Freshwater Hot Spots

Bass, Catfish, Panfish, Trout

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall, it is just fair. The top bets include Crowley Lake, Convict Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir. In Southern California the top bet is Big Bear Lake for holdover rainbows to six pounds. Lots of limits reported for both shore and troll anglers. Silverwood Lake is producing a lot of rainbows and the DFW is planted two weeks ago, but the heat is pushing them deeper. Cuyamaca may be the best bet in San Diego County with heavy plants this season that continue through June.

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, especially in waters coming up and flooding brush (Diamond Valley, especially). But ther are a lot of fish showing on plastics and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water. Top bets are Diamond Valley, Skinner, Perris (outside edges of weed beds), Casitas (like shad if you can dip it), 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, although off this week compared to the previous week. Silverwood is getting better by the day. 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 everywhere this past week. Bright spots have been the lead core tolling bite with flies at Silverwood, Skinner’s cut bait bite at the dam and inlet areas, the troll and cut bait bite at Pyramid, and — of course — the excellent bite for bait and swim bait anglers on the Colorado River’s Lake Mohave. The Mohave bite has been producing a lot of six to eight-pound class fish and many to 12.

PANFISH: Big news remains the hot tilapia action at the Salton Sea. This bite broke wide open over a month ago and continues hot, and even more so as the temperatures soar. These temperatures could also kill this action with a green tide, so anglers should call ahead. 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: Catfish bites are starting to really heat up with the weather. Skinner, Pyramid and Diamond Valley Lake are top spots, but this bite isn’t getting much angler pressure. Lake Isabella continues to have a fair to good bite on catfish on dip baits. Santa Ana River Lakes and Hesperia Lake are now stocking catfish weekly, and Jennings started its catfish planting season two weeks ago. The flathead catfish bite is very good on the lower Colorado River from Blythe to Yuma, and the channel catfish are starting to show in good numbers throughout the Colorado River.

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