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, Convict Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir. In Southern California the top bet is Big Bear Lake for holdover rainbows from 6 to 15 pounds and lots of pan-sized fish for both shore and troll anglers. Silverwood Lake is producing a fair number rainbows to 4 pounds, but the heat slowed this action a little. Cuyamaca is the best bet in San Diego County with heavy plants this season that continue through this week.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been 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 there 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, Casitas (topwater and shad if you can get them), Skinner, Perris (outside edges of weed beds), 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. Silverwood is fair. 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. The hot bite has been at Castaic for bait and troll fish with some to 12 pounds last week, most 12 inches this week. Lead core tolling with flies at Silverwood slowed to fair, while Skinner’s cut bait bite at the dam and inlet areas is still decent. Pyramid is also producing some fish on the troll and some topwater fish. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been wide open with very good action on fish to 8 pounds or better. Lake Havasu is nearly as good.

PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea was hammered early this week with 124-degree temperatures, and where this bite goes in the heat is a big question. Anglers should call ahead. The bluegill and/or redear bites are fair to good just about everywhere, but the top bets are Skinner, Perris and Diamond Valley. In San Diego County Poway and Murray have the best bluegill bites. 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 and clams. Santa Ana River Lakes and Hesperia Lake are now stocking catfish weekly. In San Diego County, Wohlford, Poway, and Jennings are stocked catfish or will begin by the end of next week. By far the best bite has been for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River. More than 50 fish topping 20 pounds were reported just from the Palo Verde-Walter’s Camp region since Memorial Day weekend. At least two catches of 50 pounds-plus have been landed.

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