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Southern CA Freshwater

Bakersfield Area Waters Providing Variety

Isabella, Buena Vista and Aqueduct All Good Holiday Season Targets

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 26, 2013

BAKERSFIELD — If you were planning on getting out for some fishing in the greater Bakersfield region, your most difficult challenge might just be choosing what to go after. Local fisheries in the area are all producing rather nicely of late, with a range of species on a solid bite. Depending on what you’re after, Lake Isabella, Buena Vista Lakes and Aqueduct are all kicking out solid numbers of fish, and it couldn’t be any better timing for the holiday angler.

Despite a continuously dropping water level, the trout bite at Lake Isabella is seemingly picking up. The past few days might just be an indicator of some quality rainbow action to come over the holidays.

“There have been lots of trout caught this weekend all over the lake,” said Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait Bucket. “With the water level dipping, the fish are heading out further away from the shoreline. Casting out at least 20 to 25 feet from shore is key, but they are biting pretty good right now.”

Garlic-enhanced PowerBait in rainbow, chartreuse and chunky cheese have all been especially effective at Isabella. Nightcrawlers and salmon eggs are producing well too. And while the bass bite has stalled to a dead man’s crawl, anglers are still hauling in a decent number of cats, with a smattering of bluegill starting to show for good measure.

Not all that far from Isabella, Buena Vista Lakes continues to be one of the hottest and most consistent bets for quality catfish on the SoCal scene, as double-digit whiskers just keep on cranking out at a solid clip, while even more cats in the 2- to 6-pound range are coming in. Frozen shad and live minnows seem to currently be the biggest killers as far as baits go.

While there haven’t been any massive monsters in recent days like the handful of 20 to 30 pounders of recent weeks, Jaiven Vaughn of Bakersfield managed to land a 17-pound cat on frozen shad just prior to the weekend, according to Rutledge.

A steady trout bite at Buena Vista provides yet another option for anglers, with rainbows to 3 pounds being netted. Top baits for the ‘bows include Mice Tails, crickets and garlic-scented PowerBait. The panfish are biting well too, as bluegill action has been strong with a few crappie in the mix also. Minnows seem to be working best for the slabs.

If that’s not enough action to hold you over until the new year, there is yet another option on the holiday table. Aqueduct continues to yield stripers galore – though mostly in the smallish 1- to 3-pound range with a slight few exceptions. Frozen shad, blood worms and sand worms are currently seeing the most success. With light pressure on the water, there have been a handful of local lineside hunters reporting 20-plus fish days. And while there haven’t been a whole lot of large, meaty stripers turning up, it is tough to complain when you’re drilling 20 fish per outing, regardless of circumstance.

As long as the predicted 7-day forecast holds up – which shows temps ranging from lows in the mid-40’s to highs in the mid-70’s – Bakersfield anglers should have some decent weather over the holidays, with even better fishing opportunities on the horizon.