Western Sierra, Feb. 15 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: There is a fair trout bite at the auxiliary dam after a plant this week, and the best action has been on PowerBait and salmon eggs. Other species have been very slow, including catfish. The 2018 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is set for March 24-26 with a $10,000 top prize for the longest trout and over $40,000 in prizes. Entry fee is $30 per person, $65 for a family (two adults and up to three kids). Derby information at www.kernriverlally.com. 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 trout bite in the upper river above Isabella has been fair thanks to DFW plants last week, and more fish are slated to go in next week. For fly anglers, the upper river has been fair with a stonefly hatch, but the water temperatures are still pretty cool in the mid-40s. There were trout plants in the lower river this week, and the bite has been fair on salmon eggs with rainbows to three pounds reported. Water temperatures are higher below the dam, and there is a mid-afternoon mayfly hatch for fly anglers to note. The lower Kern is slow for smallmouths and largemouths on small plastics and cranks. Most fish are small, and a very few catfish are being caught on clams. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or (www.kernriverflyfishing.com) or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The striper bite remains fair with light fishing pressure. The stripers are very chunky fish, but most are just below the 18-inch minimum keeper size. The best bite has been on Gitzits for lure anglers, and blood or lug worms for bait fishermen. Catfish remain very slow. 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 www.bobsbaitbucket.com or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or www.tackleandrod.com.

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: Slow action. Only an occasional carp dough baits and Powder Bait, and an the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers,

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: DFW trout plants this week and three weeks ago. The trout bite had slowed way down until this plant and has been pretty fair since. Best action on hatchery pellet PowerBait, Mice Tails, and Sierra Slammer jigs. Other species very slow. The Firefighters Derby will be Saturday March 10 this year, and it is limited to the first 800 anglers who sign up. Entry fee is $20 and the lowest-numbered tagged trout will win the $1,000 top prize. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: DFW plant last week, and the bite has been fair since on Mice Tails, garlic PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, and small trout jigs. The carp bite is slow on dough baits, but improving on Wussy Bait. The warm weather has a few bass showing on plastics and nightcrawlers, but no bluegill yet.

TRUXTUN LAKE: Trout plant last week and continued fair action on Sierra Slammer jigs, PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers doused with garlic. Other species have been slow, except for a few bass which are starting to show as water temperatures come up with the warm weather.

MING LAKE: Trout plant this week by the DFW and the bite was pretty good through the weekend. It has just been fair since with the best bite on PowerBait, Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. The bass bite has picked up with pretty fair action on drop-shot plastics or nightcrawlers with the fish moving around in the warming water after the weekend cool down.

BRITE LAKE: DFW trout plant two weeks ago, and the trout action has slowed way down. An occasional fish still showing on small jigs or floating dough baits. Fewer crappie reports this past week, but some are still showing on small jigs. The Brite Lake Derby will be April 21 with the final weigh-in at 1:05 p.m. For more information on the derby, check with Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: The trout action has been fair with some fish showing on hatchery pellet or chunky cheese PowerBait and Sierra Slammer jigs. No word on if a plant was going in this week or early next week. The county will be planting nine times this season instead of five times, like last season. A few bass are starting to nose around the shallows and the weather warms up the shallows. 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.

WOOLLOMES LAKE: No reports.

SUCCESS LAKE: The bass bite is pretty slow with only a few smaller fish showing on plastics in deeper water. All other bites have slowed way down. DFW trout plant three weeks ago. 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 tough with only a few fish on plastics. Most are 2- to 3-pounders, but some bigger fish. Other species are very slow, but there was a DFW trout plant three weeks ago. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.

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