Southern california freshwater fishing report

Pro Tip: Get new digital editions in your inbox much earlier than when these reports go live! We’re offering a FREE Fillet Knife Special with a yearly digital subscription for only $20, and you get a FREE Fillet Knife! Grab this offer here.

AQUEDUCT (CLOSE TO BAKERSFIELD) – Striped bass fishing continues to be strong, with fish being attracted to cut bait (mainly anchovies and sardines), live worms, and minnows. The lure fishing is improving, so prepare your jerkbaits and topwater lures. Catfish and some bass are being caught using similar bait, as well as dip baits and plastic worms around barriers.

BARRETT LAKE – Following a sluggish beginning, WON has started to receive reports of anglers scoring in the 50s. Still, most aim to catch 20 by midday, while others are striving for 10. Four-inch swimbaits, worms, Ned rigs, Senkos, cranks, and some topwater are causing most of the action. Access to Barrett Reservoir is strictly by reservation, limiting two cars per booking. Fishing days are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, from May through September. The lake is closed on the first Wednesday of every month. The lake is currently 90% full.

BIG BEAR LAKE – Fully stocked for the Fishin’ for 50k Derby, with many reports of fish weighing between 2 and 3 pounds, including a 4.6 pounder. From the shore, PowerBait, Mice Tails, and inflated nightcrawlers are working best, along with nightcrawlers under a slip bobber. A lake record 1.68 pound crappie was caught on a fly rod. Some catfish are being caught on cut bait, and carp are being heavily targeted by bowfishermen. The WON Big Bear Troutfest in October is expected to have excellent conditions, thanks to the rain. Visit

BUENA VISTA LAKES – Anglers using chicken livers and cut mackerel continue to fill their stringers with smaller catfish. The bass bite is strong for fish located shallow near shoreline vegetation, where they can be targeted with Senkos, creature baits, jigs, and cranks. Crappie fishing with jigs has been fruitful for those in the right spot at the right time.

CACHUMA LAKE – According to guide Rich Tauber (, this lake is popular among his clients who are catching a good number of both largemouth bass and crappie. Bass are attracted to Senkos in 15 to 20 feet of water, while crappie are taking shad-pattern baits slow trolled at similar depths.

Read More  Is mahi mahi shark

CAHUILLA LAKE – Catfish are slow, but those that are biting mainly prefer nightcrawlers or shrimp. The bass bite is inconsistent, with some topwater activity near the jetties. The park is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but remains open into the night on stock days.

CASITAS LAKE – According to guide Rich Tauber (, the fishing here has become challenging very quickly, in part due to the dying bushes in the water causing very high pH levels. However, some nice bluegill are providing some relief for many anglers.

CASTAIC LAKE – According to John Petroski of C3 Baits, Castaic Lagoon has been unpredictable for the past month. The bite started strong but has now slowed, with mostly smaller males biting. A 6.5 pounder was caught by a float tube angler using plastics, contributing to a 22-plus-pound day. Some stripers are being caught on Flukes and cut bait, with the Ski Arm being the best area for this. They’re chasing shad, and the window of opportunity seems to be quite short.

CUYAMACA LAKE – Regular stocking is still taking place and fishing is fair to good, with limits still being met. Most of these are pan-sized rainbows, but there are bigger ones out there from earlier stocking. Inflated nightcrawlers, PowerBait and Mice Tails are proving the most successful for bait fishing. Some fish are being caught on trolled spoons. The lake is now offering a “frequent fisher” program that rewards you with a free fishing pass after nine visits. Three full cards earn you a fishing permit and a boat rental, with further rewards for additional full cards.

DIXON LAKE – There’s no exact date for the start of the catfish season, but it’s confirmed for July. Night fishing is set to commence after July 4. The lake is open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Most bass are post-spawn, and bass fry can be seen everywhere. The bite is tough but some are being caught on worms, stickbaits, and jerkbaits. Some bluegill are biting on worms around the fishing docks.

DIAMOND VALLEY LAKE – More larger bass are being reported, with some caught on swimbaits. The majority are being caught on worms and jigs. Guide Art Hill ( did well with the Deps Cover Scat. Striped bass fishing has been slow, but some unexpected holdover rainbow trout are appearing.

EL CAPITAN RESERVOIR – Bass numbers are increasing, with most around 2 pounds, eagerly going for finesse plastics on light line pitched around shoreline vegetation. The water level has remained stable at about 44% full for almost a month. From August, El Cap is closed on the first Friday of each month. The lake is open from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Read More  Did the sharks make the playoffs

ELSINORE LAKE – Panfish are gradually starting to appear around the shore-adjacent flooded vegetation, with anglers catching them using a variety of live worms with a bobber. Catfish are being lured in by cut mackerel on a Carolina rig, either weightless or under a bobber. Smaller reaction baits are fetching a few bass, with the overall panfish action relatively slow.

GREGORY LAKE – There’s an upcoming stock of catfish planned for this week, particularly 1,500 pounds on June 23. A decent haul of holdover trout from substantial May stocking persists. The DFW is also set to deliver a trout plant this week, which will further enliven the already thriving bite. Anglers are having great success with PowerBait, Mice Tails, and nightcrawlers.

