Apr
12

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. Crappie move to the top pick with bites lighting up all over the southern third of the state. There has been excellent action at Lower Otay and Lake Isabella, and a number of stops in between, but the best quality fish are coming from Lake Cachuma where most of the slabs are running from one to two-plus pounds. For an update on this action, check with the Cachuma marina at 805-688-4040.

2. Staying in the top picks is the excellent rockfish bite for anglers fishing on boats running out of the Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Ventura landings. While wind can be a problem, when the sea calms down limits of rockfish, with whitefish and lingcod in the mix, are common. For an update on this bite, visit www.976-TUNA.com for the latest fish counts from this week.

3. The carp bite broke wide open this week at Apollo Park Lake in the High Desert with a lot of fish from three to 12 pounds. Most anglers were getting nice stringers of five or six fish, tossing back smaller ones. The best action has been on homemade dough baits, and mulberry Magic Bait for carp. Strawberry jello has been the favored dip for all these baits. For more information, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

Apr
12

FRESHWATER HOT SPOTS

TROUT: Trout bites are generally fair to good all across Southern California’s urban lakes getting private plants. Top pick for this week in the High Desert are again Apollo Park Lake (planted last week) and Palmdale Lake in the Lancaster area and Jess Ranch in the Victorville area. Lake Silverwood got double plants two weeks in a row and then plants last week and this week. It has been good. In San Diego county, Jennings is the best bet, but Dixon, Poway, and Cuyamaca are also good. Santa Ana River Lakes in Orange County is always a good bet. Big Bear Lake is good bet and it reopened to boats April 1, and the launch ramps are open. The trout action in the Colorado River near Bullhead City is good. In the Sierra, the upper Owens winter catch-and-release bite is still a good bet for catch-and-release fishing.’

BLACK BASS: The action is good to excellent all over the region as we move through the spawn. The fish are flooded all over the shallows for the spawn and many are on beds, but some have already moved off the nests. The best bites remain on plastics and reaction baits. Top bets continue to be Lower Otay, El Capitan, San Vicente, Skinner, Castaic, Casitas, Pyramid, Perris, and Diamond Valley, in no particular order. On the Colorado River, the bites are also breaking wide opens in all the warmer backwaters and lagoons on the lower river. Havasu and Mohave are also starting to pop. Smallmouth have been fair in the lower Colorado River, but there is just no fishing pressure.

STRIPED BASS: The striper action has remained about the same with just fair bites most places, but there have been surges in the action at Castaic, Pyramid, Skinner, and Silverwood this week with some flurries good fishing. Diamond Valley is still slow to fair, at best. Best action has been on cutbaits at all the local lakes, but a few fish are still showing on umbrella rigs and jigging spoons. The California aqueduct near Taft is still fair but getting better on lug worms and sardines. The Colorado River’s Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave are both fair but most of the fish are still deep, so most fish are showing on drifted cut baits. Lots of small fish to four pounds showing in the Bullhead stretch of the river now on anchovies.

PANFISH: Crappie bites surged all over the region the past two weeks thanks to the warm weather. Top bites are Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County, with El Capitan and Hodges also improving. Silverwood Lake again produced some good crappie catches off the marina docks. Lake Cachuma is perhaps the best bet, especially if you want quality fish to two-plus pounds. In the Bakersfield area, Isabella broke wide open two weekends ago with a lot of limits posted. Nacimentio on the Central Coast and Lake Success in the southern Sierra are also wide open on the crappie. The bluegill and redear bites are finally starting to surge, with some decent catches again this week at Perris, Skinner, El Capitan, Lower Otay, and Hodges this week.

CATFISH: The flathead catfish bite in the lower Colorado River is the big news with fish to 40 pounds reported again in the past week. The action has been at night on live bluegill, tilapia, and goldfish. Other catfish bites are slow across the region but starting to kick into gear. Pyramid Lake is probably the best bet right now with pretty fair action. The California aqueduct below Quail Lake and Quail Lake itself are improving with better weather this week.

