LAKE ISABELLA: Light fishing pressure over the Christmas holiday, but the was a report of some crappie showing near the French Gulch Marina on small minnows over the past week. The catfish bite has been mostly slow. A few fish continue to show around much of the lake, but the cold weather and water have seemed to slow things down. Clams and shrimp have been the best baits. The bass bite is slow, and there have been no reports on other species. For fishing information: Bobís Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Copeís Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KERN RIVER: The trout bite in the upper river above Isabella has been slow, but there was a plant in the Kernville stretch this past week that perked the bite a little. A few trout reported on crickets, salmon eggs, and nightcrawlers, but even after the plant the bite is still pretty tough. Fly anglers fishing the upper 20-mile stretch are seeing fair action on wild fish, especially on slow-stripped or swinging streamers, but this bite has continued to slow as the water cools. There was a three-pound class rainbow caught and released this week. The lower Kern is a bright spot. The water level is low and the smallmouths and largemouths are showing in a pretty fair bite on small plastics and cranks. Most fish are small. Trout and catfish are slow in the lower river. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite remains fair mostly on sardines and blood worms, but there has been light pressure and few reports. More and more keeper fish showing as the water cools and weeds disappear. Catfish are slow, but a few are showing on cut baits, especially sardines, and dip baits. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bobís Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Copeís Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Slow action. Only an occasional carp dough baits and Powder Bait, and an the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers,
RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant last week, and good action into the weekend. Slower this week. PowerBait or Mice Tails are the best baits. Other bites have also slowed way down as the water cools.
HART PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant last week. This was only the second plant of the season, but it has sparked the bite which was good through the weekend, and a few trout are still showing. Garlic and chunky cheese PowerBaits, MiceTails, and small trout jigs all decent options. The carp bite is slow on dough baits. The bluegill and bass bites have slowed way down, too. Very light fishing pressure.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFW trout plant last week, and the bite was fair to good into the weekend, slowing each day since. Best action on PowerBait, Mice Tails, or inflated nightcrawlers. The bluegill, bass, catfish, and carp bites are all pretty slow.
MING LAKE: DFW trout plant last week. The bite was good into the weekend, and a few trout are still showing this week on PowerBait, Mice Tails, inflated nightcrawlers, or small trout jigs. As for other species, even thing is very slow. Even the carp bite has slowed with only a few showing on paste baits.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Slow action now with only an occasional trout being landed now.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: Trout plant last week and the bite was fair to good through the weekend. A plant is tentative slated to go in next week. The best bite has been on garlic and chunky cheese Power Baits on Mice Tails. The county will be planting nine times this season instead of five times, like last season. Last weekís plant was No. 3. Other species have slowed way down with the cool weather. Fishing information: Bobís Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Copeís Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: No reports.
SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite has slowed with the cooler weather, but the bite is still fair. Mostly smaller fish are showing on reaction baits and plastics, with the bite moving slower and deeper. All other bites have slowed way down. DFW trout plant last week. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com or Copeís Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.
KAWEAH LAKE: The bass are tough with only a few fish on plastics. Most are two- to three-pounders, but some bigger fish. Other species are very slow, but there was a DFW trout plant last week. 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. For information on the regulations, anglers should check the Department of Fish and Wildlife websiteís 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, the East and West Walker rivers remain open year-around to catch-and-release fishing. The East Walker has been fair with flows steady at around 70 cfs, and the trout showing on streamers or small nymphs. Not great volume (two to three fish per day), but some nice browns to 24-inches reported. 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 breaking wide open with a few anglers reported 20 to 30 fish days. The fish are stacking up in Hot Fingers stretch of the river. 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, but the flows remain high below the gorge with flows over 350 cfs below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. Very difficult fishing, but some decent trout are showing for drift-boat anglers.
The bass bite is fair at all four lakes and slowing as the weather and water cools. At Santa Margarita, the bass have slowed way down but the crappie continue to show on jigs and the bluegill/redear on red worms. Lopez Lake has a few bass showing, but the crappie and bluegill bites have slowed. At Nacimiento, the spotted bass action remains fair with some quality spots in the catch. Best action on plastics and small swimbaits. The better bite has been in 20-plus feet of water. No reports from San Antonio.
