Freshwater Hot Spots – July 30, 2015

Jim Matthews

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains 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. Convict Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir is also pretty good for deep-water trollers and finesse anglers. In Southern California, the bites improved at both Big Bear Lake and Green Valley Lake, and some fish continue to show for Lake Cachuma deep-water trollers.

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 stormy weather seemed to turn on bites all over the region with the top bets El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Perris, Piru, Pyramid, Diamond Valley Lake and Silverwood, not in any particular order. All of these places are pretty good for short periods each day, especially in the mornings. Cachuma has been pretty good for smallmouth bass. On the Colorado River the smallmouth and largemouth bites have also been fair from Lake Havasu south into the lower river backwaters and up in Lake Mohave. Mosquitos and heat remain problems on the river.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action improved across most of Southern California’s reservoirs this past week. Silverwood is still be the best bet, but mostly for small fish. Pyramid and Castaic have also both been pretty good and both have bigger fish. Diamond Valley also produced a few fish. Topwater bites are possible at all these waters, but still are of short duration or scattered (Castaic has been the best for surface action). The California aqueduct near Taft stayed slow. On the Colorado River the bite 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 fair to good over the past week. Lake Skinner had fair action on bluegill, and 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. Crappie bites are simply dead but a few fish were reported at Cachuma 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 very light. Best action is just before the new and full moons. Meanwhile, the channel catfish bite has been excellent in the whole river from Bullhead downstream to the Mexican border 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. For planted fish, Santa Ana River Lakes and Irvine are top bets. 

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