Apr
12

TROUT PLANTS

The following waters are scheduled to be planted with rainbow trout from Department of Fish and Wildlife hatcheries this week (April 8-14):

SAN BERNARDINO: Silverwood Lake.

INYO: Owens River (below Tinnemaha, Section 2), Pleasant Valley Reservoir.

KERN: Lake Isabella.

TULARE: Del Lago Park Lake, Murry Park Pond.

FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).

The following waters are tentatively scheduled to be planted next week (April 15-21):

INYO: Bishop Creek (lower), Diaz Lake, Lone Pine Creek.

MONO: Crowley Lake.

TULARE: Stoney Creek.

FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Dinkey Creek, Huntington Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Shaver Lake, Tamarack Creek, Tenmile Creek (upper), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).

The following waters were planted last week (April 1-7):

LOS ANGELES: Castaic Lake.

ORANGE: Laguna Lake.

SAN BERNARDINO: Arrowbear Lake, Silverwood Lake.

RIVERSIDE: Lake Perris.

INYO: Cottonwood Creek, Diaz Lake, Georges Creek, Independence Creek, Lone Pine Creek, Shepherd Creek, Symmes Creek, Tuttle Creek.

FRESNO: Avocado Lake, Kings River (below Pine Flat Dam), Woodward Park Lake (Fresno).

Apr
12

SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAIN WATERS

SILVERWOOD: The DFW stocked the lake last week, and three weeks ago. It is also on the list for this week. The trout bite has been fair to good on the rainbows, especially around the marina and into both Cleghorn and Miller canyons. PowerBait, Mice Tails, and small jigs have all been good. Kevin Conn, Hesperia, has a pair to trout to 3-5 and a 4-0 largemouth from Cleghorn. The striper bite has been slow to fair, mostly in deeper water at the dam or off the marina docks on cut baits. There are a few nice bluegill and a few crappie showing off the marina docks on small jigs or meal worms. Wayne Filkowsky, Victorville, landed a one-pound bluegill on a jig, while Casey Fisher, 13, Hesperia, landed a one-pound √ęgill on a jig. The largemouth bass are also starting to show, but most are still in six to 20 feet of water and showing on plastics, but they are moving up into the spawn rapidly with some on beds this week.. A reminder: the dam is closed to angler access. Anglers should be aware of health advisories for the consumption of fish from this lake because of high PCB and mercury levels in the fish flesh and skin. Here’s the direct link to a PDF brochure explaining consumption recommendations: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/so_cal/pdf_zip/081013KioskadvySilverwood.pdf. Dock fishing is allowed for $3 for adults, $2 for kids and seniors. Private boats must be inspected for zebra and quagga mussels. Boats with wet lower units will be turned away. Boats inspected and tagged at Diamond Valley and Perris will be allowed at Silverwood. The park is open seven days a week. Information: marina 760-389-2299, state park 760-389-2281, Silverwood Country store 760-389-2423.

BIG BEAR LAKE: The trout fishing is very good and the boat ramps are open again. The trout bite has been best along the north shore from Windy Point to Old Gray’s Landing for shore anglers and fish to four pounds have been reported this past week. The trolling action has been very good along the south shore in Trout Alley and the from the west boat launch to the buoy line along the north shore. The water is still cold so slow trolling with one to three colors of lead core dragging Thomas Buoyants and Rapalas has been the ticket. A few bass are starting to show on swim baits at Garstin Island, but this is still tough. No catfish or panfish reports, yet. For updated fishing information: Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

GREGORY LAKE: No reports. Trout Derby coming Memorial Day weekend. Lake, derby, and fishing information at 909-338-2233 or on the website at lakegregoryrecreation.com/fish. Fishing updates are posted infrequently on the park’s Facebook page.

GREEN VALLEY LAKE: The boat rentals and the restrooms are closed and tentative opening day will be Memorial Day. The website is www.gvlfishing.com and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.

