Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: While the trout opener in the Sierra Nevada is the big news and will be where the best fish exists this weekend, trout bites remains fair to good all across Southern California’s urban lakes getting private plants. Top pick for this week in the High Desert are Palmdale Lake (Fin and Feather Club) in the Lancaster area and Jess Ranch in the Victorville area. Lake Silverwood got plants this week and three other times in April. It has been good. In San Diego County, Jennings is the best bet, but Dixon, Poway, and Cuyamaca are also good. Big Bear Lake is good bet for both shore and boat anglers. The trout action in the Colorado River near Bullhead City is good.

BLACK BASS: The action is good all over the region as we move through the spawn. The fish are on the backside of the spawn most places, but mid-spawn at higher elevation waters. The best bites remain on plastics and reaction baits. Top bets continue to be Lower Otay, El Capitan, San Vicente, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Pyramid, Perris, and Diamond Valley, in no particular order. On the Colorado River, the bites are also wide open in all the warmer backwaters and lagoons on the lower river, and Lake Havasu broke wide open this past week, too. Mohave is just starting to pop. Smallmouth have been fair in the lower Colorado River, but Havasu is very good.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has remained about the same with just fair bites most places, but there have been surges in the action at Castaic, Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood this week with some flurries good fishing. Diamond Valley is still slow to fair, at best. Best action has been on cutbaits at all the local lakes, but a few fish are still showing on big, trout-like swim baits. The California aqueduct near Taft is good on lug worms and sardines but mostly small fish, but a 20-pounder was caught this week. The Colorado Riverís Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair but most of the fish are still deep, so most fish are showing on drifted cut baits. Lots of small fish to 4 pounds showing in the Bullhead stretch of the river now on anchovies.

PANFISH: Crappie bites surged all over the region the past three weeks thanks to the warm weather. Top bites are Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County, with El Capitan and Hodges also improving. Lake Cachuma is perhaps the best bet for bigger fish. In the Bakersfield area, Isabella broke wide open four weekends ago with a lot of limits posted and it is probably the best bet overall. Nacimentio on the Central Coast and Lake Success in the southern Sierra are also wide open on the crappie. The bluegill and redear bites are finally starting to surge, with some decent catches again this week at Perris, Skinner, El Capitan, Lower Otay, and Hodges.

CATFISH: The flathead catfish bite in the lower Colorado River is the big news with fish to 30 pounds reported again in the past week. The action has been at night on live bluegill, tilapia, and goldfish. Other catfish bites are slow across the region but starting to kick into gear. Pyramid Lake is probably the best bet right now with pretty fair action. The California aqueduct below Quail Lake and Quail Lake itself are improving with better weather this week.

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