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Archive for the ‘MATTHEWS PICKS OF THE WEEK’ Category

Aug
10

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The offshore yellowtail, dorado, and yellowfin tuna fishing for the San Diego fleet fishing overnight and longer trips is excellent, with many boats reporting limits of yellowtail or yellowfin. The fish aren’t big with most everything under 20 pounds for all three species, but the action is top-notch — late September-like in early August. The best bite is down the Baja Coast from off Ensenada down the coast to about the 60-mile range, and the boats are all pretty much fishing kelp paddies. Check on the latest fish counts at 976-TUNA.com. with great counts of fish, usually limits of yellowtail. Check with www.976Tuna.com for the latest counts.

2. The Lake Skinner catfish bite is bouncing into the top picks. There have been a lot of three to six pounds catfish here the past couple of fish, and big fish up into the eight and nine-pound range. The action has been best on at Ramp No. 2 and all along the south shore coves. Early morning and late evening have been the best times to fish. For an update on the bite, check with the marina staff at 951-926-8515.

3. Anyone surprised? Crowley Lake’s trout bite stays in the top picks. The action is predominately on cutthroats right now with a lot of 20-inch, four-pound class fish. But the Crowley Lake Slam (a cutthroat, rainbows, and brown trout on the same trip) is still pretty common. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge and perch fry fly patterns fished under a strike indicator. But some fish on stripped streamers now. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

Jul
20

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. This is not getting redundant at all is it? But the Crowley Lake trout bite stays the top pick. The action has stayed wide open on rainbows and cutthroats to five pounds and some brown trout in that same size range. Most are 16 to 20 inches, and there continue to be reports of 20 to 30-fish days. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge fly patterns fished under a strike indicator, but the perch fry are thick now and small fry patterns under indicators or stripping small streamers around weed beds is also becoming effective. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

2. The twilight boat sand bass bite took off in the past few days off the Orange and Los Angeles counties’ coastline this week with five-fish limits of keeper-sized bass posted a couple of times. Right now, only a couple of boats are making these runs, The Freelance out of Davey’s Locker and the Enterprise out of Pierpoint Landing. For an update on the action, check with Davey’s in Newport Beach at 949-673-1434 or Pierpoint in Long Beach at 562-983-9300. You can also get the latest fish counts at www.976Tuna.com.

3. The bluegill and bass bites at Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County have been good to excellent over the past week. Largemouth to six pounds have been reported and one anglers reported catching and releasing over 30 bass on jerk baits. The county fish counts showed that 74 anglers reported 369 bass and 330 bluegill. Quit a few of the ëgills have been bigger than a pound. For an update on this action, call the rental boat and concession office at 619-397-5212.

Jul
13

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. Yep, Crowley Lake stays the top pick. The bite remains pretty much wide open on rainbows and cutthroats to five pounds and some brown trout in that same size range. Most are 16 to 20 inches, and there continue to be reports of 20 to 30-fish days. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge fly patterns fished under a strike indicator, but the perch fry are thick now and small fry patterns under indicators or stripping small streamers around weed beds is also becoming effective. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

2. There is a wide open bluegill bite at the Castaic Lagoon stays in the top picks, and the upper lake bluegill bite is nearly as good. The panfish are along all the shorelines and in all the coves around flooded vegetation with most action in four to 10 feet of water. While most are hand-sized, there are a lot of smaller fish and some bigger in the action. Wax worms and crickets are the best bets, but most small baits are working. Limits of 25 fish are possible, if not likely. For an update on this bite, check with Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

3. The Coronado Islands yellowtail bite broke wide open early this week with limit-style fishing on the two to seven-pound fish. There has been a pick on these fish with most boats getting 10 to 20 fish, but the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had full five-fish limits for all on board Tuesday and then two-fish per rod on Wednesday this week. There have also been quite a few bonito (to four pounds), school-size barracuda, and even a few keeper calico bass on these trips. Only the boats the San Diego and The Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing have been running to the Coronados the last couple of weeks. (You must have a passport for these trips.) For an update on the bite, call Seaforth at 619-224-3383 or Fisherman’s at 619-221-8500.

