LAKE ISABELLA: It’s crappie mania time. The crappie bite broke wide open two weekends ago and has been going strong ever since. The best action is in the South Fork, but the fish are showing everywhere. There have been a lot of 25-fish limits posted with crappie up to 14-inches in the stringers. Most of the action has been on red and white or chartreuse crappie jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or with live minnows. There is also still a pretty good trout bite, especially by the auxiliary dam on the usual array of dough baits, inflated nightcrawlers, small jigs, and trout plastics. There was a DFW trout plant last week. Other species have been slow, but the catfish and carp are improving, and bass and bluegill are starting to be caught. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KERN RIVER: The upper river is flowing at over 4,000 cfs as runoff rockets off the Sierra with the heat. Fishing is tough overall on the upper river. No recent plants on either the upper or lower river. The lower river is still low at 400 cfs, and it is fishing pretty well for bass and catfish. The catfish are being caught on clams and nightcrawlers, while the bass are best on small plastic worms and nightcrawlers. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite has improved again this past week with pretty good action. The fish are almost all small, however, under the 18-inch minimum keeper size limit. The best bite has been on bloodworms and lug worms, with a few on Flukes and Gitzits or live minnows. Catfish are starting to show in all stretches, but this bite is just starting, mostly on sardines, anchovies, and Wussy Bait, too. A few largemouth are starting to show now. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Few reports. A few more carp starting to show on dough baits and Powder Bait, and the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers.
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant two weeks ago, and the trout bite has been slow on PowerBait and Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: The crappie bite has improved with more crappie showing than trout now, including some better quality slabs. The carp bite is finally starting to turn around on Powder Bait. The bass and bluegill bites are also improving with the warmer weather. The bass are mostly showing on plastics worms, nightcralwers, and live minnows. The bluegill have been best on wax and meal worms.DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Slow trout action.
TRUXTUN LAKE: The crappie bite just continues to improve with some decent catches reported in the past week, mostly on jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or small minnows. The bass and bluegill are improving, too, with the bluegill showing on wax worms or meal worms, and the bass mostly being caught on nightcrawlers, live minnows, and plastic worms. DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Mostly slow action, but a few on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers.
MING LAKE: The carp and the crappie have been fair to good. The crappie have been best on small jigs tipped with bait or Crappie Nibbles or small minnows. The carp are best on Powder Bait or Wussy Bait. DFW trout plant two weeks ago, but the bite is mostly slow. Bass and bluegill have also improved. The bass are best on plastics and minnows, while the bluegilla re best on meal worms and wax worms. Trout slow with the most recent plant two weeks ago.
BRITE LAKE: Some catfish starting to show with fish to six pounds. The crappie bite has stayed pretty strong this past week for anglers fishing small 1/32nd-ounce jigs beneath a bobber. Most are eight to 10 inches. Better trout action with most showing on small jigs or floating dough baits. The Brite Lake Derby will be April 21 with the final weigh-in at 1:05 p.m. Big plants before the event. For more information on the derby, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bass bite has been fair and some fish have moved up into very shallow water and cover. The best action has been on minnows or plastics. The crappie are also pretty decent with fish showing in the lakes and the canal between the lake and the golf course. Bluegill are starting to also perk up on the usual small baits. Last trout plant of the season was four weeks ago, and the bite is pretty much over for the season. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: No reports.
SUCCESS LAKE: The very good crappie bite has just continued to rock and roll, but the action is almost all at night or early and late in the day. There have been a lot of quality fish over two pounds caught. Most of the fish are showing from the bank on minnows, but some also on jigs. The bass action is also improving with a fair to good bite on plastics and minnows on fish to three pounds, but few bigger. Some bluegill starting to show. Other species very slow. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass are starting to improve as the fish move into spawn mode. Most of the action on plastics, and most of the bass are smaller fish to two pounds. Some panfish and catfish starting to show. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.
GENERAL UPDATE: The general fishing came to an end Nov. 15. Only the year-around waters with special regulations remain open. The 2018 general season will open April 28. For information on the regulations, anglers should check the Department of Fish and Wildlife website’s regulations pages. Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: www.KensSport.com (Bridgeport region), www.TheTroutFly.com, and www.SierraDrifters.com.