LOS ANGELES AREA LAKES
CACHUMA: The lake has been closed for nearly three weeks because of the first in the Los Padres National Forest. It reopened Saturday on a limited scheduled, and the marina and store will be back to normal hours as of Thursday this week. No fishing information. 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 largemouth bass bite has been pretty fair for anglers fishing plastics or nightcrawlers in deeper water, with some fish to six pounds reported. The first DFW trout plant of the season went in Wednesday this week -- about 300 pounds of half-pounders. No other reports. For an update, check with the marina or the Lake Casitas Boat Rentals Facebook page. Bowfishing is allowed here for carp and they continue to show on the surface most mornings. Carp bowfisherman may only shoot from a boat after 8 a.m., and lake staff must approve bows. 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: The striper action has remained fair to good for anglers trolling umbrella rigs, throwing Fluke-type baits, trout-like swimbaits (DFW plant two weeks ago), or spooning. Most of the action is 40 to 70 feet of water on the spoons and ice jigs. The largemouth bass bite has been good on drop-shot or split-shot plastics or small swimbaits and jerkbaits in 15 to 40 feet of water. The numbers are good, but the size is mostly under four pounds, and there are some smallmouth in this bite. A crappie bite started over the past 10 days and some of the best fish are over a pound. Most are being caught on small jigs tipped with wax worms. The catfish bites is slow to fair on cut baits, while the bluegill and trout are slow, but there was a DFW trout plant three weeks ago. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.
PIRU: Continued fair bite on largemouth and smallmouth bass. Most of the bass are in the one to three-pound range and showing in deeper water on jigs and plastics. 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 bite has remained pretty fair this week with most fish showing on sardines, anchovies, or nightcrawlers. Far fewer fish reported on Flukes and other small swimbaits or jerkbaits that resemble shad as recent weeks. Most are two-pound class fish. The catfish bite has also been slow to fair on chicken liver or anchovies. Largemouth and smallmouth bass action has slowed way down, but a few are showing on dropshot or split-shot plastics in 15 to 35 feet. Bluegill and redear are slow. DFW trout were supposedly planted two weeks ago, and a few are showing from the shore on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, and small jigs. 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.
OCEAN FISHING REPORT
BLUEFIN ACTION CONTINUES: While most boats have laid off for a few days at Christmas, some skippers have continued to run overnight and 1 1/2-day trips out to the 60-mile and Butterfly Banks where the bluefin tuna continue to show in very good numbers. These are mostly 20 to 40-pound class fish. The bluefin have been a little more picky biters the last few days as we build into a full moon, there is a good fall-back option: The five to 10-pound yellowtail have been stacked up on floating kelp paddies, and they have been extremely reliable back-ups. The scores paint the picture:
The Chief out of H&M Landing had 22 anglers on its Wednesday overnight trip this week, and while they only landed two bluefin tuna, they managed to land 130 yellowtail.
The Condor out of Fishermanís Landing called in Wednesday with just two bluefin tuna on the boat, but there were 150-plus on the yellowtail.
The Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a 1 1/2-day trip that returned Christmas eve, and the 29 anglers on board had 58 bluefin and 89 yellowtail.
The New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 32 anglers on its Wednesday overnight trip, and they caught 61 yellowtail.
SAN DIEGO YELLOWTAIL: The San Diego half-day fleet has been hammering the smaller, schoolie yellowtail the last few days. The bite took off over the weekend for the morning boats (while the afternoon half-day werenít getting any yellows. These are small-grade fish running four to five pounds mostly, with a few to 10 pounds.
The Dolphin out of Fishermanís Landing had 74 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day, and they caught 76 yellowtail. The Tuesday morning trip produced 52 yellowtail and two bonito for 53 anglers. Itís biggest score this past week came on Saturday morningís trip when 22 anglers landed 110 yellowtail, six rockfish, two bonito, and a bonus halibut.
On Wednesday, the Sea Watch out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 41 anglers on its morning half-day trip and they landed 85 yellowtail. The Tuesday trip with 48 anglers produced 80 yellows.
The Premier out of H&M Landing had 63 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day, and they landed 37 yellowtail, 22 rockfish, and one sheephead. The Tuesday morning trip with 37 anglers produced 51 yellowtail and 25 rockfish.
ROCKFISH SEASON WINDS DOWN: The mid-winter closure of the rockfish season will begin on Monday, Jan. 1. South of Point Conception, the closure last until March 1. North of Point Conception, the season doesnít reopen until April 1. Rockfish season remains open in Mexican waters, and some San Diego-based boats will start making overnight runs for bottom fish in January.