JENKS LAKE REGION: Jenks Lake parking lot is scheduled to open Friday, April 13, for the season. No DFW trout plants yet. The Santa Ana River and the South Fork of the Santa Ana also have not been planted recently. For information, call the Mill Creek Visitor Center Tuesday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) at 909-382-2882 or the San Bernardino National Forest main office line at 909-382-2600.

Apr
12

HIGH DESERT WATERS VICTORVILLE REGION

HESPERIA LAKE: The last 1,000-pound trout plant was April 5, and it might be the last one for the season. Most of the fish are in the one to two-pound range. The bite has been fair to good, and the top fish this past week was an eight-pounder landed by Johnny Torres, Apple Valley,. John Jose, Hesperia, caught a seven-pounder. Information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: Trout bite has been very good in both lakes with anglers using PowerBait (rainbow, salmon peach, and garlic) nightcrawlers and small trout lures to catch fish. Best spots include the northern and eastern shores of shores of lake 2 and the eastern and western shores of lake 3. Ryan McMullan, Hesperia, landed a 6.28-pound rainbow on a Trout King off the north shore of Lake No. 2. The bass bite is starting with some fish moving shallow in lake 2 with fish up to four pounds reported. Still slow for bluegill and catfish. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to www.jessranchlakesnews.com.

MOJAVE NARROWS: The trout bite has been pretty fair and some real quality fish have been reported. Richard Moore, Apple Valley, caught a 6-5 rainbow trout on a green jig Friday this past week (he landed a 10-pounder the week before). There are weekly county trout plants of 780 pounds per week. No recent DFW plants. There will be a Youth Derby, Saturday, April 14. Information, call 760-245-2226.

Apr
12

ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION

APOLLO PARK LAKE: The trout bite is still very good after a plant last week. Mice Tails and PowerBait in spring green are the best baits. Some fish topping four pounds. The best action has continued to be on the back lake in the deeper water. County plants are 1,500 pounds each stock with 250 pounds trophy fish from three to eight pounds, and plants are twice a month. The youth fishing derby will be May 5 with lots of prizes for the kids. The carp bite broke wide open this week with fish to 12 pounds. Lots of nice stringers of five or six fish. The best action has been on homemade dough baits, and Magic mulberry carp bait. Strawberry jellow has been the favored dip. For more information, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): Continued very slow fishing with no recent trout plants. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE: The trout action has continued good, mostly on one-pound class fish with some to five pounds. Lightning Trout were planted this week and some have been quality fish, with a hot bite early morning. Green pumpkin PowerBait, Mice Tails, and fly-lined nightcrawlers have been the best bets. There has also been a pretty good crappie bite on small jigs with a lot of fish topping two pounds. They have been best around the docks early in the morning or late evening. Also a few redear showing. In March and April, there are weekly 3,000-pound trout plants, with a total of 70,000 pound scheduled to be planted this season. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or got to www.palmdalefinandfeatherclub.com.

QUAIL LAKE: The warm weather has finally perked this action, and the bite for catfish has improved with quite a few fish to six pounds reported, mostly on cut mackerel with scent. Also pretty fair bass and bluegill action along the shoreline brush and tules. The bluegill are best on meal worms or wax worms fished under a bobber tight to the structure, while the bass have been best on plastics. Still very few stripers reported. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Little Rock to Quail Lake stretch): There was a good largemouth bass bite late last week and into the weekend when the flows dropped. A few catfish continue to show, even with the higher flows, especially the west end of valley from 60th West to Munns Ranch, and a lot of the catfish have been in the four to five-pound class and some to eight. Chicken liver has been the best bait. Also a few stripers to three pounds showing for anglers walk-fishing with planer boards and shad-like lures or drifted shrimp. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

Apr
12

INLAND VALEY LAKES SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

CUCAMONGA-GUASTI: The trout bite has slowed way down, but a few are still showing. Also a few catfish and panfish. County trout plants ended the last week or March, and catfish season begins in May. No recent DFW plants. Information: 909-481-4205.