HEMET LAKE – A DFW trout plant planned for this week (week of June 18) should make trout fishing worthwhile well into July at this year-round trout fishery. Bait-and-wait strategies with Mice Tails, Gulp! Chunky Cheese, and PowerBait are recommended. The jig bite should improve within a few days following the trout plant.

HENSHAW LAKE – The bite on catfish, bass, and crappie is still going strong, marking at least three consecutive weeks of respectable fishing across the board at Henshaw. Crappie are favoring mealworms and nightcrawlers, while chicken livers are proving successful for catfish. Night catfishing is available every Friday and Saturday from the shore until 10 p.m., and there are pontoon and fishing boat rentals on offer.

HESPERIA LAKE – The latest fish plant was on June 16, with a 1,500-pound catfish stock – 1,000 pounds of regular models and 500 pounds of fish over 7 pounds. Top baits for catfish include shrimp, nightcrawlers, and chicken livers. The North Shore and Finger are the best spots, but consistent stocking means fish can be caught all around the lake. Tilapia stocking continues intermittently, and the best bait for them is pieces of nightcrawler. Night fishing runs from May 5 – Sept. 9, from 2 to 11 p.m.

HODGES LAKE – The lake reopened for recreational activities on May 31. Fishing has been productive, with bass anglers finding success with drop-shots, Ned rigs, jigs, and square bill crankbaits, particularly around docks and rockpiles. Crappie fishing has been particularly fruitful for those using small shiners or jigs, with many limits being reported before noon. Keep in mind that rental boats tend to be claimed early if you’re planning a trip. At the moment, tube and kayak anglers are faring best, but those fishing from the shore are also doing well.

Read More  how many pups do bull sharks have

IRVINE LAKE – There’s not much happening here following the end of the trout stocking season, and there’s no sign that catfish will be stocked. While cats, panfish, and bass are present, there’s been little activity since the trout season ended.

ISABELLA LAKE – Bass fishing is robust, with cranks, chatterbaits, worms, jigs, and creature baits proving successful. The catches are getting bigger, with largemouth bass weighing up to just under 9 pounds being reported. Trout fishing is outstanding with floating baits from the shore, while boaters are doing well trolling Needlefish, Tasmanian Devils, and diving plugs. Crappie biting is decent when the correct deeper structure spot is found, and although catfish are smaller lately, they are abundant. The lake is currently in the best condition it’s seen in years, offering a mixed-bag bite.

JENNINGS LAKE – A catfish stock of 1,000 pounds is planned for this week, bringing the seasonal total up to 8,500 pounds. Fishing is good, with limits being reached using chicken livers or shrimp in Shadow Cove and off Eggert’s Point. Boaters are catching them all around. Bass are biting swimbaits and jigs around the T-Dock, Sentry Point, and near the Hermit buoy line. Trout are still being caught on PowerBait and nightcrawlers in deeper waters. Night fishing is available on Fridays and Saturdays until midnight.

JESS RANCH LAKES – The lake’s website currently states that “the lakes are closed.” We’ll continue to monitor the status of these lakes, but they don’t seem likely to reopen soon.

KAWEAH LAKE – Larger spotted bass are starting to appear, caught using 4-inch worms, stickbaits, and jigs. Crappie are biting on jigs or small shiners, and the catfish bite is decent on mackerel, sardines, and dip baits. The lake level is now at three-quarters capacity.

KERN RIVER – The upper Kern River is experiencing flows between 4,000 and 7,500 cfs. Hence, it’s not a good option for fishing currently.

Read More  Are there sharks in antarctica

LOPEZ LAKE – The lake is filled to capacity and offering decent fishing, particularly for bass that are staying close to flooded vegetation and responding to weedless Ned rigs, creatures, craws, worms, and stickbaits. Trout stocking is ongoing. A live webcam of the lake can be viewed at

LOWER OTAY RESERVOIR – Fishing is currently challenging due to seasonably cool water temperatures and a severe algae bloom. Visibility is virtually zero, and anglers are reporting very little activity. Shad schools aren’t as numerous as before the bloom. The upside is that there hasn’t been a fish kill, and the lake, with its abundant new water, should bounce back well.

MIRAMAR LAKE – All on-the-water activities will be suspended after July 4 due to the commencement of the City of San Diego Subaqueous Pipeline project. Shore fishing will still be available, and the concession stand will remain open for snacks and bike rentals. Largemouth bass are responding to finesse plastics pitched off docks and around shallow tule-lined areas. Bluegill have been easy targets in many of the same areas for those using small worms under a bobber or nightcrawlers on a drop-shot rig.

MORENA LAKE – The Lower Boat Launch is open. All vessels must pass a Quagga Mussel Inspection (clean, drained, and dry) prior to launch. The lake is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MURRAY LAKE – Guide Rusty Brown ( suggests this lake as a solid option for bass fishing. The water level has decreased, but poppers and small Whopper Ploppers are working around grass beds. Using Roboworms or Senkos on a drop-shot with a longer leader and a 3/16-ounce sinker is also effective. The water temperature is up to 73 degrees with 3 feet of visibility. It’s rumored that the launch ramp will close in August, but that’s unconfirmed as of now.

