Freshwater Hot Spots

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 are again Apollo Park Lake and Palmdale Lake in the Lancaster area and Jess Ranch in the Victorville area. Lake Silverwood got double plants two weeks in a row and is slated for more this week. It is hot. In San Diego county, Dixon, Poway, 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. Big Bear Lake is good bet and a sleeper pick. 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 breaking wide open all over the region as we surge into the spawn. Many fish are already moving up into the shallows thinking of the spawn and making beds, 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, San Vicente, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Pyramid, 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 been fair. Silverwood and Diamond Valley are also fair and improving this week. 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 sardines. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair but most of the fish are still deep, so most fish are showing on drifted cut baits.

PANFISH: The bluegill and redear bites are slow across the board, but just starting to show signs of improving. Crappie bites worth noting are at Lower Otay Reservoir and El Capitan in San Diego County, which has been solid for those targeting the crappie. Hodges is also producing a few fish. Lake Cachuma surged on this week and is a good bet. Overall, however, the best bite remains at Lake Success in the southern Sierra, which has produced good catches and fish to 3 pounds again this past week, all on live minnows at night.

CATFISH: The flathead catfish bite in the lower Colorado River is the big news with fish to 50 pounds reported in the past week. The action has been at night on live bluegill, tilapia, and goldfish. Other catfish bites are slow across the region, but with little pressure, yet. Pyramid Lake has been an exception with pretty good action. The California aqueduct below Quail Lake and Quail Lake itself are slow but improving with better weather this week.

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