Western Sierra, March 15 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: There continues to be a fair to good trout bite at the auxiliary dam beach and off Engineer’s Point. Fish are already being stocked for the big derby in a little over a week, and the bite is really taking off. Also a DFW plant slated to go in next week. Most of the fish are showing 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). There will be major trout plants prior to the derby. 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: Slow to fair trout bite in the upper river above Isabella, but water temperatures remain low and holding the bite down. A few fish are showing for bait anglers fishing salmon eggs or crickets, but the fly anglers are seeing very tough fishing. The DFW was slated to stock the upper river this week in sections 4, 5, and 6, while Section 2 in the lower river was planted three weeks ago. The lower river continues to produce a few nice holdover rainbows, but overall the fishing is tough for trout. The lower Kern is starting to produce a few 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 the best action on bait right now. The stripers are very chunky fish, but most are just below the 18-inch minimum keeper size. The best bite has been on minnows and lug worms, but a few are showing on jerk baits. Water very clear. Catfish are starting to show in the Highway 166 stretch, mostly on mackerel, but a few on sardines, anchovies, and Wussy Bait, too. 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: Very slow action. Only an occasional carp dough baits and Powder Bait, and the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Big crowds and big plants for the Firefighters Derby this Saturday, and overall the action was pretty good with fish to 12 pounds reported. The best action was on PowerBait and Mice Tails, but fish were caught on just about everything. There were 2,000 pounds of trout stocked for the event last week, along with DFW trout. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and three weeks ago. The bite was good through the weekend, but slow to fair since. Top action on Mice Tails, garlic or hatchery pellet PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, and small trout jigs. There are also some nice crappie showing. Not a lot of fish, but pretty decent quality. The carp bite is finally starting to turn around on Wussy Bait and dough baits.

TRUXTUN LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and three weeks ago, and the bite was pretty good through the weekend but just fair since. Sierra Slammer jigs, chunky cheese or garlic PowerBait, pink and white Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers doused with garlic oil are the top baits. There have also been a fair number of nice crappie caught. Not a wide open bite, but a few nice fish reported. The bass are also improving again this week.

MING LAKE: While the trout action was pretty good into the weekend after the DFW trout plant last week (and three and four weeks ago), the bass and carp bites are also starting to take off with the warmer weather this week. The bass are showing on minnows and plastics, while the carp are showing on Wussy Bait. The trout have been best on PowerBait, Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. There has also been a fair bite on crappie on small minnows.

BRITE LAKE: No DFW trout plants in over a month, and the bite is very slow. 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: Trout plant last week, and the bite was pretty good through the weekend, but a little less consistent since. Brandon Johnson, Bakersfield, landed a 7-11 rainbow on Mice Tail. The best action has been on hatchery pellet or chunky cheese PowerBait doused with Pro Cure garlic nightcrawler gel or Sierra Slammer trout jigs. The bass bite, has perked up again with most showing on minnows or plastics. Also a few more crappie, including one at three pounds, this past week. 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. This action has been ongoing for a month now, and there are fish to three pounds showing in this bite. 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 three 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 two pounds. Other species are very slow. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


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