FISH REPORT – ONS – Matthews – September 12

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

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


  1. No surprise, but the California Aqueduct remains the top pick. There continues to be good to excellent catfish action, and fair to good striped bass action. The bite for both species is best at night or early morning and late evening in both the Antelope Valley and the southern San Joaquin valley stretches. The best bite throughout for catfish has been on lug or blood worms fished alone or mixed with chicken liver or other cut bait and drifted along the bottom, especially in areas where the flow is constricted, interrupted, or bends. Adding a scent also increases the number of bites. Cats to 10 pounds reported in both stretches. For the stripers, there are flurries of surface action most mornings with topwater baits or small reaction baits getting fish. For updates on this bite, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824 for the Palmdale to Hesperia stretch and Bob’s Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657 for the Taft region.
  2. Green Valley Lake’s trout bite slips into the top spot this week because of both DFW and Jess Ranch trout plants this week and a lot of holdover fish. With Highway 330 closed up the front side of the San Bernardino, this requires anglers come up Highway 18, which will cut into the fishing pressure. That information, plus double plants, translates to a good weekend of action. For more information on the lake, call the recorded line at 909-867-2009.
  3. Apollo Park Lake’s carp and bluegill fishing has continued excellent and remains in the top picks. The bluegill are great for kids fishing a worm under a bobber, especially mornings and evenings. The carp have been best on dough baits with fish averaging two to five pounds, and carp to 10-plus pounds have been reported in each of the past three weeks. For more information, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.



HESPERIA LAKE: The catfish action has remained good thanks to weekly plants on Thursdays. Most of the fish are 1-8 to 2-8, but some big fish have been landed in the past week. There was a 17-8 caught by Sam Martin, Victorville, fishing mackerel off Catfish Point. Mike Escandon, Hesperia, landed three catfish for an 11-pound stringer, all on mackerel off the finger. Lake information: 800-521-6332 or 760-244-5951.

JESS RANCH LAKES: The trout bite remains very slow, but there are still a few bass showing on Senkos or nightcrawlers off the northern and eastern shores of lake 2 with fish up to four pounds. Bluegill are being caught in pretty decent numbers early and late in the day on meal worms and jigs on western shore of lake 2 and western shore near the pump house, and the cooler nights have spurred on this bite a little. The few trout reported have been in the two-pound range and have been caught on PowerBait, nightcrawlers, Mice Tails, or small jigs, especially off the northern shore of lake two and the grassy point and the eastern logged shore of Lake 3. For more information call (760)240-1107 or go to

MOJAVE NARROWS: No reports. The park is only open Thursday through Monday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Information, call 760-245-2226.



APOLLO PARK LAKE: The carp and panfish bites remain pretty much wide open. The carp are best on dough baits with raisins, and there have been a lot of fish from two to five pounds reported with a few up into the 10-pound class. The bluegill and warmouth bite is still excellent, but these are mostly small fish (less than hand-sized). Any small bait under a bobber in working. Few catfish reported this past week, but there was an eight-pounder caught and released on dough bait by a carp angler. For more information or updates on plants, contact Apollo Park at 661-940-7701 or Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

JACKSON LAKE (NEAR WRIGHTWOOD): Amazingly, the odd trout continues to be caught here even though there have been no reported plants in two months. However, the lake is on the stocking list for this week. Peach Power Bait has been the top trout getter. The best bite continues to be on small bluegill with very good action on any small bait suspended under a bobber fished near the weeds. Keep the hook size 14 or smaller for the ‘gills. Also a number of small bullhead have been reported over the past week. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE: There continues to be a good bite for catfish for anglers fishing fly-lined cut baits best with a lot of one to three-pounders, but also some holdover and wild fish to 10 pounds. The best action has been on sardines or beef liver doused with Triple X Blood Bait scent with a nightcrawler added for wiggle. Suspending a bait under a bobber so it sits on top of the weeds or fly-lining out gets the same result. The inlet, Catfish Alley, or the deep water near the entrance are the best places. There is a pretty good bluegill bite right at the fence where the water is flowing into the lake, just so-so fishing outside that honey hole. The largemouth bass have been fair to good on nightcrawlers pitched into holes in the weed beds around all of the docks. The carp are good, especially at the back end of the lake. The best bite has been on dough baits with fish over 20 pounds still pretty common. Call the Palmdale Fin & Feather Club for membership and fishing information at 661-947-2884 or go to website at

