Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall, it is just fair. The top bets include the West Walker River, Bridgeport Reservoir, Virginia Lakes, 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, both of which were a little slower than previous week because of the heat but still pretty good. Cuyamaca is the best bet in San Diego County and it produced some good fish over the past week.

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. 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 very good. Silverwood and Big Bear are fair. On the Colorado River, the lower river is pretty much wide open, especially for smallmouth, but the bite is fair to good on largemouths throughout the Colorado River system.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair everywhere this past week, except San Antonio Lake, which reopened last Friday. It was cranking out the eight to 12 pounders. Outside of that the best action has been at Skinner and Castaic with Silverwood and Pyramid several notches behind. Most anglers are fishing to boiling fish, but the bait bite is a decent bet at all of them when the fish aren’t up. 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 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. Crappie are slow everywhere.

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. By far the best bite has been for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River. There continues to be a lot of quality flatheads topping 20 pounds landed — mostly on live bluegill.

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