Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall, it is just fair. The top bets include Crowley Lake (for fly anglers), and in distant second place and below are Twin Lakes (Bridgeport), Virginia Lakes, Convict, and Sabrina. Southern California, the top bet is Big Bear Lake, the traffic after this past weekend’s big Troutfest Derby will be down and the fishing is likely to be better as the fresh plants get acclimated. Green Valley Lake also continues to produce a few trout.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been fair throughout the region with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish early in the day and again in the evening now. As waters cool, this bite has been intensifying. This means the topwater action good a lot of places. Top bet is San Vicente Reservoir, newly reopened after being closed for eight years. It was hot opening week. Barrett Lake is a close second, but with smaller fish. Other decent bets are Lower Otay, Diamond Valley, Casitas, Perris, Castaic, Wohlford, Piru, and Pyramid. On the Colorado River, the lower river is good for smallmouth, and the bite is fair on largemouths throughout the Colorado River system. Fishing pressure is light just about everywhere.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair to good everywhere this past week. There continues to be decent topwater flurries at most waters. The best action has been at Pyramid and Castaic, but Skinner and Silverwood have also been pretty decent now. Topwater is possible at all four and the bait bites are pretty good at Skinner and Silverwood. Even Diamond Valley Lake has shown signs of improvement again this week, with more school-sized fish showing on trolled flies. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been good, but the fish are mostly still in deeper water. Ditto for Lake Havasu, which has been fair to good, with some topwater early, but most fish in deeper water on trolled or drifted baits.

PANFISH: The bluegill and/or redear bites are fair just about everywhere, but there have been some better bites this week at San Vicente, Perris, Diamond Valley, Skinner, Murray, and Lower Otay. Dixon and Jennings are also decent bets. On the Central Coast, Lopez and Santa Margarita both have fair bluegill/redear. Very light fishing pressure everywhere.

CATFISH: Catfish bites are fair most places. Top bets are probably still Skinner and Lake Isabella, but fishing pressure is so light it is tough to gauge. Pyramid, Diamond Valley, and even Lake Perris could pop big fish. Perris did this past week with a 23-plus pounder. Santa Ana River Lakes has been fair to good with weekly plants. The bite for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River remains fair to good, but it is getting almost no pressure.

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