TOP FISHING NEWS: In the Bridgeport region, very light fishing pressure over the past week, but conditions have improved dramatically the last few days. The flows on the East Walker are yo-yoing up and down pretty badly the past couple of weeks. Ramping up and down between 130 cfs and 470 cfs over the past two weeks. The flows were 190 cfs on Wednesday this week. In spite of that, the action has been pretty good for the few anglers fishing on both streamers and small nymphs with fish to 20 inches reported this week. The West Walker is also very fishable, but there have been no reports from the past couple of weeks. In the Mammoth region, Hot Creek and the upper Owens River above Benton Crossing remain open, and the winter bite on big rainbows (moving up out of Crowley) is still good if you can get to the water. Access is still an issue. The fish are still mostly in the Hot Fingers stretch of the river and rainbows to 24-inches have been reported. Hot Creek is fair with caddis and midge hatches most days but tough fishing. In the Bishop region, the lower Owens River, including the gorge below Crowley Lake, remains open to year-around fishing, and the flows are around 250 cfs below Pleasant Valley Reservoir this week, which is getting on the upper end of wadable fishing flows. The action has improved on small nymphs and midges, but light fishing pressure.
BRIDGEPORT REGION: Information: Ken’s Sporting Goods 760-932-7707 or www.kenssport.com.
MAMMOTH AREA: Information: The Troutfitter at 760-934-2517.
BISHOP AREA: Fishing information: Culver’s Sporting Goods 760-872-8361, Sierra Drifters Guide Service 760-935-4250, or Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop 760-873-0010.
At Nacimiento, the spotted bass action has broken wide open in the past week with very good action as the fish move into the spawn. The fish have flooded into the shallows and the action is good on plastics and reaction baits. Lots of fish to four pounds. Also a pretty fair bite on white bass staging to run up into the river to spawn, with most one to two pounds. The crappie bite also broke wide open this past week and some limits are being reported. At Santa Margarita, the bass and panfish bites are fair to good with the bass starting to spawn. Best action on nightcrawlers and plastics, and some on reaction baits. Panfish best on small jigs topped with baits or live bait. Lopez Lake has a fair to good crappie and bluegill bites, and the bass bite is really taking off in shallow water on plastics and reaction baits. No reports from San Antonio.
LOS ANGELES AREA LAKES
CACHUMA: The 23rd Annual Trout Derby will be April 21-22, and there was a 4,000-pound plant slated for this week. The best trout action has been on inflated nightcrawlers for shore anglers or trolled Rapalas for boat anglers. The best area has been around the marina and points leading out to the main body of the lake. The dam area is also good for the trollers. The crappie bite remains strong with good action in Cachuma Bay on slow-trolled or drifted jigs. The crappie have been between one pounds and 2-8 this past week. Bass are in the spawn with good action on plastics and reaction baits, especially in Cachuma and Johnson bays. Other species still mostly slow, but the carp are starting to show near the surface. Carp bowfishing permits are available at the entrance gate. Private boats must be inspected for quagga mussels and face a 30-day dry dock requirement before being allowed to launch. For quagga mussel and the boat launching information, log on at http://www.sbparks.org/DOCS/Cachuma.html. The marina is open with rental boats available. The boat launch remains open, but boats must get a quagga mussel inspection. Information: 805-688-4040.
CASITAS: The bass bite is excellent, with the fishing all over the shallows in mid-spawn. The best action has been on plastics and small, slowly-fish reaction baits in six to 18 feet of water, but fish are showing on all kinds of baits, including topwater. Most recent DFW trout plant was three weeks ago. Very slow action. Attention bowfishermen, the carp are moving into the shallows for the spawn. Carp bowfisherman may only shoot from a boat after 8 a.m., and lake staff must approve bows. The dates for the upcoming bass fishing events in the 2018 RTF Bass Tour at Casitas are April 7 and 28, and June 2. For information on these events, contact Rich Tauber at 818-439-1154 or email@example.com. The next ABA bass events for 2018 at Casitas are April 14, May 5, June 16, and July 28. For more information, contact Jason Hemminger at 805-479-1058. For a fishing update, check with the marina or the Lake Casitas Boat Rentals Facebook page. Private boats must be inspected for quagga mussels and face a 35-day dry dock requirement before being allowed to launch. The Santa Ana boat launch is open. Information: 805-649-2043 or www.casitasboatrentals.com.
