By: Jim Matthews
TROUT: Winter trout season is starting to wind down. Top bets with weekly plants include Santa Ana River Lake, Irvine Lake, Lake Poway, Lake Jennings, Dixon Lake, and Lake Silverwood (26 out of the past 27 weeks with DFW plants). Lake Skinner is fair but it received a bonus DFW stock this week. All of the San Bernardino County parks — Glen Helen, Prado, Cucamonga-Guasti, Yucaipa, and Mojave Narrows — are still getting weekly 1,000-pound plants through April 23. Corona Lake was closed due to low water.
BLACK BASS: The bass are mostly moving out of the spawn in many areas, but the fish are still in the shallows across Southern California. In some lakes, the spawn is just getting started and other places over. Top bets, about in order of action, are Diamond Valley, Skinner, El Capitan, Castaic, Casitas, Piru, Pyramid and Lower Otay. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been very good, especially from Lake Havasu south, but there is still such light fishing pressure it’s hard to tell.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been slow to fair but improving. Skinner, Silverwood, Pyramid, and Diamond Valley all have improved again over the past week. Pyramid also had a 22-pounder reported Wednesday this week. On the Colorado River, almost all the bites have gone or remain slow to fair (but improving), especially in the river above Havasu all the way to Davis Dam.
PANFISH: The big news is the tilapia bite breaking wide open on the Salton Sea. The second biggest news is the wide open crappie bite at Lake Cachuma. Most of the other crappie bites went in the tank, including Lake Isabella, Casitas Lake and Elsinore. There are still a few crappie showing at Lower Otay, El Capitan and Hodges, that bear watching, but none were hot again this past week. Diamond Valley Lake is getting little panfish pressure, but there continue to be some toad redear topping two pounds caught. Perris and Casitas also showed off a few one-pound plus bluegill.
CATFISH: The Lake Elsinore catfish bite broke open two weeks ago and has been hot ever since. Cachuma Lake or the California Aqueduct near Taft are probably the second-best bets, with Lake Isabella a pretty distant third. The flathead catfish bite on the Colorado River remains slow. The channel catfish bite all along the Colorado River also lulled with only a few fish reported. Blue and channel catfish continue to show very sporadically in most in SoCal reservoirs.