Western Sierra, April 12 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: It’s crappie mania time. The crappie bite broke wide open two weekends ago and has been going strong ever since. The best action is in the South Fork, but the fish are showing everywhere. There have been a lot of 25-fish limits posted with crappie up to 14-inches in the stringers. Most of the action has been on red and white or chartreuse crappie jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or with live minnows. There is also still a pretty good trout bite, especially by the auxiliary dam on the usual array of dough baits, inflated nightcrawlers, small jigs, and trout plastics. There was a DFW trout plant last week. Other species have been slow, but the catfish and carp are improving, and bass and bluegill are starting to be caught. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

KERN RIVER: The upper river is flowing at over 4,000 cfs as runoff rockets off the Sierra with the heat. Fishing is tough overall on the upper river. No recent plants on either the upper or lower river. The lower river is still low at 400 cfs, and it is fishing pretty well for bass and catfish. The catfish are being caught on clams and nightcrawlers, while the bass are best on small plastic worms and nightcrawlers. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite has improved again this past week with pretty good action. The fish are almost all small, however, under the 18-inch minimum keeper size limit. The best bite has been on bloodworms and lug worms, with a few on Flukes and Gitzits or live minnows. Catfish are starting to show in all stretches, but this bite is just starting, mostly on sardines, anchovies, and Wussy Bait, too. A few largemouth are starting to show now. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish larger than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Few reports. A few more carp starting to show on dough baits and Powder Bait, and the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plant two weeks ago, and the trout bite has been slow on PowerBait and Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. Information Bobís Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The crappie bite has improved with more crappie showing than trout now, including some better quality slabs. The carp bite is finally starting to turn around on Powder Bait. The bass and bluegill bites are also improving with the warmer weather. The bass are mostly showing on plastics worms, nightcralwers, and live minnows. The bluegill have been best on wax and meal worms. DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Slow trout action.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The crappie bite just continues to improve with some decent catches reported in the past week, mostly on jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles or small minnows. The bass and bluegill are improving, too, with the bluegill showing on wax worms or meal worms, and the bass mostly being caught on nightcrawlers, live minnows, and plastic worms. DFW trout plant two weeks ago. Mostly slow action, but a few on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers.

MING LAKE: The carp and the crappie have been fair to good. The crappie have been best on small jigs tipped with bait or Crappie Nibbles or small minnows. The carp are best on Powder Bait or Wussy Bait. DFW trout plant two weeks ago, but the bite is mostly slow. Bass and bluegill have also improved. The bass are best on plastics and minnows, while the bluegilla re best on meal worms and wax worms. Trout slow with the most recent plant two weeks ago.

BRITE LAKE: Some catfish starting to show with fish to 6 pounds. The crappie bite has stayed pretty strong this past week for anglers fishing small 1/32nd-ounce jigs beneath a bobber. Most are eight to 10 inches. Better trout action with most showing on small jigs or floating dough baits. The Brite Lake Derby will be April 21 with the final weigh-in at 1:05 p.m. Big plants before the event. For more information on the derby, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: The bass bite has been fair and some fish have moved up into very shallow water and cover. The best action has been on minnows or plastics. The crappie are also pretty decent with fish showing in the lakes and the canal between the lake and the golf course. Bluegill are starting to also perk up on the usual small baits. Last trout plant of the season was four weeks ago, and the bite is pretty much over for the season. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.


SUCCESS LAKE: The very good crappie bite has just continued to rock and roll, but the action is almost all at night or early and late in the day. There have been a lot of quality fish of more than 2 pounds caught. Most of the fish are showing from the bank on minnows, but some also on jigs. The bass action is also improving with a fair to good bite on plastics and minnows on fish to 3 pounds, but few bigger. Some bluegill starting to show. Other species very slow. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

KAWEAH LAKE: The bass are starting to improve as the fish move into spawn mode. Most of the action on plastics, and most of the bass are smaller fish to 2 pounds. Some panfish and catfish starting to show. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.

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