Freshwater Hot Spots

Trout, Bass, Catfish, Panfish

TROUT: The Sierra Nevada has some bright spots for trout, but overall it is just fair. The top bets include the West Walker River, Bridgeport Reservoir, Virginia Lake, Crowley Lake (the fly anglers are just hammering ’em), Silver and Grant lakes in the June Loop, Convict Lake, and Lake Sabrina. In Southern California, the top bets are Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake, both of which were a little slower than previous week because of the heat but still pretty good. Cuyamaca is the best bet in San Diego County but its slowed way down.

BLACK BASS: The bass action has generally been fair to good throughout the region with most fish up chasing shad and other baitfish early in the day. Topwater action good a lot of places on outside edges of weed beds, which most waters have now. But there are a lot of fish showing on plastics and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water at the edges of those weeds. Top bets are Diamond Valley, Casitas, Skinner, Perris, Castaic, Piru, Cachuma (smallmouth on crawdad-like baits), Puddingstone, Pyramid, Wohlford, Lower Otay, Sutherland, Hodges, and Dixon. And of course, Barrett in San Diego County is good. Silverwood is fair. On the Colorado River the lower river is pretty much wide open, especially for smallmouth, but the bite is fair to good on largemouths throughout the Colorado River system.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has been generally fair to good everywhere this past week. The hot bite has been at Skinner week with Castaic a pretty close second, and Silverwood and Pyramid are more distant thirds. There are swimbait, trolled fly, or cut bait bites at all the lakes, and topwater is possible — even likely — everywhere. The Colorado River’s Lake Mohave has been good on fish to eight pounds or better, but the fish are finally starting to move deeper. Ditto for Lake Havasu, which has been very good on topwater and bait.

PANFISH: The bluegill and/or redear bites are fair to good just about everywhere, but the top bets are Perris, Skinner (which came back on after a lull) and Diamond Valley. In San Diego County, Poway, Dixon, Jennings, and Lower Otay have the best bluegill bites. Crappie are slow everywhere.

CATFISH: Catfish bites are good most places. Skinner, Pyramid, and Diamond Valley Lake are top spots, but none of these bites are getting much angler pressure. Lake Isabella continues to have a fair to good bite on catfish on dip baits, clams, and mackerel. Santa Ana River Lakes and Hesperia Lake are now stocking catfish weekly. In San Diego County, Wohlford, Poway, and Jennings are stocking catfish. By far the best bite has been for big flatheads on the lower Colorado River. There continues to be a lot of quality flatheads topping 20 pounds landed — mostly on live bluegill.

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