Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley
LAKE ISABELLA: The trout bite has been fair and continues to improve with rainbows showing at the auxiliary dam and where both forks of the Kern enter the lake. Best action on floating baits, inflated nightcrawlers, or small jigs and lures. A few crappie continue to show at Rocky Point on minnows or small jigs in 20 to 30 feet of water with fish to 1-8 reported. Few reports on catfish this past week. Bluegill, bass bites are slow, but a few quality bass have been reported.
KERN RIVER: Trout action good with a lot of quality 2- to 4-pound rainbows salmon eggs, crickets, and nightcrawlers in the upper river, especially around the Kernville Park. Fly anglers are seeing very good action from Fairview Dam all the way to Kernville, with mid-day hatches and some decent dry fly action. Lower river flows under 500 cfs and the region is very fishable.
AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Striped bass bite continues to be pretty good with fish showing on both bait and artificials. Top baits are blood worms or sand worms and large minnows. Gitzits, Flukes and bucktail jigs have been the bait lures this past week. More and more 6 to 8-pound fish. Catfish bite improving.
MILL CREEK PARK: The catfish bite has been slow to fair on cut baits and green garlic nightcrawlers. Most of the cats are one and three pounds. Few bass and bluegill showing.
HART PARK LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and two weeks ago. The bite has been fair to good on Power eggs, garlic-scented floating baits and inflated nightcrawlers. The bluegill bite is slow on crickets, wax worms, red worms, or meal worms. Carp slow.
TRUXTUN LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and two three weeks ago. Fair to good action on garlic nightcrawlers and floating dough baits. There have been a few crappie reports here in the past week, which is a highly unusual catch for Truxtun. The bluegill, crap and bass are slow.
RIVER WALK PARK: Good trout action on garlic Power Bait and Power Eggs with garlic oil fished on light leaders and sliding sinkers. DFG trout plants this week and two weeks ago. A few bass are showing on nightcrawlers, but the bluegill bite slowed with a few on wax worms, crickets, meal worms and small worms or nightcrawlers pieces. Carp slow.
MING LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and two weeks ago and the bite has been fair on Power eggs, floating dough baits and inflated garlic nightcrawlers. The bluegill action is slowing with a few fish on worms, wax worms and crickets. Carp slow to fair on Powder Bait and other dough baits. Bass bite slow to fair on plastics or nightcrawlers.
BRITE LAKE: DFG trout plants this week and four weeks ago.
BUENA VISTA LAKES: The trout bite had been spotty until a plant this week, and then the bite turned on again, and there have been quite a few quality fish to 8 pounds. Best bite has been on floating baits, nightcrawlers and small jigs, with quite a few fish topping 3 pounds. Two more plants are expected in January. This bite has been going on for three weeks since the water started flowing into the lake. Fish over 30 pounds have been reported. Crappie slowed with just a few caught on small, live minnows and running 1-8 to 2 pounds. The bass remain spotty.
WOOLLOMES LAKE: Spotty trout fishing on garlic-flavored nightcrawlers and floating dough baits with no plants in a month. The bluegill bite is fair on wax worms, crickets, meal worms and red worms. Bass action slow on reaction baits, plastics and nightcrawlers early and late in the day and most fish are small.
SUCCESS LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Trout providing the best action. A few bass on deep, slow presentions with plastics and nightcrawlers the best bet. The bluegill are fair on the usual array of small baits or jigs in deeper water. Catfish slow.
KAWEAH LAKE: DFG trout plants last week and three weeks ago. Fair action on the rainbows with small lures and floating baits in garlic and hatchery formulas. The bass bite has slowed with just a fair bite, mostly on plastics in deeper water. Bluegill action is slow with only a few fish on red worms or nightcrawler pieces in deeper water. Crappie very slow.
Other regional lakes
CACHUMA: Good action. The largemouth and smallmouth bass bites were very good and the crappie were also pretty hot with fish to 2-8 reported. A 4,000-pound Calaveras trout plant last week also turned on the rainbow trout bite. The trout were up to 3 pounds. Catfish, carp and panfish all slow this past week.
CASITAS: The trout action has been fair this past week, and a big plant of Nebraska Tailwalkers was set to arrive this week. The bass bite has continued fair with the best bite in 25 to 45 feet on plastics, jigs and nightcrawlers.
