MATTHEWS' FISHING REPORT (91)
Compiled by Jim Matthews
This report is published by 12 daily newspapers in Southern California each week. Frequently it is edited for space. A complete version is posted on the Outdoor News Service web site (www.OutdoorNewsService.com). The updated report is usually posted by Thursday morning. The fish report is copyrighted and any use or reposting of the report, or portions of the report, is prohibited without written permission. Posting of links to the fish report on the Outdoor News Service web site is allowed.
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The Cal TIP number, the Department of Fish and Game poacher hotline, is 1-888-DFG-CALTIP. The DFG’s Internet web page is located at the following address: www.dfg.ca.gov.
JIM MATTHEWS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK
1. Santa Ana River Lakes and Corona Lake share the limelight again this week for the top pick. The sister waters received massive plants of huge Sierra Bows last week and two weeks ago and they are still showing in good number. Lots of quality fish at both lakes. Corona cranked out a 19 1/2-pounder and SARL a 14-pound this past week. Limits were also common at both facilities. For an update on the bites or plants, you can check www.fishinglakes.com, or call the SARL’s tackle shop at 714-632-7851 or Corona’s shop at 951-277-4489.
2. This could be the number one pick. The bottom fishing off the coast has been nothing short of exceptional this season with boats from San Diego to the Central Coast all cashing in on limit-style rockfish action on good days, and half-limit on the bad days, and the catch has an increasing number of reds and bocaccio in the catch. Mix in ling cod, sheephead, whitefish, and sculpin and this is perhaps the best, most-neglected fishing in the southern half of the state. Many boats are running with mid-week loads of 10 anglers or less. Even weekend trips are uncrowded. Check with your favorite landing and see the counts.
3. Lake Skinner is a the sleeper pick for its striped bass and catfish action. The catfish frequently have been into the double digits while the stripers have been in the three to six pound class with some bigger. You can troll swimbaits or white flies for the stripers, but live or frozen shad have been the best bets, while the catfish are best on sardines or chicken livers. For an update call the marina at 951-926-8515 or Last Chance Bait and Tackle at 951-658-7410.
FRESHWATER HOT SPOTS
TROUT: The urban trout fishing program is going full guns now. Santa Ana River Lakes, Corona Lake, Irvine Lake, and Laguna Niguel are all producing a lot of trout, including double digit fish. Corona cranked out the biggest fish this past week as 19 1/2 pounds. The DFW is in the fifth week of its urban planting program at many of the Los Angeles and Orange county park lakes, meaning most of these waters have now had three plants. San Bernardino County’s trout program is now in full swing with weekly plants. In San Diego County, almost all the lakes are now getting trout plants with the final late starter – Wohlford –- getting its first plant next week. In the local mountains, trout season is winding down, but lake Hemet continues to get plants and has a fair bite and the few reports from Big Bear Lake indicate there is still a fair bite there.
BLACK BASS: The fall bass bite is winding down, but there are still flurries of good action most places, but the bite has been less consistent this past week with the cooler weather. Most of the action is on deep plastics and deep-running cranks or swimbaits. Top bets this week are Lower Otay, Lake Perris, Skinner, Casitas, Castaic, and Piru, but a lot of other waters have dropped off this list. The Central Coast waters of Margarita and Lopez are still pretty good, too, but have zero fishing pressure. The Colorado River’s smallmouth and largemouth bites are fair in Havasu and the main river below the dam. The lower river backwaters are slowing like everywhere also and just so-so now.
STRIPED BASS: The fall striper action is fair most places. Skinner has improved overall with more fish on deep baits, swim baits, trollers, and even deeply-fished bait. Diamond Valley Lake is a fair to good bet, and it was planted with DFW and Mt. Lassen trout this week. Silverwood has been good on smaller fish under two pounds on anchovies. Pyramid is very good on small fish two pounds with a few bigger and most of the action is on cut baits or smaller swimbaits. Castaic also fair also mostly on smaller fish. The aqueduct near Taft is now the top bet for pure action, but this is mostly on sub-keeper fish. On the Colorado River, the bites are mostly slow to fair. The Willow Beach stretch is getting very little pressure and is tough to gauge.
PANFISH: The redear and/or bluegill bites remain pretty good in a couple of spots, even with the fishing pressure slacking off. Top spots include Perris and Diamond Valley, but things are starting to slow down even here. The tilapia bite at the Salton Sea unexpectedly perked for boat anglers fishing deeper water. The crappie bites are also mostly dead throughout the region.
CATFISH: The best bites is at Lake Isabella with a lot of two to six pounds fishing here. Skinner, Cachuma, Diamond Valley and Silverwood are all fair bets, with Skinner probably the best of the lot. The Colorado River also has fair action on channel catfish, but the flatheads have slowed way down. This might all be related to no fishing pressure as much as poorer fishing.
For our complete fishing report, including the water-by-water reports and our saltwater update, please go to our partners at FISHHOUND at this direct link:
By JIM MATTHEWS www.OutdoorNewsService.com The second massive rainbow trout die-off in the past four months at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery on the Colorado River 11 miles downstream ofRead more
ONS BIG CATCHES Gallery
Oct. 25, 2013 - Paul Gonzales of Phillips Ranch landed this 20-pound, eight-ounce brown trout fishing Rush Creek below Silver Lake with a perch-colored Rapala. Gonzales also landed a 12-pound, three-ounce brown that week from Rush. There are a few more details and another photos here at the bottom of the weekly column.
April 27, 2013 - This pair of 10-pound brown trout was caught by Daniel Perez of Pine Groove from Lower Twin Lake near Bridgeport the opening day of the 2013 trout season. They were two of four browns caught that hit or passed the 10-pound mark from Lower Twin opening day. A 10-pound, 3-ouncer was caught by Jerry Hill of Murphy, and Twin Lakes Resort owner Steve Marti caught a 10-pound, four-ounce fish. This is a good start to the season.
March 27, 2013 - Five-year-old Joaquin Granados of San Fernando hooked this 12 1/2-pound largemouth bass at Hansen Dam Recreation Area while fishing a nightcrawler. Sure his dad David had to help land the fish, but it's the biggest bass we can find a record of being caught from this urban Los Angeles County water. Grandfather Phillip Vasquez snapped and shared the photo.