Jun
29

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. Crowley Lake stays the top pick yet again this week. The bite remains wide open on rainbows and cutthroats to five pounds and some brown trout in that same size range. There are regular reports of 20 to 30-fish days. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge fly patterns fished under a strike indicator, but the perch fry are starting to hatch and stripping small streamers around weed beds is also becoming effective. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

2. There is a wide open bluegill bite at the Castaic Lagoon and the upper lake is nearly as good. The panfish are along all the shorelines and in all the coves around flooded vegetation with most action in four to 10 feet of water. While most are hand-sized, there are a lot of smaller fish and some bigger in the action. Wax worms and crickets are the best bets, but most small baits are working. Limits of 25 fish are possible, if not likely. For an update on this bite, check with Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

3. The bluegill bite at Diamond Valley has also been very good with anglers targeting the panfish reporting 10- to 25-fish stringers with a lot of ëgills in the one-pound class. Also some ever bigger redear mixed in. Top bite has been on wax worms, meal worms, red worms, and nightcrawler pieces. The best action has been on the ladders on the dams for boat anglers and the second cove to the right of the marina for shore anglers. For an update on this bite, call the marina at 951-926-7201 or Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410.

Jun
08

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. Crowley Lake stays the top pick this week. It is simply wide open on rainbows and cutthroats to five pounds and some brown trout in that same size range. There have been a number of reports of 30-fish days again this past week. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge fly patterns fished under a strike indicator, but the perch fry are starting to hatch. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

2. The trout bite at Big Bear Lake has been good thanks to big-fish plants for a pair of recent derbies. Most of those fish are just starting to show. There have been fish to eight pounds reported again over the past week. For an update on this bite, check with Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222. They stay on top of where the trout are best and what is working.

3. The barracuda bite broke open this early week for boats fishing out of landings along the Orange and Los Angeles counties coastline. The fish are mostly logs, running from six to 10 pounds and it’s like the good-ol’-days with the bite all on surface iron. For an update on the fishing and which landings to contact for a trip, check for the latest information on 976-Tuna.com.

Jun
01

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. All of the fly-fishing guides in the Mammoth Lake region are saying the same thing: Crowley Lake is wide open on rainbows and cutthroats to five pounds. There have been a number of reports of 30-fsh days this past week. The bite has been almost exclusively on midge fly patterns fished under a strike indicator. For an update on this action, check with the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes at 760-934-2517.

2. The trout bite at Big Bear Lake has been good, even over the busy holiday weekend. There were bonus plants of big rainbows two weeks ago for the Hall Family May Trout Classic and many of those fish are just starting to show. There have been fish to eight pounds reported over the past week. For an update on this bite, check with Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222. They stay on top of where the trout are best and what is working.

3. Bluegill and redear anglers are finding good fishing across Southern California right now with most lakes producing good catches of these popular panfish. One of the top bites has been a Lower Otay Reservoir. Over 800 bluegill were reported by a few of the anglers checked this past week, and these fish have been running up to 1 1/2-pounds. For more information, check with the dock concession at 619-397-5212.

May
25

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The tilapia at the Salton Sea stay in the top spot with the bite excellent. Anglers fishing in five-feet or deeper water are getting the bigger fish from 12 to 14-inches long and weighing from 1 1/2 to two pounds. The action is all on nightcrawler pieces at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area headquarter’s jetty. For an update on the bite call the main office at 760-393-3059, or the ranger station kiosk at 760-393-3052 (or mobile phone at 760-331-9944).

2. A sleeper pick is the trout bite at Big Bear Lake following this past weekend’s Hall Family May Trout Classic. There were bonus plants of big fish for this event and the DFW added more trout this week so the bite is good for both shore and boat anglers. For an update on this bite, check with Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222. They stay on top of where the trout are best and what is working.

3. The striper bite continues good on the California Aqueduct near Taft so it stays a top pick. The bulk of these stripers are under the 18-inch minimum size, but a two-fish limit of keepers has not been hard to come by. The best bite remains on cut sardines, blood worms, or lug worms. But fish are also showing on deep running Gitzits. The warm weather has started the moss growth, but it’s not bad yet. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657. Also check out ìPoor Man Aqueduct Fishingî on Facebook.

May
11

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The bluegill bite at Lower Otay Reservoir has been excellent for the past two weeks with over 500 slabs to two pounds reported each week. The fish are in shallow water in the middle of the spawn and a number of 25-fish limits have been reported. For an update on the bite, call the rental boat and concession at 619-397-5212.

2. The striper bite continues hot on the California Aqueduct near Taft so it stays in the top pick again. While most are under the 18-inch minimum size, the two-fish limit is doable. The best bite is on cut sardines, but fish are also showing on blood worms, lug worms, anchovies, Gitzits, and Senkos. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657. Also check out ìPoor Man Aqueduct Fishing” on Facebook.

3. Silverwood Lake’s trout bite is still excellent with most anglers still finding it pretty each to get a limit of rainbows. Small lures or floating dough baits are the best bets, and around the marina and canyons on both sides of the launch ramp have been the hotspots. For an update on the bite, call the Silverwood marina at 760-389-2299.