NEARSHORE UPDATE FOR LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTIES: The bite on rockfish and other bottom species has continued good to excellent over the past week for most sportboats targeting these fish out of Los Angeles and Orange county landings. Skippers focusing on the offshore islands are really posting good scores on better quality fish, especially on overnight trips. A couple of typical scores:
The Freelance out of Daveyís Locker had 80 anglers on its Wednesday three-quarter day trip, and despite the crowd, they managed to landed 143 rockfish, 30 whitefish, 12 perch, eight red snapper, three sheephead, and three bonito, a respectable two-plus fish per angler.
The Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing had 39 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip, and they caught 132 rockfish, 12 red snapper, 11 bocaccio, and two lingcod. Meanwhile, the Freedom, also out of 22nd Street, had 21 anglers on an overnight trip Sunday, and they landed limits of 210 rockfish, 130 whitefish, 42 lingcod, and 38 sheephead.
The New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had a mob of 67 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip, and they landed 412 rockfish, five whitefish, and one sheephead.
VENTURA-SANTA BARBARA UPDATE: The Ventura and Santa Barbara area landingsí boats continue to have excellent rockfish action as the season winds down.
At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, the Sea Jay had eight anglers on Wednesdayís full-day trip, and they had limits of 80 rockfish and 20 whitefish. The Aloha Spirit, also on a full-day trip, had 17 anglers and they caught 141 rockfish, 96 whitefish, 85 sheephead, 13 lingcod, three Cabazon, and two calico bass.
At Hookís Landing in Oxnard, the New Hustler was on an overnight with 24 anglers on Wednesday, and they landed 200 rockfish.
At Ventura Sportfishing, the Amigo had 13 anglers on an overnight and they caught six white seabass along with 40 rockfish, 23 lingcod, 20 whitefish, and three sheephead. The Pacific Dawn was also on an overnight trip with 17 anglers on Wednesday, and they caught limits of 170 rockfish, 115 whitefish, 34 lingcod, two sheephead, and one sole. The full-day Island Spirit trip on Wednesday had 24 anglers, and they landed 240 rocfish, 160 whitefish, 28 sheephead, and 12 lingcod.
At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, both the Coral Sea and Stardust ran three-quarter day trips on Wednesday. The Coral Sea had 25 anglers who landed 90 rockfish, 53 red snapper, and 35 lingcod. The 20 anglers on the Stardust landed 181 rockfish and 23 lingcod.
AVILA BEACH-MORRO BAY NEWS: There has continued to be excellent rockfish and lingcod action for the Morro Bay and Avila boats all of the past week. In the local surf, the barred surfperch bite remains consistent on better quality fish up to three pounds, mostly on live lugworms or blood worms. The Rapala Shadow Rap jigs also are a good bet.
At Virgís Landing in Morro Bay, the Rita G had 25 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day trip, and they landed 222 assorted rockfish along with 28 red snapper for limits. They also had a lincod. The Fiesta had 24 anglers on a full-day trip, and they caught 200 red snapper, 40 assorted rockfish, and nine lings.
At Morro Bay Landing, the Avenger had 43 anglers on its Wednesday three-quarter day trip, and they put 410 rockfish and 20 red snapper on the boat for full limits. The Endeavor had 19 anglers on the Wednesday half-day, and they landed 110 red snapper, 40 assorted rockfish, 20 bocaccio, 20 bolina, and 36 lingcod.
At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach, the Phenix had 17 anglers on its three-quarter day trip, and they landed 82 rockfish, 77 bolina, 17 lingcod, 10 red snapper, and one Cabazon. The Flying Fish had 23 anglers aboard for the half-day trip Wednesday, and they caught 186 rockfish, 13 lings, three red snapper, and two bocaccio.
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. For more information, check on www.976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.
The fishing report is provided by the Outdoors News Service. To provide information to ONS call (909) 887-3444, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit OutdoorNewsService.com. Have you or a family member had a successful fishing or hunting trip lately and want to share it with the community? The Californian is interested in publishing your fishing or hunting photos on its weekly outdoors page. Photos, which must be recent, can be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to the Bakersfield Californian Sports Department, Outdoors photos, PO Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302. Please include names, ages, dates, location, type and size of fish, type of bait (or hunting details) and a way to contact you. Photos cannot be returned. Submissions without complete information and/or of low reproduction quality will not be run.