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Fishing Report

Big Bear Weekly Fishing Report

Provided by Alan Sharp, Big Bear Marina, Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide and the Big Bear Municipal Water District

June 25, 2014

Well, it was just a matter of time. Just 11 days after Fishin' for $50K was completed on Big Bear Lake, the tagged trout that was good for $50K was reeled in by Kenny Tanaka, 13 years old, of Thousand Oaks, CA. Kenny landed the trout while on a charter trip with Cantrell Guide Service on June 19. The tagged trout hit a Needlefish trolled near the dam. While Kenny did not receive the $50,000, he did receive assorted gifts and prizes from The Big Bear Visitors Bureau. Kenny had not heard of the derby until after his catch, but he plans to enter it next year.

Trout anglers are finding an up and down bite on the lake. Trollers using crawlers and flies in the early hours of the day are finding fish at one to two colors. As the sun hits the surface the trout are going deeper at three to four and hitting Needlefish. The trout are concentrated from Windy Point to the dam. Shore anglers continue to soak crawlers and dough bait hung from slip bobbers in the same area along the North Shore with decent results.

Bass action has slowed a bit. The smallies have been elusive while the largemouth has been sitting on beds in a defensive mood. Crappie and bluegill are also hard to find as one day they like a spot and the next cannot be found. Hide and seek spots for these species include; Mallard and Boulder Bays, Eagle Point and Marina Point.


June 2, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

With the weather and wind finally setting up in a "normal" pattern, the fish are responding to the favorable conditions. All species from trout, to bass and panfish are being landed along the lake. The trout are scattered from the dam to the observatory. Anglers trolling from the surface to 3.5 colors down on leadcore are catching nice trout from one and half to three pounds. Trollers are seeing surface action on flies and crawlers early in the day, then down to 3.5 later in the day on Rapalas and Tasmanian Devils. Bait anglers working the west end along the north shore are also in on the action as long as a long leader of 3 to 5 feet is used. Bass are continuing to hit crayfish type jigs along the docks around the lake. The bass are ranging in size from two to four pounds. Crappie and bluegill are putting a smile on the faces of young and old anglers when they present a mealworm or mini jig in 5 to 10 feet of water in Boulder Bay and Papoose Bay near rocks and docks.

FISHIN' FOR $50K is this weekend June 7 and June 8. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Big Bear Municipal Water District will be stocking trout for the event. One tagged fish could bring a hefty $50,000 prize to a lucky angler. The event offers lots of cash, tackle and fishing gear prizes to anglers. To learn more about this great family event call 800-424-4232 or www.bigbear.com.

Upcoming Fishing Events in Big Bear Lake

May 27, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

For the anglers plying the waters of Big Bear Lake, it has been a confusing week. Dazed by high winds, snow on the ridge, and rain in the valley; not only are the anglers wondering what's going on...so are the fish. Trout fishing that had been strong in the western end of the lake went flat this past week. The trout are scattered around the lake due to high oxygen levels and even water temps. Trout have moved back into the "Trout Triangle" and are hitting on trolled crawlers (with or without flashers), flies and CD Rapalas all trolled on the surface or as little as 10 feet down. This is a big contrast from the past month when three to five colors of leadcore was the norm. Bait anglers along the shore or drift fishing are using slip bobbers rigged shallow with dough baits and crawlers.

While the trout fishing has been inconsistent, the large and small mouth bass are not confused. They are hitting crayfish jigs fished near docks in a pre-spawn binge. Working the docks, with a slow retrieval of jigs has produced double digit counts on largemouth in the 3 pound range with an occasional 5 pounder mixed in. Smallies are showing, but less active than the bucket mouths.

It appears that with the end of Sprinter we jumped right into summer. As the waters warm the panfish and catfish will go off. Crappie and Bluegill are spotty now. They are starting to school up near the shore, but are moving around, much like the trout. If you find todays spot, hit it hard with mini-jigs tipped with nuggets or worms. No catfish sightings yet. Look for them to come on when the warms a bit more.

Upcoming Fishing Events in Big Bear Lake

May 19, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

The May Trout Classic, now in its 32nd year, has never had a woman win the top prize. That changed this weekend. For the first time in 32 years Jean Sotiros Fontana became the first woman angler to take the top prize at Big Bear Lake's May Trout Classic, which is known as the Grand Daddy of Big Bear trout tournaments.

Sotiros landed her first place trout drift fishing near the Solar Observatory. The 3.92 pound trout took her offering of Pautzke's Fire Bait, and her way to the grand prize of $2000. Jean had come to the weigh-in on Saturday, May 17 at around 3 pm. One hour before the next scheduled weigh-in. Jean had the trout in a cooler bag, with no ice or water. A tournament official saw the fish and realized it was a nice sized trout that could put her in the lead. He suggested to Jean, that she ice and water down the fish to help preserve it for the anxious hour before she could officially weigh-in. Good advice. The fish weighed in at .04 pounds more than the leader at the time, giving her the lead and on Sunday and the title of first lady angler to win the May Trout Classic.

Nathan Marshall, Big Bear City took the honors in the Junior Division (12-15 yrs.) with a 2.29 pound bow caught on a trolled Needlefish in Metcalf Bay. Tessa Chan, San Dimas was the Pee-Wee Division (5-11 yrs.) winner with a 1.89 pound trout she landed on a nightcrawler off Windy Point.

May 5, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

Big Bear Lake is the place to be during the month of May in Southern California. Trout fishing is excellent, bucket mouth bass are busy and the smallies are heading to spawn. The DFW stocked the lake the past two weeks. With the addition of the fresh trout, the holdovers have come alive. While the stockers are in the ten to twelve inch class, the holdovers are running from two to three pounds of hard fighting bows. The May Trout Classic (May 17-18, 2014) will add even more large trout to the lake.

Big Bear Charter Fishing Guide Matt Keller has been working trout alley and the mouth of Boulder Bay this past week with great results. CD Rapalas, in brook trout and gold fluorescent red, along with X-Rap Rapalas in the rainbow trout finish, have landed limits when trolled on leadcore or off a down rigger at ten to twenty feet. "Old School" flashers and crawlers, trolled at the same depth, are also putting fish on the stringer.

Largemouth Bass are very active pre-spawn, holding off points in fifteen feet of water. Best baits are drop shotted Robo Worms and skirted crayfish jigs. The bass are also showing along docks all over the lake. Smallmouth bass have moved on and off beds due to chilly weather, but are now setting up in the back of bays for spawning. Crappie and bluegill remain sluggish, but should come on strong as the weather continues to improve.

April 28, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

This past weekend was the wrong one to spend a day or two on the waters of Big Bear Lake. With a late winter blast bringing several of inches of snow, high winds, and wind chills in the teens, the anglers stayed at home.

Before the weather went south, the trout fishing remained good. The water temp is high for this time of year between Juniper Pt. to the observatory at 58 degrees. As a result the trout are starting to head west a bit ahead of schedule. The latest storm should help bring the fish back to the "Trout Triangle" again. In the meantime, more fish are showing from Windy Pt. to the dam, where water temps are 54 degrees.

Trolling leadcore as always got the best results. From 2 colors early then down to 4 later in the day, with CD Rapalas in tow, has produced limits of holdover trout. Trout over two pounds are common with the occasional three pounder mixed in. Bait anglers along the shore are having better luck from the west ramp to the dam along the north shore. While fishing off the bottom works, using a slip bobber, will suspend your dough bait or inflated night crawler just above the weeds that are starting to grow off the lake bottom.

The first of the lake's trout tournaments is just two weeks away. The 32nd Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic is the "Grand Daddy" of them all and offers Big Cash Prizes $$$, Fishing Tackle and Raffle giveaways plus free Pautzke's Firebait for all.

April 21, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

Big Bear Lake is known as a premier trout fishery, but did you hear about the bass in the lake? Home to both small and largemouth the bass have done well the past few years. Case in point, Scott Eberhard local "bassaholic," from Big Bear City claimed a new lake record with a 6.35 lb. bucket mouth. While this may not seem big compared to the ones caught in other So. Cal. Lakes, Big Bear has a northern strain of bass, that don't grow to double digit size.

Scott was fishing in the morning on 4/6/14, when the bass hit a Boss brush hog jig. Scott said, "We were fishing an offshore ledge that runs 7' to 14', I was bringing the jig slowly down the ledge and she thumped it good!" Scott's bass bested the previous mark of 5.9 lbs. from 2008. After taking the lunker to the lakes official weigh station at Big Bear Marina, Scott released the record bass back into the lake.

Trout fishing was up and down this past week. Between a full blood moon, weather fronts moving through and a little rain, the trout seemed as confused as anglers, when picking the right time to be on the bite. With water clarity high, days with light winds helped put trout on the stringer. Calm days were less productive.

The tried and true methods for trolling and bait fishing remained the same. Trollers from two to four colors of leadcore got hit on a variety of lures, in a variety of colors. So, change lures often, until you find the magic for the day. Inflated crawlers and dough bait anglers did well from the north shore, along the length of the lake.

Upcoming Fishing Events in Big Bear Lake:

  • May 17: Aaron's Bass Tournament Championship Series
    Info: 800-475-3166
  • May 17 & 18: Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic 
    Info: 909-585-4007
  • June 7 & 8: Fishin' for $50K
    Info: 800-424-4232
  • June 21: Aaron's Bass Tournament Championship Series
    Info: 800-475-3166

Big Bear Lake Marinas:

Big Bear Marina, 500 Paine Ct.: 909-866-3218
Captain John’s Marina, 39369 North Shore Dr. (Hwy. 38)
Holloway’s Marina & RV Park, 398 Edgemoor Road: 909-866-5706
Pine Knot Marina, 439 Pine Knot Ave.: 909-866-7766
Pleasure Point Marina, 603 Landlock Landing Road: 909-866-8455
North Shore Landing, 38573 Northshore Drive: 909-878-4386


April 14, 2014

By: Alan Sharp

Spring is in the air and waters of Big Bear Lake. The 2014 fishing season started off with anglers whacking the trout all over the lake. Holdover Rainbow Trout in the 2 to 3 pound range are providing anglers with great hard fighting, good eating fish. Uniform temperatures of 48 degrees, with oxygen levels high, have the trout hitting in all areas of the lake.

Shore anglers working the North Shore from east to west are doing well on dough baits and night crawlers. Fish close to shore early and late, then deeper during mid-day when the sun is high and fish go to darker water. Be sure to vary your leader length, until you find the zone the trout are in.

Trolling, as always, is the most effective way to land a limit of trout. Surface action with light spinning tackle is working at the crack of dawn. As the sun hits the water, be ready to go deeper with leadcore line at 2 to 4 colors. Just about every type of lure is working now. Vary the colors and finish of the tried and true Rapalas, Needlefish and Dick Nite Spoons in your tackle box until you find the magic for that day.

On a recent trip with Guide Curt Dills, father and son Rick and Matt Chavez from Orange County had a great day on Big Bear Lake. They both got their limits of hefty holdovers, trolling in "Trout Triangle" (Eagle Pt., Observatory, Lagonita Pt.) At the end of the day Matt exclaimed, "This has been the best trout fishing trip I’ve ever had."

Upcoming Fishing Events in Big Bear Lake:

  • May 17: Aaron's Bass Tournament Championship Series
    Info: 800-475-3166
  • May 17 & 18: Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic 
    Info: 909-585-4007
  • June 7 & 8: Fishin' for $50K
    Info: 800-424-4232
  • June 21: Aaron's Bass Tournament Championship Series
    Info: 800-475-3166

Big Bear Lake Marinas:

Big Bear Marina, 500 Paine Ct.: 909-866-3218
Captain John’s Marina, 39369 North Shore Dr. (Hwy. 38)
Holloway’s Marina & RV Park, 398 Edgemoor Road: 909-866-5706
Pine Knot Marina, 439 Pine Knot Ave.: 909-866-7766
Pleasure Point Marina, 603 Landlock Landing Road: 909-866-8455
North Shore Landing, 38573 Northshore Drive: 909-878-4386



October 13, 2013

Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide

To have our first snow prior to the middle of October is a wonderful thing to behold. Hi, this Cliff Fowler with Cantrell’s Fishing Guide Service at Pine Knot Landing with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails. The concept of a long, wet winter is a beautiful thing for yours truly as a long wet winter will help increase the lake level drastically. It does throw a little bit of a damper on our fishing activity when it is snowing but we do get a lot more fishing weather than snowy weather anyway. The current skinny on that Blue Jewel is as follows. She's 57F degrees top and bottom from the boom line all the way up to the west public launch, 57°F and 56°F are the readings off that Big White Dome and finally 56°F degrees surface to the floor off of Juniper Point. The dissolved oxygen is close to 9 parts per million top to bottom, west to east, and there’s still only 5 to 6' of light penetration or clarity as shown by our secco dish.

