Western Sierra, April 13 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: The trout action was fair to good for the 28th Annual Lake Isabella Trout Derby trout derby this past weekend. All the top five winners were under 18 years old. The longest fish award and the $2,000 check went to Andrew Miranda, 7, from Bakersfield, with a 30.375-inch rainbow. Eva Brennan, 12, of Bodfish, was second with a 27.25-inch trout for the $1,500 prize. Third place worth $1,000 went to Seth Hagewood, 7, of Ridgecrest, while fourth place and $500 was won by Jalen Palacios, 17, from Covina. And fifth place worth $250 went to Braeden Ege, 7, of Weldon. There is also a budding crappie bite, especially in the South Fork with several bank anglers report eight to 10 fish days in the past week. The action has all been on live minnows. A few more catfish are starting to show, but this bite is just fair with meal worms, minnows, and shad the best baits. Also a few bass showing on plastics around structure with the fish in less than 15 feet of water. The lake level is still around 44 percent of full pool. The Kern River flow was around 2,900 cfs Wednesday at Kernville. The outflow was around 3,950 cfs. For fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com or North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812.

KERN RIVER: Trout were planted in all six sections of the Kern last week. The bite has been slow to fair with high flows both above and below the lake. The lower Kern is still nearly unfishable through the canyon with Isabella release flows at 3,880 cfs. The upper river flows are back up to 2,900 cfs at Kernville. A few bass are being caught right in Bakersfield where the river is running through town. Tough fishing conditions everywhere. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: It’s striper mania. The bite has not been this good since 2010, and the action is simply wide open. The volume of fish is staggering, with many anglers reporting 50 to 100 fish days, but most are below the 18-inch minimum size. It is still pretty easy to get two in the keeper range for a limit. The bite has been almost all on sardines, blood and lug worms, Flukes, Gitzits, and Rat-L-Traps. In fact, the only thing not working has been anchovies. Also more catfish reported in the past week, mostly in the Highway 166 stretch, and they have been landed on both mackerel and sardines. Also a few largemouth starting to show on tube jigs. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com.

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: A few catfish are starting to show on nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Quite a few bass are showing with most in shallow for the spawn. Also some bluegill starting to be caught. Trout slow. Information: Bob’s Bait at 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The largemouth bass bite has been fair to good on plastics or nightcrawlers. A few more carp and bluegill are showing in fair action. Other species slow.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The bass are mostly in the shallows for the spawn. Fair to good action. The best bite has been on nightcrawlers, plastics, or live minnows. A few carp and bluegill being caught in a fair bite, with the bluegill best on wax worms. Few other reports.

MING LAKE: Trout slowing with only an occasional fish on PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic, and Mice Tails. The bass bite has been fair to good with the fish in the shallows. Plastics, Senkos, and live minnows have been best. There are also more and more carp being caught on Powder Bait, and the bluegill bite is fair now.

BRITE LAKE: No recent DFW trout plants. The bite has been slow this past week. Light fishing pressure.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The final trout plant of season went in three weeks ago, and the bite has really slowed way down with most of the rainbows caught out by now. Still an occasional trout on a Mice Tails or on PowerBait. The crappie bite is slow to fair on small minnows. There are quite a few bass showing on nightcrawlers and plastics with the fish mostly on beds. Bluegill also starting to show. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or bobsbaitbucket.com.

WOOLLOMES LAKE: There have been a few crappie reported in the past week on small minnows and small jigs. Other species slow.

SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite is fair to good with a lot of fish on beds. Best bite has been in four to 12 feet of water with plastics. The lake is currently 63 percent of capacity. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com.

KAWEAH LAKE: The bass bite has been improving daily as more and more fish move up for the spawn. Lots of two- to three-pound class fish showing on plastics with some on reaction baits. Lake level is 27 percent of capacity this week. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.

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