PRADO: The trout action has been slow to fair as the season winds down. County trout plants ended the last week or March, and catfish season begins in May. No recent DFW plants. There have been quite a few carp showing at the overflow spillway, and even a few catfish are being landed. Also a few bluegill and bass. Small boats (non-inflatable with a hard bottom) under 16 feet with electric motors are allowed. Information: 909-597-4260.

YUCAIPA: The trout bite has been slow to fair since the derby two weeks ago. County trout plants ended the last week or March, and catfish season begins in May. No recent DFW plants. For park and fishing information, call: 909-790-3127.

GLEN HELEN: No report. County trout plants ended the last week or March, and catfish season begins in May. No recent DFW plants. Information: 909-887-7540.

Apr
12

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

DIAMOND VALLEY: There was a 3,500-pound trout plant this week, and the bite has really taken off in the coves adjacent to the marina. The trout are showing on small jigs, PowerBait, and Mice Tails. The bite on largemouth bass is good, but many fish have backed away from the shorelines. Most are showing on plastics or nightcrawlers, but a few are still being caught on swimbaits. Aaron Brown, Riverside, landed a 6.52-pound bass on a plastic. Stripers are still spotty, but a few are showing on big swimbaits or trolled flies. The bluegill and catfish bites also starting to improve. Private boats must be inspected to be quagga mussel-free and boats certified at Lake Perris and Lake Skinner will be accepted here. For general lake and launch information, call 800-590-LAKE. For fishing and boat rental info call the marina at 951-926-7201 or www.dvmarina.com or Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410 or www.lastchancetackle.com.

PERRIS: The largemouth bass bite has been good this past week as the fish are all over the shallows now with the warm weather. Best action on plastics and small swimbaits. Dennis Graham, Orange, landed four bass on jerk baits in the east end and his best was a 10.17-pounder. Gil Rowe, Victorville, caught a nine-pounder on an underspin in six feet of water. The bluegill fair to good with the fish showing in the marina, at Sail Cove, and all over the east end on jigs tipped with meal worms and wax worms. Fish to 1-8 reported this week. Trout and catfish slow. The reconstruction of the Lake Perris dam is mostly completed and the water level is rising at the rate of one vertical foot every 10 days right now. Private boats must be inspected for zebra and quagga mussels. Boats with wet lower units will be turned away. Boats inspected and tagged at Silverwood or Diamond Valley will also be allowed at Perris. The Tommy Thomas Kid’s Fishing Derby will be 7 a.m. to noon, this Saturday. The event includes a free barbecue for the kids. Information: marina 951-657-2179, state park 951-940-5600.

SKINNER: The largemouth bass bite has surged again over the past week with the fish still up shallow and many in mid-spawn. They are showing on nightcrawlers, plastics, and reaction baits. Top fish reported was a 4-6 landed by Oleander Dunn, Temecula, on a nightcrawler near the launch buoy line. The striper bite has been fair to good from the inlet to the north and the coves adjacent to Ramp No. 2. Shad, white jigs, and shad-like swim baits are the best artificials. Anchovies, chicken liver, and mackerel are the best baits. The early morning bite has been best. The bigger bluegill are starting to show in eight to 12 feet of water on meal worms, nightcrawlers, and jigs tipped with wax worms or Crappie Nibbles. Both the county and DFW stocked two weeks ago, but the bite has slowed way down. This was the final county plant of the season. Best action has been at Ramp No. 2 on small spoons, jigs, PowerBait, and inflated nightcrawlers. Alejandro Suarez, Menifee, caught two trout and his best was a 3-2 rainbow, both on PowerBait. Catfish surprisingly slow. Information: store 951-926-1505, marina 951-926-8515, entrance kiosk 951-926-1541.

ELSINORE: No report. The 6th Annual Dream Extreme Fishing Derby will be May 5-6 with $15,000 in cash and prizes. For fishing and derby information, call William’s Bait, Tackle, and Boat Rental at 951-642-0640 or go to www.williamsboatandtackle.com.