CASTAIC: Overall, good striper action. The best bite has been at the dam early and late on small swim baits and nightcrawlers. The stripers are also showing at C-Point, the west walls, and the buoy line, where the fish are mostly in deep water between 40 and 60 feet down. Michael Long, Van Nuys, landed a seven-pound striper on a swimbait off C Point. Rakan Qumseya, Canyon Country, had a pair of four-pound stripers on Kastmasters off Kong Island. The largemouth bass bite has been very good as the fish move shallow for the spawn. The best action has been in the morning on plastics, small jigs, and crawfish imitations. Thomas Foster, Simi Valley, had a four-bass stringer topped with a four-pounder, all on Senkos of Sharon’s Rest. No catfish reports and no reports of crappie. The bluegill bite is slow. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PIRU: Few reports. Slow to fair bite on largemouth and smallmouth bass. Most of the bass are in the one to three-pound range, but they have been moving shallower the past week or so in preparation for the spawn. Most of the fish showing now are being caught on nightcrawlers or plastic worms. Bluegill, crappie, and catfish are slow with little pressure. The launch ramp is open. Rental boats are also available. Information: gatehouse at 805-521-1500 (or at www.camplakepiru.com) or call Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PYRAMID: The striper and catfish bites have both been pretty good this past week, with the bite for both in most coves and the canal by the entrance booth. Sardines and lug worms have been best for the stripers, and the cats are best on chicken liver, anchovies, and cut mackerel. Both have been in deeper water. Top areas are the rip-rap around the marina and the back end of the lake. Shagen Mkrtchyan, Sun Valley, had a mixed stringer of catfish and stripers with fish to six pounds fishing sardines. Martin Rios, Arleta, had three catfish and striper to five pounds on chicken liver and sardines. The largemouth bass are also pretty good with the fish just now starting to move up shallow and whacking plastics. Most fish are in 12 to 20 feet of water or even shallower. The trout bite is slow, and there have been no DFW plants in a month. Bluegill and redear are slow. There is a health warning about eating fish from Pyramid Lake (except the rainbow trout). More information at this link: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/so_cal/pyramidlake2013.html. Information: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155 or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
LOS ANGELES/ORANGE COUNTY PARK NEWS: For county trout plants, see the list in this report or go to the DFW website (https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/) for any updates and future plants.
The following waters are scheduled to be planted with rainbow trout from Department of Fish and Wildlife hatcheries this week (April 8-14):
SAN BERNARDINO: Silverwood Lake.
INYO: Owens River (below Tinnemaha, Section 2), Pleasant Valley Reservoir.
KERN: Lake Isabella.
TULARE: Del Lago Park Lake, Murry Park Pond.
FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).
The following waters are tentatively scheduled to be planted next week (April 15-21):
INYO: Bishop Creek (lower), Diaz Lake, Lone Pine Creek.
MONO: Crowley Lake.
TULARE: Stoney Creek.
FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Dinkey Creek, Huntington Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Shaver Lake, Tamarack Creek, Tenmile Creek (upper), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).
The following waters were planted last week (April 1-7):
LOS ANGELES: Castaic Lake.
ORANGE: Laguna Lake.
SAN BERNARDINO: Arrowbear Lake, Silverwood Lake.
RIVERSIDE: Lake Perris.
INYO: Cottonwood Creek, Diaz Lake, Georges Creek, Independence Creek, Lone Pine Creek, Shepherd Creek, Symmes Creek, Tuttle Creek.
FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).
For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW’s stocking page at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/. This page is frequently updated after this news report is published so current week, next week’s, and even previous week’s plant information may change. Anglers are reminded that many waters not open to April 28 are being planted in preparation for opening day. It is the angler’s responsibility to know if a water is open to fishing or not.