Apr
20

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. “Striper Mania” at the California Aqueduct near Taft stays the top pick. The stripers are excellent and many anglers are still reporting 25-fish-plus days. While most are under the 18-inch minimum size, the two-fish limits is pretty easy to get and a 35-pounder was caught here this week. The best bite is on cut sardines, but fish are also showing on blood worms, lug worms, Gitzits, Senkos, and just about everything else. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657. Also check out “Poor Man Aqueduct Fishing” on Facebook.

2. The 22nd Annual Cachuma Lake Fishing Derby will be this coming Saturday and Sunday, and the lake received a 2,000-pound plant for this event. Registration is $40 per angler, and cash prizes of $599 and $300 will be awarded for the biggest and second biggest catch for trout, bass, crappie, and catfish. The two largest carp will win $100 and $50. For more information, call the derby hotline at 805-696-8381 or go to www.troutderby.org. For fishing information, call the marina at 805-688-4040.

3. The bluefin tuna bite out of San Diego stays in the top picks. The bite surged on Monday and Tuesday this week with a number of boats posting two-fish limits for all anglers on board. These are mostly 20 to 40-pound class fish, but fish to 200 pounds have been caught the past could of weeks. There have also been a lot of small yellowtail to seven pounds and bonito in this bite. The skippers are running to offshore kelp paddies or hitting bird schools or just metering fish. The three-quarter day, overnight, and 1 1/2-day boats out of San Diego and Oceanside landings are fishing this bite. For information, check with Fisherman’s Landing at 619-221-8500, H&M Landing at 619-222-1144, Seaforth Sportfishing at 619-224-3383, Point Loma Sportfishing at 619-223-1627, or Helgren’s Sportfishing at 760-722-2133. A reminder: You will need a passport for these trips.

Mar
30

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The largemouth bass bite stays as the top pick this week, but you have to pick where you want to fish. The spawn has kicked into high gear just about everywhere. You pick a water, and there are likely to be spawning bass in the shallows. The top bets for this bite are Casitas, Castaic and the Castaic Lagoon, Lake Perris, and Lake Skinner. There are others just as good, but those four remain really hot right now. You can call those lakes respective marinas for updates on the fishing.

2. The yellowtail and bluefin tuna bite out of San Diego exploded this past week. While the yellowtail are small (three-pound class) around the offshore kelp paddies where the three-quarter day boats are fishing, the bluefin are running up to 50-plus pounds. If you want bigger yellowtail (but no shot real shot at bluefin), Clemente Island has been the best bet. For information on the three-quarter day boats catching bluefin, check with H&M Landing at 619-222-1144, Seaforth Sportfishing at 619-224-3383, or Point Loma Sportfishing at 619-223-1627. A reminder that you will need a passport for these trips.

3. The striped bass bite in the California aqueduct near Taft stays in the top picks. Anglers are reporting easy 30 to 40 fish days, mostly on cut sardines with other baits or lures far distant second-place choices. While many are under the 18-inch minimum keeper size, it has been pretty easy to get a two-fish limit of bigger stripers in this hot bite. Fish to eight pounds this week. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657.

Mar
09

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The Channel Islands rockfish bite is simply wide open for the boats running out of the Oxnard to Santa Barbara landings. The season reopened March 1, and the bite has been excellent since with anglers on everything from half-day to overnight boats getting 10-fish limits. The longer trips hit spots further offshore and get better quality fish and more variety, adding a few more whitefish and lingcod to the bag. Bottom line: You will return home with a full sack of great-eating fillets. For an update on this action, check with Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard at 805-985-8511, Hook’s Landing, also in Oxnard, at 805-382-6233, Sea Landing in Santa Barbara at 805-963-3564, or Harbor Village Sportfishing in Ventura at 805-658-1060.

2. Bass bites are breaking wide open across the region as the fish flood into the warming shallows for the coming spawn. While there are a number of waters producing a lot of fish right now, Casitas Lake might be one of the best bets with many anglers getting 10-plus fish per day and bass to six pounds have been reported in recent days. For an update on this bite call the marina at 805-649-2043.

3. The sleeper pick of the week is the budding crappie bite at Lake Isabella. There were a number of reports in recent days of full limits of crappie landed. That’s 25 fish per angler. While the fish are still mostly out in deeper water and mostly unreachable for shore anglers, crappie fanatics will take note of this bite. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657.

Mar
02

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The Fred Hall Show at the Long Beach Convention Center is the place to be this week. This is the largest collection of all things fishing you will ever see. The show is ongoing through Sunday and has long hours each. There are nearly 1,000 booths with everything from the latest fishing products to fishing destinations around the world, 400 seminars (plus or minus), and acres of boats, from kayaks to yachts, with a strong emphasis on fishing craft. For information, go to www.fredhall.com.