CORONA: Due to operational and environmental restrictions, it’s not likely it will reopen for fishing anytime soon. Information: www.fishinglakes.com.

RANCHO JURUPA PARK LAKE: No report.

FISHERMAN’S RETREAT: Information: 909-795-0171 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MountainValleyResort.

Apr
12

SAN JACINTO MOUNTAIN WATERS

LAKE HEMET: No recent trout plants and few reports. Carp bowfishing is allowed Monday through Thursday but bow fishermen must check in first. Information: Lake Hemet campground 951-659-2680.

LAKE FULMOR AREA: No recent DFW trout plants at Fulmor Lake or Strawberry Creek. Information: 951-659-2117.

Apr
12

ORANGE COUNTY

SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES: Fair to good trout action continues. Most trout are around a pound, but some bigger fish to eight pounds reported. The lake is closed on Thursday’s for trout planting. Information: 714-632-7851 or log on at www.fishinglakes.com.

IRVINE LAKE: The lake is closed and will be for at least the immediate future.

LAGUNA NIGUEL LAKE: There is no fishing fees, only the $5 parking fee on weekends (or $3 during the week). For more information, 949-923-2240 or go to ocparks.com/parks/lagunan/.

Apr
12

LOS ANGELES AREA LAKES

CACHUMA: The 23rd Annual Trout Derby will be April 21-22, and there was a 4,000-pound plant slated for this week. The best trout action has been on inflated nightcrawlers for shore anglers or trolled Rapalas for boat anglers. The best area has been around the marina and points leading out to the main body of the lake. The dam area is also good for the trollers. The crappie bite remains strong with good action in Cachuma Bay on slow-trolled or drifted jigs. The crappie have been between one pounds and 2-8 this past week. Bass are in the spawn with good action on plastics and reaction baits, especially in Cachuma and Johnson bays. Other species still mostly slow, but the carp are starting to show near the surface. Carp bowfishing permits are available at the entrance gate. Private boats must be inspected for quagga mussels and face a 30-day dry dock requirement before being allowed to launch. For quagga mussel and the boat launching information, log on at http://www.sbparks.org/DOCS/Cachuma.html. The marina is open with rental boats available. The boat launch remains open, but boats must get a quagga mussel inspection. Information: 805-688-4040.

CASITAS: The bass bite is excellent, with the fishing all over the shallows in mid-spawn. The best action has been on plastics and small, slowly-fish reaction baits in six to 18 feet of water, but fish are showing on all kinds of baits, including topwater. Most recent DFW trout plant was three weeks ago. Very slow action. Attention bowfishermen, the carp are moving into the shallows for the spawn. Carp bowfisherman may only shoot from a boat after 8 a.m., and lake staff must approve bows. The dates for the upcoming bass fishing events in the 2018 RTF Bass Tour at Casitas are April 7 and 28, and June 2. For information on these events, contact Rich Tauber at 818-439-1154 or richtauber@gmail.com. The next ABA bass events for 2018 at Casitas are April 14, May 5, June 16, and July 28. For more information, contact Jason Hemminger at 805-479-1058. For a fishing update, check with the marina or the Lake Casitas Boat Rentals Facebook page. Private boats must be inspected for quagga mussels and face a 35-day dry dock requirement before being allowed to launch. The Santa Ana boat launch is open. Information: 805-649-2043 or www.casitasboatrentals.com.