QUAIL LAKE: There continue to be boiling stripers early most mornings and evenings into the dark with the fish up chasing shad. The best bite is at the inlet on the north side of the lake, and even up into the aqueduct there. Most are three to four pounds and the bite has been good on Pencil Popper, Zara Spooks, or Whopper Plopper baits on the surface. Grey shad and bone colors are best. Some anglers have also been drifting frozen shad at the inlet to get stripers, but that action backed off. The largemouth bite is fair to good on nightcrawlers along the 138 side of the lake around the tules. Also some fair topwater, spinnerbait, and small cranks early. Most fish are one to three pounds with some to five. The catfish bite also remains pretty good for anglers are drifting frozen shad under a slip bobber set so the bait runs six to 15 feet, or big hunks of mackerel with no weight fly-lined at the outlet. Night and early and late in the day have been the best times to fish for the cats. The bluegill bite remains fair along the south shore tules on red worms, wax worms, meal worms, crickets, and nightcrawler pieces fished under a bobber. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT (Hesperia to Quail Lake stretch): The striper bite has been improving with the cooler evenings and the best bite has been in the west end of the Antelope Valley on topwater plugs, especially Zara Spooks. Many anglers are landing five or six stripers per evening of fishing with fish up to 10 pounds (most three to five). The cats are running three to 10-plus pounds. The best action has been on chicken liver with Triple X Blood Bait and a nightcrawler or lug worm added for wiggle. Top spots for all species continue to be where the flows change and slow, especially road crossings, weirs, siphons, and where the canal curves. The stripers have been moving away from the road crossings and anglers who walk to isolated spots are getting more fish. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

CENTRAL PARK LAKE (CALIFORNIA CITY): There continues to be a good bluegill bite along with a few carp. No catfish or bass reports this week. The bluegill are being caught on the usual array of small baits with red worms perhaps the best. The carp are best on dough baits.

LITTLE ROCK RESERVOIR: No reports 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: There is still an algae bloom here with a warning against body contact. Fair to good fishing action for stripers and catfish, but the largemouth, bluegill, and crappie are slow. The catfish are fair to good and running up to eight pounds. They have been best at the dam, around the marina, off the docks, and in Miller Canyon, with chicken liver, shrimp, and anchovies the best baits. The stripers are fair for anglers fishing nightcrawlers, blood worms, anchovies, or sardines at the dam, with some fish topping three pounds reported, but most are smaller. A few largemouth are showing early mornings on topwater and jerk baits in most coves, also some on nightcrawlers, plastics, or other baits in deeper water. Matt Simmons, Adelanto, landed a four-pound largemouth on anchovies in Miller. Silverwood remains high at 92 percent full. 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: Cooler nights have improved the trout bite with lake temperatures nearly uniform top to bottom. Early morning trollers and shoreline anglers have been consistently successful. Trolling or drifting with nightcralwers from the buoy line to the SS Relief and Papoose Bay has been the hot circuit. The best action has been behind two to three colors of leadcore. Shore anglers are doing best along the north shore from the Red House to across from the SS Relief. The best tactic is to suspend a nightcrawler or PowerBait from a water-filled slip bobber rig (which rests on top of the weeds), or by fishing a Carolina-rig with a three to four foot leader with the same baits. Anglers report the lake is packed with schools of trout that have been planted over the last year (and past years) with a lot of fish from 12 to 18 inches in the mix. The Annual Western Outdoor News Troutfest is slated for October 5-6. Entries are still open, and they can be done online at the WON website or entry forms are available at marinas and businesses all around the lake. A few bass are being report early and late in the day on cranks and topwater, and some panfish are showing on small jigs tipped with meal or wax worms, or just those baits under a bobber. All the lakes’ public and private launch ramps are open. For information on fishing, call Big Bear Sporting Goods at 909-866-3222 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

GREGORY LAKE: DFW planted 1,000 pounds of rainbows Sept. 6 for this past Saturday’s VFW Auxiliary 9624 Trout Derby. DFW trout are slated to be planted again next week. No fishing report or derby results 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: Highway 330 has been closed from Monday and will remain closed through next Friday, Sept. 20, for road repairs. Anglers will need to access the lake off Highway 18 (Waterman Ave. exit off the 210 freeway). Fair to good trout action continues, and there was a plant of 400 pounds of Jess Ranch rainbows last Thursday, and more were expected this week. Those plants always contain 50 pounds of trophy fish. A DFW trout plant is also slated for this week. The bite is best early and late in the day, and small trout jigs, Mice Tails, trout spoons, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic, and PowerBait in yellow or chartreuse are the best baits. The fish are congregating in the deeper water at the dam, but that has been changed in the past week with the cooler evenings and dropping water temperatures. The website is and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.