All this tells us that our majestic puddle is about as uniform as a body of water can be which would normally tells us no holding areas or holding levels. The massive Santa Ana conditions of recent did blow us out especially for the last big tourney of the year, but the catchin’ part of our fishing is only going to get better and better as that agua continues to cool. Now if those darn Sana Anas will just GO away until we need them for snow making, everything would be just perfect.

Trout continue to move back east as their typical migration for this time of the year. The mouth of Metcalf Bay to Windy Point over to Lagonita are our favorite spots now. But keep your eyes open, the Spring Triangle will be the next to produce good numbers of quality hold overs. In case you didn’t remember, the "spring" triangle sits between the imaginary lines drawn between Lagonita Point, the Solar Observatory, and Eagle Point. (See the illustration below) Warm water activity is going to slow down shortly as Momma nature tells them to get ready for a long winter nap, but with some finesse you can still stick a "toad" or score a "kitty". Paradise does exist at 7000' so grab your rod, grab your sweetie, pull up a rock and go teach a worm how to swim! This is Cliff Fowler with Cantrell’s Fishing Guide Service signing off with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails.

Cliff

[ed. We also have been getting tons of reports from our regular fisher men and women that the trout are biting very well. It seems that right now they will bite at most anything and most everyone that braves going out will be getting some fish. A couple members in the last couple days have caught their limit (5 trout per licenced angler) within a couple hours. That is Big Bear Fishing at it's best!][David]

CURRENTLY BITING:

Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Pumpkin Seed and Catfish

BEST BAIT:

Trout: Red Dot Frog
Crappie: Worm or finger jigs
Bass: Crank and Spinner baits.
Catfish: Cut baits, Bag of stink

October 4, 2013

Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide
When we were patiently waiting for some aspect of change, boy did it come quick!

Hi this is Cliff Fowler with Cantrell's Fishing Guide service at Pine Knot Landing with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails. The largest "tourney" of the season is coming, going, gone as up to 1000 anglers are making a dash for the cash this weekend here at the October's Big Bear Lake Troutfest. Big Fish, stringer weight, small fish and "blind bogey" are all competitive ways to take home a paycheck and have some fun.

This autumn cold snap has really allowed that Blue Jewel to lose a lot of stored heat. She's 60°F degrees on top and bottom from the boom line to our old favorite Honey Hole, it's 61°F top and 60°F bottom at the West Public Launch, 61°F and 59°F are the readings around that Big White Dome and finally, its 61°F surface and 60°F on the floor in the east end. That’s an 8 to 9 degree drop in surface temperature in the last 2 weeks. The largest drops are obviously in the east end as we have always stated shallower water can store heat faster in the spring, it can also dissipate stored heat faster in the fall. Dissolved oxygen remains good-n'-plenty through-out the column of agua and clarity has diminished to only 5 feet of light penetration.

Well finally those native pink meats have reacted to changing lake conditions and have started their fall migration back east. We've noticed the bulk of the 'bows at the mouth of Metcalf Bay and east of Windy Point in the middle. Soon our favorite spring triangle of Eagle Point over to the Observatory and back to Lagonita will come alive again. Normally on the guide boat we have "doubles", "triples" and "grand-slam" which correlate to two, three or four fish on all at one time. Well John hadn't put out the Red Dot Frog in quite a while, but light conditions warranted it. 1st he caught a "chunky' small mouth, then a small largemouth, after that, a channel catfish hit it, then finally that native pink meat we were working for. Next it caught a beer can, but that didn't count as they're not native to the lake. Our lure, 4 different species in an hour, now that's a Big Bear Grand Slam!

We're lovin' life here a mile and quarter closer to heaven so pull up a rock and go teach a worm how to swim. This is Cliff Fowler signing off with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails.

Cliff

CURRENTLY BITING:

Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Pumpkin Seed and Catfish

BEST BAIT:

Trout: Red Dot Frog
Crappie: Worm or finger jigs
Bass: Crank and Spinner baits.
Catfish: Cut baits, Bag of stink

September 27, 2013

Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide
September has blown by...which is kinda unusual as things usually maintain the snail's pace of fall.

Hi, this is Cliff Fowler with Cantrell's Fishing Guide service at Pine Knot Landing with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails. Autumn, like spring, is the time when locals can get away for a serious mind cleansing. I’m not sure whether the lack of daily traffic on the Blvd is more due to the lull in tourism that fall is famous for or if it is because most of the locals are out of town!

The Municipal Water District continues to monitor that Blue Jewel so that you and I have the latest water conditions in the form of a "Limnological Monolog". She's currently 66F degrees on the top and bottom at the Boom Line, 67F from surface to floor at papoose Bay, 68F top and 67F bottom off the West Public Launch ramp, 69F and 67F off that Big White Dome and finally its 70F top and 68F bottom up in the East End. What’s kinda weird here is the deviation throughout the column of agua. Temperature difference is 1/10 of a degree at the dam, 6/10 off our old favorite Honey Hole, 7/10 of a degree at Boyer...and then a 2 degree difference from the Observatory east? The deepest water has the smallest spread while the shallowest water has the biggest spread. All we can say is "it is what it is"!

Dissolved Oxygen contents remain good'n plenty from top to bottom, eliminating any form of a true oxycline either. The only places the levels drop below 5ppm are 30 feet deep off the west ramp and 20 feet deep around the observatory. Water clarity stays at 6 feet of light penetration as shown by our secci dish!

While we're waiting for those native pink-meats to react, we understand that the lake conditions don't warrant a change...we'll just keep doin' what we do in order to keep a stick bent. (See the last fishing report for lure suggestions and areas) Now fall is an awesome time for a late season bite on Big Bear's Bucketmouths. Aaron Armstrong of Big Bear's Bass Fishing has been hot on the bite that few are here to enjoy. He's been hunting Hawgs and Stickin' Toads during this last feeding frenzy before they head out for a long winter nap. If you want to fish with the "Bass Master", call him at 909-866-2240 for an appointment!

We only really have a little over a month to go during this 2013 season, so take advantage of this fact you got that majestic puddle all to yourself and let's go Bendo! This is Cliff Fowler signing off with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails.

Cliff

CURRENTLY BITING:

Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Pumpkin Seed and Catfish

BEST BAIT:

Trout: Chartreuse Fire Dot, Red Magic, Nasty Boy
Crappie: Worm or finger jigs
Bass: Crank and Spinner baits.
Catfish: Cut baits, Bag of stink


September 13, 2013

Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide
Dear Mother Nature continues to constantly let us know just who is in charge! As September is in full swing it's hard to realize that we haven't yet really entered autumn as we truly are in the snails-pace of fall.

The latest report on that Big Blue Jewel shows that her AC/DC switching is mellowing out and she is now becoming quite uniform as far as temps go. She's 68F degrees on top and 67F degrees on the bottom at the boom line, 69F and 67F are the readings from Papoose Bay to the Boyer Public Launch and it's 70F degrees surface and 69F on the floor from that Big White Dome up through the east end. With so little deviation in temperature through the column of agua we've all but eliminated any true form of thermocline. An abrupt Oxycline does exist however where the DO drops off below 5ppm and that's at 43' deep at the Dam, 30' off our old favorite Honey Hole and 23' down from the West ramp up to the observatory. We still read only 7' of light penetration although it seems like more. That's probably due to the radically decreased boat traffic and radically improving lake conditions!

The trouting remains pretty much same ol', same ol' as that majestic puddle doesn't seem to want to lose much of her stored heat quite yet. Simply put, that heat is going to keep those native pink meats staying west bound and deep which means Trout fishermen and fisherwomen should concentrate their efforts from the mouth of Metcalf Bay to the Boom Line.

With outside light conditions fluctuating as much as they are, it's critical to "match the hatch" and use lights when its bright and darks when its dull. The "Match the hatch" rules of thumb mean when the sun is out use bright lures like Fire/ Pearl, Red Magic, Chartreuse w/Fire Dot, or any of the Bikinis. When the clouds roll in or it's dusk or dawn you should switch to Red Dot Frog, Blue & Purple, or Rainbow Trout to get the results. The great all-around lures will always be Chicken Wing, Watermelon, and Silver Shad. Otherwise...just bring the whole tackle box!!!!

You got that whole puddle to yourselves this week so why not put a bunch of fillets in the freezer and stock up for those late winter months when there is too much ice to catch much.

This is Cliff Fowler with Cantrell's Fishing Guide Service signing off with your most recent copy of Fowlers Fish Tails.
Cliff

CURRENTLY BITING:
Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Pumpkin Seed and Catfish

BEST BAIT:
Trout: Chartreuse Fire Dot, Red Magic, Nasty Boy
Crappie: Worm or finger jigs
Bass: Crank and Spinner baits.
Catfish: Cut baits, Bag of stink


September 6, 2013

Fowler's Fish Tails by Cliff Fowler with Cantrell Fishing Guide
It seems like every time I get the truck spit-shined, the monsoon flow returns...at least we get back the water I wasted washing my blue beauty!

The last holiday of summer '13 is now in the record books and those weekend warriors went out to play and, boy, did they play hard! Now free fishing day is Saturday, September 7th where we can hopefully get more individuals hooked on this fantastic hobby. The current skinny on that blue jewel this week is more uniformity. She’s 69F degrees on the top and 67F on the bottom from the book line all the way up to the Boyer Public Launch. Then she's 71F surface and 69F on the floor through the east end. The only true thermocline now is at 23' down from the West end to that Big White Dome and 13' up at Juniper Point. Far more important this week is our oxycline which has reoccurred where the D.O. (Dissolved Oxygen) drops off below 5ppm and that’s 46 feet at the boom line, 36 feet at Papoose Bay, 23 feet again from Boyer to the observatory, and finally 13 feet down in the East end. We still have 7' of clarity as shown by our secci dish. That's it in a nutshell...folks!

The catching part of our fishing is staying pretty same-same. Summer techniques still prevail as the bulk of the 'bows remain from Metcalf Bay west to the dam and levels are basically not much above 12 feet and nothing below 25 feet.

It's this time of the year we will welcome a significant cooling trend rather than playing the AC/DC conditions we've seen. But if you've been around a while you know that September can either be the warmest month of the year or it can be an early start to fall. Anytime those native pink meats want to start to re-locate back to our favorite triangle won’t be too soon for me as we need to spend more time fishing and lest time traveling.

We're lovin' life here a mile and a quarter closer to heaven so grab your rod, grab your sweetie, pull up a rock and go teach a worm how to swim.

This is Cliff Fowler with Cantrell's Fishing Guide Service at Pine Knot Marina signing off with September’s first copy of Fowlers Fish Tails.
Cliff

CURRENTLY BITING:
Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Pumpkin Seed and Catfish


BEST BAIT:
Trout: Chartreuse Fire Dot, Red Magic, Nasty Boy
Crappie: Worm or finger jigs
Bass: Crank and Spinner baits.
Catfish: Cut baits, Bag of stink


August 31, 2013

Big Mike's 'Reel' Fishin' for BBMWD
I think that global cooling is responsible for the change in fish patterns this season. With the trout turning on in mid-summer and the catfish biting when the water was cold tells me the world is upside down. With that said, folks are doing well on the trout this summer and they have turned on when least expected (I guess that is better than not at all). The spring was slower then I wished and the summer is better than one could ever predict. My buddies Al and Gerry caught limits in a little over an hour last week using the hardware store of flashers and a crawler on lead core a couple colors down. The lake has flipped and the fish can be found from top to bottom depending on how many skiers and rec boaters are scaring them down deep but when it is quiet a Rapala trolled near the surface is working well. The brook trout color is the slayer of the week.