CASTAIC: Overall, good striper action. The best bite has been at the dam early and late on small swim baits and nightcrawlers. The stripers are also showing at C-Point, the west walls, and the buoy line, where the fish are mostly in deep water between 40 and 60 feet down. Michael Long, Van Nuys, landed a seven-pound striper on a swimbait off C Point. Rakan Qumseya, Canyon Country, had a pair of four-pound stripers on Kastmasters off Kong Island. The largemouth bass bite has been very good as the fish move shallow for the spawn. The best action has been in the morning on plastics, small jigs, and crawfish imitations. Thomas Foster, Simi Valley, had a four-bass stringer topped with a four-pounder, all on Senkos of Sharon’s Rest. No catfish reports and no reports of crappie. The bluegill bite is slow. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 (www.CastaicLake.com) or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

PIRU: Few reports. Slow to fair bite on largemouth and smallmouth bass. Most of the bass are in the one to three-pound range, but they have been moving shallower the past week or so in preparation for the spawn. Most of the fish showing now are being caught on nightcrawlers or plastic worms. Bluegill, crappie, and catfish are slow with little pressure. The launch ramp is open. Rental boats are also available. Information: gatehouse at 805-521-1500 (or at www.camplakepiru.com) or call Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

PYRAMID: The striper and catfish bites have both been pretty good this past week, with the bite for both in most coves and the canal by the entrance booth. Sardines and lug worms have been best for the stripers, and the cats are best on chicken liver, anchovies, and cut mackerel. Both have been in deeper water. Top areas are the rip-rap around the marina and the back end of the lake. Shagen Mkrtchyan, Sun Valley, had a mixed stringer of catfish and stripers with fish to six pounds fishing sardines. Martin Rios, Arleta, had three catfish and striper to five pounds on chicken liver and sardines. The largemouth bass are also pretty good with the fish just now starting to move up shallow and whacking plastics. Most fish are in 12 to 20 feet of water or even shallower. The trout bite is slow, and there have been no DFW plants in a month. Bluegill and redear are slow. There is a health warning about eating fish from Pyramid Lake (except the rainbow trout). More information at this link: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/so_cal/pyramidlake2013.html. Information: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155 or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

Apr
12

SAN DIEGO AREA LAKES

NEWS/STOCKING UPDATES: Dixon Lake was planted with trout two weeks ago the final two plants of the season will be April 18 (4,000 pounds) and April 20 (500 pounds of trophy fish). The 21st Annual Hidden Valley Kiwanis charity derby will be April 21-22. Fishing permits are double the normal price for this event only. For more derby information, go to www.hiddenvalleykiwanis.org.

Lake Jennings was planted with 1,500 pounds of rainbows last week, and the final plant of the season will be the week of April 16.

Poway Lake was planted last week, and the last trout plant of the season is set for April 18.

At Lake Wohlford, there was a 1,500-pound plant two weeks ago, and the final plant of the season will be a 1,500-pound stock April 20.

Santee Lakes kicked off catfish season with a plant of 2,000 pounds of cats last week, including large fish to 12 pounds.

Lake Cuyamaca is slated to get trout plants Apr. 19, May 22, and Jun. 15. A DFW trout plant also went in three weeks ago.

At the San Diego City Lakes, Hodges, Barrett and Sutherland are closed for the season. El Capitan’s boat rental is closed for the season. √ęCap and San Vicente are on their winter schedules.

There were DFW trout plant at Lake Jennings two weeks ago, and trout were planted at Chollas Park Lake, Cuyamaca Lake, and Lake Murray three weeks ago. None on the list for this week.

FISHING UPDATE: The trout bite has been fair to good at most of the lakes, but the season is winding down. Most lakes get their last stocked this month. The bite is best the two to three days after the plants, but all the lakes have had enough plants that there is a pretty good stockpile of fish that keeps the bite pretty fair. The usual array of floating dough baits, Mice Tails, and small trout jigs are the best bets. Jennings and Cuyamaca are probably the best bets this week, but Poway, Dixon, and Wohlford are still pretty fair. Santee Lakes is slow for trout and kicked off its catfish stocking season last week.

The bass bite has been good across the board with the warm weather and fish advancing through the spawn. The fish are still mostly stacked up in the shallows, but many are already backing out. The bite is best on small plastics and reaction baits. Lower Otay, San Vicente, and El Capitan are the top bets with very good action, but Sutherland is nearly as good. Murray and Hodges are several notches behind but also pretty decent for anglers targeting the bass.

