Western Sierra, March 22 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: The big 2018 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is this weekend (March 24-26), and there will be a $10,000 top prize for the longest trout and over $40,000 in other prizes. Entry fee is $30 per person, $65 for a family (two adults and up to three kids). There have been major trout plants prior to the derby. Derby information at www.kernriverlally.com. Overall, there continues to be a fair to good trout bite at the auxiliary dam beach and off Engineer’s Point, but that action has spread out this week with plants. Also a DFW plant this week. Most of the fish are showing on PowerBait, Mice Tails, and salmon eggs. Other species have been very slow, including catfish. 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 DFW stocked the upper river last week in sections 4, 5, and 6, while Section 2 in the lower river was planted four weeks ago. Overall, the trout bite is still just fair in upper river above Isabella, but the plants and warmer weather should perk that action. A few fish are showing for bait anglers fishing salmon eggs or crickets, but the fly anglers are seeing very tough fishing. 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. 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 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: Very slow action. Only an occasional carp dough baits and Powder Bait, and the odd catfish reported on nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Trout action has been fair on PowerBait and Mice Tails, and small trout jigs. There were 2,000 pounds of trout stocked for the derby two weeks ago, and there was also a DFW plant two weeks ago. None since. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: DFW trout plants two and four weeks ago, but none currently on the plant list. The bite has been slow to fair, even without recent plants. 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 two and four weeks ago, and the bite has slowed way down since last week. Best action on Sierra Slammer jigs, chunky cheese or garlic PowerBait, pink and white Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers doused with garlic oil. There have also been a fair number of nice crappie caught. The bass are also improving again this week.

MING LAKE: Slow trout action with the most recent DFW plant two weeks ago. There are still a few holdover rainbows showing on PowerBait, trout plastics, or small jigs. The bass and carp bites have been getting better with each warm spell. The bass are showing on minnows and plastics, while the carp are showing on Wussy Bait. 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 slow with only an occasional fish still showing on small jigs or floating dough baits. A few crappie have been caught from near the shoreline rocks. 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 two weeks ago, and the action has been slow to fair since with only a few rainbows being caught on hatchery pellet or chunky cheese PowerBait or Sierra Slammer trout jigs. The bass bite has been fair, with most being caught on minnows or plastics. Also a few more crappie this past week in the main lake and the canal between the lake and the golf course. 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 over 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 2 pounds. Other species are very slow. Launch ramp open. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


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