CASTAIC: The trout bite has been fair to good at the west and main ramps on Power Bait and small spinners. There were DFG plants last week and three weeks ago. A few bigger stripers 10 pounds and up have been focusing on the trout with some quality fish showing on big swimbaits at the dam and west ramp after the plants, but overall the stripers are tough. A few largemouth bass are also showing on swimbaits after the trout plants.
PIRU: Very light fishing pressure, but the bass bite has continued pretty week for anglers fishing deeper water with plastics, jigs and nightcrawlers. The reaction bait bite is not as good as it has been. The redear, bluegill and crappie bites are slow.
PYRAMID: Trout were planted two weeks ago, and the bite has remained fair in the marina on small lures, flies and floating baits. Most of the rainbows are pan-sized. The striped bass are slow to fair in the marina area and the inlet. Most are 1 to 3 pounds, with some 4 and 5 pounders. While the bluegill bite is slowing down, a few catfish are still coming in on the cut baits. The largemouth bass are fair on plastics, nightcrawlers.
LOPEZ: Still light fishing pressure, but the few anglers targeting crappie are getting some fish on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles fished around structure, especially around the docks and in Marina Cove. Fish to 3 pounds reported this past week. There has also been a pretty decent bluegill and redear bite on meal worms. The bass bite is also fair on nightcrawlers, plastics and some fish on reaction baits.
NACIMIENTO: The spotted bass bite has been pretty fair on jigs and drop-shotted baits in 15 to 40 feet of water. The reaction bait bite has slowed way down.
SAN ANTONIO: Continued light fishing pressure and few reports. No recent striper reports. The action on black bass has been pretty fair on drop-shot plastics or jigs in 20 to 45 feet of water and slow presentations. No reports of other species. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed. Anglers need to think cleaned, drained and dry or they are likely to be denied access.
SANTA MARGARITA: Very light fishing pressure and cold morning and evening weather. There continues to be a fair bite on the bass and bluegill. The bass are mostly in 20 to 30 feet of water and showing on slow presentations with plastic worms, lizards and jigs the best bet.
KERN: Brite Valley Reservoir, Hart Park Lake, Lake Truxton, Ming Lake, The Park at River Walk lake.
LONG RANGE YELLOWFIN HOT: Most of the long range fleet fishing the giant tuna grounds off the tip of Baja are back or returning back from trips for a break between Christmas and New Year. Over the past week, the fishing has remained exception with yellowfin averaging from 120 to 220 pounds. The fish in recent days was a 365-pounder aboard the Independence. This bite, if it follows past year's pattern, should continue well into the new year.
OVERNIGHT TRIPS: Skippers running overnight, 1.5-, and 2-day trips out of San Diego or the Los Angeles/Orange county coast landings are all reporting exceptional rockfish action. The Indian out of H&M Landing has been focusing on rockfish in Mexico waters and on its most two-day trip this past weekend. It was out with 19 anglers who landed 380 rockfish, full limits, with a good mix of quality red snapper and bocaccio. With the rockfish season closing in U.S. water Jan. 1, there will be more San Diego boats making this run after the first of the year.
LOCAL ISLAND UPDATE: Fishing at both Catalina and San Clemente is tough right now. There is a tremendous volume of squid at the islands and in big spots all along the coast right now, and there are both white seabass and yellowtail on this bait, but they have been extremely boat and line shy. Catalina also has a tough pick. In the Channel Islands, there has been excellent rockfish action.
HALF- AND THREE-QUARTER DAY TRIPS: Just one more week of the excellent rockfishing action anglers are seeing along the Southern California coastline. The deep-water season closes Jan. 1, but until then the half- and three-quarter-day boats are all returned to dock with excellent catches of rockfish.
HOOP-NETTING UPDATE: Many skippers are running twilight hoop-netting trips for lobster and crabs. The lobster action has been very good on these trips with San Diego landings consistently seeing netters getting one to four lobster each.
MLPA IMPLEMENTATION: Beginning Jan. 1, MLPA regulation for the southern coast will go into effect. Major closures include parts of the La Jolla kelp, all of Laguna region nearly from Dana Point to Newport Beach, including Crystal Cove, Point Vicente, the front side of Catalina Island along the middle of the island, the Farnsworth Bank, and so much more. Anglers need to be aware of the new regulations.