Catfish are being caught in small numbers but not small in pounds. A lot of monsters are showing on cut mackerel and smelly stuff. Bluegill have made the come-back and wow what is up with the pumpkinseed explosion around here? Dude!!!! These slab daddies’ are beautiful and plentiful. The mini jigs in the white with a red head seem to be a no brainer and of course the secret worm and a hook trick is fool proof also. Something about a worm and a hook that makes me want to salute the flag and have a piece of apple pie. Crappie, what crappie? I have zero reports, but I do know they love to suspend just off some structure somewhere. The bass are still showing in good numbers and I guarantee they have a crayfish in their belly so maybe a tube bait in smoke color or you can make them mad and throw something loud and obnoxious at them which always works. The carp hunters left me so the carp boat is filling in the gap but we are seeing good numbers around the weed beds if someone wants to fling an arrow or twelve.

Big Mike


August 19, 2013

Excellent Fishing For All Species
Fishing for all species of fish right now is ranging from very good to excellent. A recent stock of rainbow trout from the Department of Fish and Game has trout anglers bringing in lots of limits. Trollers are scoring fish from the surface to 15 feet in the early morning hours, then fishing 15 to 20 feet after 8 am until late evening. Rapala, Needlefish, and Thomas Buoyants are bringing in lots of Rainbows.

Bass fisherman that are fishing around the weeds, rocks and drop offs are scoring lots of both large mouth and small mouth bass. Just about any small plastic worm or jig that resembles a crawfish will produce a bite. The catfish has been biting on night crawlers, hot dogs and mackerel on the East end of the lake. Crappie and bluegill, plus an occasional large or small mouth bass, can easily be caught by fishing a small red and white bobber about 4 feet above a mini-jig and slowly working it around the weed beds. Fishing right now is as good as it gets, which ever type of fish you go after!

August 1, 2013

Big Mike's 'Reel' Fishin' for BBMWD
The fishing this year has been strange to say the least. Some days we are seeing better than normal fish and others, not so much, but I will say that the fishing is staying quite steady in the heart of the slow times. The Lake is mixed up for the most part which means that you can find trout most anywhere, however the temps are much cooler towards the west so if you want to catch cold water fish (trout) go west. Slip bobbing coffee drinkers at the dam are doing well at night along with folks up the road a bit at Forest Turnout fishing from the bottom, both using the dough bait of choice. Trollers are doing the same old thing and doing well on needle fish and stick baits along with the old lead core and big fat flashers with a worm on it. Kind of heavy but kind of effective also.

Bass are still showing in good numbers around the docks and rocks. The smallmouth have turned it up a bit and the crayfish look-a-likes are getting spanked hard. Seeing some good sized fish these days and thanks to all for the catch and release practices that I see more and more often. Take a nice picture and eat a couple nice bluegill and crappie.

Speaking of the bluegill and ever so popular pumpkinseed; they are here to stay and most can find them on any day of the week. Find a weeded edge (if you can find any weeds) or some structure and put the old worm trick to a test and bam, poof, pow, goes the bobber.

Catfish are starting the summer slam and can be caught towards the east with the best of the stankness you can find. Carp boys and girls where are you at???????? The fish are here and want to be shot at.

Have fun!!
Big Mike

July 14, 2013

Summer Mode Settles In
It's summer time on Big Bear Lake. The trout fishing has setup in the west and the bass and crappie are suspended in deeper water cruising for food after coming off their spawn. Bluegill are still hanging out near docks and weed beds. That's Summer on the lake.

Trout anglers are doing well on the troll, limits of smaller fish with an occasional two to three pounder mixed in is the norm. The fish are hanging out just below eight feet and popping up on the surface too. Leadcore fished from one to two and a half colors and flat lining, using all Rapalas in gold and silver, are bringing the trout to net. Bait anglers are getting into the fun using slip bobbers rigged at ten to fifteen feet with PowerBait and crawlers on the hook. Water temps are high and oxygen levels good to 30 feet down. Look for the trout to stay in the west, from the west ramp to the dam.

The bass are now in deeper water near structure, the smallies are hitting tube plastics, while the large are going after spinners and buzzbaits. Deep channels with structure east of Eagle Pt. and of the west ramp are holding fish. Look for similar areas near the observatory and off Boulder Bay. Crappie can be found in the same areas and are going after minijigs and worms. Same thing applies for bluegill (as crappie) except they are still near shore.

July 8, 2013

Abnormal...But Good
It has been a strange season on Big Bear Lake. In years past the mantra on the lake during the 4th of July has always been, "Don't bother fishing, between the heavy recreational boat traffic and the echo of fireworks ringing through the valley, the trout will hide under rocks for days." Not the case this year. The trout kept on biting throughout the busy 4th holiday. Both bait anglers and trollers had fish on their stringers. Bait anglers using a slip bobber rigged from 10 to 20 feet from shore or boat, got trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Those trolling found the trout at 2 to 4 plus colors of leadcore when using Rapalas and Buoyants. Most of the fish are around a pound, with a few two to three pounders coming in. Abnormal also applies to the high lake temperatures this season. The dam is at 67 degrees with oxygen levels good down to 29 feet, while the east end is at 71 degrees with oxygen low at 16 feet. The west is best and will be some time to come.

The panfishing remains good, with lots of crappie and blue gill being caught near docks, rocks and weed beds all around the lake. Minijigs tipped with Gulp nibbles or a mealworm continue to produce, as does a piece of a crawler or meal worm hung below a clip on bobber.

June 30, 2013

Chill...Good News!
For the first time this season, lake temperatures have fallen on the lake. While a half of a degree less, may not seem like a lot, just that fact that it did not rise is the good news. Oxygen levels also rebounded at the dam so fishing off the bottom for trout is again a possibility. So, the dam surface temperature is 63.6 with oxygen good top to bottom. Papoose is the same but, with oxygen gone at 39 feet. While the west ramp is at 64.9 degrees with plenty of oxygen all the way down. As you head east the observatory and Juniper Pt. are a bit toasty at 67 degrees. West is best and east is least, at least for the trout.

The best trouting action has been for trollers using leadcore at 2 to 3 colors with Needlefish and Buoyants in tow. Bait anglers using slip bobbers rigged at 12 to 15 feet with PowerBait and nightcrawlers are getting some love too.

Panfish are plentiful along the shore near docks and weed beds. A minijig tipped with Berkley crappie nibbles or a meal worm is working well. Bass action remains slow, but look for it to pick-up after the spawn is over. No report from any nocturnal anglers on the catfish, but they too should be going off soon.

June 16, 2013

Head West
Trout fishing remained good this past week on the lake. Even as the lake temps rise and the oxygen levels lower, the trout are adjusting as they make their annual migration to cooler water to the west near the dam. Bait anglers need to get off the bottom and start using a slip bobber rigged around 15 feet. Water clarity is 10 feet and oxygen disappears at 26 feet, so the trout will be hanging out in that 11 feet of water. Trollers working leadcore at 3 colors with Buoyants and Rapalas in tow are also doing well. Not a lot of big fish coming in, but consistent stringers of pounders are the rule.

Bass fishing has slowed as both the large and small are sitting on beds and only hitting lures to defend their nest. Crappie and Bluegill continue to put smiles on the faces off anglers young or old. Minijigs or a small hook tipped with a worm below a clip on bobber are producing a lot of nice panfish.



June 9, 2013

No $50K But a Good Day
583 anglers enjoyed a beautiful weekend on Big Bear Lake. The 5th annual derby saw two tagged trout come in, but neither won the Grand Prize of $50,000. Jonathan Bogens, Riverside and Greg Kurdoglanyan, Glendale each brought in tagged fish. Jonathan's was caught off the observatory on leadcore, trolling a Needlefish and good for $500. While Greg's fish was landed off Lagonita Pt. on Pautzke's Firebait for $300. The tagged fish consolation awards were sponsored by Big Bear Sporting Goods.

Big fish honors went to Carl Richmond, Rancho Mirage with his 5.94 lb. trout he hooked on Firebait at the dam and received $1000 from Pautzke's and the Big Bear Lake Resort Assoc. Female winner was Le Macias, Los Angeles with 4.01 lb. rainbow that she also landed at the dam on Firebait. Hers was good for $500. Junior winners, Adrian Duenas, Apple Valley and Genevieve Cisneros, Apple Valley each won $200 for their catches of 2.36 lbs. for Adrian and 2.10 lbs. for Genevieve. All the winners also took home Okuma and Shakespeare combos, Flambeau tackle boxes full of Rapalas and Luhr-Jensen Needlefish.



June 2, 2013

Family Fishing Time
While the trout fishing has improved, the big news on the lake is about panfish. Crappie and Blue Gill or going off! All along the shoreline, in wed beds and along docks. The panfish are hitting minijigs, bounced or hanging off a clip on bobber, as well as, the old school method of a clip on bobber hung above a #4 or #6 bait holder hook with a piece of a nightcrawler or meal worm hung on the hook. If you're not sure of how to bounce a minijig or don't want to deal with worms, try Gulp Crappie Nuggets. For kids and novice anglers this is a great way to make faces smile and enjoy a day on Big Bear Lake.

"Fishin' for $50K" is coming up 6/8-6/9. All entrants get a free jar of Pautzke's FireBait. There are cash prizes for the largest trout caught (M-F adult/junior) with a cash bonus from Pautzke's for the largest trout caught. One tagged trout is worth $50K for the lucky angler that brings it in. Great raffle prizes from Big Bear Sporting Goods (rod & reel combos, Hobie Kayak) and Fish Big Bear Charter (Flambeau tackle boxes full of Rapalas and Luhr Jensen Needlefish) are just part of the fun. CDFW has a plant scheduled prior to the tournament and the BBMWD will release trout from their rearing pens, just for the event.

In the mean time, trout fishing remains steady on the lake. Bait anglers are scoring trout from Windy Pt. west on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. With oxygen levels still high top to bottom, you have the option of fishing off the bottom or suspending your bait off a slip bobber at 10-15 feet below the surface. Trollers have done best with nightcrawlers behind a flasher rig (talk about "old school"). Other trollers are catching trout at 2 to 3 colors of leadcore with Rapalas and Needlefish in tow. Best areas for trollers is from the observatory all the way to the dam.

The Glover family spent a day on the lake with great results. Daddy brought his fishin' kids Gianna, 6 yrs. old and Aiden 7 yrs. old from San Marcos. The family was trolling near Pine Knot with a nightcrawler behind a flasher when 5.50 lb. bow made his rod go bendo. A nice catch for any angler and a great one for a 7 yr. old.

May 26, 2013

Trout Fired Up
Finally trout fishing on Big Bear Lake is starting to feel like years gone past. In the past week it didn’t matter if you soaked PowerBait, trolled a Needlefish on leadcore, or a Rapala on the surface you caught trout. Capt. Curt Dills, Fish Big Bear Charter Service was trolling a Flat Rap Rapala on a recent trip with the Edey's family from Alta Loma, 12 yr. old Luke brought to net a 6.32 bow, his biggest fish ever! Kenny Swails, Highland, CA was using PowerBait down by the dam, landing a healthy limit of trout. The limit included a 4.66 lb. rainbow, a 4.26, a 3.45 and two 2 pounders. Not a bad day on the lake. Kathie Panceroff, Wildomar, CA was trolling a copper chicken wing Needlefish at 2.5 colors and caught a 5.16 lb. trout, that her husband Scott was more than happy to net.

Warm weather species are starting to go on the chew also. Crappie, Bluegill and Catfish are being caught at a good rate. Most of the panfish are hitting mini-jigs and worms suspended from a clip on bobber around the wed beds and docks. The midnight anglers are nailing kitties on shrimp, mackerel and stink baits fished off the bottom. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed a bit as they are sitting on their spawning beds. Smallmouth bass are still in pre-spawn mode and active on small spinners.

May 20, 2013

Classic Big Bear
The 31st annual Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic delivered as promised once again. With their plant of Mt. Lassen big trout complimented by a DFW stocking, 440 anglers had a great weekend on Big Bear Lake. With a $10,000 tagged fish sponsored by Pautzke FireBait loose in the lake, 5 lucky anglers brought in tagged trout. 2 of the 5 were eligible for the $10,000 because they were caught on FireBait, the other 3 tagged trout were caught on other lures/bait and good for $5000. As the tension built the winning number was revealed...with unfortunately no winner.

There were a lot of other winners in the tournament though. William Wise, San Diego took the first place prize of $2500.00 with his 5.60 lb. first place trout. Cody Hemsley, age 14, Fontana won the junior title with his 2.69 lb. bow, and Dusty Hendricksen, age 10, Big Bear Lake, was the junior leader with is 4.17 lb. trophy.

