Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall, it is just fair. The top bets include Crowley Lake (the fly anglers are just hammering ’em), Lake Sabrina, Convict Lake, and Bridgeport Reservoir. In Southern California, the top bet is Big Bear Lake for holdover rainbows up to six pounds and lots of pan-sized fish for both shore and troll anglers. Silverwood Lake is producing a fair number rainbows to four pounds. Cuyamaca is the best bet in San Diego County but its last plants of the season went in three weeks ago and the heat is finally slowing the bite.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been good throughout the region with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish early in the day. Topwater action good a lot of places on outside edges of weed beds. But there are a lot of fish showing on plastics and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water. Top bets are Diamond Valley, Casitas, Skinner, Perris (outside edges of weed beds), Castaic, Piru, Cachuma (smallmouth on crawdad-like baits), Puddingstone, Pyramid, Wohlford, Lower Otay, Sutherland, Hodges, and Dixon. And of course, Barrett in San Diego County is good. Silverwood is fair. On the Colorado River, the lower river is pretty much wide open, especially for smallmouth, but the bite is fair to good throughout the Colorado River system.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair to good everywhere this past week. The hot bite has been at Castaic for bait and troll fish with some to 12 pounds, but most have been 12 to 14-inchers. Lead core tolling with flies at Silverwood is fair to good, while Skinner’s cut bait bite at the dam and inlet areas is still pretty good. Pyramid is also producing quite a few stripers for bait anglers, trollers, and even topwater. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been good on fish to eight pounds or better, but the fish are finally starting to move deeper. Ditto for lake Lake Havasu.

PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea tanked two weeks ago and hasn’t come back. Anglers should call ahead before going. The bluegill and/or redear bites are fair to good just about everywhere, but the top bets are Skinner, Perris, and Diamond Valley. In San Diego County, Lower Otay, Poway, and Murray have the best bluegill bites. Meanwhile, the crappie bites have all pretty much died down everywhere.

CATFISH: Catfish bites are good most places. Skinner, Pyramid, and Diamond Valley Lake are top spots, but none of these bites are getting much angler pressure. Lake Isabella continues to have a fair to good bite on catfish on dip baits and clams. Santa Ana River Lakes and Hesperia Lake are now stocking catfish weekly. In San Diego County, Wohlford, Poway, and Jennings are stocking catfish. By far the best bite has been for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River. There continues to be a parade of 20-pound plus fish being caught.

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