The bluegill and redear action is kicking into high gear, especially at Lower Otay, but also at El Capitan and San Vicente. Hodges is also starting to perk. The crappie action has been good at Lower Otay, and there is a fair at El Capitan, Hodges, Sutherland, and Murray.

The catfish are still getting very light pressure right now so there have been few reports.

FISH COUNTS: The San Diego City Lakes staff usually conducts counts each week at its reservoirs. At El Capitan, 163 anglers reported 653 bass to 6.52 pounds, 82 bluegill, 29 crappie, 11 blue catfish, and two channel cats. At Hodges, 112 anglers reported 38 bass, 10 bluegill, six crappie, and four channel cats. At lower Otay, 71 anglers checked reported 768 bass to 5.5 pounds, 217 bluegill to 1.2 pounds, and 77 crappie. At San Vicente, 108 anglers reported 538 bass to 6.7 pounds. At Sutherland, 38 anglers reported 115 bass and four crappie.

NOTABLE CATCHES: There was a 33-pound blue catfish caught at Lake Jennings last week by Cody Ledbetter and Peter Banaga, both San Diego, as the handicap dock last week. At San Vicente, Andrew Carrol, San Diego, landed six bluegill to 2.5 pounds on nightcrawlers. At Murray, John Dudis, La Jolla, had five bass for a 15.45-pound limit, but his top fish was an 8.78-pounder, all on Brush Hawgs.

BARRETT: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Lake information: 619-465-3474 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/.

HODGES: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Information: 760-432-2023.

EL CAPITAN: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Rental boat and concession information: 619-443-4110.

LOWER OTAY: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Information: 619-465-3474 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/. Rental boat and concession information: 619-397-5212.

UPPER OTAY: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Lake information: 619-465-3474. Concession: 619-397-5212.

MURRAY: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Lake information: 619-466-4847 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/. Concession: 619-466-4847.

MIRAMAR: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Marina concession: 858-527-1722. General information: 619-465-3474 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/.

SAN VICENTE: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Marina concession: 619-390-1918. General information: 619-465-3474 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/.

SUTHERLAND: Weekly fish counts: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/fish.shtml. Lake information: 619-465-3474 or www.sandiego.gov/water/recreation/. Rental boat reservations: 619-668-2050 or ssmith@sandiego.gov.

SANTEE LAKES: Lake information: 619-596-3141 or www.santeelakes.com.

WOHLFORD: Lake information: 760-839-4346 or www.wohlfordlake.com.

DIXON: Lake information: 760-839-4680 or www.dixonlake.com.

POWAY: Lake information: 858-668-4772, tackle shop recording 858-486-1234, or www.poway.org.

JENNINGS: Information: 619-390-1300 or www.lakejennings.org.

MORENA: Information: 24-hour fishing update line 619-478-5473, ranger station 619-579-4101, or lakemorena.com.

CUYAMACA: Information: 760-765-0515 or www.lakecuyamaca.org.

HENSHAW: Information: 760-782-3501.

Apr
12

COLORADO RIVER

ARIZONA FISHING REPORTS: The Arizona Game and Fish Department compiles a weekly report for most waters in the state, including the Colorado Rivers. Anglers can read the report at this direct link: http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/FishingReport/.

FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this web site with information updated hourly: www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.

TOP NEWS: It looks like spring has finally arrived to the desert, and the action all along the river is really starting to take off. The big news is the very good catfish action on the lower river below Blythe. The flatheads have finally broke open with some good catches reported now for three weeks, especially in the Palo Verde-Walter’s Camp region. The largemouth and small bass bites are really starting to kick into gear as the fish move into the spawn. Topoc Marsh, the Topoc Gorge backwaters, and lower river from Walter’s Camp to Yuma have been the best areas, but the bite is happening in Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, too. A few big redear are also starting to show at Havasu, and the bluegill bite has improved dramatically, especially in the lower river. Stripers are still a little spotty, but the warm weather and warming water conditions have sparked a few flurries in the reservoirs and main river, mostly on cut baits. The best bite has been in the Bullhead to Havasu stretch of the river, mostly on cut anchovies with a lot of two to four-pound fish. The rainbow trout bite is still pretty good in the Bullhead City stretch of the river thanks to weekly trout plants. The bite has been good at the two stocking locations — the Community Park and Davis Camp. The 1,700-fish plants are alternated between each spot each week. Most of the fish are running a pound or better and PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and small spinners are all getting the rainbows. Fish to 17 inches reported. There are also weekly trout plants at Willow Beach and the bite on rainbows has been good.

