Freshwater Hot Spots – July 9, 2015

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains very good. While the whole region is pretty good early and late in the day, the hot spots this week have been the Virginia Lakes near Bridgeport and Lake Crowley. The East Walker River remains good, but the water level is low. In Southern California, the bites remained tough this past week, but the best bets are still Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake, but 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 be fair to good just about everywhere. The heat slowed this bite a little this past week, but it was coming back on stronger again this week with cooler temps and a waning moon. Top bets in this region, with none really standing out over the others, are El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Perris, Piru, Pyramid, Diamond Valley Lake, and Silverwood. All of these places are pretty fair for short periods each day. On the Colorado River, the bites have also been fair from Lake Havasu south into the lower river backwaters and up in Lake Mohave.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has continued to surge a number of places the past three 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 but still are of short duration or scattered. Skinner and Diamond Valley looked to be improving last week, but both slowed again this week. The California aqueduct near Taft also slowed with the high heat last week and is fair at best. 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 was knocked back down by winds on Sunday (after very good action late last week and Saturday) and it hasn’t come back on yet. The redear and bluegill bites are breaking open on the Colorado River, and a number of local panfish bites were turning on this week. Most notable was Lake Skinner with very good action on bluegill. Diamond Valley Lake is getting squat for pressure, but it continues to produce a lot of bluegill and redear. Perris and Casitas are also pretty decent bets for bluegill and redear. Most crappie bites are off, with few reports from Casitas or Isabella (which had been holdouts) this week.

CATFISH: The flathead bite on the Colorado River in generally fair all along the lower river with fish from 20 to 40 pounds showing occasionally. Fishing pressure is light. Best action is just before the new and full moons. There 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 Isabella, Lake Skinner, Silverwood, and Lake Cachuma all have pretty good with fish to 12 pounds, and there were improved bites at Piru, Pyramid, and Castaic. 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, and there was a 33-plus pound cat from Irvine this past week. 

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