Freshwater Hot Spots – Dec. 3, 2015

TROUT: Santa Ana River Lake is being planted with trout up to 20 pounds or better for the holiday weekend, along with its regular weekly stock. Irvine Lake is also getting bonus fish for Thanksgiving, and the Orange County Parks trout stock program beings this week at Laguna Niguel. The DFW also has a big slate of urban waters being planted in Los Angeles and Orange county this week. In the high desert, both Hesperia Lake and Jess Ranch have been fair to good for two-pound class fish with a bigger fish possible at both. Big Bear Lake is also good (but with very cold mornings) for holdover rainbows. The San Bernardino County Parks trout stocking program has yet to begin this year and the fishing is terrible at all of them.

BLACK BASS: The bass bite is starting to slow with fewer and fewer fish up chasing baitfish, and the window for this action is shrinking even when they do come up. More and more fish are suspending and holding in deeper water on points and live bait, plastics and jigging spoons (or ice jigs) are becoming the go-to baits. Top bets are Casitas, Perris, Castaic, and Diamond Valley. Lower Otay, Piru, and Pyramid are slow to fair. 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 and this is still mostly a reaction bait bite. 

STRIPED BASS: The striper action had been fair across most of Southern California’s reservoirs, but the bites have generally been slowing. Pyramid, Castaic, Silverwood, and Skinner are all fair. Trout plants haven’t seem to perk up the stripers much yet, but Skinner and DVL were getting trout plants this week. Still the best fishing in the region has been the California aqueduct near Taft, lots of four to five pound fish and some bigger. On the Colorado River, the bite is fair to good from the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch down river into Lake Havasu. Lake Mohave is also fair on stripers.

PANFISH: Fishing pressure is light and most of the bites have slowed way down. An exception is the bluegill bite at Lake Skinner which has come back on the last couple of weeks for fish in deeper water. Perris slowed but a few fish are still being landed. No crappie bites of note.

CATFISH: Every place is slowing down. Lake Skinner continues to have a fair catfish bite on cut baits, especially chicken liver. A few catfish are being reported at Cachuma, Lake Isabella, Silverwood, Piru, Pyramid, and Castaic, but they all are slower than last week. A few catfish are also still showing at the urban planted lakes, with Santa Ana River Lakes and Irvine both producing a fish or two over 10 pounds.

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