Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra: Bigs turn on

BY ERNIE COWAN/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 10, 2019

JUNE LAKE — Maybe it was the load of trophy rainbows stocked by Ernie’s Tackle, or maybe it was just waters warming up enough, but there were fireworks over the holiday weekend as big trout put smiles on anglers’ faces.

Both June and Silver lakes in June Loop kicked out 7-pound rainbows.

Taze Mueller from Oklahoma landed a 7-pound rainbow at June Lake while tossing a silver spoon over by the cliff jump rocks, and a 7-1 rainbow was landed at June by Chris Jarvis of Poway who was tossing a jig from a float tube.

guidesdayoffrayGUIDE’S DAY OFF — Ray Robles from Bridgeport is a fishing guide and also the president of the Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation. He finally connected with one of the fish that BFEF stocks. He boated this hefty, 6-pound, 11-ounce rainbow at Bridgeport Reservoir trolling a Thomas Buoyant with guide Ken Hoffman.

The cutthroat action at June Lake didn’t seem to slow down either, with Bruce Honda from Torrance bringing in a 3-pound, 12-ounce cutt while tossing nightcrawlers just off the shelf by the beach.

Last week before the holiday, Ernie’s Tackle donated 500 pounds of trophy rainbows purchased with money dropped into donation jars at the tackle shop.

Those fish didn’t waste any time to begin biting.

At Grant Lake, Tyler Almgren filled a stringer with two, 4-pound rainbows that inhaled a Kastmaster.

Rush Creek that is still flowing high, but some nice fish were taken out over the holiday weekend, including a 3-pound, 4-ounce rainbow that took a salmon egg offered by Grady Eaton.

The June Lake Loop fishing should continue to be good. In addition to the trophies put in by Ernie’s Tackle, lakes were well stocked with Desert Springs trophy rainbows and DFW trout.

Thing are also warming up in the Mammoth Lakes Basin now that the roads are open. Campgrounds in the Basin, with the exception of Lake George Campground, are expected to be open this week.

Leo Aguabo at Rick’s Sports Center said Mary and George, “have been on fire, with fish to 6 and 7 pounds reportedly being caught.”

Sierra Slammers and Trout Teasers in smaller sizes seem to be attracting the most interest.

southlakesmileSOUTH LAKE SMILE — Nicole Hernandez from Rialto is all smiles as she shows off a 26-inch rainbow that she caught with a Grasshopper Minijig at South Lake. She was fishing on a pontoon boat behind the island and released over 30 during the day.

Riley Hernandez from Apple Valley also connected a 4-pound, 15-ounce rainbow in the upper portion of Twin Lakes while dunking salmon egg PowerBait.

You know the fishing is good in Mammoth when the bears troll the shoreline stealing fish from stringers. While some anglers might have been disappointed to lose fish last week, it’s always a good show for visitors.

The road into Red’s Meadow and access to the San Joaquin River is now open, but not reports have come out yet.

Warmer weather and no wind turned things on at Convict Lake with 3-pound being the magic number. Several 3-pound, 8-ounce rainbows were checked last week taken by both shore anglers and trolling.

Convict Lake Marina reports that lots of fish are being caught at 7 to 8 colors with Bloody Ripper Tasmanian Devils. Nightcrawlers and Pinched Crawlers have been the best bait choices for the lake, while salmon eggs seem to get the most attention in the creek.

In addition to a weekly load of DFW rainbows, Convict Lake was stocked with 600 pounds of larger Desert Springs trout and trophy Kamloops.

Kent Rianda at The Trout Fitter in Mammoth Lakes report that fishing at Crowley Lake has “jumped back into gear this week.”

“The highest concentration of fish is in between McGee and Hilton. Deep water midging is the ticket for these fish, however a few fish will be brought up with streamers fished deep,” Rianda said.

luckynumber7LUCKY NUMBER 7 — Lots of 7-pound trout decided to bite last week and that was the lucky number Taz Mueller from Oklahoma who shows off this beauty that attacked a silver spoon at June Lake.