The trout are hitting flat-lined Rapalas trolled on the surface, as well as, Needlefish and Thomas Buoyants at two colors of leadcore. A few trout are still hanging out in deeper levels of three to four colors. Bait anglers on the drift are doing well with their dough hung off a slip bobber from 10 to 15 feet below the surface. Shore anglers are heading west as the water warms in the east. Oxygen levels are still high from top to bottom, so fishing off the bottom, or suspending the bait are all doing well.

Pan fish are plentiful on mini-jigs or worms hung off a bobber near docks and jettys, while the bass bite has slowed a bit as they set up on spawning beds.

May 4, 2013

Steady Bite
While the spring trout bite on Big Bear Lake is just a bit off from previous years, trout anglers are picking up a few here and there. It may have something to do with the lack of run off, the quickly climbing water temps, the trout have been in spawn, or the CDFW hasn't stocked yet this year. No one seems to know. The west end jumped up 6 degrees to 57 degrees in the past week while the east end rose 5 degrees to 58 degrees. Not a major problem at this point, but could make for an interesting season to come. The good news is that the CDFW is scheduled to stock the week of 5/12 and the May Trout Classic 5/18-5/19, with its plant of big fish is just around the corner.

Trout anglers working the triangle and a bit further west are picking up a few trout with 3 to 4 colors of lead core and various lures in tow. Bass fishing has slowed as they seem to be going into their spawn. Panfish are starting to show in the shallows off mini jigs and worms.

Steve Mortimore, Apple Valley, CA was fishing along the south shore near the dam, when a post spawn trout weighing 7.77 lbs. and measuring 30 inches long, inhaled his home made dough bait he calls Mammoth Magic. Perhaps Steve will starting calling it Big Bear Voodoo.

April 28, 2013

Wind & Moon Wade
Trout fishing picked up this weekend on the lake. The full moon is waning and the winds have settled down for now. As a result anglers are back to finding trout at 3 to 4 colors of leadcore with various Thomas Buoyants and Needlefish. While a few fish have hit the net in the west end, most of the activity is still in the trout triangle (Eagle Pt., observatory, Lagonita Pt.) Not much news from the shoreline, but with warming water temps (Juniper Pt. at 54 degrees in the morning) most bait anglers are heading west where the water temperature is 51 degrees. Oxygen levels are good top to bottom so the fish are scattered, but hanging below the clarity of 12 feet.

Bass fishing has slowed a bit, but still providing some good action for those pitichin' plastics worked off the bottom on a slow retrieval near docks and rocks. The slow down is probably due to the bass getting ready or already spawning.

Mike Heroux, up from Cypress, CA with the family brought in a nice 5 pounder. While fishing off Eagle Pt. His 7 year old son Vincent, landed the trout drift fishing off a boat, using a Berkley Mice Tail.

April 21, 2013

Winds Die Bites Alive
Sure enough, the wind in Big Bear settled down and the trout are back on the chew. Water temperatures are up to the low 50's in the morning and bumping up to mind 50's in the afternoon. Trout anglers trolling 3 to 4 colors down in the "Triangle" (Eagle Pt., Observatory, Lagonita Pt.) are catching nice holdovers in the 2 plus pound range with smaller trout mixed in. Thomas Buoyants and Luhr-Jensen Needlefish have worked the best down deep. Surface action is starting to pickup with trout going after Rapalas flat lined on mono. Bait anglers are starting to head west as the water on the east end are warming and the fish are leaving the shallows for cooler deeper water. As the trout vacate the east, the crappie are becoming active in the same area.

Bass fishing remains strong as they are eating just about everything as they fatten up and prepare for spawning. Best results are for anglers doing a slow retrieval of plastics and mini jigs worked along the bottom near docks and jetty’s.

Carl Vanburger, Apple Valley with his surface Rapala holdover.

April 14, 2013

Big Bear Howls!
We didn't have much of a winter, but now that it is spring it is feeling like winter. Snow or rain isn't the issue (that would be welcome) it's the WIND. Not many anglers out braving the high winds. The ones getting out are picking at the trout as they blow about. Trollers working leadcore have had some luck with needlefish deep at 3 to 4 colors. Those soaking PowerBait and crawlers are getting the same results. Water temperatures are on the rise in a hurry due to lack of cold water run-off. Surface temps are now in the low 50's in the am and up to the mid 50's later in the day as the sun warms the top.

Bass anglers are still whacking largemouth near docks and rock jetty's when they can stay on the spot long enough. Crayfish plastics and spinner baits worked of the bottom slowly are producing fish in the 2 to 3 pound. Rene Herrera, Big Bear Lake caught and released a 3.15 largemouth near Gibraltar Pt. on a crayfish plastic jig.

Fishing will get better once the winds forecast to high until Wednesday, settle down.

April 7, 2013

High Winds Blow Out Bite
Up until the winds came up Saturday, trout fishing had been steady on Big Bear Lake. Anglers working "Trout Triangle" (Eagle Pt.-Observatory-Lagonita Pt.) with leadcore down 3 to 4 colors with needlefish in tow have been getting plenty of fish in the one to two pound range. The water clarity is very high so fish deep be it from shore or boat. Bait anglers along the north shore are doing well on PowerBait and nightcrawlers fished off the bottom. Local angler "Mark" brought in a 6.6 pound Big Bear Bow he caught off of Windy Pt., while trolling a needlefish.

Bass fishing is insane! Cast any plastics that looks like a crayfish along docks and rocks and get ready to go bendo. Scott Eberhard, Big Bear Lake caught 30 largemouth in the two pound range during a 3 hour period recently. Yours truly got into the action, catching several bass near Big Bear Marina. Not bad for a guy that never bass fished before.

March 31, 2013

The 2013 Fishing Season is Here!
It looks to be a great year for fishing on Big Bear Lake, surface water temperatures are now up to 46 degrees and the lake is 4 feet down from full. Run-off from creeks that feed the lake are at a lower flow rate than normal, due to the below normal snow fall this winter. Even with low flow from the creeks it is against CA DFW regulations to fish in the creeks or the out-flow, until the Friday after Memorial Day. Please stay clear and give the trout a chance to spawn.

Trout anglers working the north shore are catching limits of holdover trout in the one and a half to two pound range. The trout are hugging the shore line in search of warmer water and food sources. PowerBait and/or inflated nightcrawlers fished off the bottom with a small egg sinker of split shot 1 to 2 feet above your 4 pound leader with a #14 or #16 treble hook for the PowerBait or a #6 or #8 baitholder hook for the crawler is all you need.

The few anglers on the lake in a boat have reported good catches of trout on leadcore down 3 to 4 colors with Needlefish in Fire Pearl and Red Head finishes getting the best results. The trout are deep for this time of year due to the clarity of the water. Oxy or thermo clines are not an issue.

March 22, 2013

Ready, Set, Go!
Time to go fishing! We plan to open Friday March 29th for the 2013 season (weather permitting). It looks to be a great year on Big Bear Lake. The trout have been getting fat over the winter and are hitting PowerBait fished off the bottom near to shore. A small split shot between 8 to 18 inches from a number 14 or 16 treble hook on 4 pound test line with your favorite PowerBait suspended will make your rod go bendo in no time. The lake is at the same level we left it at in the fall, down 4ft 4inches from full. Water temperature is at a chilly 39 degrees and the trout are a little slow to chase a trolled or retrieved lure right now. Bass are showing in the shallows as they look for warmer water and forage. Flippin' plastics near the rocky shore has produced a few bass to 3 pounds. Tight lines and good fishing to you!

September 30, 2012

Harvest Moon Slows Bite
That big bright light in the sky at night is beautiful and you may like it, but the trout don't. The good news is it came and will be gone before TroutfesT. As the moon wanes, take the time to put new line on your reels, check your drags, lube your reels up and get ready for TroutfesT. It won't hurt to look at your Rapalas, Panther Martins and Thomas Buoyants for tired split rings, and make sure the hooks are sharp. Why take the chance of losing that one trout that could get you a brand new F-150 or a wad of cash.

The lake is ready to go. Water temps continue to drop and are currently at 66 degrees on the surface and 65 on the bottom. Oxygen levels are high top to bottom and will keep the trophy trout for TroutfesT happy! Hopefully you have entered the tournament, but if you can't make it, remember there will be many trout in the lake after the tournament. Great Fall fishing should continue right into the ski season. Tight lines and good fishing to you.


September 23, 2012

Lake Record Almost
The Big Bear Lake record for crappie almost fell this past week. Local Cody Jenkins was flippin' a purple and white Norman lure off the observatory when a nice slab hit his offering. Not wanting to stop fishing Cody kept the fish bagged and in a cooler, until the next morning. As the crappie was placed in the scale, Cody held his breath as the readout went to 1.25 lbs. The fish was .01 lbs. short of the record set in 2010 at 1.26 lbs. Just to make sure we weighed the fish 3 more times…still came up short. Too bad, we will never know what the fish weighed when first caught, but it definitely lost some weight overnight.

Trouting remains steady on the lake. Water temps continue to drop, oxygen levels are high and the fish are coming up. DFG plant is scheduled for this week to compliment the large stocking of trophy fish for TroutfesT 10/6-10/7. There has not be a lot of fishing pressure latley, seems like everyone is waiting for TroutfesT and their chance at an F-150, fishing boat and a multitude of prizes and cash.

It's not to late to enter WON's very popular tournament. Mail in deadline is 9/28, so be sure to get your entry in very soon. You can also enter on-line at www.wonews.com (click on the event folder). Last chance sign-up is 10/5 (if space is available) during registration at the Big Bear visitors center.


September 16, 2012

Trout On The Up
With a chill in the night air and cooling of the lake, trout fishing is improving right on schedule. As the water temps come down and the oxygen levels stay high, the trout are moving closer to the surface. Leadcore trollers are finding the trout at 2.5 colors early and down to 4 mid-day. Much better than 5 plus colors of the past few weeks. A top line bite is also starting to develop. A variety of Rapalas (up) and Needlefish (down), from nickel and brass to rainbow and firetiger are working well.

Bait anglers fishing PowerBait and crawlers are getting the trout off of slip bobbers rigged up just a bit shorter than before. From 5 to 15 feet is where you want to be. Drift fishing without a slip bobber, using just a little egg sinker to keep the bait down will, put fish on the stringer.

The place on the lake to be for trout, is from Metcalf Bay to the dam. Fishng the south shore early, then the north late. Bass and panfish anglers are still getting nice fish along the docks and rock jetties from the Observatory to Eagle Pt., on spinners, mini-jigs and plastics.

September 9, 2012

Fading Into Fall
As the high season wraps up for 2012, with less jet skis and boats, anglers have the lake back to themselves. Oxygen levels are high throughout the lake and water temps are starting to drop. With 67 degrees at the dam and 68 all the way to Windy Pt. conditions are shaping up well for the 8th annual WON Troutfest. Avid anglers are anxiously awaiting the stocking of trophy trout, and many tagged ones worth a lot of money and possibly a truck.

In the meantime trout anglers are picking up a few stockers on PowerBait suspended from 20 to 25 ft in the western third of the lake. While leadcore trollers gong down 4 to 5 colors with various spoons in tow are getting a few too.

Panfish and bass action remains good for those pitching minijigs and spinners near docks early and late. No news on the catfish and in general it has been slower than in years past.

September 2, 2012

Busy Holiday Slows Bite
While all the Labor Day visitors has been great for business, the added boating and fishing pressure has slowed the trout bite. The trout that are coming in, as in the past week, are being caught on leadcore line trolled at 4 to 5 colors and by bait anglers suspending PowerBait from a slip bobber at 20-25 feet. The western third of the lake is still the place to be. Early and late is a bit better than mid-day. Look for the fishing to improve once the holiday is over.

Bass action continues to be good along docks for anglers pitching plastic crayfish and small spinner baits. Scott Wittrig, Big Bear Lake brought in a 4.61 lb. largemouth bass caught off Eagle Pt. He reports the bassin’ has been steady all season long with smallmouth to 2 lbs part of the mix.

Panfishing is strong along the weed beds and docks with crappie, bluegill and pumpkinseed hitting minijigs tipped with Gulp nuggets or a piece of nightcrawler. A Great way to put a smile on any young anglers face.

