Big Bear Lake Fishing

See fishing limits, where to launch or rent a boat, what fish are in the Lake, get info on upcoming tournaments and more.

What's in Big Bear Lake?

Rainbow Trout
The most popular species of fish found in Big Bear Lake is rainbow trout. Big Bear Lake serves as a first-rate trout fishery habitat because its depths allow the fish to thrive, even in the heat of summer. One of the best ways to track down this healthy population of trout is by down rigging deeper waters and trolling leadcore lines at three colors or more. The west end of the lake tends to see a majority of the action during the summer months. Shore anglers fishing near the dam will have success with slip bobber setups with power bait or live bait at 15 to 18 feet.

There are a variety of panfish in Big Bear Lake such as bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappie found in and around the south shore, especially at the marina docks.

Channel Catfish
Channel catfish are fished throughout the summer. These fish inhale stink baits, mackerel, shrimp or chicken livers, and are on the prowl for a good meal both day and night, so fishing is good all day long. Catfish are primarily found on the east end of the lake near Stanfield cutoff and the East Boat Public Launch Ramp.

Largemouth Bass
Summer is prime time for fishing largemouth bass. The aggressive northern bass species get hungry after their mid-summer spawn and will attack just about anything thrown their way. Crank baits such as Rapala Husky Jerks, Luhr Jensen Mini Speed Traps, and plastics fished Carolina or Texas style near docks, rocks and weed beds yield good results.

Please remember to abide by fishing limits was it comes to all fish species. This is very important in maintaining the bass population in Big Bear Lake so everyone can enjoy catching them.

Big Bear Lake Fishing limits infographic

Big Bear Lake Map

Popular fishing spots are marked with a fish icon along with the main trolling path. Marinas for pontoon or fishing boat rentals are marked with an anchor icon.

Click to Enlarge

Top fishing spots at Big Bear Lake

Depending on the time of year, there are a few ideal spots for Big Bear Lake fishing- whether it's from a boat or from the shore. Check out the handy guide below to make the most out of your fishing trip:

Big Bear Lake fishing tips

Launch Ramp Info

The Public Launch Ramps are open for all vessels, motorized and non-motorized. Both ramps are located on the North Shore. The East Ramp is close to Stanfield cutoff, near the Discovery Center and the West Ramp is closer to the Big Bear Dam, west of Fawnskin. Launching your vessel is free, but your vessel will need to pass inspection for the Quagga mussel. You will also need to have a Lake Use Permit. Permits can be purchased daily, multiple days or annually. For launching information in day use and permits visit Big Bear Municipal Water District.

Fishing tournaments in Big Bear Lake

Fishing Gear & Supplies in Big Bear Lake

Fishing licenses and tackle can be purchased at any marina and many local shops including Big Bear Sporting Goods.

Angler Chronicles in Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake from Angler Chronicles on Vimeo.