FISH REPORT – ONS – Matthews – Jan 02

FISH REPORT – 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 at

This report is posted weekly on the Outdoor News Service web site ( by Thursday afternoon. The fish report is copyrighted and any use or reposting of the report, or portions of the report, is prohibited without written permission.


  • The California Aqueduct in the Taft region remains the number one pick for another week. The striped bass from five to eight pounds are still being caught in pretty decent numbers and a lot of fat fish over the 18-inch minimum keeper size. Flukes and Gitzit-style baits are still the best artificials, and live minnows the best bait. For an update on this bite, call Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657 or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351.
  • The Apollo Park Lake plant arrived last Thursday and the bite has been good since with a lot of one-hour limits reported. Mice Tails and nightcrawlers, both with garlic scent, have been the hot ticket, but other baits and small lures are getting fish. There is also tentatively slated to be another plant this week. For an update on this bite, call Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
  • Jess Ranch Lakes have quietly been producing a lot of nice rainbows in the two pound class this past week with some bigger. The action has been good on PowerBait in a variety of colors and scents and Mice Tails. Fish are coming from both Lakes 2 and 3. For more information call the lake at 760-240-1107.



HESPERIA LAKE: The trout action remains pretty good thanks to weekly, 1,000-pound plants each Thursday. Most of the fish are one to two pounds, but some bigger fish are in each plant. Hot spots have been the drain, Finger Cove, and along the grassy bank. PowerBait in rainbow or garlic chartreuse has been the best bet, but some fish are showing on inflated nightcrawlers or small trout jigs in white and yellow. No catfish reports this past week. Lake information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout action has picked up in recent days, and there has been a pretty fair bite on rainbows averaging around two pounds with some bigger. Power Bait (especially salmon peach, garlic and rainbow), nightcrawlers, Mice Tails, and small jigs are all getting fish. Best spots include the northern and western shores of lake 2 and the eastern logged shore and western shore near the drain of lake 3. Very slow action on bass, bluegill, and catfish. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to

MOJAVE NARROWS: County trout plants are weekly. No report. No bluegill or bass reports this week. The park is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Information, call 760-245-2226.



APOLLO PARK LAKE: After two weeks of thinking a trout plant was coming, the fish actually arrived last Thursday and many anglers have been reporting easy limits in an hour. The marshmallow-meal worm combo, Mice Tails, and green trout jigs have all been getting fish up to 3-8. Drop-shot Power Worms in white or pink fished wacky style are also still working. Stocks will be twice a month this season with about 900 pounds per stock, and the first plant of 2019 was rumored to be coming this week. The panfish, carp, and catfish bites are mostly slow. For more information or updates on the plants, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): While it has been cold, the sunny days have perked a little bite of a bite on small bluegill (four-inch class fish) in the afternoons. Very cold at night with sheet ice on the lake most mornings. No trout plants yet, and no bass reported. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE: The lake is closed to fishing until February 2, when trout season will kick off with heavy stocks of fish. A total of 88,000 pounds are scheduled to be planted for the upcoming season, and fish will be going in all month in preparation for the opener. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or go to website at

QUAIL LAKE: Very few reports this week with extremely cold nights (below freezing). But for the few braving the cold, there continues to be a decent winter catfish bite for anglers fishing right at the outlet and using big wads of chicken liver or mackerel heads fly-lined out. Most of the fish are around three pounds, but it seems like a fish or two over 10 pounds is caught each week. The late afternoon/evening bite has been best. No striper, largemouth, or bluegill reports this week. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Little Rock to Quail Lake stretch): There continues to be a fair number of stripers, including quality fish, showing, especially in the west end of the vally. There was an 18-pound class striper caught Wednesday this week at 180th West on a chicken liver-nightcrawler combo with XXX Blood Bait scent added. The stripers are showing throughout the system, mostly at road crossings, bends in the aqueduct, or other diversions that change the water flow. The catfish also continue to show on chicken liver or sardines with scent, especially in the Muns Ranch and 130th West spots. The bite has been best in the afternoons. There also continues to a pretty fair number of largemouth bass showing on spinnerbaits and white jigs in the east end of the valley, especially around 72nd East. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): Very little pressure this past week. The carp action has been slow to fair on dough baits with cooler weather slowing this bite and keeping anglers away. The bluegill and catfish bite have really slowed down.

LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: No reports. Access remains restricted some days because of heavy equipment use. Few walk-in angler reports this week. The Palmdale Water District has an ongoing sediment removal project, and the U.S. Forest Service (Angeles National Forest) may close the area in the future.


SILVERWOOD: The striper bite has continues pretty fair off the pay dock and up into both Cleghorn and Miller canyons, mostly on sardines, anchovies, lug worms. Most are small — under three pounds — but a few bigger fish on swimbaits. The largemouth have been slow with only an occasional fish on a nightcrawler or plastic worm fished slow and deep. A few crappie are showing on nightcrawlers and meal worms, mostly off the dock. 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: 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: Very light fishing pressure with very cold mornings and evenings. Lots of shoreline ice and sheet-ice in the bays. Few reports, but some trout from 1-8 to three pounds are showing from the dam buoy line east to the west public launch ramp along the north shore. Chartreuse garlic and salmon egg PowerBait have been the best bets, but inflated nightcrawlers on deeply-fished slip bobber rigs is still a good bet. All of the public and private marinas have shut down. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

GREGORY LAKE: No recent trout plants and light fishing pressure. Only an occasional trout reported. 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 report. The lake facilities closed Oct. 31 and plants won’t begin again until next April. The website is and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.


