TROUT: Top picks are Big Bear Lake and Santa Ana River Lakes, but some fish are still showing at Apollo Park Lake after its big derby two weeks ago and another plant is slated for later this month, probably next week. In San Diego County, Cuyamaca, Santee Lake (first plant last week), and Dixon (first plant this week) are all decent bets.
BLACK BASS: The action is finally slowing at many waters, but it is still darn good other places with the fish still up chasing baitfish most mornings. Top bets continue to be Castaic, Pyramid, El Capitan, San Vicente, Lower Otay, and Diamond Valley, but all have slowed from last week. On the Colorado River, the bites are fair and improving in Havasu and Mohave along with the lower river backwaters. Smallmouth have also been fair to good in the lower Colorado River, but there is just no fishing pressure.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action was generally fair to good most places this past week. Castaic is the best bet with more quality fish than the other waters and good action, but Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood have all been fair. Lots of small fish at the last three. The best news is that Diamond Valley is finally turning on with fish 17-plus pounds this week and generally pretty fair action. The best way to fish at all the lakes is to use topwater or jerk baits in boils or trolled shad-like lures or flies, but this bite is starting to wane. If the fish go deep, lug and blood worms are the best bait. The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair on frozen sardines and blood worms, but most of the fish are small. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair to good and getter better by the day. Both are cranking out some fish over 10 pounds, but most two to six pounds. Lots of small stripers in the river between Davis Dam and Topoc Gorge.
PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are fair but slowing all over the region. Perris remains a fair bet, with Lower Otay, El Capitan, Lake Murry, and Diamond Valley Lake a notch below. Lake Havasu, and Topoc Gorge on the Colorado River continue to produce a few redear.
CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites have been fair to good across the region but getting light pressure. The California aqueduct near Taft really turned back on this past week with fish to 20 pounds reported. Fall is trophy catfish time and some big fish are showing across the region. Skinner cranked out another 10-plus, and Pyramid is also pretty fair. The lower Colorado River has excellent conditions but almost no pressure for channel and flathead catfish. Of the planted lakes, Santa Ana River is still a fair bet and Hesperia Lake is producing some limits with weekly plants still going in.