FISH REPORT – ONS – Matthews – September 18

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. The striped bass bite in Quail Lake vaults into the top spot this week with very good early morning action much of the past week on topwater plugs as the fish chase shad in the full moon and just after dawn. While most of the shad are smaller (up to three inches), bigger Pencil Poppers or Whopper Ploppers are getting stripers to 10 pounds in this bite. Most of the fish are along the south shoreline (along Highway 138). For an update on this action, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.
  2. The California Aqueduct slips to the No. 2 spot for the first time in well over a month, but the bite remains very good for catfish and stripers. The action 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.
  3. The Kern River’s trout action above Lake Isabella is very good to excellent. The water flows are finally down to fish fishable levels and an entire summer’s trout plants have been stockpiled in the bigger pools and riffles. Add in DFW plants this week in the upper river, and one-hour limits have been common this week on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and SuperDupers. The park in Kernville has been a hot spot, but trout are showing in all the regular stocking areas in good numbers. For an update on this bite, call Bob’s Bait Bucket at 661-833-8657.



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. 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: Still wide open action on carp and panfish. 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. 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): DFW trout plant last week perked the trout action with quite a few limits reported over the weekend, mostly on PowerBait with the fish cruising around the whole lake in schools. There continues to be a good bite on small bluegill 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 again over the past week. For updated information, call Amaysing Fishing Bait & Tackle at 661-429-5824.

LAKE PALMDALE: The largemouth bass have been good on nightcrawlers pitched into holes in the weed beds around all of the docks. But anglers fishing just about any weedless lures – swimbaits to plastics – are also getting fish around much of the lake, especially early and late in the day. There also 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, but fish have been reported around much of the lake this week. There is still a pretty good bluegill bite where the water is flowing into the lake, just so-so fishing outside that honey hole. 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: The striper bite has been good to excellent early mornings this past week with a lot of fish from four to 10 pounds reported. The fish are on top feeding on small shad (to three-inches long) from about 3:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on the Highway 138 side of the lake. The bigger stripers are showing on bigger baits, especially Zara Spooks and Whopper Ploppers. There are also a lot of largemouth from one to three pounds showing in these boils if smaller baits are used. Slow retrieves are the best bet. 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 and catfish bite continues very good along most of the aqueduct. Catfish have been particularly good in the Cheseboro area (around 47th Street East) both above and below the siphon with fish to 10 pounds reported in the past week on the chicken liver and nightcrawler combination. 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. Outside of Cheseboro, 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 with most small, but some up to hand-sized. The carp are also fair to good. No catfish or bass reports this week. The bluegill are being caught on the usual array of small baits with red worms or nightcrawler pieces 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: 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. Derek Smith, Hesperia, had four catfish from four to seven pounds fishing nightcrawlers and anchovies at the dam. The stripers are fair for anglers fishing nightcrawlers, blood worms, anchovies, or sardines at the dam, main channel and the marina. Most are one to 1 ½ pounds. 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. The algae bloom problems are subsiding. 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 continue to improve 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 trout plant slated for this week, and there was also a state plant two weeks ago. No fishing 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: Highway 330 has been closed and will remain closed through this Friday, Sept. 20, for road repairs. Anglers will need to access the lake off Highway 18 (Waterman Ave. exit off the 210 freeway). DFW planted 200 pounds of rainbows last week, and the most recent Jess Ranch plant was two weeks ago. The swim beach is closed and no word on if there will be more Jess Ranch plants this year. The bite has been pretty fair with quite a few limits. Small trout jigs, Mice Tails, trout spoons, inflated nightcrawlers with garlic, and PowerBait in yellow or chartreuse are the best baits. Cooler evenings and dropping water temperatures have the fish spread around the lake again. The website is and the Facebook page is Green Valley Lake Fishing.


CASTAIC: The full moon impacted the striper bite over the past week with the small window of action just at first and last light. The bite has been improving steadily since Sunday with the fish coming up earlier in the evening and staying on top later in the morning. The key continues to be matching the lure size to the bait size, which means smaller baits. After the morning topwater action, the bite is fair in deeper water on sand worms, lug worms, blood worms, and frozen shad, Triple X sardines or anchovies in deeper water. Thomas Foster, Simi Valley, had a mixed catch of four stripers and largemouth to three pounds on topwater in the Fish Arm this week. 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. The bluegill action is good along most shoreline structure in four to 20 feet of water on small baits, in both the upper and lower lakes. Few trout reported in the past week. 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, Spanish Point, 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 (100 feet!) bait or jigged 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 fair 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. Amazingly, 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, with some showing in the marina area on spinners. The algae bloom problems appear to be past. The lake’s level is not changing much. It was 92 percent full this week (down just one percent from last 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: There continues to be a very good catfish bite here on the backside of the full moon. The action has been very good early in the morning and again after dark in the eveing. Top baits have been the Triple S dip bait, or other dip baits if you can’t find Triple S. Some fish also on clams, shad, sardines, chicken liver, all used with scent added.. Lots of fish from three to six pounds and some bigger. A few crappie continue to show for the dedicated crappie anglers fishing small 1/64th ounce jigs on light line. The south shore in the Mesa Verde area has been best for the crappie. 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 39 percent full this week, down from 41 percent full last week. 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: The trout bite is as good as it has been all summer with a lot of limits of rainbows reported on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and SuperDupers. The park area in Kernville has been good. Trout were planted this week in sections 3, 4, and 6 in the upper river. 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. More and more are showing in other areas as the weather and water cools. Lots of fish on Triple S dip bait, mackerel, blood or lug worms, or chicken liver fished along the bottom. The good bite on small stripers continues, with a lot of 15 to 17 inchers caught, but still 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 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 few 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 are fair to 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 best on wax worms or red worms. Information Bob’s Bait 661-833-8657.

HART PARK LAKE: The carp and bluegill bites remain fair to good, but few anglers are fishing with the fair in town. 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 morning and evening. 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.v

MING LAKE: Continued good carp action on Powder Bait and other dough baits, especially Wussy Bait. 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 continued to be a pretty fair 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 dip bait has been the hot ticket. Early in the morning and late in the evening is best for the cats. 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 17 percent this week, down from 22 percent full last week, and 41 percent full three weeks ago. 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 again this week. This is about as low as it gets. This is down from 24 percent four weeks ago. The bite is improving as the water level stabilizes, with pretty fair bass action on surface baits, reaction baits, and small swimbaits early mornings on or near the surface. A few bluegill and catfish also staring to show in better numbers. 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 Kern County, section three and four of the Kern River were planted. In Tulare County, section six of the Kern River was planted. In San Bernardino County, Lake Gregory was on the list for trout this week.


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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