarter day boats fishing nearshore waters all along the Southern California coast. While most of the skippers are still focusing on the excellent bottom fish action, the bass and halibut bites are also improving by the day with private boaters reporting good fishing. The rockfish are just exceptional, however, and tough to ignore. Scores on half-day boats have been averaging from four to eight fish per angler, while the three-quarter day boat anglers are getting from seven to 10 rockfish each.