By: Jim Matthews
FRESHWATER HOT SPOTS
TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good with hot spots still Lower Twin Lake at Bridgeport, Bridgeport Reservoir, and Crowley Lake. All three produced trout over five pounds this past week. But the whole region was pretty good, including the Virginia Lakes, Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop, and Convict Lake. In Southern California, the urban winter trout season is pretty much over most places. Top bet is Cachuma Lake, which produced a bunch of fish to eight pounds this past week, thanks to 10,000-pounds of rainbow planted in the past month. Green Valley Lake opens its trout season this week with a 1,000-pound plant. Big Bear Lake slowed with wild weather this past week, but should settle back in. Silverwood didn’t get trout this week (after 31 weeks of DFW trout plants), but it is still fair.
BLACK BASS: The bass are moving into a baitfish-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. Yo-yoing water temperatures have put off a lot of the bites, but a couple of warm days in a row should turn the action back on. Top bets, about in order of action, remain 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 just fair this past week because of the weather. Top bets are Skinner, Silverwood, Pyramid, Castaic and Diamond Valley, but all of them are pretty equal this week. 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 two weeks ago, but had some lulls because of cooler weather and wind this week. It still looks to be a top bet for the warm weekend coming up. Bigger tilapia up to two pounds are also showing now. The redear and bluegill bites are breaking open on the Colorado River, but other local panfish bites seemed to go in the tank. The one to continue to watch is Casitas Lakeís bite on bigger crappie with live shad.
CATFISH: The flathead bite on the Colorado River in breaking wide open and a 45-pounder was the big fish reported this past week. There also continues to be a good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft with fish running eight to 12 pounds or even bigger. 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 is planting big for its official opening of catfish season — big volume and big fish, including one blue cat at over 65 pounds.