FISH REPORT – ONS – Matthews – 18 March

FISH REPORT — ONS-matthews – 18 March 2020 Compiled by Jim Matthews

The fish report is weekly. Its accuracy depends on marina operators, tackle shops, and local fishermen we contact. Anglers catching large fish should send the information to Outdoor News Service, P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427, or telephone 909-887-3444, so it can be included in this report. E-Mail messages or fishing reports can also be posted to Jim Matthews

The fish report is copyrighted and any use or reposting of the report, or portions of the report, is prohibited without written permission.


1. Weather has been a hindrance to all fishing this past week, but the crappie bite in in the southern San Joaquin Valley region are still the best bets. Lake Success and Lake Isabella continue to produce nice stringers of fish, but fewer limits in recent days. There have continued to be bigger fish at Success, but more fish at Isabella, and the best action at both places has been on live minnows. For an update on this action and top spots at either lake, check with Bob’s Bait at 661-833-8657.

2. The California Aqueduct remains a solid bet even with the sour weather. The bite for stripers is good in both the southern San Joaquin Valley and Antelope Valley stretches with a lot of three- to eight-pound fish in both regions, and there are a lot of catfish in the Antelope Valley, too. The stripers have been best on Rat-L-Traps in the Antelope Valley and minnows in the San Joaquin. The catfish are best on a wide variety of cut baits. For updates on this bite, check with Bob’s Bait Bucket in the San Joaquin at 661-833-8657 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 for the Antelope Valley.

3. Silverwood Lake stays in the top picks, but anglers need to call ahead to make sure the lake is still open. The campground was closed due to Coronavirus concerns. The trout are best around the marina and into both Miller and Cleghorn canyons on small spinners or plastics and PowerBait. Most recent DFW plant was two weeks ago, but there have been a lot of holdover fish showing. For an update on the action, call the marina at 760-389-2299 or the Silverwood Country store at 760-389-2423.



HESPERIA LAKE: No report. Lake information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout bite has been fair on both lakes, with anglers using PowerBait in salmon peach, chartreuse, and lime twist, nightcrawlers, small trout jigs and plastics, or small spinners and spoons. Top spots include the northern and eastern shores of lake 2 and the grassy point and western shore near the drain of lake 3. A few bass have been caught on topwater using Senkos on the western and northern shores of lake 2 with fish to five pounds in the past week. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to

MOJAVE NARROWS: The lake is closed to the public because of Corona virus safety precautions. Information, call 760-245-2226.



APOLLO PARK LAKE: Still pretty fair trout bite with most anglers getting one or two fish and diligent anglers have posted a few limits. The lake is still holding a lot of fish since the 3,000-pound plant for the derby two weeks ago. The best trout bite has been on small trout jigs, especially Drew’s and Black Minnow brands. The hot PowerBait has been the natural scent garlic in Orange and Nymph colors (alone or mixed together). A few carp are also starting to show on dough baits, but mostly small fish right now. Still no bluegill or catfish reports. For more information on plants and events, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): No fishing reports. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE:The trout action remains good to excellent with weekly plants and a lot of quality fish from four to seven pounds or even a bigger. Limits have been the rule on a wide variety of baits and lures.
The best action has been on light line (two-pound test) and PowerBait (nymph color with garlic is the best) or small yellow and silver jigs. Some trout on deep-trolled cranks. Drew’s four-inch slugs in red and black with added attractant have been hot for bigger fish. Dock anglers are doing as well as boat anglers. Other species are not getting any pressure, but the largemouth bass bite is breaking wide open as the fish stage to spawn. A drop-shot nightcrawler or plastic worm around the tules or docks are getting fish. A few catfish and crappie are also showing. The lake is open to members and their guests only, but memberships for 2020 are still available. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or go to website at

QUAIL LAKE: In spite of the unsettled weather, there has continued to be fair to good striper action and the catfish bite has been steadily improving. The catfish are showing at the outlet on big hunks of mackerel fished without weight or frozen shrimp, also flylined. The cats are running from two to 10 pounds. The stripers have been best along the north shore near the inlet, and frozen shad has been the top bait fished on a Carolina rig. Most of the stripers are fat and running three to four pounds with some seven to 10 pounders. The largemouth bite is still fair, lulled a little by rainy weather, but they are still showing along the south shore 10 to 30 feet off the tules in slightly deeper water staging for the spawn. Nightcrawlers or plastics have been good bets with added scent. Lots of two to three-pound class fish and some bigger. Few anglers targeting bluegill. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): The catfish and striper bites are still pretty good throughout the aqueduct, east and west. The stripers have been best on Rat-L-Trap-type lures or swimbaits and mostly two to four pounds, but fish to 10 pounds. The catfish are mostly showing on shrimp, chicken liver, sardines, or mackerel, and added scent helps. Most of the fish are two to 10 pounds. The best action for both stripers and catfish is at road crossings, siphons, or any spot where the flow of the water is changed, slowed, or increased. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Tough fishing and the unsettled weather has kept the bite in the air. Just a few bluegill and carp are starting to show. The bluegill are small, hand-sized fish on nightcrawlers. The carp are also small and showing on dough baits. No bass or catfish reports.

LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR:No reports again this week. The lake is normally open to walk-in fishing, but the Palmdale Water District has an ongoing sediment removal project and access is restricted at times. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.


SILVERWOOD: As of Wednesday, the state park was still open to anglers, but the campground has been closed because of Coronavirus concerns. Both the striped bass and trout bites have continued fair to good. DFW trout plants went in two and three weeks ago. Top spots have been around the marina and into both Miller and Cleghorn canyons. The best trout bite was on small spinners, spoons, trout jigs, plastics or PowerBait, and the fish are running up to three pounds. The stripers are showing in the marina, Miller Canyon, and at the dam on sardines and nightcrawlers, with some showing on trolled swimbaits. A few more largemouth have been reported for anglers fishing plastics off the points with the fish moving up into less than 30 feet of water, with some as shallow as six feet. A few catfish also starting to show. Lake elevation was 3,345.56 feet on Wednesday this week, up 1.55 feet from last week. 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: 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 action has been improving steadily in spite of the colder weather. Many shore anglers are still reporting two to five fish days with trout to three pounds. PowerBait, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic scent, and small spoons have all been getting fish. The north shoreline from the dam east has been the best with rocky, gravelly beaches the best. The bass bite is still mostly tough, but a few smallmouth are starting to show. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

GREGORY LAKE:No report available. Lake and fishing information at 909-338-2233 or on the website at Fishing updates are posted infrequently on the park’s Facebook page or website.

GREEN VALLEY LAKE: No fishing reports. Plants won’t begin until late April or May. The website is and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.

CASTAIC:The larmemouth and smallmouth bites have continued fair with some good flurries of action between storm fronts. The bulk of the fish are still deep (20 to 60 feet) with the rain and rapidly rising water levels. All this has seemed to set back the spawn. Drop-shot plastics and nightcrawlers have been best bet with most fish under three pounds. The most recent DFW trout plant was a month ago, but the DFW was supposed to plant this week. A fair number of holdovers have been reported on garlic PowerBait or nightcrawlers with garlic scent. The stripers are slow to fair, mostly showing on bait in deep water with sardines, anchovies, and lug worms the best. Most are 1-8 to three pounds. Stripers have been tough, and most of the fish have been caught on cut baits, mostly sardines, anchovies, or lug worms. However, Ian Cube, Buena Park, landed a 13-8 striped bass on a Deps 250 lure from a rental boat. A few catfish have been reported in deep water off sandy beaches on sardines or chicken liver. The bluegill bite is slow, and the budding crappie bite lulled again this week. The action for both species is better in the lower lake. Crappie are best on small jigs tipped with wax or meal worms, while the bluegill are best on meal worms or wax worms alone. The lake’s elevation was 1,490.72 feet on Wednesday, up 4.68 feet from last week (and over eight feet the past two weeks and 20 feet over the past six weeks). The lake is at 84 percent of full pool. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 ( or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.


PYRAMID: The water level continues to come up (another two-plus feet in the past week), and the bite is just fair overall. Stripers are showing for shore anglers fishing the canal by the fish cleaning station and the front entrance booth in the moving water. Anchovies, sardines, lug worms or blood worms have been the best. A few are also showing on jigging spoons or trolling with umbrella rigs for boat anglers The largemouth and smallmouth bites are both fair with fish starting to move up out of deep water for the spawn. The fish are mostly still in 20 to 30 feet of water with some action shallower in the afternoons on good-weather days. Drop-shot plastics off the points or walls has been the best bet, with some fish showing on deep-diving cranks and jerkbaits. The trout bite has remained fair for boat anglers fishing PowerBait, Mice Tails, or small nightcrawlers in the channel by the entrance booth, rip-rap areas, and the backs of coves. Catfish may be the best bet for anglers with quite a few early-season fish showing on for shore anglers and boat anglers fishing in the coves. The swimbeach has been a hot spot with chicken liver, sardines, or anchovies, but most sandy, gravelly beaches are producing. The lake’s elevation was 2,568.03 feet on Wednesday this week, up 2.40 feet from last week. The lake is 87 percent of full pool. There is a health warning about eating fish from Pyramid Lake (except the rainbow trout). More information at this link: Information: Emigrant Landing entrance booth at 661-295-7155 or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.


