Freshwater Hot Spots – Sept. 17, 2015

Jim Matthews

TROUT: The Eastern Sierra Nevada remains good. While the whole region is pretty good, the hot spots this week have been the Virginia Lake, Crowley Lake and the East Walker River for fly anglers, Grant Lake in the June Lake Loop, and Convict Lake. In Southern California, Big Bear Lake has been good with the fish stacked up at the dam area. Green Valley Lake is being planted this week, and plants have gone into Hemet, Fulmor, Jenks Lake, and both forks of the Santa Ana River.

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 Casitas, Castaic, Perris, Diamond Valley Lake, Cachuma Lake, El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Piru, and Pyramid. 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.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action is fair to good across most of Southern California’s reservoirs. Pyramid is wide open on fish to four pounds, while Castaic is fair to good. Skinner and Silverwood slowed a little this week, with only very small fish under a pound showing from Silverwood. Diamond Valley also produced a few fish but is getting almost no pressure. Topwater bites are possible at all these waters, but still are of short duration or scattered (Castaic and Pyramid have 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 Lake Havasu. Lake Mohave is also fair to good on stripers.

PANFISH: 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 Perris had fair to good action on bluegill and redear, and Diamond Valley Lake is getting little pressure, but it continues to produce a lot of bluegill and redear. Cachuma also has a good bluegill bite. Lopez Lake on the Central Coast has very low water levels (boat launching will end this week) but a very good bluegill and redear bite, and Santa Margarita Lake, in the same region, has the only crappie bite of note. There have been some reports of up to 15 crappie at a pound and up to nearly two pounds.

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 water. 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 fair to good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft, with fish running three to eight pounds and better. Lake Skinner, Lake Isabella, Silverwood, and Lake Cachuma all have pretty good bites with fish to 12 pounds at Skinner, 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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