Freshwater Hot Spots

Trout, Panfish, Catfish, Bass

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall, it is just fair. The top bets include the West Walker River, Crowley Lake (the fly anglers are just hammering ’em), Silver and Grant lakes in the June Loop, Convict Lake, and Lake Sabrina. In Southern California the top bets are Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake, which was off a little from the last couple of weeks. Silverwood Lake is producing a fair number rainbows in deeper water. Cuyamaca is the best bet in San Diego County but it’s slowed way down.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been fair to good throughout the region with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish early in the day. Lull this week due to poor moon phase. Topwater action good a lot of places on outside edges of weed beds, which most waters have now. But there are a lot of fish showing on plastics and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water at the edges of those weeds. Top bets are Diamond Valley, Casitas, Skinner, Perris, Castaic, Piru, Cachuma (smallmouth on crawdad-like baits), Puddingstone, Pyramid, Wohlford, Lower Otay, Sutherland, Hodges and Dixon. And of course, Barrett in San Diego County is good. Silverwood is fair. On the Colorado River the lower river is pretty much wide open, especially for smallmouth, but the bite is fair to good throughout the Colorado River system.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair to good everywhere this past week. The hot bite has been at Skinner this past week with Castaic and Pyramid pretty close seconds, and Silverwood a more distant third. Silverwood did crank out a 25-pounder this past week — the best in the region. There are swimbait, trolled fly, or cut bait bites at all the lakes, and topwater is possible everywhere. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been good on fish to eight pounds or better, but the fish are finally starting to move deeper. Ditto for Lake Havasu, which has been very good on topwater and bait.

PANFISH: The bluegill and/or redear bites are fair to good just about everywhere, but the top bets are Skinner, Perris and Diamond Valley. In San Diego County Poway, Dixon, Jennings, and Lower Otay have the best bluegill bites. Meanwhile the crappie bites have all pretty much died down everywhere, but a few were reported at Cachuma and Santa Margarita this past week.

CATFISH: Catfish bites are good most places. Skinner, Pyramid and Diamond Valley Lake are top spots, but none of these bites are getting much angler pressure. Lake Isabella continues to have a fair to good bite on catfish on dip baits, clams, and mackerel. Santa Ana River Lakes and Hesperia Lake are now stocking catfish weekly. In San Diego County Wohlford, Poway, and Jennings are stocking catfish. By far the best bite has been for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River. There continues to be a parade of 20-pound plus fish being caught.

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