Freshwater Hot Spots – Aug. 20, 2015

Jim Matthews

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains 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, Grant Lake in the June Lake Loop, and Lake Crowley. Convict Lake, the Twin Lakes at Bridgeport, and Bridgeport Reservoir is also pretty good for deep-water trollers and finesse bait anglers. In Southern California, Big Bear Lake has been very good with the fish stacked up at the dam area, and Green Valley Lake remains pretty good after a plant last week.

BLACK BASS: The bass are still in a baitfish-chasing mode in most waters, and the topwater bite has been fair to good just about everywhere. There are pretty decent bites all over region with the top bets smallmouth at Diamond Valley Lake, Cachuma Lake, El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Perris, Piru, Pyramid, and Silverwood. All of these places are pretty good for short periods each day, especially in the mornings. On the Colorado River, the smallmouth and largemouth bites have also been fair to good from Lake Havasu south into the lower river backwaters and up in Lake Mohave, mostly on topwater and reaction baits fished on or along weed beds. Mosquitos and heat remain problems on the river.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action is fair to good across most of Southern California’s reservoirs. Silverwood is still fair to good for smaller fish, but some to 10 pounds reported. Pyramid and Castaic have also both been pretty good and both have also cranked out a few bigger fish. Diamond Valley also produced a few fish in improved action this week. Topwater bites are possible at all these waters, but still are of short duration or scattered (Castaic has been the best for surface action). The California aqueduct near Taft stayed slow. On the Colorado River, the bite is good from the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch down river into the upper end of Lake Havasu, with some fish also showing in the main body of Havasu and in Lake Mohave.

PANFISH: The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea stayed pretty dead this past week and may be done for the summer. Meanwhile, the redear and bluegill bites are good on the Colorado River, and a number of local panfish bites were also fair to good over the past week. Lake Skinner and Lake Perris both had fair to good action on bluegill, and Diamond Valley Lake is getting squat for pressure, but it continues to produce a lot of bluegill and redear. Casitas is also a decent bet for bluegill. Crappie bites are simply dead with only a few at Cachuma.

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 occasionally. Fishing pressure is very light. Best action is just before the new and full moons and/or right after thunderstorms add a little color to the river. Meanwhile, the channel catfish bite has been excellent in the whole river from Bullhead downstream to the Mexican border with a lot of fish from three to eight pounds reported. There also continues to be a good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft, with fish running three to eight pounds and better. Lake Isabella, Lake Skinner, Silverwood, and Lake Cachuma all have pretty good bites 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. 

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