1. No changes in the picks this week. Lake Isabella’s crappie bite is still the best bet if you can dodge the wind. Early mornings are best and 25-fish limits are common for anglers fishing small minnows from shore or boat. The South Fork arm of the lake is best, but anglers are reminded again of two things. First, the lake is so low, boat launching is tough without four-wheel drive rigs. Second, the DFW is writing citations for ìpartyî fishing. Everyone in the group needs his or her own stringer or fish basket and only their fish go in that basket. For an update on this hot bite, check with Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657.
2. The Salton Sea tilapia bite remains red hot and catches of 20 to 100 tilapia have been common this past week. Most are one to three pounds and the action is all on red worms or nightcrawler pieces. Like with Isabella, the winds in the afternoons are whacking this bite. The bulk of the fishing pressure is at the state park headquarter jetty. Also remember that flies are a nightmare so bring bug spray. To check on the action, call the state park’s Camp Store at 760-289-9455 (Friday through Sunday) or Salton Sea State Recreation Area main office at 760-393-3059.
3. The ocean rockfish bite is even better than last week, if that is possible. Counts have averaged from four to six fish per angler on half-day boats, and near-limits or limits most days on three-quarter or full-day trips. But the best bet of the lot is an overnight trip to San Clemente Island. These trips are looking for yellowtail, white seabass, and calico bass (which are really taking off), then the fall-back plan is to get limits of quality rockfish, including lots of red snapper and bocaccio, a few lings, and then padding the sacks with nice sheephead and whitefish. Check with an Orange County or Los Angeles landing about one of these trips.