Freshwater Hot Spots

California Aqueduct
“The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair to good on frozen sardines and blood worms, but the heat has knocked fishing pressure way off,” Jim Matthews wrote.

TROUT: In the Eastern Sierra Nevada the trout bite has been fair to good this past week at most waters in the region and runoff is finally subsiding and fishing improving. Lots of thunderstorms throughout the region this week. The best bet is still Crowley Lake, which has simply been wide open for fly-anglers fishing midge patterns below strike indicators. There is also a very good bite Bridgeport Reservoir, Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport, Silver Lake in the June Lake loop, Convict Lake, and Lake Sabrina. In Southern California, Big Bear Lake is one of the only bets, and it is fair at best. Silverwood slowed way down for rainbows. Jenks Lake and Green Valley Lake are also both fair. In San Diego County, Cuyamaca is still fair but the fish have moved to deep water.

BLACK BASS: The bass action is fair to good across the region with the bass up chasing baitfish early and late in the day. Top bets are Lower Otay, San Vicente, El Capitan, Skinner, Perris, Diamond Valley, Silverwood, Puddingstone, Pyramid, Castaic, and Casitas. On the Colorado River, the bites are pretty good in Havasu and Mohave along with the lower river backwaters. Smallmouth have also been good in the lower Colorado River.

STRIPED BASS: The California aqueduct near Taft (pictured) is still fair to good on frozen sardines and blood worms, but the heat has knocked fishing pressure way off. Most of the fish are small. The striper action was generally fair most other places this past week, with Castaic, Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood all fair with flurries of very good action. Diamond Valley was showing signs of finally coming out of its striper funk this week with some fish to eight pounds for flycore trollers. The best action at the other four has been to fish jerk baits in boils or resort to cut baits or lug worms once the fish go deep. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair to good with good numbers and fish to 10 pounds and the surface bite is really starting to take off in both waters. Light fishing pressure with the heat.

PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are fair to good all over the region, but little fishing pressure with the heat. Top bets for bluegill and/or redear are Lake Perris, Lower Otay, Castaic Lake and Lagoon, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Havasu, Topoc Gorge, and the Palo Verde Lagoon on the Colorado River. Skinner is fair, along with Lopez and Santa Margarita on the Central Coast. Not much in the way of crappie right now, except for a lot of small crappie showing at Green Valley Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.

CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites have been fair to good across the region with the hot weather. Some decent catches at Skinner, Elsinore, Silverwood, and Diamond Valley. By far the best action has been on the lower Colorado River where both the channel and flathead catfish bites are pretty good — but it has been 100-plus degrees on the river again over the past week — and almost no one is fishing. There was a 45-pounder reported in the Blythe region.

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