TROUT: Trout bites are generally fair to good all across Southern California’s urban lakes getting private plants. Top pick for this week in the High Desert is again Apollo Park Lake in Lancaster, but Palmdale Lake is also a good bet for members. In San Diego county, Dixon Lake and Jennings are the top bets. Santa Ana River Lakes in Orange County is always a good bet. The San Bernardino County park lakes (Glen Helen, Cucamonga-Guasti, Yucaipa, and Prado) are getting weekly plants and have been fair to good. Silverwood was planted with trout last week and has been pretty good, but Highway 138 is closed between I-15 and Summit Valley Road, requiring a long detour. Big Bear Lake is also a decent bet if you want to brave cold weather. The trout action in the Colorado River near Bullhead City is good. Limits of 1-pound class fish have been pretty common with some to nearly 2 pounds. In the Sierra, the upper Owens winter catch-and-release bite is still a good bet for catch-and-release fishing but snow has made and will continue to make access problematic.
BLACK BASS: The action is perking up as we move toward spawning season. Many fish are already moving up into the shallows thinking of the spawn, but the cold weather over the past week has seemed to stall that activity. The best bites remain on drop-shot plastics during the middle part of most days. Top bets continue to be Lower Otay, El Capitan, Castaic, Casitas, Pyramid, San Vicente, and Diamond Valley. On the Colorado River, the bites are starting to pick back after the latest round of cold weather, especially in backwaters and lagoons on the lower river. Havasu and Mohave are also improving. Smallmouth have been fair in the lower Colorado River, but there is just no fishing pressure.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action has remained about the same with slow to fair bites most places. The best bites overall are Castaic and Pyramid, while the Skinner bite has recovered a little after a bluestone treatment of the lake two weeks ago. Silverwood and Diamond Valley are much slower. Best action has been on cutbaits at all the local lakes, but a few fish are still showing on umbrella rigs and jigging spoons. The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair on lug worms and Gitzits. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair but cold weather has most of the fish deep again, so most fish are showing on drifted cut baits.
PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are slow across the board now. Crappie bites worth noting are at Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County, which has been solid for those targeting the crappie. Hodges is also producing a few fish. The best bite is at Lake Success in the southern Sierra, which has produced good catches and fish to 3 pounds this past week, all on live minnows.
CATFISH: Overall, the catfish bites are slow across the region, but getting very little fishing pressure so the action is hard to gauge. Catfish anglers should focus on Skinner, Lower Otay, El Capitan, San Vicente, the California aqueduct below Quail Lake and Quail Lake itself. El Capitan produced a 54-plus pound blue cat this past week. The lower Colorado River has a few channels being reported, but there is very light fishing pressure. No flatheads reported.