JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. The Lake Isabella crappie bite stays in the top spot even with a lull early this week due to wind. Hot weather over the weekend will make this a “crappie mania” weekend at this reservoir. These are mostly nice quality fish in the two-pound class or more. The best bite has been on small minnows fishing around flooded trees of the South Fork Arm. For an update on this incredible bite, check with the guys at Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at (661) 833-8657.
2. The largemouth bass action is excellent all over the region with the spawn beginning, middle, or nearing an end, depending on water. There is a coin toss between Lake Skinner and El Capitan this week as the top spot, but everywhere is good. You could go a lot of places and still find very good fishing. For an update on the Skinner bite, call the marina at (951) 926-8515. For an update on El Cap, call (619) 443-4110.
3. Broken record pick: Owens River above Lake Crowley. This bite is just too good to leave out of the top picks. If you are a fly-angler, the big spawners running up out of Crowley Lake into the Owens River is still one of the best and most interesting bites in the region. These are big, wild rainbows running up out of the lake like steelhead and they are mostly from 16 to 20 inches long with some even bigger. They are a blast on small nymphs and egg patterns fished in the deep pools and runs. Information: The Troutfitter at (760) 934-2517.