August 26, 2012

Steady Trouting
In a recent conversation with a couple of old fishi' buddies, we all agreed that it had been awhile since any of us had seen a big trout come in. While limits of smaller fish have been the rule during the late summer, our conclusion was that we probably wouldn't see any big fish until the WON TroutfesT tournament in October. One of the guys in the conversation was Carl Vanburger an avid angler who has many big trout to his credit. Carl has always maintained that the best way to catch a big trout was to flat line a Rapala on the surface. While that may be true, we were all convinced that it didn't matter what you did now, there just aren't any big trout to be had.

Carl's son Ron Vanburger from Highland, came up this past weekend to wet a line with his dad. True to form Carl had Ron put a gold Rapala out on the surface. While trolling mid-lake off Trout Alley in the mid day sun, the Rapala took off, at first the anglers thought it to be another stocker. Not the case, as the trout hit the surface the boys realized it was a good one. The trout hit the scales at a hefty 5.81 lbs. a real beauty. Just another example of the marvels of fishing and the surprises it can produce.

For everybody else, limits of pan-sized trout were the rule. Trolling deep at 5 colors with nickel spoons in tow has produced the most fish. The trout are concentrated in the western third of the lake where the water temperature and oxygen levels are most favorable.

Bait anglers using PowerBait and nightcrawlers suspended off a slip bobber in the 20 to 25 feet range are also catching trout in the same area. Much like trolling anglers are better off drifting the lake, covering more water, as opposed to sitting in one spot.

Look for a busy Labor Day weekend on the lake, as everyone gets in their last hooray of the summer. After that the lake will quiet down with less boats and fishing pressure, making the month of September a great time to enjoy the lake. October brings us TroutfesT, with a lot of trout and prizes, both big and small to be had by all.

August 12, 2012

Trout Keep a Bitin'
As thunder storms come and go the trout bite keeps getting better. Just before the thunder bumpers strike the barometer drops and bite is on. Curt Dills of Fish Big Bear Charter Service got limits of 20 trout for his party last week. The fish hit nickel Needlefish and Buoyants fished at 4 to 5 colors, as the clouds built. There is a little bit of surface action on Rapalas fished early and late, when the sun gets high, the trout shut down.

Bait anglers are enjoying the same type of action suspending PowerBait from 18 to 25 feet down. Michael Hoo, from Northridge, brought the family up over the weekend. He and his daughters caught a nice stringer of trout just before Saturdays thunderstorms. The fish bit PowerBait off the mouths of Metcalf and Boulder Bays.

The west is best this time of year on Big Bear Lake. Fish early, fish late, just fish.

August 5, 2012

Summer Bite Stays Hot
Trout fishing remained strong this past week. The fish are hanging deep in 67 to 68 degree water, from 18 to 28 feet. Oxygen levels are good top to bottom, but the trout are seeking the cooler deeper water in the western third of the lake. Either leadcore at almost 6 colors or a downrigger set in that range are a must for anglers that are trolling. Needlefish and just about any other spoon type lure in a nickel finish is your best bet. Bait anglers need to be slip bobbing at the same depths in order to get bit. Unless there is cloud cover, it is an early and late bite that is producing fresh stockers in the one pound range with a few holdovers up to two and a half pounds mixed in.

Bass and panfish anglers are picking up a few fish. Again it is and early and late bite, around docks and weed beds. Spinners for the bass and minijigs for the panfish are getting the most fish. Nocturnal anglers are still finding big catfish off the sandy bottom on stinkbaits, shrimp or mackerel.

July 29, 2012

Big Cat Plus Trout Back On The Bite
Trout fishing got a whole lot better on the lake this week! With high oxygen levels from top to bottom and east to west the trout have gone back on the bite. The western third of the lake is where the action is. Anglers drift fishing from a boat or off the north shore are hooking trout off slip bobbers at 25 feet down. P0werBait is the best bait with garlic the hot choice. Trollers are working the fish deep with 5 colors of leadcore out. Early and late is when most the action is happening, with the north shore in the west end the hot spot. Shiny copper watermelon Needlefish are getting the most fish, while nickle Thomas Buoyants are getting the job done too.

While the trout fishing is good, the cat fishing is off the hook. Big catfish are hitting the scales on a regular basis. Kamill Mirzaguliyev up from LA was soaking Gulp catfish dough off the fishing pier at Meadow Park late on the evening of 7/23 when a 25.48 kittie inhaled his bait. After a 35 minute battle Kamill was able to land the huge cat. While waiting for the weigh station at Big Bear Marina to open the next morning, Kamill kept the prized catch wrapped up in a towel on the bathroom floor of the cabin he and his family rented. The housekeeper was just a bit startled when she picked up the dirty towels that morning!

July 22, 2012

Trout Hard to Find
Compared to the last two years, trout fishing is tough this summer on Big Bear Lake. WIth water temperatures high and clarity deep the trout are hanging out deep at 25 feet plus. Trolling leadcore requires 5 colors in the water to get close to them. No single lure has stood out recently. You need to throw the tackle box at them and change types and colors of lures often. Bait anglers are also struggling. A slip bobber rigged at 25 to 30 feet and drifting off a boat with PowerBait or a crawler is your best shot. Catfish and panfish are stiil active while the bass action has slowed too.

July 15, 2012

Waters Warm, Trout Chill
It’s summer time on the lake! Water temperatures are at levels that normally aren’t seen until late August or early September. The dam is at 68 degrees, down by Juniper Pt. the temp is 72 degrees on the surface. The warm water has slowed the trout bite a bit. With clarity at 13 feet the trout are hitting Needlefish and Thomas Buoyants as deep as four colors of leadcore. Bait anglers are doing best drifting mid-lake from the dam to Windy Pt. with PowerBait suspended at 20 feet. Oxygen levels remain high from 40 feet to the surface in the west end and 27 feet to the top mid-lake. Surface action is early and late with Rapalas and Wollybuggers trolled on top.

Inland Empire Bass Masters came to the lake this Saturday and found largemouth bass in the three pound range with some smallies to two pounds mixed in.

Three generations of the Vanburger family trolled the waters of Big Bear Lake on Sunday. Carl (granddad) Apple Valley, Ron (son) Highland and Ronnie (grandson) caught a limit of Big Bear Bows to two pounds. Ronnie landed his on a Needlefish at four colors along Trout Alley.

July 7, 2012

Summer Settles on Big Bear
With water temperatures ranging from 66 degrees at the dam to 69 degrees at Juniper Pt. Big Bear Lake is warm and in summer mode. Oxygens levels are great from the top to within a few feet of the bottom. Trout are being caught from the observatory all the way down to the dam due to these uniform and favorable conditions. The best trout bite is early and late due to clarity as deep as 12 feet. Bait anglers hanging PowerBait off a slip bobber set at 15 to 20 feet are doing well be it from the shore from Windy Pt. and to the ewst, or drifting the middle of the lake in a boat. Trollers are finding the trout up on the surface with Rapalas and nightcrawlers at dawn and dusk, then going down to three and a half colors of leadcore during brighter daylight hours. Needlefish and Dick Nite spoons are getting the best deep action.

All the summer time specieas are active and easy to catch. Crappie and Bluegill are hitting minijigs and worms hung of a bobber near docks and weed beds. Catfish are being caught by nocturnal anglers on shrimp, mackerel and stinkbaits fished off sandy bottoms near Eagle Pt., Gilner Pt. and the observatory. Bass action for large and small varieties is slow; pitching spinners and plastics near docks early and late is your best bet.

June 16, 2012

Good Fishing on Big Bear Lake
As we roll into summer fishing on the lake remains good. Water temps are up compared to last year, with readings at 63 degrees in the west end, 64 degrees in the middle and 66 in the east. Clarity is also higher than normal with visibility down to 10 feet. Oxygen levels for trout are adequate down to 47 feet at the dam and bump up tp 30 feet from the west ramp to Juniper Pt. For trout anglers fishing close to shore in the west end using PowerBait and nightcrawlers suspended from a slip bobber rigged at 20 feet is producing nice trout. Trollers working Rapalas on the surface and Dick Nite spoons and Thomas Buoyants at 3 to 3 1/2 colors down from Windy Pt. and west are getting a good mix of hefty holdovers and fresh planters.

Crappie and Bluegill are showing well along docks, weed beds and rocks. Mini-jigs or a worm hung off a clip on bobber will get the job done. Bass are a little slow as they come out of spawn. Look for the catfish to start hitting the stink baits in the days to come. Bow anglers are starting to whack the carp as they hit the shallows to spawn.

June 12, 2012

Great Fishin' for $50K Event, No Big Winner
576 Anglers participated in the 4th annual "Fishin' for $50K." Two tagged trout worth a potential $50,000 were caught during the event, but unfortunately neither carried the prized tag. Big trout winner was Gary Judd from Redlands, CA who brought a 8.10 lbs. trout good for $500 to the scales, Gary's fish was caught on PowerBait, Berkley rewarded him with another $500. Adult female winner was Lisa Yocum, Upland CA with a 2.23 lbs. trout. Junior male was Jimmy Gillen, Yucaipa, CA with a 2.38 and Junior female winner was local Kaelee Haggerty, Big Bear Lake with her 2.28 lbs. trout. All received gift baskets, Shakespeare and Pflueger rod and reel combos, as well as, Flambeau tackle boxes stuffed with Rapala and Luhr-Jensen lures.

Besides the thousands of dollars of tackle and prizes given away, a part of each anglers entry fee will go towards enhancing the trout fishery on Big Bear Lake.

May 29, 2012

Cold Snap, Hot Trout
While we all expected a chill in the air over Memorial Weekend, no one really thought it would snow…but it did. Anglers visiting this weekend in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops awoke to a white valley. One of three days was lost, as the Big Bear thawed out on Saturday. It all got better on Sunday as large trout started hitting the scales and anglers found a nice mix of pound and a half to three pound fish in the mix.

Trollers resumed their assualt on the trout, going down to three colors of leader core with a variety of spoons in numerous colors putting trout in the boat. Be it Needlefish, Buoyants, Dick Nite or Phoebes the trout just seemed to hit all of them. The east end from Eagle Pt. to Stanfiled is slowing down as the water temps go up and the oxygen levels down. Most of the good action is happening from the observatory west to Windy Pt. On a recent trip with Fish Big Bear Charter Fishing, Luke Jeffery from Moreno Valley landed a 8.69 bow on a gold Phoebe off Gilner Pt. that Capt. Curt Dills brought to the boat.

Bait anglers soaking PowerBait along the North Shore continue to nail nice trout. Katte Schenkan got a little more than see bargained for over the holiday weekend. Fishing off Windy Pt. with her family, 13 yr. old Katte got into a huge trout while fishing garlic PowerBait on 4 lb. test line. The 10.74 trout gave her quite the fight and finally gave up as it wedged itself between some rocks. Not willing to give up the fight at this point Katte wadded in up to here waist to get a h0ld of her trophy. When she arrived at the scales she was shivering not from excitement but from the chill of the water.

May 21, 2012

30th Annual May Trout Classic is Just That
The Hall family could not have asked for a better weekend to celebrate the 30th Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic and its founder Jim Hall. The top nine started with a 7.39 lb. trout for ninth followed by 7 trout all in the eight pound class with first place going to Dan Marshall of Sugarloaf, CA who took the top spot for the third time with a whopping 11.07 lb beautiful bow. Look for the lake to give up a bunch of big bows in the days to come, thanks to the May Trout Classic.

Conditions on the lake are becoming more like summer than spring at this time. Water temperatures are five degrees higher than a year ago. Water clarity is at about 11 feet and the oxygen levels have dropped off at 33 feet near the dam, Papoose Bay and west ramp to 23 feet off the observatory and Juniper Pt. Trout are still showing in good numbers from the observatory and west, while the east end is producing more summer time species. Due to the warmer than usual water, crappie, bluegill and smallmouth bass have become active. Largemouth bass are going into their spawn mode, gathering on nesting beds along the shore of the lake.

Trout are being landed by just about any means known. Trollers going 3 to 4 colors down with just about any spoon in tow are getting their limits. Surface action can be good early and late in the day. Bait anglers using a slip bobber rigged to about 20 feet or drifting from a boat are producing good counts, while shore anglers have a lesser chance if they fish off the bottom.

