Western Sierra, March 8 Report

LAKE ISABELLA: There continues to be a fair trout bite at the auxiliary dam beach and off Engineer’s Point after a DFW plant four weeks ago. 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: Continued slow trout bite in the upper river above Isabella remained with colder weather keeping water temperatures in the 35 degree range. A few fish are showing for bait anglers fishing salmon eggs or crickets, but the fly anglers are seeing very tough fishing. Section 2 in the lower river was planted two weeks ago, and the lower river continues to produce a few nice holdover rainbows. 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 minnows, lug worms, and jerk baits. Water very clear. Catfish are starting to show in the Highway 166 stretch, but still tough most places. Sardines, anchovies, and Wussy Bait the best bets. 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: DFW trout plants this week and three weeks ago, plus a number of private plants for the Firefighters Derby this Saturday. It is limited to the first 800 anglers who sign up. Entry fee is $20 and the lowest-numbered tagged trout caught will win the $1,000 top prize. There will be 2,000 pounds of trout stocked for the event and 25 tagged trout, all worth cash. Best action has been on PowerBait, Sierra Slammer jigs, and Mice Tails. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: DFW trout plants this week, two weeks ago, and four weeks ago. The bite is good again on Mice Tails, garlic or hatchery pellet PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers, and small trout jigs. There has also been some nice crappie showing. Not a lot of fish, but pretty decent quality. The carp bite is very slow on dough baits with the cold weather. No bass or bluegill this week.

TRUXTUN LAKE: DFW trout plants this week, two weeks ago, and four weeks ago, and the bite continues pretty good. 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. Other species have been very slow with the cold weather again this week.

MING LAKE: Continued good trout action after DFW plant this week, and there were also plants two and three weeks ago. Most of the action has been on PowerBait, Mice Tails, small trout jigs, and inflated nightcrawlers. There has also been a fair bite on crappie on small minnows. The continued cool weather has kept the bass bite off with only a few showing on drop-shot plastics or nightcrawlers.

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: No word on trout plants this week or not, but the trout bite has slowed way down since the last plant a couple of weeks ago. 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, which had been started to improved, has remained slow with the cooler weather. 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 big news is the very good crappie bite that has taken off here in the past three weeks with a lot of fish showing from the bank on minnows. And these are quality slabs with fish to 3 pounds. The bass action is also improving with a fair to good bite on plastics. 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 in spite of the cool weather. 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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