BISHOP — South Lake in the Bishop Creek Basin continues to be the epicenter of earthmoving trout fishing, with another 9-pound wallhanger coming out this past week.
Bishop resident Matt Ruppell used a minijig to haul in the 9-pound, 6-ounce beauty to continue the streak of 9-pound fish that are being reported regularly at South Lake.
BIGS ARE BITING — Bishop resident Matt Ruppell made the short trip up to South Lake and was tossing a minijig when he landed this 9-pound, 6-ounce rainbow to continue the streak of big fish coming from the lake.
Jared Smith at South Lake Landing said the lake was stocked with an additional 1,900 pounds of DFG hatchery trout and there have been lots of limits being reported.
Father and son team, Keith Marshall and Keith Marshall Jr. of San Bernardino, paired up for 4-pound, 14-ounce and 5-pound, 2-ounce rainbows using chartreuse PowerBait.
“For those that aren't getting the picture, minijigs are accounting for the vast majority of the fish in the 4-pound-plus range,” Smith said. “Make sure to fish 4-pound line max, fish a loose drag, and use a slow retrieve for best results.”
The best colors have been pink, grasshopper, and fluorescent orange, or a fluorescent orange or pink trout worm trailer with a piece of nightcrawler to sweeten the deal.
While the big fish get the headlines, the average Sierra angler is also doing quite well, with full stringers that include trout up to 2 pounds. Many of the landing operators are reporting that DFG is stocking larger, quality fish this year.
“We are seeing some really nice fish being put in by Fish & Game,” said Rick Apted at Lake Sabrina. These quality rainbows to 2 pounds are keeping anglers happy until the lake receives a load of Alpers trout later this month.
Apted said the inlets are the hot spots, but trolling has also been good if you are patient. Flashers with a worm or red/gold Thomas Buoyant lures fished close to the surface have been getting good results. Salmon eggs are getting the best results in Bishop Creek out of Lake Sabrina, fished with a small weight, Apted said.
Crowds were light in the Sierra last weekend following the Memorial Day holiday, but with school letting out and vacation season beginning, things will soon get a little more crowded. The good news is that backcountry trails to excellent wild trout waters are already open.
Jim King at Rock Creek Lake Resort said lakes in the Long Lakes Basin are wide open and anglers are reporting excellent fishing for brook trout. Rental boats are now on the water at Rock Creek Lake, and King said the top lures are Super Dupers and Thomas Buoyants fished at the inlet. Best bait choices are PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Most anglers are showing up with full stringers with fish to about 2 pounds.
Crowley Lake continues to be clear and has been fishing well for bait, lures, trolling and fly fishermen. Robyn Brothers at Crowley Lake Fish Camp said Bryan Yamamoto of Monterey Park won a small private “Creel Busters” derby with a 4-pound, 1-ounce rainbow he took with a nightcrawler in McGee Bay. Local Crowley resident Ron Kosmala also had a good day with a 4-pound, 6-ounce rainbow, and Louis Syrx from Bishop checked in with a monster perch weighing 3-pounds, 1-ounce. He pulled the perch from Hilton Bay with a red minijig tipped with a Crappie Nibble.
“I’ve been here six years and that’s the biggest and fattest perch I’ve seen,” said Brothers.
Hot spots at Crowley for bait anglers are at the mouth of McGee Bay, Sandy Point and Leighton Springs. Anglers trolling are getting the best results at four to five colors near the bathroom in McGee Bay, Green Banks and Sandy Point with Thomas Buoyant or Needlefish lures. Brothers suggested lures in bright colors when there is full sun.
Crowley fly fishing has been good in the early mornings with Black Tiger and Copper Tiger patterns fished 6 to 12 feet off the bottom around Pelican Point.
Kent Rianda at the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes said fishing conditions and hatches on Hot Creek have been good to excellent. When it’s not windy, look for good results on caddis dry flies and emergers.
“I’d fish some midges early and late, but the fish are keyed in mostly on caddis,” Rianda said. Takes have been very subtle, so use the smallest and most sensitive indicator you can. Yarn is a great choice when the water is clear and slow.
Some bigger fish are starting to show up at Convict Lake. Uly Kim of Yorba Linda caught a 3-pound, 6-ounce rainbow with gold Zeke’s on the South Shore and Don Combs of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., came in with a 5-fish limit weighing 6-pounds, 2- ounces from the north shore. Windy Point, the inlet, Hangman’s Tree and the outlet have also been fishing well.
CONVICT BIG ’BOW — The South Shore at Convict Lake has been on fire, as Uly Kim of Yorba Linda found out when he reeled in this 3-pound, 6-ounce rainbow while tossing gold Zeke’s bait.
Construction at the campground at Convict Lake has been completed and the campground is now open. Convict Lake anglers can compete in the Round Up at the Lake Fishing Derby through June 10 for a chance to win $6,000 in Resort Prizes. So far, 83 anglers have registered and 57 fish 14 inches or longer have been entered.
