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Published: Aug 19, 2010

DAYLY REPORTS: Smallmouth bass record falls at Big Bear Lake; Local San Diego WSB on the prowl


Big catfish at Big Bear ciity
By Bradley Schweit/Western Outdoor News Staff Writer

BIG BEAR LAKE — It wasn’t long ago that Big Bear Lake established its first “official” weigh station, and although bigger fish have been caught and recorded in years past, none of their weights were “officially” documented on a certified scale. That said, since the new weigh system has been implemented, the record books are essentially being rewritten; and last week, a new smallmouth bass record was established.

    Gary Kalina, a.k.a. “Bass Assassin”, of Big Bear City was tossing an orange crankbait off the Solar Observatory when the 3.12-pound smallie slammed his offering. Gary’s wife Pam is the current largemouth bass record holder with a 5.9-pound fish.

    Big catfish have also begun to show, and Jeremy Northam of Lake Forest managed a pair of kitties weighing 24 and 17 pounds using hot dogs along the north shore, east of Forest Turn. The cats were caught around 1 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 9.

    In terms of trout, “fishing remains fair on the lake,” said Alan Sharp of Big Bear Marina. “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 two-and-a-half to three 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 dough bait.

THIS SMALLMOUTH BASS is “officially” the new record for the species at Big Bear Lake. Gary Kalina, a.k.a. “Bass Assassin”, of Big Bear City was tossing an orange crankbait off the

Bassin’ goes wide open at Diamond Valley Lake
By Bradley Schweit/Western Outdoor News Staff Writer

HEMET – Western Outdoor News’ Freshwater Editor Bradley Schweit hit Diamond Valley Lake on Wednesday, Aug. 18, with friend and longtime fishing partner Chris Reed and found the recent reports of surface activity to be more than accurate.

    From morning until mid-afternoon, the largemouth were busting shad on the surface all around the marina, outside the wave attenuator, and both inside and out of the buoy line at the inlet tower. Stripers were also boiling on the threadfin, however, that activity seemed to be relegated to the mid-lake area.

    Scroungers were, by far, one of the best baits. Rig ‘em with a 2- to 3 ½-inch fluke as the shad have varied in size from pinner threadfin to bigger models. And in areas where fish are boiling, fish spoons on the steady wind. Let them sink out, or at the very least, give it a solid four or five count. Shad-patterned Roboworms also produced.
    The fish were all quality largemouth, ranging from 2 to 9 pounds; with most falling in the 3- to 4-pound range.

    A few anglers fishing nearby scored a fish or two on topwaters, but the key with those baits and/or Scroungers was to literally hit the feeding bass on the head as they chased the threadfin. In other words, be at the ready at all times and make accurate casts.

    Air temps soared into the triple digits around 10 or 10:30, and once the wind kicked up a bit, cruising the shoreline and scanning for boils or bid activity gave up a few more fish on the Scroungers. According to recent reports, targeting mud lines and wind-blown points in the afternoons has been a no-brainer.

    Bring lots of water and sunscreen if you plan on hitting it… and, of course, plenty of Scroungers and flukes. However, most any shad imitation should at least get you bit.

Local seabass continue to chew off San Diego
By Bradley Schweit/Western Outdoor News Staff Writer

MISSION BEACH – Ever the glutton for punishment, WON Freshwater Editor Bradley Schweit followed up an epic day at Diamond Valley Lake with an even more unbelievable white seabass trip that same night out of Mission Beach with fellow WON staffers Ben Babbitt and Mike Bohn, aboard Babbitt’s boat Caballito.

    Schweit had never caught a seabass before, and although water temps. dropped in the days prior, a couple of days of gorgeous, warm weather bode well for the outing.

    Upon arriving and anchoring off a local kelp bed, the water temp. gauge read 64 degrees (slightly cooler than the previous days, but still a vast improvement upon what had been 56- to 58-degree inshore water).

    At least a dozen or so boats were in the area, all with squid lights in the water, and no sooner than Schweit and co. dropped theirs overboard did the squirts begin to show.

    They made bait easily, and within minutes of getting his first bait in the water, Schweit was bit. Five minutes later, a 31 pounder hit the deck. Then it was Babbitt’s turn, and his first biscuit of the night had some serious shoulders. When he got it to deep color, they could all see why… it was a solid fish. On the digital scale, it went 51-4.
    The trio bagged another 3 fish in the 20- to 38-pound range over the next two hours, and by midnight, they packed it up and headed for home.

    Other boats in the area were also sticking fish left and right, so the volume is certainly there. Not to mention ample bait. The weather couldn’t have been better, with grease-calm conditions, a steady south swell, and 75- to 80-degree air temps. T-shirts and shorts were the rule of the night.

    It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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