Freshwater Hot Spots

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada is the best bet for trout. Anywhere and everywhere in the region is producing fish, but the top bets include Crowley Lake, Convict Lake, and Bridgeport Reservoir, which cranked out browns to 7 pounds and rainbows to 6-8 pounds this week. In Southern California, the top bet is Big Bear Lake for holdover rainbows to seven pounds after the May Trout Classic. Lots of limits reported for both shore and troll anglers. Silverwood Lake is producing a lot of rainbows and the DFW is planted last week and again this week. Cachuma Lake has slowed with a few quality fish at the dam. Jess Ranch Lakes in the high desert has been pretty good. Cuyamaca may be the best bet in San Diego County with heavy plants this season that continue into June.

BLACK BASS: The bass action is already looking more like summer with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish and the topwater and reaction bait bites are really starting to take off. But there are a lot of fish still showing on plastics and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Top bets (in no real particular order) are Diamond Valley, Skinner, Perris, Casitas, Castaic, Piru, Cachuma, Puddingstone, Pyramid, Wohlford, Lower Otay, Sutherland, Hodges, and Dixon. Silverwood is getting better by the day. On the Colorado River, the lower river is pretty much wide open but winds have hampered the fishing, which is true of a lot of waters again this past week. The bites are also now breaking wide open in Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave, and everything in between. Smallmouth also turning on in the lower river. Barrett Lake in San Diego County is a sleeper top pick.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally slow to fair everywhere except Skinner this past week. Skinner is a fair bet at the dam and inlet areas on cut baits and reaction baits. The topwater and near-surface bite has come on Castaic with fish to nearly nine pounds reported for the second week in a row. Still fair bites on smaller fish at Pyramid and Silverwood. Darn few reports on stripers from Diamond Valley again, even with the launch ramp open again. The California aqueduct is still good, and it is producing more legal fish again. On the Colorado River, the stripers action broke open in Lake Mohave with excellent action on fish to eight pounds, and a lot from five to seven pounds. Havasu is also turning on with the fish up chasing shad.

PANFISH: Big news remains the hot tilapia action at the Salton Sea. This bite broke wide open over a month ago and continues hot except for brief lulls caused by wind or cooler mornings. The quality of the fish is improving with more in the 1.5-pound range. The bluegill or redear are starting to turn on just about everywhere, but the top bets are Skinner, Perris, and Diamond Valley. Meanwhile, the crappie bites have all pretty much died down everywhere.

CATFISH: Lake Isabella continues to have a fair to good bite on catfish. The California Aqueduct has been as good or better than Isabella, with a lot of fish six to seven pounds over the past several weeks. Dip baits and sardines are the hot bet on the aqueduct. Santa Ana River Lakes is now stocking catfish weekly, and Hesperia Lake has started its weekly catfish plants. Both are pretty good. The flathead catfish bite is very good on the lower Colorado River from Blythe to Yuma. A 62-pound flathead was reported last week.

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