Kern county, southernSan Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The 24th Annual Lake Isabella Fishing Derby takes place Saturday through Monday and there will be over $250,000 in potential prizes, including one tagged trout worth $20,000 and nine others worth $10,000 each 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). The lake has been heavily planted with rainbows this week before the event, and the bite has been good around much of the drought-shrunked lake. More derby information at www.isabellafishingderby.com or by calling (866) 578-4386. The crappie action has continued generally good, but the fish have been moving in and out, depending on the weather. A couple of warm days and they're stacked up in three to four feet of water in Paradise Cove and Boulder Gulch areas.
KERN RIVER: For the second week in a row, all stretches of the Kern River have been planted by the DFW, and all the stretches are slated to be stocked again next week. The upper river trout bite remains good for fly anglers fishing the wild or holdover fish, mostly on small nymphs.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Continued wide open striper action, but most of the fish are just under the legal keeper size. However, there are more and more keeper fish showing with the occasional bigger fish in the double digit class this past week. The catfish bite is also breaking open here on shad and anchovies.
MILL CREEK PARK: Few reports, but there has been a pretty decent bite on bluegill with a few bass also showing.
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: The good crappie bite has continued with quite a few 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.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Bass are fair to good on nightcrawlers and plastics. Bluegill action is good on wax worms, meal worms, or small jigs. Carp are also starting to be caught on dough baits.
MING LAKE: Still some crappie showing here for the third week in a row. Bass have also been pretty good on and bluegill are fair to good.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plant slated for this week.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bluegill bite is very good and taking over the action here, and the catfish bite is improving. The crappie bite is slowing but a few are still being caught on the small, live minnows. The bass action also remains just fair with some fish still shallow and showing on plastics and nightcrawlers.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Very slow fishing with such low water conditions.
SUCCESS LAKE: Very good bluegill action with nice stringers of fish showing up along most shoreline areas with some structure. Bass bite has also remained good on plastics with the fish thick in the shallows in their annual spawn.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has continued to improve over the past week. The bluegill action is also improving.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Pretty good trout bite for trollers. Shore anglers also had fair action. The final plant of the season was slated for this week, and there are 200 tagged with for this weekend's Cachuma Trout Derby. The largemouth and smallmouth bites have been fair to good, The crappie bite also came back a little this past week in the back of Cachuma Bay and Santa Cruz Bay.
CASITAS: While winds have hampered the bite off and on since Monday this week, the bass bite has continued very good with a lot of fish still shallow on beds, but many also done with the spawn and back out in 12 to 20 feet of water. The trout action has been pretty good for trollers working Needlefish, but the shore bite has dried up. The redear bite disappeared this week and no more crappie have been reported.
CASTAIC: DFW trout plants this week and two weeks ago. The rainbow bite has been best around the marina shoreline. The hot action continues to be for largemouths and stripers.
LOPEZ: The bass bite is still very good with the fish in mid- to late-spawn and showing in two to 15 feet of water. Also some crappie and bluegill showing.
PIRU: The bass bite has been excellent with five-fish limits common. The average fish are from one to two pounds, but bass to seven pounds have been reported in the past week. The crappie bite is fair to good, but most of the fish being caught now are smaller than the huge fish reported two to three weeks ago.
NACIMIENTO: The shad have moved to the surface three weeks ago and the spotted and white bass have been busting the shad on the surface. Catches of 30 to 50 white bass a day have been common. Very few reports of catfish or panfish.
PYRAMID: Wind has been a problem this week, but there has been generally good action on stripers over the past week, in spite of the winds. The stripers are mostly from two to six pounds, but some fish in the 20-pound class are caught after the DFW trout plants. There have also been some nice catfish showing on the cut bait with fish to 10 pounds and better, but most are two-pound class.
SAN ANTONIO: The black bass bite has been good with the fish flooding the shallows to spawn. The crappie bite has been fair to good with some good catches reported but light pressure. Catfish are also improving on cut baits and nightcrawlers.
SANTA MARGARITA: The largemouth bass bite is very good with a lot of quality fish from eight to 10 pounds showing in water as shallow as two to three feet. There is also a fair crappie bite with everything showing quality fish from two to three pounds.
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, Cedar Creek, Cuddy Creek Pond, Kern River (Sections 0 through 5), Lake Isabella.
TULARE: Deer Creek, Kern River (Sections 5 and 6), Spear Creek (Poso Creek).
ISLANDS UPDATE: A quartette of boats went out to San Clemente Island this past weekend looking for yellowtail, but the Thunderbird out of Davey's Locker, the El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing, the Toronado out of Pierpoint, and the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing all found limits or near-limits of rockfish. The Freedom did run up on schools of yellowtail feeding on a kelp line and hooked 15 fish, but managed to only land one 15-pounder.
LOCAL FISHING BLOWN OUT: For the second week in a row, winds and rough seas have just about eliminated the saltwater bite all along the coast. This is pretty typical for April, and winds are forecast through much of this week again, which doesn't bode well for this coming weekend either. As of mid-month, there have only been three or four fishable days so far this month.
LONG RANGE BIG FISH BACK ON: Just when you think the giant yellowfin tuna season is winding down for the long range fleet out of San Diego fishing off the tip of Baja, the bite surges back on. The Royal Polaris reported in on Sunday after an amazing night-early morning bite on the big fish. From midnight to daybreak, the anglers on board landed 47 tuna with 16 over 190 pound mark, and the biggest taped at 318 pounds.