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:

FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this web site with information updated hourly:


LAKE ISABELLA:Big storm on Monday lulled the crappie bite and the fish have moved back out into deeper water, but the bite has been fair in the South Fork Arm in 15 to 30 feet of water on small minnows, with fewer numbers on small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Not many limits since Monday. Most are three-quarter pound fish with a few bigger but no bruisers yet. The good catfish bite for shore anglers fishing frozen shad, clams, or dip baits. Lots of cats from three to 10 pounds or better. A few more largemouth starting to be caught as the spawn approaches. No bluegill or carp reports. There was a DFW trout plant this week and two weeks ago, but few trout reported. The lake elevation on Wednesday was 2,561.59 feet, up .29 feet from last week. The lake is 31 percent full and very stable right now. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or, North Fork Marina at 760-376-1812, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KERN RIVER: The trout bite has been slow to fair, but trout are slated to be planted in sections 4 and 5 this week. There are still pretty decent numbers of holdover fish spread throughout the plant areas in both the upper and lower river. Salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, Roostertails and Blue Fox spinners, and SuperDupers are the best baits and lures. Excellent, stable fishing flows in both the upper (471 cfs) and lower river (325 cfs). Fly-fishing action fair and improving on the upper river from Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge and above, and there is increasing dry fly activity. The bass and catfish action remains slow in the lower river. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or ( or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT:The striper bite has remained fair to good with live minnows being the hot bait, but also more and more fish showing on
Gizits and Flukes. The fat fish are running three to eight pounds. The catfish bite is slow on cut baits, but more and more fish are starting to show. Anglers are reminded the limit on stripers is two fish greater than 18 inches, while the largemouth limit is five fish. Information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

MILL CREEK PARK AND CANAL: The carp bite is picking up on dough baits. Pete Ramirez, Bakersfield, landed three carp using sweet corn and his best fish was a 10-pounder. A few catfish continue to show here for anglers fishing nightcrawlers.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: The Fireman’s Trout Derby scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled due to Corona virus concerns. A few trout are still showing from the big plant for the derby three weeks ago. The best bite has been on PowerBait, small trout jigs, and flies. The bass action is also fair to good, at least on better weather days, on plastics and Flukes in pretty decent numbers. Even some bluegill starting to be caught on wax worms but the wild weather has slowed this action. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The bass and bluegill bites were picking up before the latest round of storms moved through. The bass are still fair on plastics and Brush Hawgs. The bluegill have been slow to fair on wax worms and meal worms.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The bass have been up and down with the weather, with a good bite on better weather days and slower as storms are moving in and though. Senko-type baits are still the best bet. A few bluegill are also starting to show on wax worms, meal worms, or red worms. Still no carp or catfish reports.

MING LAKE:The largemouth bite has been fair with flurries of good action on better-weather days. Senkos, Brush Hawgs, and live minnows have been the top baits. The fish are moving in an out of the shallows depending on the weather. Most recent DFW trout plant over a month ago, and no fish are scheduled for this week or next week. Other species still slow.

BRITE LAKE:There has been a fair bite on hand-sized crappie on small jigs fished under a float, and the trout bite has been slow to fair on Drew’s plastics and PowerBait but there hasn’t been a DFW plant in over a month. Other species are slow.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: There have been rumors that the lake has been completely closed, but as of Wednesday this week it is only the campground that was closed. The lake is still open to fishing. The most recent trout plant was two weeks ago, and there are still quite a few rainbows showing in a slow to fair bite. Best action on Mini Jigs, Mice Tails, garlic nightcrawlers, and PowerBait. Most are 1-8 to two pounds. The bass have also started to show in pretty fair numbers for anglers fishing Senkos along the tules. The crappie bite broke open two weeks ago, and the bite is still fair on small minnows. Few reports of other species. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or Copeís Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or


SUCCESS LAKE: The crappie bite has continued here, rain or shine. The best action has been on live minnows or the Keitech 2 ½-inch swimbaits, with the fish moving shallow or deep depending on the weather. Still a lot of nice stringers of fish. The fish are showing for both boat and shore anglers. DFW trout plants two and five weeks ago. The bass bite was also starting to really take off over the weekend with fish on plastics and reaction baits, but that has lulled to just fair. Other species have been mostly slow. The lake elevation as of Wednesday this week was 609.44 feet, up 1.14 feet from last week. The lake is 23 percent capacity. Information: Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KAWEAH LAKE: DFW trout plants last week and four weeks ago. The largemouth bass bite was fair this past week, and weather keeps hammering on the action. The fish are trying to move tight for the spawn. Best action has been on plastics or small swimbaits. Still few bluegill and catfish being reported. Lake elevation as of Wednesday was 619.09 feet, up 2.36 feet from last week. The lake is 19 percent capacity. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites (Bridgeport region), (Mammoth Lakes region), and (Bishop and Mammoth Lakes region).


For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW’s stocking page at

This week’s trout plants: In Los Angeles County, Castaic Lake is on the list. In San Bernardino County, the middle fork of Lytle Creek is scheduled for a plant. In Kern County, Cat Fish Lake (Antelope Valley), sections 4 and 5 of the Kern River, and Lake Isabella are slated to get trout. In Inyo County, Diaz Lake, the Owens River below Tinnemaha and in Section 2, and Pleasant Valley Reservoir are on the list.

Next week’s trout plants (March 22-28): In Inyo County, Cottonwood Creek, Georges Creek, Independence Creek, Shepherd Creek, Symmes Creek, and Tuttle Creek are tentatively slated to get rainbows.


For the most comprehensive and up-to-date ocean fishing available, go to


Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.

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