OCEAN FISHING REPORT
BLUEFIN CONTINUE TO SHOW: The bluefin tuna continue to show in fair numbers with fish to 60 pounds reported this past week. The action has been on boats running to the offshore banks near San Clemente with some further south in Mexican waters. This action has been for the 1 1/2-day to three-day trips.
On Sunday, the Old Glory and Top Gun 80 both had 1 1/2-day trips out of H&M Landing in San Diego. The ‘Glory had 25 anglers and they landed 14 bluefin and one yellowtail, while the Top Gun 80 had 23 anglers who landed 14 bluefin and eight yellowtail.
The Shogun was on a three-day trip that returned Tuesday this week, and the 30 anglers on board had 44 bluefin to 35 pounds.
ROCKFISH EVERYWHERE: Not much change for San Diego to Los Angeles-based landings. The rockfish action remains pretty fair to very good for half- and three-quarter day boats running from all the landings along the coast. As the weather warms, there are also marginally improving bites on local yellowtail, white seabass, calico and sand bass, and halibut.
In San Pedro, the Pursuit was on a full-day trip on Wednesday with 46 anglers, and they landed 188 assorted rockfish, 51 red snapper, 44 whitefish, 28 bocaccio, 12 perch, 10 bonito, six sculpin, and three calico bass. The Native Sun had a three-quarter day trip with just 12 anglers, and nearly had full limits of rockfish, landing 55 bocaccio, 29 red snapper, and 26 assorted other rockfish. That was in addition to 89 whitefish and two sculpin.
In Balboa, the Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 36 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip, and they caught 103 whitefish, 76 assorted rockfish, 35 bonito, 31 perch, 25 bocaccio, 21 Spanish Jacks, four red snapper, and four sculpin. The Thunderbird was on an overnight trip Tuesday, and the 13 anglers on board had limits of 130 rockfish, 12 bonito, five lingcod, and two calico bass.
OXNARD TO SANTA BARBARA UPDATE: The rockfish bite continues to be excellent for the Southern California Landings in the northern end of the Bite. Oxnard, Ventura, and Santa Barbara region boats are all reporting mostly limits of rockfish on half-day to overnight trips when wind allows them offshore.
At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, the Island Tak had four anglers on a full-day trip, and they landed 40 rockfish, 18 whitefish, one sheephead, and one sculpin. The Gentleman was on a three-quarter day trip with 38 anglers Tuesday, and they landed 380 assorted rockfish, 45 whitefish, 25 sculpin, and one sheephead.
At Hook’s Sporfishing in Oxnard, the Outrider returned from a 1 1/2-day trip on Tuesday, and the 12 anglers on board landed limits of 120 rockifhs, limits of 24 lingcod, 30 whitefish, and four sheephead.
At Ventura Sportfishing in Ventura, the Amigo had 20 anglers on its full-day run Monday, and they had 200 rockfish, 40 lintcod, 12 whitefish, and one sheephead.
At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, the Coral Sea had 21 anglers on its Wednesday half-day, and they landed 122 red snapper and 76 other assorted rockfish.
CENTRAL COAST ROCKFISH UPDATE: The rockfish season on the Central Coast reopened April 1, and it has been excellent since – at least when wind hasn’t kept the boats at the dock.
At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach, the Phenix was out on a half-day Monday, and the 11 anglers on board landed 78 rockfish, 30 red snapper, three ling cod, and two bocaccio.
At Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Black Pearl battle the breeze on Wednesday’s three-quarter day with 15 anglers, and they returned with 60 assorted rockfish, 50 red snapper, and two lings. The Monday three-quarter day trip aboard the Fiesta with 14 anglers produced 140 rockfish.
At Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor had 19 anglers on its Monday trip, and they caught 190 rockfish and 10 lings.
SURF PERCH BITE KICKING OFF: The surf perch action is pretty good with some quality fish topping two pounds showing in the Oxnard to Santa Barbara region and the Avila-Morro Bay region. Blood and lug worms have been the best bait.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. These trips are held from early spring through fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The next trip will be an overnight jaunt May 2 aboard the Ultra out of San Pedro. The early booking price is just $245 (normal price is $295). Meals and permits are additional. For more information, check on www.976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.