TROUT: In the Eastern Sierra Nevada, the hot spots have been the fly-fishing waters of Crowley Lake and the East Walker River. For bait and lure anglers, the Virginia Lakes, Silver and Grant Lake, and Convict Lake are the best bets. In Southern California, the Big Bear bite came back on last week with the best action still at the dam. Green Valley Lake, Lake Hemet, Fulmor Lake, Jenks Lake, and Lake Gregory all pretty slow, but Hemet and Jenks were on the DFW plant list this week.
BLACK BASS: The bass are still in a baitfish-chasing mode in most waters, and the topwater and reaction bait bite has been fair to good just about everywhere. Many waters are finally starting to cool just a little and this tends to intensify the action. Lake Perris broke open four weeks ago and has been pretty good since on reaction baits. Cachuma Lake’s smallmouth is also still pretty much wide open on fish ripping bait balls. Other top bets include Casitas, Castaic, Diamond Valley Lake, El Capitan, Lower Otay, Skinner, Piru, and Pyramid. All of these places are pretty good for short periods each day when the fish come up to chase bait — and that is not always first and late light these days. 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 or other structure.
STRIPED BASS: The striper action is fair to good across most of Southern California’s reservoirs. Pyramid is good on fish to four pounds and it’s getting a trout plant — the first of the season — this week. Castaic Lake has been almost as good this past week. Skinner and Silverwood improved a little this week with both fair to good. Only very small fish under three pounds (most under a pound) are showing from Silverwood, while Skinner had stripers to six pounds. 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 (Pyramid and Castaic have been the best for surface action). The California aqueduct near Taft perked again this past week with fair to good action now. On the Colorado River, the bite is fair to good from the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch down river into Lake Havasu. Lake Mohave is also fair on stripers.
PANFISH: The two hot bites at Lopez Lake and Santa Margarita Lake on the Central Coast came back on a little this week. Lopez’ bluegill and redear bite is fair while Santa Margarita Lake was pretty good on crappie. 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 Diamond Valley Lake is getting little pressure but it continues to produce a few bluegill.
CATFISH: Lake Skinner continues to have a very good catfish bite on cut baits, especially chicken liver, with a number of cats to eight pounds or better again this week. There also continues to be good channel catfish bite in the California aqueduct near Taft, with fish running three to eight pounds and better. Lake Isabella, Silverwood, and Lake Cachuma all have pretty good bites, 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, but both are just fair. 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 very light. Best action is just before the new and full moons. Meanwhile, the channel catfish bite has been fair to good in the whole river from Bullhead downstream to the Mexican border with a lot of fish from three to eight pounds reported.