Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
CATFISH DERBY: Bob's Bait Bucket's annual month-long carp derby continues through August. The entry fee is $1 per angler and you must register before you weigh in a fish. Only fresh fish can be weighed in and no weighing in of fish the same day as entering derby. The biggest carp weighed in during August will take the $100 prize, plus all the entry fee money from everyone entered. There are currently 36 anglers signed up so the pot is at $136. The current leader is Richard Burdock, Bakersfield, with an 8-pound carp. Information: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657.
LAKE ISABELLA: The catfish bite continues to provide some of the best action in the region. The fish remain in 15-feet of water or more and the bite is best on garlic shrimp, chicken liver, shad, nightcrawlers and Secret 7 catfish bait. The bass, trout and bluegill bites have all been pretty slow. A few bass are showing in an early morning topwater bite.
KERN RIVER: The upper river has been slow to fair for bait and lure anglers, with no plants in over a month. The fly anglers are doing pretty fair on wild fish, with the action progressively better the further upstream you go. In the lower river flows are very low, but the smallmouth and largemouth bass have been pretty good. Catfish bite pretty good.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Catfish action has remained pretty good on garlic shrimp, shad, chicken liver and mackerel. Quite a few fish topping 5 pounds. For striper bite info, see Steve Merlo's column on facing page.
MILL CREEK PARK: Most action has been for bluegill. A few catfish showing on nightcrawlers.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Bluegill are good on most of the small baits. The carp bite is good on dough baits.
HART PARK LAKE: The bluegill and carp action is very good.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Pretty fair bite on bass in the evenings on live minnows and Brush Hawgs the last week. The carp action has been good on dough baits, especially Powder Bait. The bluegill are also good on wax worms, meal worms, or crickets in less than 10 feet of water.
MING LAKE: Good carp, bluegill action.
BRITE LAKE: The bluegill action is pretty good.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The catfish and bluegill bites are both pretty good.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Good bluegill and carp action. A few catfish and bass are showing.
SUCCESS LAKE: The bluegill action is also pretty good on wax worms and meal worms. A fair number of carp and catfish. Bass spotty. Other species still slow.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has been spotty on nightcrawlers, but the bluegill and carp bites are pretty good.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Catfish continue to be pretty much became the only game here. The largemouth and smallmouth bass improved to fair this past week, but the best bite is the topwater action. Crappie are very slow with only the off fish showing on on small jigs by the cistern island. The trout bite has also been slow, with little pressure. But a few holdove.
CASITAS: There has been a good topwater and reaction bait bite in the mornings for the bass. Quite a few redear and bluegill are showing, mostly on nightcrawlers and meal worms, in 15 feet or less.
CASTAIC: The striper bite remains pretty good. There has also been a good topwater largemouth and smallmouth bass bite in the early mornings and then a fair bite late in the afternoons and into the evening on plastics and nightcrawlers.
LOPEZ: The topwater bass bite is fair to good with a lot of fish on frogs and other topwater baits early and late in the day. The bluegill, redear and crappie are fair to good. A few catfish continue to show on cut baits in deeper water.
NACIMIENTO: Fair to good action on smaller one to three-pound spotted bass. The fish are up chasing baitfish early and late in the day.
PIRU: The largemouth bass bite has been fair to good on plastics and reaction baits. The bluegill action is fair.
PYRAMID: The striper bite remains fair to good with a lot of small fish from 1-3 pounds. Catfish, largemouth bites fair.
SAN ANTONIO: The striped bass bite has been fair. The largemouth bass have been fair to good with the fish on top early and late and then in 15 to 40 feet of water on plastics. Smallmouth are also pretty decent.
SANTA MARGARITA: The bass action has been fair to good, some to 6 pounds. Crappie fair.
BRIDGEPORT REGION: The East Walker continues to fish pretty well, especially lower stretches from the bridge downstream into the Nevada stretches. Bridgeport Reservoir continues to drop, but the bait anglers fishing Rainbow Point are getting a lot of one to two-pound class fish. Twin Lakes have been fair. The West Walker has been very good, especially with dry flies and lure anglers are getting some fish in the evenings on spinners. Virginia Lake is perhaps the best spot in the region.
JUNE LAKE LOOP-LEE VINING REGION: Overall, fair to good trout action throughout the June Lake Loop with mornings and evenings the best time to fish. June Lake continues to produce a lot of 1- to 3-pound trout. Gull, Silver and Grant are all producing nice catches, with a few browns showing from Silver and Grant.
MAMMOTH AREA: Crowley Lake has been fair to good for trout for midge anglers fishing in the bays. The Sacramento perch bite has been good all along the 395 side of the lake, from McGee Bay to Whiskey Creek around wed beds. The Owens has mostly smaller fish now with the occasional big brown from an undercut. Hot Creek is mostly producing 8- to 14-inch browns. At Convict Lake, the bite has been good with quite a few limits reported most days. Twin Lakes has been good near the falls and along the outside edges of weed beds. Rock Creek Lake has been fair to good with smaller browns.
BISHOP AND BIG PINE AREA: Bishop Creek and Intake II remain the top spots to get a limit of trout.
LONE PINE TO INDEPENDENCE AREA: All of the trout streams in this region are fair to good with light pressure. Most are being planted each week now.
AS GOOD AS IT GETS: The San Diego tuna bite is simply as good as it gets. Most overnight and longer trips are turning with limits of yellowfin tuna for all anglers on board. Add in good numbers of yellowtail, some bluefin tuna, and increasing numbers of dorado, and you have fishing that is unsurpassed. Even the three-quarter day boats are getting in on the action and finding great fishing. The best part if that the yellowfin are all good grade fish running from 15 to 35 pounds. Many skippers, after running overnight or 1 1/2-day trips, are turning around and squeezing a 3/4-day trip into the schedule. Most of the overnight and longer trips are booked up two weeks to over a month in advance. These added trips have been offering anglers who have flexible schedules a chance to go when the bite is hottest.
LA, ORANGE COUNTY TUNA UPDATE: The tuna bite hasnÃt been quite as good for boats leaving from ports further north up the coast from Oceanside into Los Angeles and Orange counties. Most three-quarter and full-day trips are returning with from 20 to 40 mixed bluefin and yellowfin tuna, along with lots of yellowtail and a few dorado. lina Island has been the focus of the sportfishing fleet because it is the closest of the offshore islands, the bite at all of the islands off the coast has been excellent for yellowtail and the odd tuna (with the tuna mostly for private boaters). And no one is talking much about the excellent bonito fishing and good flurries of barracuda. There's also good calico bass action, even though the keeper to undersize fish ratio is about four to one. Landings not running tuna trips are heading to Catalina on 3/4-day and full-day trips for this excellent fishing.
CHANNEL ISLANDS WHITE SEABASS: Overnight boats fishing the Channel Islands continue to find white seabass in fair to good numbers.
ODDS AND ENDS: The mass of tuna and yellowtail off the Southern California coast is spread from the shoreline off to the West from 30 to 60 miles and then south at least 200 miles.