The Hangman's Bonus Derby Weekend is also coming up June 8-10. Twelve tagged fish have been stocked and $2,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to lucky anglers catching tagged trout.
Lakes in the Mammoth Basin have been stocked with both DFG and Alpers rainbows, and according to Jason Christian at Rick’s Sportscenter, anglers have been doing very well.
“We are getting nothing but good reports from all of the Mammoth area Lakes,” Christian said. “We are seeing a lot of 2- and 3-pound fish.” Brook trout are also being caught in good numbers at nearby wilderness lakes.
Anglers fishing the lakes and streams of the June Loop are reporting lots of limits, but the bigger fish were a no-show this past week.
“Daytime temperatures have been nearly 80 degrees, so the early mornings and evenings are the best times to catch fish,” said Jeremy Ross at Ernie’s Tackle in June Lake. The biggest fish he saw this past week was a 2-pound, 8-ounce brown taken with a nightcrawler from Rush Creek.
“This is really a little early, but the browns seem to be biting well in Rush Creek. The flows are idea right now,” Ross said.
Cutthroat trout continue to chew at June Lake, with the big fish for the week a 6-pound cutthroat caught by an unknown angler who was fishing at the sandy beach. Bill Gill of El Segundo hooked a cutt weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces using a gold Tasmanian Devil lure at the edge of the reeds. Cameron Keast, who works at June Lake Landing, was bouncing a blue and silver Kastmaster off the bottom near the docks when he hooked into a brown trout that he estimated at about 7 pounds. “I got a good look, but lost him about 5 feet out,” he said.
Gull Lake has slowed for bigger fish, but anglers are bringing in lots of limits of trout to 2 pounds. “Garlic, garlic, garlic... Anything with garlic seems to be working for lots of limits,” said Steve Skidmore at Gull Lake Marina.
Andrew Jones at Silver Lake Resort said fishing has been picking up at the lake. “Since last Sunday we have seen at least 20 nice size trout all weighing in over a pound, and an abundance of nice stringers,” Jones said. “DFG stocked again on Tuesday with another 900 pounds of catchables, and as the weather continues to improve, we hope the fishing follows it.”
THE CAMPOS CREW — Grace Valdivia, Brandon Campos and Emily Campos caught this hefty stringer of rainbows at Silver Lake with Power Eggs. Bigger fish are starting to stir at Silver Lake, as well as some nice browns that are showing up in nearby Rush Creek.
Worms have been the best, steady bait again this past week both in the lake and in Rush Creek. Tasmanian Devils and Thomas Buoyants have also produced some nice-looking trout, as well. Olive Matukas or green Woolly Buggers are also beginning to get some interest from local trout.
Virginia Lakes has been stocked with both DFG and Alpers rainbows, and that means some excellent fishing, although the big fish are not yet in the game. Steve and Kari Frumento spent their first anniversary on Little Virginia Lake and limited on Alpers and DFG fish using flies and Thomas Buoyant lures. Carolyn Webb at Virginia Lakes Resort said all campgrounds are now open, including the Trumbull Lake Campground that is open, but currently without water.
The hottest action in the Bridgeport area is the big water of Bridgeport Reservoir. Jim Reid from Ken’s Sporting Goods took eight anglers out for a day and returned with a count of 75 fish caught and some released. His group caught fish up to 3 ½ pounds, with the best areas being the East Walker and Buckeye channels and areas right around the marina.
Jeffrey Wenger at Bridgeport Marina said limits continue to come out, including some nice brown trout being caught near the dam. Sam Snyder of Seal Beach landed several browns, including a 3-pound, 4-ounce beauty taken with a combined mixture of baits known as a “fruit salad.”
“The lake is in good shape with clear water and good temperatures. Everybody is catching limits of 14- to 22-nch fish in about two hours,” Wenger said.
Big fish in the Bridgeport Basin came from Lower Twin Lake where Mike Gronroos bagged an 8-pound, 7-ounce rainbow using pink Gulp! Clusters. Generally, the action at the Twin Lakes has been “fair to medium” with lots of smaller fish to about 3 pounds max, according to Curt Allen at Mono Village on Upper Twin Lake. He said water temperatures have been around 50 degrees, so look for a little more action when temperatures climb into the mid-50s.
SOUTH LAKE SMILE — The smile is almost as big as the fish that Keith Marshall Jr. of San Bernardino reeled in using chartreuse PowerBait at South Lake. This beauty weighed in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces.
LOWER TWIN TROPHY — Lots of limits are showing up at Lower Twin Lake in Bridgeport, but most are with fish weighing 1 to 3 pounds. Mike Gronroos bagged this beautiful 8-pound, 7-ounce rainbow using pink Gulp! Clusters.