Freshwater Hot Spots – July 16, 2015

Jim Matthews

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good. While the whole region is pretty good early and late in the day, the hot spots this week have been the Virginia Lakes near Bridgeport, Grant Lake in the June Lake Loop, and Lake Crowley. The East Walker River remains fair, but the water level is low and it’s just tough not to spook fish. In Southern California, the bites remained tough this past week, but the best bet is Big Bear Lake, which improved after the holiday weekend. Green Valley Lake is oddly tough.

BLACK BASS: The bass are still in a baitfish-chasing mode in most waters, and the topwater bite has been fair to good just about everywhere. The cooler weather perked the action a little this past week, and warmer, tropical heat is moving back in for the weekend. That and the waxing moon could slow things again. Top bets in this region, with none really standing out over the others, are El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Perris, Piru, Pyramid, Diamond Valley Lake, and Silverwood. All of these places are pretty fair for short periods each day. Cachuma has been pretty good for smallmouth bass. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been fair from Lake Havasu south into the lower river backwaters and up in Lake Mohave.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has continued to surge a number of places the past three weeks. Silverwood may be the best bet, but Pyramid and Castaic have also both been pretty good. Topwater bites have been emerging at all three but still are of short duration or scattered. Skinner improved this past week, but Diamond Valley remained lightly fished and tough. The California aqueduct near Taft stayed slow. On the Colorado River, the bites is good from the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch down river into the upper end of Lake Havasu.

PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea stayed pretty dead this past week. Meanwhile, the redear and bluegill bites are good on the Colorado River, and a number of local panfish bites were also pretty good over the past week. Lake Skinner had good action on bluegill. Diamond Valley Lake is getting squat for pressure, but it continues to produce a lot of bluegill and redear. Perris and Casitas are also pretty decent bets for bluegill. Most crappie bites are off with only a few reports from Isabella this past week.

CATFISH: The flathead bite on the Colorado River in generally fair all along the lower river with fish from 20 to 40 pounds showing occasionally. Fishing pressure is light. Best action is just before the new and full moons. Meanwhile, the channel catfish bite has been excellent in this lower river with a lot of fish from three to eight pounds reported. 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 Isabella, Lake Skinner, Silverwood, and Lake Cachuma all have pretty good bites with fish to 12 pounds, and there were improved bites at Piru, Pyramid, and Castaic. The Lake Elsinore catfish bite is also still a fair to good bet and a 30-pound class fish was caught this week. For planted fish, Santa Ana River Lakes and Irvine are top bets. 

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