By: Jim Matthews
TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good. The whole region is pretty good, but the hot spots this week have been the East Walker River, Virginia Lakes, Silver Lake and Rush Creek in the June Lake Loop (actually the whole loop has been pretty good), and Convict Lake. In Southern California, the top bets are Green Valley Lake with a double plant last week, Big Bear Lake, and Cachuma Lake, which is still fair to good after plants of 10,000-pounds of rainbows in late April.
BLACK BASS: The bass are in a baitfish-chasing mode in most waters and this week’s warmer weather has intensified the bite. Top bets, about in order of action, remain Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Piru, Pyramid, El Capitan, Diamond Valley Lakeand Silverwood. All of these places are pretty good. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been very good, especially from Lake Havasu south, but Mohave really turned on this week, too.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been slow to fair this past week at most SoCal waters, but things should finally start turning around with the weather change. Pyramid really came on, while Castaic, Silverwood, Skinner, and Diamond Valley, also were pretty decent. The California aqueduct near Taft is also very good with a lot of four-pound class fish. On the Colorado River, the bites are really starting to take off with the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch the best bet in the region, but there are more and more fish showing in Havasu and up through Topoc Gorge.
PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea surged back on a month ago and has been good again this past week with only minor lulls due to wind. It still looks to be a top bet and the weekend weather is supposed to be good again in the desert. The redear and bluegill bites are breaking open on the Colorado River, and all the other local panfish bites finally look to be turning on, with fish starting to show in good numbers at Perris, Diamond Valley, and Puddingstone. Most crappie bites are off, but the action Casitas Lake again produced a few nice catches of fish to two pounds on live shad.
CATFISH: The flathead bite on the Colorado River in generally good all along the lower river with fish from 20 to 40 pounds showing in decent numbers (considering fishing pressure is still pretty light). There also continues to be a good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft with fish running eight to 12 pounds or even bigger. Lake Skinner’s catfish action surged on two weeks ago and remains very good, and there were improved bites at Cachuma, Piru, Pyramid, Castaic, Casitas and Silverwood. The Lake Elsinore catfish bite is also still a fair to good bet. For planted fish, Santa Ana River Lakes and Irvine are top bets. Irvine produced a 35-plus pounder this past week.