LAKE ISABELLA: Light fishing pressure continues, and even those fishing are reporting a slow bite. The trout have been slow, but a plant is slated for next week by the DFW (and the last plant was four weeks ago at the auxiliary dam). No reports on crappie again this week, even in the French Gulch Marina area where a few had been showing on small minnows. The catfish bite has been very slow with a rare fish being caught on clams or shrimp. The bass bite is very slow. The 2018 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is set for March 24-26 with a $10,000 top prize for the longest trout and over $40,000 in prizes. Entry fee is $30 per person, $65 for a family (two adults and up to three kids). Derby information at www.kernriverlally.com. 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 trout bite in the upper river above Isabella has been fair thanks to DFW plants this week and four weeks ago. Best bite on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, or small trout plastics. Fly anglers fishing the upper 20-mile stretch are still seeing slow action, but water temperatures are up a little this week and a few trout are showing on deeply fished stonefly nymphs. The lower Kern is slow for smallmouths and largemouths on small plastics and cranks. Most fish are small, and a few catfish are being caught on clams. 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 but getting little pressure. The best is best has been live minnows, with a few on blood worms and Gitzits. Catfish remain very slow. 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: 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 plants last week and three weeks ago. The bite was pretty decent into the weekend, but it has slowed since. The best action has been on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and Sierra Slammer jigs. Other species very slow. The Firefighters Derby will be Saturday March 10 this year, and it is limited to the first 800 anglers who sign up. Entry fee is $20 and the lowest-numbered tagged trout will win the $1,000 top prize. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.
HART PARK LAKE: DFW plant this week, and the bite has been pretty fair since on Mice Tails, garlic PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, and small trout jigs. The carp bite is slow on dough baits. The warm weather has a few bass showing on plastics and nightcrawlers, but no bluegill yet.
TRUXTUN LAKE: Trout plant this week and good action. The last plant was two weeks ago. Top action on Sierra Slammer jigs, PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers doused with garlic. No reports of crappie this week, but the action had been fair on small minnows at night. Other species have been slow, except for a few bass which are starting to show as water temperatures come up with the warm weather.
MING LAKE: Trout plant this week by the DFW. The bite has been good since on PowerBait, Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. No reports of crappie this week, but there had been a budding bite two weeks ago on jigs or small minnows. The bass bite has picked up with pretty fair action on drop-shot plastics or nightcrawlers with the fish moving around in the warming water.
BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plant last week and the bite was pretty fair through the weekend and a few fish continue to show on small jigs or floating dough baits. Fewer crappie reports this past week, but some are still showing on small jigs. The Brite Lake Derby will be April 21 with the final weigh-in at 1:05 p.m. For more information on the derby, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: There was a trout plant two weeks ago, and another plant is supposed to go in next week. The action has been just fair with only a few holdovers showing on Mice Tails, PowerBait, and Sierra Slammer Jigs. The county will be planting nine times this season instead of five times, like last season. A few bass are starting to nose around the shallows with the warm weather. 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 bass bite is pretty slow with only a few smaller fish showing on plastics in deeper water. All other bites have slowed way down. DFW trout plant three weeks ago. 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 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 three weeks ago. 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 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, the East and West Walker rivers remain open year-around to catch-and-release fishing. The East Walker has been pretty decent with flows at 36 cfs Wednesday this week (down from 45 much of the past week), and the bite has been fair with three to 10 fish days pretty common with a better mix of rainbows and browns in recent days. Small nymphs or streamers are still getting the most fish, and the trout are running from 12 to 16 inches on the norm with some bigger fish up into the mid-20-inch range. The West Walker has been tough, but a few fish are showing, both browns and rainbows. 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, but it has been a little tougher over the past week. 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 have dropped to around 75 cfs below Pleasant Valley Reservoir, which is a very good fishing flow. The action has improved on small nymphs and midges.
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.
The bass bite is slow to fair at all four lakes. At Nacimiento, the spotted bass action has stayed fair to good on plastics and small swimbaits. This is probably the best action on the Central Coast right now, and some of the spots have been real quality fish. At Santa Margarita, the bass are starting to perk and a couple of nice fish have been landed, including a 13-pounder caught late last week in the narrows on a plastic worm. A few crappie are showing in an early morning bite on jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Lopez Lake has a few bass showing, but the crappie and bluegill bites have slowed. The better bite has been in 20-plus feet of water. No reports from San Antonio.