WILLOW BEACH: Information: Willow Beach Resort at 928-767-4747.

LAKE MOHAVE: Information: Cottonwood Cove at 702-297-1464, Katherine’s Landing at 928-754-3245.

LAUGHLIN-BULLHEAD AREA: Information: Riviera Marina at 928-763-8550.

NEEDLES-TOPOC REGION: Information: Phil’s Western Trader at 928-768-4954 or Capt. Doyle’s Fun Fishing guide service at 928-768-2667.

LAKE HAVASU: Information: Bass Tackle Master at 928-854-2277.

BLYTHE: Information: B&B Bait 760-921-2248.

PALO VERDE: Information: Walter’s Camp 760-854-3322 Wednesday through Sunday.

PICACHO-MARTINEZ LAKE AREA: Information: 928-783-9589 Thursday through Monday or www.martinezlake.com.

Apr
12

LOWER DESERT WATERS

SALTON SEA: Still slow with light fishing pressure and winds, but the water is warming and the tilapia bite should be taking off soon. Anglers can call the state park to get the latest information. The water level is still so low that launching is nearly impossible except for small boats (boaters should check with the main office at the recreation area before bringing a boat). The camp store is open Friday through Sunday. Information: Camp Store at 760-289-9455 (open Friday-Sunday). Salton Sea State Recreation Area main office at 760-393-3059, or the ranger station kiosk at 760-393-3052 (or mobile phone at 760-331-9944).

Apr
12

EASTERN SIERRA

GENERAL UPDATE: The general fishing came to an end Nov. 15. Only the year-around waters with special regulations remain open. The 2018 general season will open April 28. For information on the regulations, anglers should check the Department of Fish and Wildlife website’s regulations pages. Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: www.KensSport.com (Bridgeport region), www.TheTroutFly.com, and www.SierraDrifters.com.

TOP FISHING NEWS: In the Bridgeport region, very light fishing pressure over the past week, but conditions have improved dramatically the last few days. The flows on the East Walker are yo-yoing up and down pretty badly the past couple of weeks. Ramping up and down between 130 cfs and 470 cfs over the past two weeks. The flows were 190 cfs on Wednesday this week. In spite of that, the action has been pretty good for the few anglers fishing on both streamers and small nymphs with fish to 20 inches reported this week. The West Walker is also very fishable, but there have been no reports from the past couple of weeks. In the Mammoth region, Hot Creek and the upper Owens River above Benton Crossing remain open, and the winter bite on big rainbows (moving up out of Crowley) is still good if you can get to the water. Access is still an issue. The fish are still mostly in the Hot Fingers stretch of the river and rainbows to 24-inches have been reported. Hot Creek is fair with caddis and midge hatches most days but tough fishing. In the Bishop region, the lower Owens River, including the gorge below Crowley Lake, remains open to year-around fishing, and the flows are around 250 cfs below Pleasant Valley Reservoir this week, which is getting on the upper end of wadable fishing flows. The action has improved on small nymphs and midges, but light fishing pressure.

BRIDGEPORT REGION: Information: Ken’s Sporting Goods 760-932-7707 or www.kenssport.com.

MAMMOTH AREA: Information: The Troutfitter at 760-934-2517.

BISHOP AREA: Fishing information: Culver’s Sporting Goods 760-872-8361, Sierra Drifters Guide Service 760-935-4250, or Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop 760-873-0010.