Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada’s general trout season closes next Tuesday, and the bites have slowed way down. The remaining bright spots for this final week of the season is Crowley Lake (for fly anglers), and behind that top pick are the Virginia Lakes, Silver and Grant Lake, and Convict Lake (which produced an 8-plus brown this week). In Southern California, the top bet is Jess Ranch, but state plants started in Los Angeles and Orange county urban lakes (see trout plants). A top bet will likely be Santa Ana River Lakes, which received its first plant Thursday this week.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been fair throughout the region with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish at least part of the day, but most of the action has reverted to deeper water and plastics or nightcrawlers. Top bet remains San Vicente Reservoir, with other decent bets Lower Otay, Diamond Valley, Casitas, Perris, Castaic, Wohlford, Piru, and Pyramid. On the Colorado River, the lower river is fair to good for smallmouth (with zero fishing pressure), and the bite is fair on largemouths throughout the Colorado River system.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair everywhere this past week. Recent trout plants at Silverwood (two weeks ago), along with Castaic and Pyramid last week, brought up a few bigger stripers. There continues to be decent topwater flurries at Pyramid and Castaic, but few at Skinner and none reported at Silverwood. The best action has been at Pyramid and Castaic, but Skinner and Silverwood have also been pretty decent now. Diamond Valley Lake continues to be very spotty, with just a few school-sized fish showing on trolled flies. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been fair, 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 but slowing many places. The better exceptions this week have been at Perris, Diamond Valley, Murray, and Lower Otay. Dixon and Jennings also remain decent bets. On the Central Coast, Lopez and Santa Margarita both have slow to fair bluegill/redear bites. Very light fishing pressure everywhere.

CATFISH: Overall slow catfish action and no monster fish reported like last week’s 102.9-pound and 40-plus-pound fish. The best action has been at Isabella and Cachuma, with pretty fair bites at those two lakes. Also fair channel catfish bites on the Colorado River, and the bite for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River remains fair, but this river is getting almost no pressure.

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