NACIMIENTO LAKE – The lake is nearly full at 90% capacity, and steady fishing continues thanks to improved weather. White bass are biting on spoons, grubs, and small jerkbaits, while catfish are enjoying traditional fare. Spotted bass are being attracted by finesse techniques, specifically drop-shots, Ned rigs, and small jigs cast from the shoreline to over 15 feet of water. A live webcam of the lake is available at

PERRIS LAKE – The algae bloom has largely cleared, and the water is now transparent. Slow-moving plastics are proving most effective, and a reaction bite is currently lacking. With the water level dropping a few feet, largemouth bass are now in post-spawn, and many are relating to shad schools that are suspending in deeper, open water. The largest bass being caught seem to be in the 5 and 6-pound range.

Read More  Mix bikini shark tank

POWAY LAKE – Both shore and boat anglers are reporting consistent catches of catfish, with mackerel, chicken livers, and dip baits as successful bait. Prime spots include the Fishing Pier, Buoy Line, and beach. The bass bite has dwindled somewhat, but some success is being reported at Jump Off Point and Half Moon Bay using creatures and worms. Trout are being caught in deeper waters, such as around the Log Boom and while drifting mid-lake, using jigs and fly-lined nightcrawlers.

PUDDINGSTONE LAKE – Bass seem to be dispersed and floating, but can be captured using deep-diving or suspending jerkbaits once located. This has been a trend for some time, however, there’s been some action with frog fish in shallow waters. The trout bite seems to have lessened with the arrival of warmer weather, though some are still appearing sporadically.

PYRAMID LAKE – Largemouth and smallmouth bass are biting well with catches being reported on 4-inch worms, Senkos, and small Flukes, from the shoreline up to 20 feet deep. Striped bass are targeting shad in open water, so look for bird activity and cast swimbaits, spoons, and jerkbaits. The lake’s water level is near full.

SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES – SARL continues its weekly catfish stocks, with the latest being on June 15. Mostly pan-sized catfish are being caught in good numbers, and they are not being particularly selective about classic catfish bait.

SAN ANTONIO LAKE – Bass fishing is sluggish, but with the lake in excellent condition following the winter, there are high expectations for the future. Catfish fishing is still compensating for the slow bass action. The lake is at 70 percent capacity.

SANTEE LAKES – Catfish are stocked biweekly with the latest addition of 1,000 pounds on June 16, and the next shipment is scheduled for June 23. Shrimp, mackerel, and nightcrawlers are the preferred baits. The “Stockzilla!” mega Catfish stocking event will see 3,500 pounds of catfish added to the lake on Oct. 6. Bass fishing remains solid with both good quantity and quality. Night fishing events are planned for various dates in June, July, and August.

Read More  Can bull sharks jump out of water?

SAN VICENTE RESERVOIR – The reservoir offers fair bass fishing, with most bags ranging between 15 and 20 pounds. Some bass are still found on spawning beds, while others have transitioned to summer mode. Deeper waters are offering a steady drop-shot bite. The reservoir is closed on the second Friday of each month.

SANTA MARGARITA LAKE – Bass fishing conditions are optimal with the lake at full capacity. Plenty of 2- to 4-pound fish are being reported, with some larger catches as well. Various baits are successful, including Keitech-style swimbaits, jigs, walking baits, and crankbaits. A live webcam of the lake is available at

SILVERWOOD LAKE – Striped bass fishing is productive for school-sized fish, particularly with jerkbaits near the surface. Largemouth bass are being spotted near the shoreline and are attracted to finesse plastics. Large numbers of pan-sized catfish are being caught on cut baits, which are also catching some striped bass.

SKINNER LAKE – Guide Jimmy Huynh reports that both striped and largemouth bass are biting well on reaction baits. Largemouth are attracted to swimbaits, including the DRT Tiny Clash, Citizens from Working Class Zero, frogs, 4-inch swimbaits, and Whopper Ploppers. Striped bass are responding to topwater and small swimbaits.

SUCCESS LAKE – As spring transitions into summer, the bass bite has eased, but consistent fishing is reported for anglers using worms, jigs, Ned rigs, and micro jigs. Crappie are attracted to grubs and smaller knob-tail swimbaits on structural spots. Catfish are fair game with mackerel, dip baits, and chicken livers.

SUTHERLAND RESERVOIR – The lake is approximately 74 percent full, and the fishing reports have been scant due to low traffic. Sutherland is closed on the third Friday of each month. It’s open for fishing and boating on Saturdays and Sundays, with shore fishing only on Fridays from March to September.

WOHLFORD LAKE – Holdover trout are still making appearances, with recent catches including a 6.3 pound trout caught on the East End with a nightcrawler, and a 4.8 pounder caught with a Berkley Flicker Shad. If the mild summer continues, Rangers expect the trout bite to continue into July. Catfish were stocked between June 11-17, and they’re biting well in Boat Dock Cove and along the Senior Shoreline. The lake is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Leave a Comment