By: Jim Matthews
TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good with hot spots still Lower Twin Lake at Bridgeport for trophy brown trout to 11-plus pounds again this week, Bridgeport Reservoir for rainbows to eight-plus pounds, and Crowley Lake for cutthroats and rainbows to six-plus pounds. But the whole region was pretty good. In Southern California, the urban winter trout season is winding down with most places done with trout plants as of last week. Top bets include Cachuma Lake, which got another plant last week, Lake Silverwood, which is still getting DFW trout weekly (this is the 31th week in a row), and Lake Hemet, which has had three DFW plants in the past few weeks. Santa Ana River Lake and Irvine Lake are also still decent bets, but slowing down pretty quickly. Big Bear Lake is still a fair to good option. Green Valley Lake has had three DFW plants and it will open next Friday with a big private plant.
BLACK BASS: The bass are mostly moving into a shad-chasing mode in most waters. They are out of their post-spawn blues and up chasing bait as the water in most of our local lakes warm rapidly. Top bets, about in order of action, are El Capitan, Skinner, Diamond Valley Lake, Castaic, Casitas, Piru, Pyramid, Lower Otay and Silverwood. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been very good, especially from Lake Havasu south.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been fair to good this past week. Top bets are Skinner, Silverwood, Pyramid, Castaic and Diamond Valley, but all of them are pretty equal. On the Colorado River, the bites are really starting to take off with the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch the best bet in the region, but there are more and more fish showing in Havasu and up through Topoc Gorge.
PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea surged back on this week after a small dieoff that sent the bite in the tank two weeks ago. Bigger tilapia up to two pounds are also showing now. The redear and bluegill bites are breaking open on the Colorado River. Cachuma’s crappie bite came back on a little. Casitas Lake still has a fair live-shad only bite. Diamond Valley Lake is getting little panfish pressure and continues to produce a few nice redear, bluegill, and the odd crappie. Perris also showed off a few nice bluegill and redear this past week.
CATFISH: Here’s the coin toss on catfish. The flathead bite on the Colorado River finally broke wide open and while no more fish in the 65-pound range were reported this past week, the bite is pretty good. There also continues to be a good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft with fish running eight to 20 pounds. Those are both good bets with the river getting the top spot because of the size of the fish possible. The Lake Elsinore catfish bite is also still a good bet and Cachuma Lake is also a decent bet. For planted fish, Santa Ana River Lakes has been pretty good this past week.