Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The trout opener in the Sierra Nevada is the big news and trout to 11-13 were caught opening week. Top bets in the Sierra are Bridgeport Reservoir, Lower Twin Lake (Bridgeport), Silver and Gull lakes in the June Loop, Convict and Crowley near Mammoth, and Lake Sabrina and Intake II on Bishop Creek in the Bishop area. In Southern California, the top picks are Lake Silverwood, which got plants this week, and Big Bear Lake. The urban trout bite is really fizzling with no recent plants most places in two-plus weeks now. The trout action in the Colorado River near Bullhead City is good.

BLACK BASS: The action is still good all over the region, even if the fish are on the backside of the spawn most places. The best bites remain on plastics and reaction baits, but surface action has already begun many places. 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 two weeks ago. Mohave is just starting to pop. Smallmouth have been fair and improving 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. The exception is the good to excellent bite at Pyramid, and Skinner surged on this week, too. Castaic and Silverwood are fair and improving. 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. The Colorado River’s 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 fizzled most places over the past week, especially in San Diego County. The Lake Cachuma bite stay good and is a decent bet, but you have to go to Lake Isabella in the Bakersfield region to find wide-open action. Nacimentio on the Central Coast and Lake Success in the southern Sierra are also good for 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 34 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 again.

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