2. The “early” trout season opener in part of Inyo County is this Saturday (March 4). All waters south of (and including) Independence Creek and west of Highway 395 will be openen to fish, and the DFW is planting many of these waters heavily for the event. Waters planted include Cottonwood Creek, Diaz Lake, Georges Creek, Independence Creek, Lone Pine Creek, the Owens River (below Tinnemaha), Shepherd Creek, Symmes Creek, and Tuttle Creek. Anglers should check the regulations to be sure of open areas.

3. Bass bites are starting to kick into a spring time mode all over Southern California, especially at lower elevations. One of the top bets is Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County. Anglers averaged nearly over four bass per rod this past week, and the bulk of the bite was in less than 10 feet of water in a major pre-spawn movement. For more information on the bite, call the concession at 619-397-5212.

Feb
16

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. While more stormy weather is forecast for the weekend, the largemouth bass bites were really starting to perk with this week’s warm weather, and Lake Perris has been one of the top spots for largemouths in the region. The fish are still mostly in 15 to 25 feet of water on plastics, but some are shallower. with fish to nearly seven pounds reported in recent days. For an update on the bite, call the marina at 951-657-2179 or Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410.

2. While it was blown out this past weekend, the yellowtail bite off of Colonet in Mexican waters is still a top bet. Before the last storm, five-fish limits of 18 to 25-pound class fish were common and most skippers were reporting two to three yellowtail per angler on these 1 1/2-day or longer trips. This past weekend’s trips, hammered by wind, still managed to get limit or near-limits of quality rockfish. For an update on this bite, check with www.976-Tuna.com or call Fisherman’s Landing at 619-221-8500, H&M Landing at 619-222-1144, or Seaforth Sportfishing at 619-224-3383.

3. The stripers at Lake Skinner were starting to spark this week, and a DFW trout plant could be the fuel that makes this fire blaze. There were also county plants last week and another county plant next week, so this is the place to watch for bigger stripers right now. Top striper this past week was a near-eight pounder. Bigger fish are likely. For an update on the bite, check with the marina at 951-926-8515.

Feb
09

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The yellowtail bite off of Colonet in Mexico has been very good again over the past week. Five-fish limits of 18 to 25-pound class fish have not been uncommon in the past week, and most anglers are getting at least two to three yellowtail on these 1 1/2-day or longer trips. And as a reminder, you must have a Passport for these trips. For an update on this bite, check with www.976-Tuna.com or call Fisherman’s Landing at 619-221-8500, H&M Landing at 619-222-1144, or Seaforth Sportfishing at 619-224-3383.

2. At Diamond Valley Lake, the striped bass bite continues to improve, and while the bite has been just fair in recent days, a DFW trout plant this week could really bring up some big fish. So dig out the big trout-like swimbaits. This could be your week to catch a bruiser. For an update on this action, check with the marina staff at 951-926-7201 or call Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410.

3. After a number of DFW plants so far this year, the Lake Silverwood trout bite has really started to take off. A pair of plants last week and another stock for next week make this a spot to put on your to-do list if you are a trout angler. For an update on this action, check with the marina at 760-389-2299 or the Silverwood Country store at 760-389-2423.

Jan
26

JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK

1. The largemouth bass bite at Piru Lake is the sleeper top pick of the week. The few anglers fishing the lake in the past couple of weeks have reported very good action from shore and boat on both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The bulk of the fish are showing on jigs and plastics on structure, but there are a surprising number on reaction baits that imitate shad. Most of these bass are in the one- to two-pound range, but some up into the five pound or better class are also being reported. For an update on this bite call Tackle Express at 661-251-8700 or the lake gatehouse at 805-521-1500.

2. With the good weather forecast into next week, the Silverwood Lake striper bite should come back on strong. Guide Mike Southerland has been hammering the striped bass using his simple ìflycoreî trolling technique. Before the latest batch of storms, limits were the rule for Southerland and his clients, with the fish mostly in the three to six-pound class. The stripers have been tougher to get on other tactics or bait, but this deep trolling tactic is getting them. For more information, call the marina at 760-389-2299 or check with Southerland at 951-722-0284.

3. Do you meet the following criteria? 1. You love to fish in snow and cold weather. 2. You love road trips. 3. You like to fly-fish. Then this is your pick of the week. If you also like to ski, you will be in heaven. The upper Owens River above Lake Crowley is packing up with big rainbows (and a few browns) that have run up out of the lake. These are mostly wild trout from two to four pounds or better. You will likely need to snowshoe or snowmobile your way to the river, but with good weather forecast, the fishing should be excellent. Want an update on the action (or to set up a guided trip), call The Troutfitter at 760-934-2517 or
Sierra Drifters Guide Service at 760-935-4250.