Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: In the Eastern Sierra Nevada the trout bite has been fair to good this past week at most waters in the region not overly impacted by the high runoff. The best bets are Crowley Lake, which has simply been wide open for fly-anglers fishing midge patterns below strike indicators. There is also a very good bite Bridgeport Reservoir, and Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport and Lake Sabrina are good. In Southern California, Big Bear Lake is a top bet with a chance at a quality trout planted recently for a pair of big derbies. Silverwood is still pretty fair for trout. Jenks Lake and Green Valley Lake are also both fair, although Green Valley slowed from last week. In San Diego County, Cuyamaca is very good as the water level finally starts to drop.

BLACK BASS: The bass action is good across the region with the bass up chasing baitfish early and late in the day. Top bets are Barrett Lake, Lower Otay, San Vicente, El Capitan, Skinner, Perris, Diamond Valley, Silverwood, Puddingstone, Piru, Pyramid, Castaic, Casitas, and Cachuma. On the Colorado River, the bites are pretty good in Havasu and Mohave along with the lower river backwaters but it has been over 120 degrees at the river.

STRIPED BASS: The California aqueduct near Taft is still good on frozen sardines and blood worms, but not wide open like it had been for the past month and most of the fish are small. The striper action was generally fair most other places this past week, with Castaic, Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood all fair with flurries of very good action, but Diamond Valley remains slow. The best action in all four has been to fish cut baits or lug worms, or shad-like topwater and swimbaits. Fly trolling is a good bet, and growing in popularity. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair to good with good numbers and fish to 10 pounds.

PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are good all over the region. Top bets for bluegill and/or redear are Lake Havasu, Topoc Gorge, and the Palo Verde Lagoon on the Colorado River, Lower Otay, Perris, Skinner, and Diamond Valley. Lopez and Santa Margarita on the Central Coast are also pretty good for bluegill. Few reports on hot crappie bites, but anglers might want to keep an eye on Cachuma and Isabella, both of which are producing a few fish in relatively inconsistent bites. Lots of small crappie showing at Green Valley Lake.

CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites have been improving across the region with the warmer weather. Some decent catches beginning at Skinner, Elsinore, Silverwood, and Diamond Valley. Cachuma also is turning on. By far the best action has been on the lower Colorado River where both the channel and flathead catfish bites are pretty good — but it has been 120-plus degrees on the river.

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