Shon E Guide Service is reporting lots of big rainbows and browns showing up for bait anglers, with nightcrawlers and Mice Tails the best choices. Hot spots are Alligator and Sandy points and McGee Bay, but don’t be afraid to try other areas.

Rock Creek Lake is full of water and fish and Jim King at Rock Creek Lake Resort said the bite has been good for 1- to 2-pound rainbows. Best action has been around the boat ramp.

“Right now, the nightcrawlers are working better than PowerBait, but trout-pattern Kastmasters are really hot,” he said. Olive Matuka and Woolly Buggers are getting attention, and ants are a good choice for the creek.

Bishop Basin continues to come alive as high spring runoff fills South Lake and Lake Sabrina rapidly. The stocking trucks have arrived and both holdover and newly-planted trout are biting.

Nicole Hernandez from Rialto hauled in a 26-inch rainbow at South Lake using a Grasshopper minijig at South Lake. She was fishing on a pontoon boat behind the island and released over 30 during the day.

At Lake Sabrina, water levels continue to rise, the lake has been well stocked and fishing continues to be good at the inlets and in the narrows.

BIG BITE BEGINS — Virginia Lakes are finally thawed out and bigger trout are biting. Skylar Liebrecht from Long Beach shows off a 4-pound, 4-ounce rainbow she pulled from Little Virginia Lake using a Rooster Tail.

Andre Nersesian at the Country Kitchen in Big Pine reports that Baker Creek has been good for limits, and while still flowing high, Big Pine Creek is holding some larger fish in the pools.

The Owens remains high and murky, but below Tinemaha has been fishing very well, with lots of trout limits reported.

For anglers who want a little variety, Tinemaha Reservoir has been seeing some carp over 20 pounds being caught, along with some catfish.

The Lee Vining Chamber of Commerce planted 600 pounds of trout in Lee Vining Creek last week and Beaver’s Sporting Goods said the bite has been steady with salmon eggs.

The Tioga Pass Road is now open, with access to Ellery and Tioga Lakes. No reports of anything big yet. Ellery has been stocked. The road to Saddlebag is not completely open and there are no services at the lake.

Lundy Lake is spilling over, and waters have cleared. Shore fishing has been good for limits of smaller fish along with the occasional trophy.

Virginia Lakes received part of 835 pounds of BFEF trophy rainbows last week, along with 400 pounds of Fish Springs Hatchery trout. Both Big and Little Virginia Lakes have been producing good numbers of trout to 4-plus pounds.

Bridgeport waters continue to be well in play with a steady bite of trophy rainbows, a few nice browns and plenty of limits of pan-sized fish.

Anglers on the Twin Lakes have checked in with trout to nearly 6 pounds and a few browns bumping 4 pounds.

Trolling with Kastmasters, Needlefish, Rapala and Thomas Buoyant and bait fishing with Mice Tails, PowerBait and inflated nightcrawlers has been the ticket.

Bridgeport Reservoir is showing a steady bite for 2- to 5-pound fish for both trolling and bait fishing. Shore fishing has been slow. Best areas on the big water have been right off the Marina, Buckeye Bay and Rainbow Point.

HIS AND HERS — Adam Howe and Vicki Linton came to Lower Twin Lake in Bridgeport from Salt Lake City and had some good fishing from shore, hauling in a 1-pound, 9-ounce brown and a 4-pound, 11-ounce rainbow using salmon eggs.

grantlakekeepersGRANT LAKE KEEPERS — Grant Lake produced these two nice, 4-pound rainbows for Tyler Almgren from Yucaipa who was tossing a Kastmaster.

LIFE OF RILEY — Riley Hernandez from Apple Valley was dunking salmon egg flavor PowerBait at the upper section of Twin Lakes in Mammoth when he connected with this 4-pound, 15-ounce rainbow.

morningtroutbiteMORNING TROUT BITE — Here’s another 7-pound, 1-ounce rainbow and this one from Silver Lake caught by Chris Jarvis from Poway who was fishing from a float tube and tossing a jig.

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