May 13, 2012

Back on the Chew
The moon waned, the Santa Ana winds died down and the trout went back on the bite. On the eve of the 30th Annual Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic, conditions couldn't be better. Surface water temps across the lake are 58 degrees, while oxygen levels are still high near Juniper Pt., they have fallen to the west and will not support trout below 46 feet at the dam and Papoose Bay. At the west ramp and Observatory the oxygen stops at 32 feet. For bait anglers it is time to give up on bottom fishing in those areas and time to rig up your slip bobbers to find the fish. Trollers are finding the fish at 3 to 4 colors, which translate into 15 to 20 feet for the right depth to rig your slip bobber and perhaps a little deeper depending on your location on the lake. Trollers are not finding much action on the surface at this time. Leadcore, as mentioned, from 3 to 4 colors with a variety of spoons (Needlefish, Thomas Buoyants, Dick Nite) have gotten the most fish. No real magic to the color of spoon, at one time or another they all seem to work. "Trout Triangle" (Eagle Pt., Observatory, Lagonita Pt.) is starting to come alive and should hold fish for sometime.

The May Trout Classic will be stocking a lot of trophy trout for the tournament 5/19-5/20. Entries are still available for this great event. $8000 in cash prizes, a $10,000 tagged trout, great tackle, bait giveaways and raffles are all good reasons to sign up. Don't miss out on your chance for big bucks and prizes!

May 6, 2012

Super Moon Turns Off Bite
It started 4 days before the moon went super full on Saturday, slowly the fish counts got smaller and smaller as the moon got bigger and bigger. Thank goodness this only happens once a year and as the moon wanes the trout will get back on the bite. Before the bite shut down, the trout were active in all the areas and hitting all the baits mentioned in last weeks report. Weather forecast for the next week is for highs in the 70′s and lows in the 40′s. Beautiful weather for Big Bear and the Bows.

April 29, 2012

Finally Spring Has Sprung
The weather has cleared the fish are biting and the snow shovels are put away. Spring has sprung in Big Bear! With good weather and daytime temperatures in the 60's and nighttime in the 40's the trout are on the bite. Water temperatures have risen to 54 degrees in the east and 52 in the west. A nice insect hatch has the trout active on the surface for the first time this year. Trollers who have been working Needlefish on leadcore at 3 to 4 colors the past few weeks are still getting limits of pound and a half holdovers, but can now also put a Rapala up on the surface landing holdover trout in the two plus range as they hit the surface.

Bait anglers continue to catch the same nice limits along the North Shore from Stanfield Cutoff to Windy Pt. With the bait action slowing a bit as you get closer to the dam. Fishing off the bottom with PowerBait, as always is the magic. Varying leader lengths from 1-4 feet until you find the fish is a good idea, with a short cast from the shoreline the most effective. If you have a favorite spot to anchor on and bait fish it too will put fish on the stringer. Drifting the lake in your vessel with bait suspended 15 to 20 feet down will as get the job done.

Regardless of the lure, bait, technique, size rod or line you use (that is less than a broom stick with clothes line) you will catch trout!

April 22, 2012

As The Snow Goes...So Do The Bows
Hard to believe it has been in the low 70's this weekend in Big Bear. A week ago we had a foot of snow on the ground, now it's shorts and T-shirt time. But wait…what is in the forecast for Thursday? That nasty four letter word SNOW! Oh well, it is sprinter time in Big Bear (the season when Mother Nature can’t make her mind if it is spring or winter).
When the weather is good the trout fishing has been great! Plump holdovers in the pound and a half range are filling stringers for trollers and bait anglers alike, with a few fish coming in at two to three pounds. Bait anglers fishing PowerBait and/or nightcrawlers off the bottom with a leader length of 1 to 3 feet are doing well all along the North Shore from Stanfield Cutoff to Windy Pt. The west end of the lake is also producing trout, but the trout are more plentiful in the east due to tributary flow, shallower and warmer water. Don't get too close to the streams though, DFG regulations prohibit fishing in the streams or the waters that outflow from them when the moving water is visible from Mrach 1st until May 25th.
Trollers working 3 to 4 colors of lead core with just about any color of Needlefish or Thomas Buoyants are getting the same results. Once again the east is best for the higher fish counts than the west. No real surface action yet, but look for that to change once the weather stabilizes and the insects begin to hatch. Water temperatures are uniform east to west and top to bottom at 47 degrees with plenty of oxygen throughout the water column.
Surprisingly a few avid bass anglers have found some bucket mouths along docks and rocks in the east end. No action for any other species at this time. Keep on eye on the weather and enjoy the fishing when you can.

April 8, 2012

Big Bear Lake Fired Up For 2012
Well here we go boys and girls, it's time to get on our beautiful blue jewel at 6750 ft. and catch some fish! Big Bear Lake is open for the 2012 season. April 1st came in a little chilly, but the MWD did open the East Ramp for those who just had to get out on the chilly waters first. Big Bear Marina opened its doors on April 6th and will remain open from dawn to dusk weather permitting until November.
The trout bite is good, as the fish start to come out of their winter mode and look for new food sources. Bait anglers working the North Shore from Stanfield Cutoff to Windy Pt. are catching the bigger trout that are hugging the shoreline. Be sure to vary your leader length form 1 to 4 ft., until you find the zone the trout are feeding in. PowerBait and nightcrawlers fished within 25 feet of shore are producing quality limits.
Trollers working the eastern third of the lake (Lagonita Pt. to East Ramp) are finding limits of smaller trout at 3 to 4 colors of lead core. Needlefish in Fire Pearl and Red Dot Frog are getting the best results. Surface water temps in this area are holding at 46 degrees while the other two thirds of the lake are ten cooler holding at 36 degrees, with not much action in those areas.
The weather forecast for the week ahead is not very favorable. A small low scheduled for Wednesday could bring a few snow flurries to the area, with a bigger system heading this way on Friday with more snow. Thats Big Bear in the spring. Keep on eye on the weather and get up as soon as you can.

September 28, 2011

TROUTFEST TIME
It must be the end of a great season on Big Bear Lake, its TroutfesT time!!! October 1st and 2nd will see up to a 1000 anglers working the waters of Big Bear Lake. Some will be in search of tagged trout for a Ford F-150 or a $25,000.00 payout. Others will pursue stringers of hefty trout stocked for the event to be proclaimed the overall winners in adult/junior male and female categories. If that isn’t enough every entrant has a raffle chance at a boat, motor and trailer. If you are not lucky enough to claim one of these prizes, you can still win money in the blind bogey draw. The blind bogey is simple and fun. Any trout you catch is recorded when it is weighed in, random weights are selected and if the weight of your trout matches, you get to choose an envelope with a cash prize in it.
On the eve of this great tournament, now would be a good time to do a tackle tune-up. Check and replace your fishing line. Even if you don’t totally re-spool, you should strip off 50 feet or so to get rid of frayed line that can break. Lube up your reel, check your drags and replace if need be. Make sure your hooks are sharp and your tackle ready. Just think how bad you would feel if you lost out on a truck or big bucks because your tackle was lacking.
After Troutfest is over, the trout fishing will still be great until the snow begins to fall. Take advantage of it. Big trout from the tournament plus our holdover population will be whacking lures and baits for some time. Don’t miss out on the fall bite. Tight lines and good fishing to you all. I hope you enjoyed these articles and perhaps learned a little along the way. With a little good luck we will do it again next year.

August 28, 2011

TROUT BACK FROM VACATION
Since the full moon on 8/13, the bite on Big Bear Lake can, at best, be described as tough. Anglers struggled to catch a few fish in 3 hours, when it was the norm to have a limit in less time than that. Fisherman using leadcore went as deep as 6 colors to put a few hold overs in the boat. Those fishing shallower come up with a few fresh stockers.
It has taken awhile to figure out what happened-now we know! While oxygen levels and water temperatures have been great, the trout needed a break and went on summer vacation! As the moon went full, our trout left town. They brought in their cousins to house sit in their absence. These cousins courtesy of the DFG numbered in the hundreds of thousands of sub-catchable (under 6 inches) and catchable trout (over 6 inches). They took advantage of the bigger trout's hospitality and literally took over the lake. While they took their time getting accustom to their new surroundings, the hold overs headed into deep water for a hiatus.
Now back from their summer break the hold over trout and fresh stockers are getting use to their new neighbors and the hood is in harmony once again. Trollers are finding a mix of these fish from 2.5 to 4 colors down. Bait boys and girls are getting the same results when their bait is suspended from 12 to 20 feet down. Oxygen levels are strong from the west ramp (23 feet) to the dam (46 feet). Surface water temps are at 67 degrees, clarity is at 9 feet. The trout are very comfortable and happy to be in their humble home again. Welcome them home with a party complete with plenty of baits and lures for our finned friends.

August 21, 2011

TOUGH SUMMER DAYS
With surface water temperatures at 67 degrees, and oxygen levels good down to 36 feet in the western third of the lake, one would think the trout would be on the bite. Not the case. Guides that had been getting several limits in an hour are having a hard time landing one limit in three hours.
All you can do is keep changing lures, vary depths and hope the trout will bite. It is just a matter of time before the trout get back on the chew.
One species that should be going off this time of year are the Channel Catfish. Strange, but none have hit the scales yet this summer. Water temperatures are pretty chilly, with the bottom at 59 degrees at the dam and 63 degrees at the west ramp you have to wonder where they are. Juniper Pt. is at 69 degrees, but no has reported a catch from that area.

August 15, 2011

BITE FALLS WITH MOON 
No surprises this past week as the moon waxed into its full summer glory, the trout action fell off.  What was a limits for all bite last week has become a pick at em' bite.  Switching out lures and fishing at different depths at various times of the day is the only way to put a few fish on the boat.

While we wait for the moon to fade, their other weather conditions that are important to remember whenever you go fishing.  One of the basic rules of lure presentation is that when the sun is bright use light colored lure.  When it is overcast, use ones that are darker in color.  Fish also react to changes in the weather, high pressure insures a consistent bite, but when the barometer starts to drop fish tend to feed even more as they sense an impending storm and the natural instinct to fill their bellies before storm conditions change the water quality and disrupt their food sources.  Now fat and happy it takes a few days after the stormy weather for the fish to go back on the chew.

The current lake conditions are favorable for the bite to pick up once again.  Surface water temperatures are at 67 degrees in the western third of the lake.  Oxygen levels are good down to 30 feet and the clarity of the water stands at 9.5 feet.  Fishing for trout from 12-25 feet will put fish in your boat as the moon wanes away.

August 6, 2011

TROUT STAYS ON THE BITE

As the dog days of summer come to Big Bear Lake, things are not what they should be.  The trout are acting like it is spring or fall not summer!  With surface water temperatures at 68 degrees in the western end of the lake and oxygen levels good down to 26 feet at the dam, 16 feet at Papoose Bay and 20 feet at the west ramp the trout have set up summer camp there.


Anglers trolling leadcore at 2 to 4 colors are not only finding limits of trout early and late, but inexplicably the fish are biting in the middle of the day.  This type of bite is very unusual in the summer time when the sun is hot and high.  Drift fishing with PowerBait in the same area has also got the trout on the chew.   Slip bobbers are a good idea, but not essential, as long as you count and measure the line as your bait sinks down to the levels noted.

As we creep closer to the August full moon (8/13) the fish will get finicky once again.  Look for fish counts to go down with little action midday, but good action early and sometimes late in the day..


August 1, 2011

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER FISH IN THE LAKE?

It has been well documented that this year is a great year for trout fishing on Big Bear Lake. Trout of all shapes and sizes, from all over the lake have been hitting the scale all season long. As the bite continues, the question becomes what is going on with the other fish that inhabit the lake?

Catfishing has been slow so far this year. With higher lake levels and cooler than usual water temperatures the kitties are still hiding. Habitat that anglers could access in the past is under water now, changing the behavior of the fish and those who target them. With continued run off from this past winter and summer thunderstorms, only time will tell us if the kitties will come out to play this year.


Even though multitudes of bluegill have been put into the lake, they have not done well. A species that should and has in the past grown prolifically just hasn’t caught on and no one knows why. Continued stocking of these classic panfish will hopefully turn this situation around.

Both large and small mouth bass fishing is much improved this year. A mere three years ago the bass appeared to have disappeared from the lake, many wondered if they would ever come back. With improved habit, higher lake levels and the stocking of smallmouth they have. Earlier this year they were hitting jigs and plastics fished near Eagle Pt. The bite has slowed there now and the bass have moved into deeper water off the observatory along the north shore towards Grout Bay. Jigs and plastics cast and dropped to the bottom, with a slow retrieve bouncing along the bottom, have produced smallmouth bass in the two pound range, while their larger cousins are in the three pound class. Early and late in the day these fish will come up for top water action in weed beds in the same area.

