Western Sierra, July 7 report

CATFISH DERBY: Bob’s Bait Bucket’s annual month-long catfish derby is ongoing through July. The entry fee is $1 per angler and you must register before you weigh in a fish. Only fresh fish can be weighed in and no weighing in of fish the same day as entering derby. The biggest catfish weighed in during July will take the $100 prize, plus all the entry fee money from everyone entered. So far 38 anglers have entered (so the pot is $138), and the leader is Jorge Ochoa, Bakersfield, with a 6-8 catfish from the aqueduct. The June striper derby was won by Paul Perkins, Bakersfield, with a 6-4 striper caught from the aqueduct. For more information or to register, call Bob’s Bait at 661-833-8657.

LAKE ISABELLA: The Erskine Fire is mostly contained now and all the roads are open again. The trout action has been fair near the dam, with a a few quality holdover trout up to three pounds showing on Thomas Buoyants and salmon peach PowerBait. Trolling has been the best bet. There also continues to be a fair to good catfish bite on clams and dip baits, with fish up into the six pound class pretty common. The crappie bite has been very slow with only a few sporadic reports of a few fish up in the trees. Some bluegill and bass reported, but mostly slow action. The water level is still coming up. Flows have been around 600 cfs coming in and 750 to 800 cfs going out this week. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com or North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812.

KERN RIVER: The Kern River has been good for trout with weekly plants in sections 4 through 6, and all other sections received trout last week. The quality of the planted trout has been excellent with a lot of two to four-pound class rainbows mixed in with the pan-sized fish. Best bite on the planted trout has been spinners, crickets, and salmon eggs. For fly anglers, the bite is fair to good, especially in the upper river near Johnsondale Bridge for wild fish. Lots of different surface action and hatches now. Flows have stayed about 600 cfs coming into Isabella this week and about 750 to 800 cfs going out. In the lower river trout are spotty, but a few bass and catfish are starting to show as water temperatures rise. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 (or kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Fair action on stripers, but moss is still making the fishing tough. Best action has been on blood and lug worms, sardines, Gitzits, Rat-L-Traps, and bucktail jigs, and most anglers are fishing at night or early and late. Not much on topwater. Continued fair to good catfish action but the number of big fish has dropped off. Still lots of two to five pounders. Jorge Ochoa, Bakersfield, landed a 6-8 catfish. The best action has been on sardines, chicken liver, and dip baits. Only the odd largemouth showing on swimbaits, plastics, and live minnows. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish greater than 12 inches. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com.

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Very slow.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Very slow overall fishing with only an occasional bass or bluegill showing, and those are very small. Also an occasional carp.

HART PARK LAKE: Very good bluegill action with the best bite on wax worms, meal worms, crickets, and red worms. Slow to fair bass action on Senkos, brush hawgs, plastics, small jigs, minnows or nightcrawlers. Only the odd catfish reported.

TRUXTUN LAKE: Very slow fishing and light fishing pressures. Only a few small bluegill or bass reported. Other species even slower.

MING LAKE: The bluegill action is good. Most fish are showing on meal worms, wax worms, and crickets. Also a slow bass bite on live minnows, plastic worms, and swim baits early and late in the day.

BRITE LAKE: There is a spotty crappie bite on half-pounders and an occasional bigger fish. Most crappie are showing on small minnows and jigs. Also an occasional catfish, but other species very slow.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bluegill bite is fair to good action on wax worms, red worms, and meal worms. There is also a slow to fair bite on small catfish with most anglers fishing dip baits. Other species very slow with only the odd bass. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com.

WOOLLOMES LAKE: Overall slow fishing with few reports. Some bass on cranks, and minnows, catfish on mackerel.

SUCCESS LAKE: Water level continues to come up slowly with the lake about 65 percent capacity, and the bass bite has been fair to good on plastics and reaction baits. A few panfish starting to show, along with the odd catfish. Slow other species. The new marina is in operation. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com. For updated fishing reports, go to the Fresno Bee report at fresnobee.com/sports/outdoors/hunting-fishing/.

KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has been good with a lot of fish showing on drop-shot plastics, and some on reaction baits and nightcrawlers. Most fish in less than 15 feet of water. Few other reports. Launch ramp open, lake near full at about 85 percent capacity. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212. For updated fishing reports, go to the Fresno Bee report at fresnobee.com/sports/outdoors/hunting-fishing/.

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