Trout Plants & Freshwater Hot Spots

By: Jim Matthews

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good. While the whole region is pretty good, the hot spots this week have been the East Walker River, Virginia Lakes, Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop (actually the whole loop has been pretty good), Crowley Lake, and Convict Lake. In Southern California, the bites got tough this past week, but the best bets are still Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake and both of those are just fair.

BLACK BASS: The bass are still in a baitfish-chasing mode in most waters, and the topwater bite has improved just about everywhere. The heat has narrowed the window this action is good to very early and very late in the day. Top bets in this region are El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Perris, Piru, Pyramid, Diamond Valley Lake, and Silverwood. All of these places are pretty good for short periods each day. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been good from Lake Havasu south and up in Lake Mohave.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has really surged on a number of places the past two weeks. Silverwood may be the best bet, but Pyramid and Castaic have also both been pretty good and improving. Topwater bites have been emerging at all three. Skinner also improved in recent days and produced some good catches in recent day. Diamond Valley, while still spotty and getting light pressure because of its launch ramp closure, was much better this week. The California aqueduct near Taft is also good with a lot of four-pound class fish. On the Colorado River, the bites are really starting to take off with the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch the best bet in the region, but the fish are pretty good from the upper end of Havasu all the way to Davis Dam.

PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea surged back on a month ago and has been excellent again this past week, in spite of heat and flies. It is the top panfish bet if you can bear the conditons with fish to two pounds. The redear and bluegill bites are breaking open on the Colorado River, and all the other local panfish bites finally look to be turning on again, with fish starting to show in good numbers at Perris, Diamond Valley, Silverwood, and Puddingstone. Most crappie bites are off, but the action Casitas Lake again produced a few fish to two pounds on live shad.

CATFISH: The flathead bite on the Colorado River in generally fair to good all along the lower river with fish from 20 to 40 pounds showing in decent numbers (considering fishing pressure is still pretty light). Best action is just before the new and full moons. 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. Lake Skinner and Lake Cachuma both have been very good with fish to 12 pounds, and there were improved bites at Silverwood, Piru, Pyramid, Castaic, and Casitas. The Lake Elsinore catfish bite is also still a fair to good bet. For planted fish, Santa Ana River Lakes and Irvine are top bets. 

For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW’s stocking page at

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