Another species that has made a big comeback are the crappie. These scrappy little fish are everywhere. Easy to catch, these fish are great for young anglers fishing along docks and weed beds near the shore. A small hook with a meal worm or a piece of a nightcrawler under a clip on bobber is all you need for instant gratification. Mini-jigs bounced from the bottom up in these same areas also works well and provides for a little more activity as opposed to bait fishing.

Be it from boat or shore, get out on the lake and enjoy some excellent fishing for trout, crappie and bass. While you are there maybe you can figure out what happened to the catfish and bluegill too.


July 24, 2011

MOON VANISHES BITE REAPPEARS

Just as predicted once the moon waned, the trout got back on track and started to bite again. While the majority of the trout caught recently have come to the net, in the west end of the lake, anglers are still finding trout near the observatory. With surface water temperature at 68 degrees in that area, it is a little surprising, but oxygen levels are good to 23 feet and the trout are still ther

Just as predicted once the moon waned, the trout got back on track and started to bite again. While the majority of the trout caught recently have come to the net, in the west end of the lake, anglers are still finding trout near the observatory. With surface water temperature at 68 degrees in that area, it is a little surprising, but oxygen levels are good to 23 feet and the trout are still there. 

Oxygen levels are uniform from the dam to the west ramp, holding at 26 to 29 feet below the surface. Water temperatures range from 65 to 66 degrees in the west end of the lake. Trolling leadcore line at 4 colors has produced limits for anglers working that area. The hot lures remain the same with gold Thomas Buoyants and copper chicken wing Needlefish bringing in most of the fish. A lure that has been very good in the past is starting to get good results once again, purple and pink Dick Nite Spoons are a must for those running leadcore off their reels.

It is unusual for the trout fishing to be this good so far into summer. Take advantage of it while it last, for no one knows how long the strong bite will continue. With a little luck it may not change at all, making for one of the best trout seasons ever.



July 17, 2011

FULL MOON FLATTENS BITE
Up until the full moon on 7/15 the trout bite on Big Bear Lake was very strong. In the afternoon prior to the full moon Brad Bush, San Bernardino was casting a small crank bait on the south shore near the dam, when a trout approximately ten pounds hit the lure fished on 2 pound test. Brad worked the 27 inch trout for 20 minutes, before landing it. Unfortunately the fish was weighed on a less than accurate spring loaded scale a fellow angler let him use.

Once the moon went full the bite died. Full moons in the summer time seem to have a greater impact on the feeding habits of fish than ones in the spring and fall. When a full moon rises, the fish feed during the night in the bright light of the moon, they remain active until mid-morning, and then literally take the rest of the day off.

The best time to wet a line is in the morning. West is best and will continue to be during the heat of summer. Some anglers have hooked trout to three pounds on gold Rapalas fished on the surface before 10 am. Anglers heading out later have picked up a few trout at 2.5 to 4 colors of leadcore on Thomas Buoyants and Needlefish.

Surface lake temperatures range from 66 degrees at the dam to 70 degrees off Juniper Pt. Oxygen levels are good from 26 ft. to the surface in the west and 20 ft. and up in the east.

Look for the bite to improve greatly as the moon wanes in the days to come and the fish get back on a regular schedule.


July 10, 2011


GOOD GOOD MIGRATION
Just like summer it took longer to get here, but the annual migration of our trout to the west has begun. While smaller recently stocked fish can still be found mid lake in the "triangle" most of the acclimated trout have headed further west.

Seeking the cooler waters west, which is two degrees lower than middle and eastern thirds of the lake, the trout have taken up new residence along "Trout Alley" (Metcalf Bay to Boulder Bay South Shore) and all the way to the dam.

Trollers working those areas with leadcore down from 3 to 4 colors, and Neddlefish in copper and nickel finishes have been finding nice holdover trout to 3 pounds with smaller fish in the mix and an occasional big boy to boot.

For bait anglers soaking PowerBait, the only way to go, is to suspend you bait from a slip bobber. Oxygen levels at the dam have diminished below 20 ft., while Papoose Bay is at 29 feet. Adjust your slip bobber at 15 to 20 feet to find the fish.

Not much surface action, except for very early of very late in the day. If you are working the surface, try to find an area where the wind has blown the dead weeds away, if not, your lure will constantly be fouled.

Ed Sullivan, Chino Hills was working a fly/bubble rig near the dam on 6/28 when he got into a nice trout, the 7.37 trout hit a wooley bugger on the surface. Ed was in for a "Really Big Shoo", as the bow put on a 10 minute fight, testing the strength of his 4 pound test line, before coming to the net.

It is time to head west young man and grow old with the fish.

July 2, 2011

NEW BIG BEAR LAKE SMALLIE RECORD

Brad Matz, Big Bear Lake set a new Big Bear Lake record for smallmouth bass on 6/27/11. The 3.50 pound bass beat the previous lake record held by Gary Kalina, Big Bear City. The old record stood at 3.12 pounds and was set less than a year ago on 8/12/10.

Brad is the owner of snaprco.com a company that is famous for inventing the SNAPR, a hook setting device that is sold worldwide. Brad was curious when he arrived at the Big Bear Marina/Big Bear Municipal Water Dist. Official Weigh Station at 5 pm on June 27th. Not sure what the fish would weigh and not allowing himself to contemplate a lake record. Brad said, "Here we go", as he laid the smallie in the scale basket.

As the scale read 3.50 Brad exclaimed, "Wow, that's a nice one...what is the lake record?" As I turned to reveal the lake record board, he couldn't believe his eyes! "Congratulations Brad you have a new lake record!"

Brad was so happy, because not only did he have a new lake record, he caught the record fish on a new jig he is developing for his company Snaprco. The jig is called the Aquatic Predator, and should be a big seller in the bassin' market. The jig is not yet available to bass anglers, but you can bet it will be very soon.

All Big Bear Lake Records can be found at BigBearMarina.com, or stop by the marina and check out the lake record wall of fame. No lake record for bluegill has been established yet, and the crappie record at 1.26 pounds could be an easy one to beat.

June 26, 2011

WATERS WARM, TROUT FISHING STAYS HOT
Even though the surface temperature of the lake has jumped up to 65 degrees across the lake, the trout fishing remains great. Trout Triangle is still producing limits of trout in a short time. Some fish are starting to show in the west end. It is a bit surprising that the trout haven't moved further west yet, but they seem to still like life in the triangle.

Oxygen levels are good except for the bottom. If you are bait fishing, it is time to rig up your slip bobber, to keep your bait off the bottom, where there are no trout and the weeds are thick.

For trollers, leadcore at 3 to 4 colors is still the best way to catch your limit, as it has been all year. Needlefish and Thomas Buoyants in various colors are getting the best results. The trout are in the one plus pound range with a few going to three pounds. Not as many big fish coming in recently, as the majority of the trophy trout stocked for the May Trout Classic have been caught.

Get out on the lake and wet a line before the 4th of July crowd stirs up the water and the fireworks make the trout dive for cover.

June 18, 2011

FLAG DAY IS BIG FISH DAY
What happened on Flag Day 2011? I know we are all proud to be Americans and live in this great country, but can fish feel the same way? Apparently so, every time I turned around another huge fish hit the scales of the official weigh station. The thermometer was the highest it's been since last summer, high pressure was building, the sun was hot and a full moon was rising. Conditions that would make any angler smile, but not always the best for fishing. None of it mattered when first Tom Jordan, N. Hollywood showed up with a 14.11 pound rainbow he caught off Windy Pt. on Berkley Gulp. His is the largest trout brought to the marina this year. The trout was 30 inches long with a girth of 21 inches, a true trophy; Tom plans to have a mount made of it.

Next was Tony Jackson, Big Bear City who just after midnight 6/14 landed the first large channel catfish of the year. The 20.44 pound kitty swallowed a chuck of salmon fished off the east end in the China Gardens area. Tony caught the fish using an antique rod and reel he bought at a garage sale. The only thing new, and most important, was the 12 pound test Maxima he spooled onto the old reel.

The third fish to show its colors on Flag Day was brought in by Cody O'Niel, Joshua Tree. His 10.62 Big Bear Bow hit a trout jig fished near the dam. He too plans to have the fish mounted, but only after he was reassured by his father, that he had never caught a trout that big, and there was a good chance that this would be the biggest trout that Cody may ever catch.

What a great day for Tom, Tony and Cody! Proud Americans, proud fish on a very proud day at Big Bear Lake.

June 13, 2011

RAPALA RULE BIG TROUT
Big trout keep hitting the official weigh station scale. Within two days, two beautiful bows came in on Rapalas. Steve Caines from Riverside nailed a 7.69 pound bow off Lagonita Pt. He had a deep diver Rapala out on straight mono. Steve and his fishing buddy Jack had been fishing the lake for three days, when just before the end of their fishing adventure the big trout hit. "What a great way to end our trip. After catching limits for three days we found a big one", Steve exclaimed.

Fishing stories are always interesting, sometimes hard to believe, the next one is funny. Ronald Couture up from Riverside was tied up to the S.S. Relief by the observatory; his fishing buddy Andy needed some relief.

Bored and waiting for Andy, Ronald began casting and retrieving a CD Rapala. On the sixth cast a 10.22 monster bow whacked the Rapala. Ronald realizing he was into a big fish, starting yelling to Andy to hurry up! Ronald needed a net man as urgently as Andy had needed the restroom. Being a good fishing pal Andy came to the rescue and netted the trout. What are fishing pals for?
Moral of the story, take care of your fishing buddy, and he will take care of you.

June 5, 2011

TROUT STAYS STRONG
Luhr-Jensen Needlefish ruled Big Bear Lake this past week. Anglers trolling the lure with leadcore from 2 to 4 colors found the fish with ease. Trout Triangle continued to be the hot spot on the lake, but there was an exception.

Randolph Orozco up from LA was trolling a new UV needlefish in flo-pink on the surface near old Gray's Landing when he hooked and landed a 8.08 Big Bear Bow.
The colors of choice for the needlefish coming out of Trout Triangle were the copper chicken wing, brown trout and what is known as wonder bread. Wonder bread is actually a white-chartreuse crs blue dot needlefish, which unfortunately is no longer carried by Luhr-Jensen, but is still available at some tackle shops.

6/11-6/12 brings "Fishin' for $50K" back to Big Bear Lake. Come on up and take a shot at walking away with $50K, a boat load of great cash and tackle prizes from Berkley, Shakespeare, Pflueger, Rapala, Luhr-Jensen and Flambeau. There are still plenty of trophy trout in the lake too. What do you have to lose?


May 29, 2011

Fabulous Fishing
It's all coming together, the world didn't end last Friday, the moon is waning and Mother Nature is in a better mood too. The fish in Big Bear Lake got the news somehow, and they are very happy.
Curt Dills of Fish Big Bear Charter Service said this is the best year he has ever seen on Big Bear Lake. Curt has been fishing the lake for over 40 years. Last year the master guide caught 3000 trout for his customers during the season. This year his customers have netted 1000 trout and it is still May. Incredible numbers that support what a great trout fishery we have. Dills release rate is over 60% and insures a continued strong fishery.

Harry Jones, local bass master agrees. Harry has been fishing the lake for bass for over 30 years and reports this is the best bassin' he has seen in quite a few year. Jones is working the Eagle Pt. area and bays tossing plastic jigs and worms near docks. He has caught largemouth bass to 4 lbs. and smallmouth bass up to 3 lbs., with a 50-50 mix for both species and a 100% release rate. The bass are still in pre-spawn mode with no evidence of bedding nest being built yet.
Crappie are everywhere. Sheltered near docks around the lake these scrappy little fish are inhaling mini-jigs in a flash. They are also in pre-spawn mode, feeding on everything, with their spots getting bigger and blacker by the day.

With the lake full, new habitat and forage areas exist for the bass and crappie like never before. Submerged willows, weeds and tree roots provide great food sources and areas to spawn and for the fry to hide in as they grow into fingerlings and finally catchable fish.
If this isn't enough to get you and your fishing buddy out on the lake how about the chance to catch a trophy trout from 8 to 12 pounds? The trout from the May Trout Classic are still out there and are hitting the scales daily.

