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 (planted last week) 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 then plants last week and this week. It has been good. In San Diego county, Jennings is the best bet, but Dixon, Poway, and Cuyamaca are also good. Santa Ana River Lakes in Orange County is always a good bet. Big Bear Lake is good bet and it reopened to boats April 1, and the launch ramps are open. The trout action in the Colorado River near Bullhead City is good. In the Sierra, the upper Owens winter catch-and-release bite is still a good bet for catch-and-release fishing.

BLACK BASS: The action is good to excellent all over the region as we move through the spawn. The fish are flooded all over the shallows for the spawn and many are on beds, but some have already moved off the nests. The best bites remain on plastics and reaction baits. Top bets continue to be Lower Otay, El Capitan, San Vicente, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Pyramid, Perris, and Diamond Valley, in no particular order. On the Colorado River, the bites are also breaking wide opens in all the warmer backwaters and lagoons on the lower river. Havasu and Mohave are also starting to pop. 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 just fair bites most places, but there have been surges in the action at Castaic, Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood this week with some flurries good fishing. Diamond Valley is still slow to fair, at best. 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 but getting better 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. Lots of small fish to four pounds showing in the Bullhead stretch of the river now on anchovies.

PANFISH: Crappie bites surged all over the region the past two weeks thanks to the warm weather. Top bites are Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County, with El Capitan and Hodges also improving. Silverwood Lake again produced some good crappie catches off the marina docks. Lake Cachuma is perhaps the best bet, especially if you want quality fish to two-plus pounds. In the Bakersfield area, Isabella broke wide open two weekends ago with a lot of limits posted. Nacimentio on the Central Coast and Lake Success in the southern Sierra are also wide open on the crappie. The bluegill and redear bites are finally starting to surge, with some decent catches again this week at Perris, Skinner, El Capitan, Lower Otay, and Hodges this week.

CATFISH: The flathead catfish bite in the lower Colorado River is the big news with fish to 40 pounds reported again 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 starting to kick into gear. Pyramid Lake is probably the best bet right now with pretty fair action. The California aqueduct below Quail Lake and Quail Lake itself are improving with better weather this week.

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