LOS ANGELES AREA LAKES
CACHUMA: It looks like the crappie bite is starting to take off with three three-pound crappie reported this week, but overall the bite has been mostly slow. A few trout continue to show for anglers drifting garlic nightcrawlers or trolling in Sweetwater Bay, Clark’s Cove, and the main part of Cachuma Bay. Also a few bass showing on plastics and small spinnerbaits with the fish moving up a little shallower with the warmer weather. 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: DFW trout plants went in last week and four weeks ago, and the bite has been fair around the marina area on small jigs and floating dough baits. There has also been a fair bass bite on plastics and nightcrawlers in 12 to 25 feet of water. Anglers dipping live shad have been able to get a few nice crappie to two pounds, especially near the green dock. The next ABA bass events for 2018 at Casitas are Feb. 10, April 14, May 5, June 16, and July 28. For more information, contact Jason Hemminger at 805-479-1058. The dates for the 2018 RTF Bass Tour at Casitas are Saturday, Feb. 17, March 3 and 17, April 7 and 28, and June 2. For information on these events, contact Rich Tauber at 818-439-1154 or email@example.com. For a fishing 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 bite remains fair to good with a lot of fish showing on lugworms, spoons, or trolled umbrella rigs in 20-feet plus of water. The largemouth bass bite may even be better than the striper action with the fish in 20 to 45 feet of water on small plastics and jigging spoons. No reports of crappie this week, and the catfish and bluegill bites are slow. A DFW trout plant went in four weeks ago, but few fish are showing. 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 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: Still some fair trout action from the DFW plants two weeks ago. Some of the rainbows are pushing two pounds. The best bite has been adjacent to the launch ramp on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and small jigs or spoons. The striper bite has also been fair to good with most of the fish around two pounds. The best bite has been on lug worms or sardines in deeper water, with some up closer to the surface on swim baits. The largemouth action is also pretty fair on plastics and small jigs in just 10 to 25 feet of water. Slow catfish, but a few showing on chicken liver. Blatazar Gonzales, Pacoima, had three catfish to four pounds. 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 (Feb. 4-10):
INYO: Diaz Lake, Owens River (below Tinnemaha, Section 2), Pleasant Valley Reservoir.
KERN: Hart Park Lake, Kern River (sections 1 and 2), Ming Lake, Truxtun Lake.
TULARE: Del Lago Park Lake, Mooney Grove Park Pond.
FRESNO: Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).
The following waters are tentatively scheduled to be planted next week (Feb. 11-17):
KERN: Kern River (section 4), Lake Isabella, River Walk Park.
FRESNO: Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Pine Flat Reservoir.
The following waters were planted last week (Jan. 28-Feb 3):
VENTURA: Casitas Lake, Rancho Simi Park Lake.
SAN DIEGO: Chollas Park Lake, Cuyamaca Lake, Lake Murray.
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, River Walk Lake.
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.
OCEAN FISHING REPORT
BLUEFIN TUNA STILL BEING CAUGHT: While only a few trips are being run each week, the bluefin tuna bite for the 1 1/2-day boats making the run offshore are still finding good schools of bluefin tuna. While most have been under 35 pounds this past week, there are still bigger fish in this bite. Many boats making this run have been using rockfish as a back-up plan if the bluefin aren’t cooperative.
The New Low-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing continues to pick away at the bluefin tuna on its 1 1/2-day trips. On Sunday, there were 24 anglers and they landed 25 bluefin along with 120 rockfish and eight lingcod. Last Friday’s trip with 20 anglers produced seven bluefin and one yellowtail.
The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 20 anglers on its 1 1/2-day trip, and they landed two bluefin tuna and 100 red snapper.
MEXICAN ROCKFISH: San Diego-based boats continue to run into Mexican waters for rockfish, and occasional good flurries of yellowtail if skippers target the forkies.
The Old Glory out of H&M Landing ran a 1 1/2-day trip for Mexican rockfish, and the 22 anglers on board landed 110 red snapper, 88 assorted other rockfish, 21 bonito, and one lingcod.
The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing ran a three-quarter day trip south with 15 anglers and they returned with limits of 75 rockfish.
NEARSHORE UPDATE: The half- and three-quarter day boats from San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles county landings have been focusing on sculpin, bass, and perch. Light-load trips frequently have limits of sculpin and two to three bass per angler, while busier trips see fewer fish per angler.
On Tuesday this week, the Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 14 anglers on a three-quarter day trip, and they had limits (60) of sculpin, 35 perch, 10 sand bass, and two calico bass.
The New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 22 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip, and they landed 45 perch, 10 sand bass, eight sculpin, four calico bass, and four triggerfish.
At Davey’s Locker in Balboa, the Western Pride ran a twilight trip Sunday evening with a packed load of 78 anglers, and they landed 150 sculpin, 10 sand bass, and five perch.
The Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing in San Diego had nine anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip, and they landed 15 sand bass, seven sculpin, a calico bass, and a bonus halibut.
VENTURA TO MORRO BAY LANDINGS: Channel Islands Sportfishing is running weekend sand dab, bass, and yellowtail trips, and Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach is running crab trips. Most boats at other landings in this region are staying at dock until rockfish season reopens. Overall, the bite has been tough, except for the sand dabs.
At Channel Islands Sportfishing on Sunday, the Sea Jay had six anglers on its full-day bass trip and they returned with eight keeper calico bass. On Saturday, the Pacific Islander had 35 anglers on its three-quarter day trip, and they brought back 2,975 sand dabs.
At Patriot Sportfishing, the Patriot had a twilight crab trip on Saturday with 21 anglers and they returned with 78 dungeness crabs, six rock crab, and 12 sand dabs.
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.