CASTAIC: The striper bite has been good for stripers boiling in the morning, and the weekend crowds are declining so there have been longer lived topwater bites on weekends and not just mid-week. The key continues to be matching the lure size to the bait size, which means smaller baits. The duration of the boils has been short, but there is good action for a period of time. After that the stripers are best in deep water on sand worms, lug worms, blood worms, and frozen shad, Triple X sardines or anchovies in deeper water. The quality has been improving. Seng Nhep, Long Beach, had four stripers to three pounds on sardines. The largemouth and smallmouth bass also continued to be fair to good. The bite is on smaller topwater or near-surface baits early and late in the day. Pop-R type lures and Flukes have been best. After the surface flurry, plastics worms and nightcrawlers are best with the fish in most coves. The largemouth are mostly under three pounds, the smallmouth a little smaller. Henry Moran, Maywood, had three smallmouth to 1-8 on shad cranks at the dam. The bluegill action is good along most shoreline structure in four to 20 feet of water on small baits, especially in the lower lake. The trout bite has slowed way down but a few fish are showing for trollers working downriggers or leadcore and small spoons, but some also on PowerBaits, Mice Tails, and inflated inflated garlic nightcrawlers. Almost no pressure on the trout. The lake’s elevation is pretty stable, with Castaic 88 percent full again this week. For information call the marina at 661-775-6232 ( or Tackle Express at 661-251-8700.

PYRAMID: The stripers continue to boil most mornings, especially around Chumash Island, Serrano, and Yellowbar. Topwater baits, spoons, or Fluke-type baits are all getting fish when fished through the boils. During the day, trolled umbrella rigs with shad-like baits. Jigging spoons or sardines, anchovies, blood or lug worms, and even nightcrawlers are get the deep bait fish. Most stripers two to three pounds with some bigger. The largemouth and smallmouth bass bites have been good in most coves on soft plastic worms or drop-shot nightcrawlers during the day, with boiling fish on bait balls in the mornings. Flukes and Senkos (rigged weedless) are best on the boiling fish. Most are 1-8 to 3-0. A few number of catfish are also showing on cut baits, especially blood, lug, and sand worms, but frozen sardines, anchovies, and shad are nearly as good, especially when scent is added. The fish are deep in most coves, and the channel along the entrance booth is still a hot spot along with the ramp. The bluegill bite is still fair to good along the shoreline structure on meal worm, wax worms, red worms, and crickets. A few trout continue to show from deeper water in the channel near the front of the lake. Nightcrawlers and PowerBait fished in deep water with long leaders has been the ticket. The algae bloom has subsiding a little in the past week and no warmings or closures have been issued. The lake’s level is not changing much. It was again 93 percent full this week. 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: The catfish bite has been very good with a lot of stringers of fish to eight pounds reported early mornings, evenings, and at night. The best bite has been on the Triple S Dip Bait, but clams, shad, mackerel, shrimp, and chicken liver (all with scent added) continue to get fish,t oo. A few anglers continue to report crappie catches on small minnows and jigs, but the bite has been far more spotty and the fish don’t seem to be staying in one spot. Still fair largemouth bass action, especially early and late in the way when the fish are up chasing bait. The lake level continues to drop with it down to 41 percent full this week. It was 52 percent full four weeks ago. Few trout or carp reports, but the bluegill bite has been slow to fair most coves with mostly small fish 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: Perfect flows. Flows in the upper river have dropped to 487 cfs this week, down from last week’s 660 cfs reading. This is ideal for fishermen, concentrating the fish in the big pools and riffles. Overall, pretty fair to good trout action. Trout were planted in section 4 and 6 two weeks ago and sections 2 through 5 four weeks ago. No plants slated for this week. The bite has been best on crickets, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and small spinners. Also improved fly action on the upper river and above the Johnsondale Bridge. Some bigger trout moving up out of Lake Isabella into the cooler water of the river, and the old Cemetery area has been best for these rainbows. Lower river flows were pretty stable but down just a little over the past week at about 1,400 cfs. This is a more fishable level but pretty high. Just a few reports of bass and catfish in the bigger pools. Information: Kern River Fly Shop 760-376-2040 or ( or Gateway Market 760-376-2424.

AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: There continues to be a good bite on catfish when using cut baits and dip baits, especially in the Highway 166 area, but all along the aqueduct. Lots of fish on mackerel, blood or lug worms, chicken liver or dip baits fished along the bottom. The good bite on small stripers continues, with a lot of 15 to 17 inchers caught, but very few over the 18-inch minimum keeper size. The best bite has been on blood and sand worms, with a few fish on Flukes. Moss is making the fishing tougher, but it is finally starting to subside a little. There have also been a lot of schools of smaller largemouth bass moving and taking reaction baits in the past two weeks. 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 and bluegill bites are both pretty good, and the catfish action has also come on pretty strong. Carp have been best on best on Wussy Bait and Powder Bait, while the catfish are showing on nightcrawlers or past baits. The bluegill are showing on crickets and wax worms. Still some bass showing, mostly early and late. In fact, all the bites are best early and late.

RIVER WALK PARK LAKE: Light fishing pressure. The carp and bluegill bites still pretty good most mornings and evenings, and a few bass are being caught early mornings on Senko-type baits, jigs, and crankbaits. The carp bite is best on dough baits, especially Wussy Bait and Powder Bait. The bluegill are hammering the wax worms or red worms. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites are good, but few anglers are fishing. The bass are still fair and they are showing on plastics, jigs, and reaction baits early and late in the day. The bluegill are best on wax and meal worms or red worms. The carp are best on Powder Bait, Wussy Bait, or other dough baits. A few smaller catfish are being reported on cut baits or paste baits, and some bass are showing on drop-shot plastics or cranks early and late in the day.

TRUXTUN LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites are both fair to good, especially at night, but also early and late in the day. The bass remain fair with a few on plastics or swimbaits early in the morning. The carp are best on Wussy Bait, Powder Bait, or a variety of homemade dough baits. The bluegill are showing in fair numbers on wax worms, red worms, crickets, and meal worms. The odd catfish is showing on Triple S Dip Bait.

MING LAKE: Continued very good carp action on Powder Bait and other dough baits, especially Wussy and Power baits. The bluegill are fair to good early and late in the day on meal, wax, or red worms. The bass are fair on topwater early and then on live minnows and reaction baits, small cranks, and Senkos.

BRITE LAKE: There has been a good bite on small bluegill, and lots of small largemouth around the weeds. Still a few holdover trout showing from deep water.

BUENA VISTA LAKES: Light fishing pressure, but there is a fair catfish and bluegill bite. The catfish are best on cut baits with scents added, but the Triple S bait has been the hot ticket. For the bluegill, wax worms, meal worms, red worms, or nightcrawlers pieces have all be good bets, with some on tiny jigs, especially if tipped with bait. The carp action is also good with fish to eight pounds. The best bite has been on Powder Bait or other dough baits. Some morning largemouth action, and still the occasional crappie showing. Fishing information: Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657 or or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or


SUCCESS LAKE: Dropping water levels have scattered the fish or moved the bass out to suspend. The bass action remains fair on reaction baits, with some good surface action on frogs and topwater plugs early. Few crappie reports, but the bluegill action is fair on crickets, wax worms, or meal worms, but finding fish has been the challenge. Catfish are fair on cut baits. The lake level continues to fall steadily, dropping to just 22 percent this week, that is down 19 percent in the past two weeks. Information: Sequoia Fishing Company at 559-539-5626, or Cope’s Tackle and Rod Shop at 661-679-6351 or

KAWEAH LAKE: The lake level continues to come down with the level at just nine percent full. That is down from 24 percent three weeks ago. The dropping water levels have hammered the bites, but there is a fair bass bite on surface baits, reaction baits, and small swimbaits early mornings on or near the surface. A few bluegill and catfish also showing, but much tougher fishing. 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

This week’s trout plants: In Los Angeles County, Jackson Lake near Wrightwood is slated to get trout. In San Bernardino County, Big Bear Lake, Green Valley Lake, and the main fork and South Fork of the Santa Ana River will get planted. In Inyo County, plants are to go into Baker Creek, Big Pine Creek, the lower, Middle Fork, and South Fork portions of Bishop Creek, Lone Pine Creek, the Owens River below Tinnemaha and in the Bishop to Lone Pine stretch, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, and Rock Creek Lake.


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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