CASTAIC: The striper bite has been pretty consistent this past week with some anglers reporting five-fish limits of fish to five pounds. The best bite has been at the buoy line, Kong Island, and Sharon’s Rest for boat anglers, while shore anglers have had their best luck along the dam next to the main launch ramp and the last point adjacent to the west ramp. The best bite for both shore and boat anglers has been on sardines, lug worms, and nightcrawlers. Also some on swimbaits. Boat anglers are getting some fish on trolled umbrella rigs on the points or on ice jigs on suspended fish. While most of the fish are under three pounds, some seven to eight-pound fish continue to show. The largemouth and smallmouth bite is slow with only a few fish showing on drop-shot plastics or small jigs, especially in the lower lake. The crappie, bluegill, and catfish bites are all very slow in both the upper and lower lakes. There is a DFW trout plant two weeks ago. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 ( or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

PYRAMID: DFW trout plant went in last week, but few reports on the rainbows. The striper bite has been fair on sardines, lug worms, and chicken liver for both boat and shore anglers. The fish are in deeper water off the points and (for shore anglers) in the canal by the front entrance booth and the rocks near the boat shop. Few fish over three pounds. A few catfish are showing for shore anglers on the same baits in the same areas. The largemouth and smallmouth bass have been slow to fair on nightcrawlers, plastics, and jigs fished in 20-plus feet of water on the points and steep drop-offs. The bluegill and crappie bites are very slow. 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: Very light fishing pressure. The best action remains for catfish but overall the bite is just fair at best. There are still a few fish from two to four pounds being caught and an occasional larger catfish. Top baits have been clams, shad, and dip baits. While the bite is best early and late, some fish are showing throughout the day and night (if you want to brave the cold). There continue to be a few crappie reports in the French Gulch area on small minnow or jigs tipped with bait. Very few bass or bluegill reported. For fishing 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: Trout are scheduled to be planted in Sections 4, 5, and 6 this week (all the upper river). Those area are also slated to get fish again in two weeks. The trout bite remains pretty fair, but getting light fishing pressure. The best bite has been on crickets, nightcrawlers, and salmon eggs. Fly anglers are seeing unseasonably good fishing on small nymphs fished in deeper runs in the low flows, especially in the upper reaches of the roadside water and up into the wild trout water past the Johnsondale bridge. There has even been some dry-fly action. The lower river flows are very low and the bite has been slow on bass with nightcrawlers or plastic worms. No DFW plants slated for the lower river this fall-winter season. The catfish action has been pretty slow to fair in the pools on clams and nightcrawlers. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or ( or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: The best bite in the region is the striper action here. There are a lot of legal, fat stripers showing, primarily on Fluke-like baits and live minnows, but other lures and cut baits are also getting fish. No huge fish reported, but a lot of stripers up to six or eight pounds. Catfish are slow with a few on shad, sardines, anchovies, blood worms, chicken liver, and Wussy Bait. 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: Very slow, no reports of catfish or carp this week.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Water level is way down, and there has been little fishing pressure. Slow overall, but one angler reported landing a pair of four-pound class bass. No trout are slated to be planted by the DFW this fall/winter season. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: No trout are slated to be planted by the DFW this fall/winter season. All the other species are slow, with only a few bass and carp being reported. Water very low.

TRUXTUN LAKE: Water is level very low, and the bite has slowed down. Still an occasional crappie on small minnows. Also a few bass caught on drop-shot plastic, jigs, or nightcrawlers. No trout are slated to be planted by the DFW this fall/winter season. The bluegill and carp bites are also slow with a few bluegill still being caught by anglers fishing nightcrawler pieces on the bottom, and a few carp still being caught on dough baits. Best bite in the afternoon.

MING LAKE: Very light fishing pressure. There was a DFW trout plant two weeks ago, but the action has slowed way down. The crappie bite has remained pretty fair on small, live minnows. Most of these fish are eight to 10-inch fish reported. The largemouth bite is also pretty fair on plastics and nightcrawlers. Plants will be 500-pounds this season, and one is slated for some time this month. Bluegill, catfish, and carp are all slow.

BRITE LAKE: While no DFW trout plants have gone in, there has been a few trout showing at the launch ramp, especially on rainbow PowerBait. The crappie bite has slowed, but some are still showing for anglers fishing mid-lake from float tube with small jigs. Most of the fish are eight to 10 inches long. In addition, there continues to be a lot of small bass around a pound also showing in this action. Anglers targeting the bass are doing best on garlic nightcrawlers or small plastics fished along the shore.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: The trout bite has slowed way down with the most recent plant two weeks ago, but a few fish continue to show on garlic Mice Tails or garlic nightcrawlers. The lake is supposed to get another 3,000-pound plant next week. Very few crappie reports, and the bluegill, carp, and bass bites are slow. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or


SUCCESS LAKE: The bite here has continued to be slow. A few bass continue to show on smaller plastics fished drop-shot and split-shot style in deeper water, also some suspended fish on jigging spoons or ice jigs. Most of the bass are in the two-pound range. The crappie are getting little pressure but a few continue to be caught on small minnows. Bluegill very slow and few catfish reported. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KAWEAH LAKE: As the water level drops, there has been a pretty decent bass bite with almost no pressure on the fish. This is mostly a deeper-water bite, but fish to 10-4 have been reported in the past week. No reports of other species. Information: Sierra Sporting Goods at 559-592-5212.


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


For trout plants statewide, you can visit the DFW’s stocking page at Of note this week: In Inyo County, Diaz Lake is slated to get rainbows. In San Bernardino County, Glen Helen and Prado Park lakes were on the list (and these lakes are planted weekly by the county).


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 and 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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