Mario Castelan, Rancho Cucamonga too home a 10.73 pound rainbow trout this past week. The fish bit a ball of PowerBait fished off the North Shore near the dam.

May 21, 2011

BIG HOLIDAY WEEKEND ON TAP
Finally the weather is improving and the Memorial Day weekend is upon us.  Highway 330 (the front side) will be open for the holiday weekend (5/27-5/30) then close again for continued repair.  The fishing has been outstanding! Trout Triangle in front of the marina has been kicking out a lot of trout.  Trout are hitting a variety of Needlefish at 3 to 4 colors of leadcore. Surface action is heating too, flat lined mono trolling Thomas Buoyants and Rapalas has gotten some great results. Water temperatures are holding in the low fifties, perfect for trout. Trout fishing has improved in the West end too. Bait anglers are still find trout along the North Shore from Stanfield all the way to the dam. PowerBait is the way to go.

 Joe Doyel (father) and Nathan Doyel (son) from Bloomington, have a great fishing story to share the rest of their lives. Dad caught a 11.50 lb. trout trolling a gold Thomas Buoyant near the dam and son caught a 9.75 lb. beauty on the same lure 2 hours later in Trout Alley. Two trophy trout in two hours on the same lure, amazing!

May 16, 2011

Mother Nature just keeps kicking our butts. We knew going into the 29th May Trout Classic that the weather could be a little tough, but 15 to 25 mile an hour winds with heavy fog and snow just didn't seem possible. It was and sprinter just won't go away. As daylight dawned on the second day of the Classic, you could not see across the lake. The wind churned the waters up so much, and with snow blowing about, it reminded me of how Lake Erie looks in the winter. Not fit for man or beast, we closed the marina and left the lake to a half dozen boats (what were they thinking?) and Lake Patrol. A disappointed Jason Hall summed it up, "What can you do?" Nothing!

364 anglers participated in this year's Classic.  A small turn out unfortunately, but these anglers and the thousands before them in the last 29 years have helped to stock the lake with 224,500 pounds of trout at a cost of $553,000.00!  What a great effort by the Hall family to enhance our fishery.  Most only fished on Saturday.  Due to the light fishing pressure on Sunday, only two spots changed from Saturday's weigh-in, 5th place in the adult division and 3rd place in the juniors. The big winner with a 9.10 pound trout was Jack Storti of Westlake Village, Jack walked away with $1875.00 for his catch.  Local Big Bear City angler David Marshall took second place with an 8.78 pound trout worth $1275.00. Third place was claimed by another local Bob Mc Grew from Fawnskin with an 8.37 pound trout good for $900.00. In the junior division (12-15 yrs.) Cody Hemsley from Fontana took top honors with his 2.39 pound trout.  Pee-wee division (5-11 yrs.) was claimed by Michael Torres from Orange with a 2.59 pound rainbow. The majority of the large fish were caught on Berkley PowerBait while drift fishing or Luhr-Jensen Needlfish trolled with leadcore, all tried and true methods.

There are plenty of trophy trout cruising the waters of Big Bear Lake. Don't let the opportunity to catch one pass you by. Wet a line from shore of boat and you too could go bendo on a big bow. Tight lines and good fishing to you and yours.


May 8, 2011

May 14 and 15 will bring us the 29th Jim Hall Memorial Trout Classic. Jason Hall has ordered $8000 of trophy sized trout for the event.  Jason says the mix of fish will included trout from 13-15 lbs., a large number of trout from 6-8 lbs., and balance running 2-4 lbs.  The event is open to 525 anglers and as of May 8th has 330 entered.  This is a great trout tournament and the granddaddy of tournaments on the lake.  Don't miss out on your chance to catch a huge trout and possibly walk away with cash and prizes.

Trout fishing is excellent now. Bob Miller of Big Bear City who fishes the lake at least 4 times a week reports trout from 2 to 3 pounds hitting jointed Rapalas fished on the surface with straight mono. Bob is also scoring quick limits of trout around 1.5 lbs. These fish are hitting Needlefish in brown trout and copper chicken wing patterns that are trolled at 3 to 4 colors of leadcore.

The hot spot on the lake is "Trout Triangle." The triangle is right in front of the marina and and runs form Lagonita Pt., to the Observatory and then to Eagle Pt.

May 1, 2011

It has been a tough week for fisherman and boaters on Big Bear Lake. High winds that just got stronger throughout the week, became ridiculous over the weekend. With the waters white capped and the wind blowing from all directions, most boats stayed in their slips.

Those that braved the churned up lake still caught trout as they found shelter from the wind in bays and behind points. Bait boys bundled up like Eskimo, fishing PowerBait in Papoose and Boulder Bays filled their stringers with nice holdover trout in the one to two pound class.

For trollers the toughest thing for them was keeping control of their boats. Four colors down on leadcore was still the magic for them. Some fish were caught at two colors as the water temperatures begin to rise. Needlefish and Rapalas are still the lures of choice for trolling. Before the chilly air blew them away, a hatch of various insects started and the trout became more active on the surface. Look for the bugs to return with better weather and the trout rocketing out of the water like little marlin.

Kaelee Haggerty, a local Big Bear Lake nine year old got in a good day of trolling before the winds came. Fishing with mom and dad she landed a six and a half pound rainbow, while trolling mid lake between the Observatory and Lagonita P
t.

April 23, 2011

The trout fishing is so good on Big Bear Lake; fisherman are getting more hits than Google!  From boat or shore anglers are catching quick limits of trout in the one to two pound range. Larger fish are starting to show as the brood stock comes out of spawn. Bait anglers are seeing fish from 5 to 8 pounds on PowerBait, off of Grout Bay and Boulder Bay.  Fishing off the North Shore remains steady from Stanfield Cutoff to Juniper Pt. Trollers working “Trout Triangle” defined by Eagle Pt., Lagonita Pt. and the Solar Observatory are getting limits in an hour.  Leadcore down 3 to 4 colors with Needlefish and Rapalas in tow works the best.  Remember to troll slowly. Five year old Kayla Knoob from Fountain Valley landed a 7.94 lb. Big Bear Bow.  The fish hit rainbow PowerBait in the mouth of Boulder Bay before Grandpa could get the other lines out.


April 17, 2011

Mother Nature just can’t seem to make up her mind.  Just when it looked like winter was over and spring had sprung, Big Bear went back to winter.  Now we are back to spring!  So what to call this time of year? How about "Sprinter?" A mixed bag of weather between winter and spring is what you get in Big Bear this time of year. As we cleared the snow once again, anglers got back on the water with great results.  Trollers working leadcore at 3 t o4 colors saw limits in a hurry.  The trout are in the one to two pound class and hit Needlefish in a variety of colors.  Brass, copper and nickel back spoons all worked, regardless of the color pattern.  Rapalas in various colors and styles are getting the job done too.  It doesn't seem to matter as these hungry trout inhale anything that is trolled SLOWLY.Bait anglers working the North Shore at Juniper and Windy Points; continue to get limits too.  It's all about GARLIC, Powerbait, nightcrawlers, GULP attractant, your mamma's meatballs, just as long as it's garlic.  Richard Garber from Huntington Beach landed a nice Big Bear Bow fishing the shore off Windy Pt.  The 4.88 pound trout inhaled a PowerBait cocktail made up of rainbow and garlic.


April 7, 2011

Well just when we got off to a great start of the 2011 season, Mother Nature changed her mind about winter being over. With high winds and accumulating snow, it just isn't a very good time to go fishing. I’m sure Mother Nature will get back to spring soon. Hang in there and look for more updates soon.

April 3, 2011


The season got off to a good start with a full lake, full of fish.  The marinas and launch ramps are open.  Trollers found the trout holding in the East end of the lake from Eagle Pt. to Stanfield Cutoff.  With water temperatures a chilly 40 degrees on the bottom and 42 degrees on the surface the trout are staying in shallower water that warms in the sunlight.  Trolling slowly is important during the early part of the season.  Leadcore trolled at 3 to 4 colors accounted for the best catches.  Luhr Jensen Neddlefish and Thomas Buoyant spoons in fire pearl and pearl bikini patterns caught limits of trout in the one to three pound range.Bait anglers working the shore from Juniper Pt. to Stanfield Cutoff continued to do well.  Fishing off the bottom with PowerBait and nightcrawlers in garlic scent produced limits.  Cast your bait 25 to 30 feet from shore and vary your leader length from 1 to 3 feet.  Once you find the zone the fish are feeding in adjust the distance and depth of your bait to catch more fish.It's time to hit the water, wet a line and watch your rod go bendo!

February 14, 2011

THE 2011 SEASON IS COMING!!! GOOD NEWS!!! 

Due to the epic rain in December 2010 Big Bear Lake is full! Look for the fishing to be better than ever with areas of the lake now under water, making for new habitat and forage. We plan to open on or before April 1st. Keep on eye on this site for the official start of the 2011 season. In the mean time; Tight Lines and Good Fishing where ever you fish!


October 8, 2010

Troutfest 2010 is in the books. The weather was better than the past few years, but the trophy fish stocked for the event just didn't want to go on the bite. A week later the trout are starting to show. Oxygen levels and water temps are good east to west and top to bottom. The fish are being caught on PowerBait and nightcrawlers along the shore line and by trollers working a variety of lures from 2 to 3 colors of leadcore.


As long as the weather holds, the fishing will be good. Come on up and land yourself a big trout before they and the weather leave us.


This will be the last report for the 2010 season. Hope you all have a good one. Tight lines and good fishing.


September 12, 2010

COOL NIGHTS = GOOD FISHING!
Cool nights have made the water temperatures drop and the trout are loving it. With temps in the mid 60's across the lake and from top to bottom, the trout are hitting a variety of Needlefish and Rapalas from the surface down to 12 feet. When the wind is up the surface action on Rapalas has been working well, with no wind, leadcore at one and a half to two and a half colors with Needlefish in tow has produced limits. For bait anglers, drift fishing with a slip bobber rigged to the depth of 8 to 12 feet with PowerBait floating behind will get the job done. The fish are holding from Windy Pt. west to the dam. Look for them to start heading east towards "Trout Triangle" as temps continue to drop and oxygen levels increase for uniform conditions throughout the lake. Catfish and carp fishing has slowed as the shore cruisers are heading off to deeper water. Bass and panfish continue to hit small spinners and jigs pitched near weed beds and structure. Western Outdoor News TroutFest is only three weeks away. Be sure to get in on this great event, if you haven't already. For more info go to WONews.com


August 28, 2010

MOON WANES TROUT SHINE
Trout fishing was pretty slow during the first part of the week as the full moon lit up the lake. By the end of the week as the moon waned the trout fishing improved greatly. A surface bite down to 10 feet is working in the early and late hours of the day. As the sun gets high the fish are holding from 10 to 15 feet down. CD Rapalas up top, and Needlefish or Dick Nite spoons down are putting the fish in the boat. Limits are common with trout from 1 to 3 pounds coming in. Catfish remain active on the sandy bottom of the lake, for nocturnal anglers using hotdogs, shrimp, mackerel and stinkbaits. Large and small mouth bass are hitting small spinners and jigs fished near docks and rocks. Crappie and bluegill are also chewing on minijigs tipped with mealworms or nuggets.

August 15, 2010

NEW SMALLIE RECORD/FAT CATS PROWL
Gary Kalina aka “Bass Assassin” from Big Bear City established a new Big Bear Lake record for Smallmouth Bass! Gary's 3.12 lbs. bass hit an orange crank bait off the Solar Observatory on 8/12. Gary's wife Pam is the current Largemouth Bass Lake Record holder with a 5.90 fish! What a great angling couple! Trout fishing remains fair on the lake. Oxygen levels have stabilized from the dam to the West ramp at 26 feet and up. With clarity at 7 feet, the trout are holding in the top 12 to 20 feet. Trolling leadcore at 2.5 to 3 colors with Dick Nite Spoons and Needlefish is working the best. Bait anglers with slip bobbers rigged to the same depth are finding fish on the drift, using PowerBait. Big Catfish are starting to show. Jeremy Northam from Lake Forest brought in a pair of fish hitting the scales at 24 and 17 lbs. Jeremy caught the fish along the North Shore east of Forest Turn. Both the fish inhaled a hot dog offered up at 1:oo am on 8/9.


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