Southern CA Freshwater

Big Bear 'bows coming up a bit — bite steady — just in time for this weekend's TroutfesT

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 28, 2016

BIG BEAR LAKE — With water temperatures slinking down as low as 57 degrees, Big Bear Lake's trout are starting to become aware of the current season change and beginning to drift up a little higher in the water column. That's good news for trouters, especially this weekend’s TroutfesT participants and the shore fishing crowd, as the action has been predominantly better for trollers in recent weeks with the trout hanging deeper.

YOUNG ANGLERS SHOULD have a blast at this coming weekend’s WON/Big Bear Lake TroutfesT (Oct. 1-2) with a steady trout bite currently going at the lake. PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG BEAR SPORTING GOODS

Both angler reports and Steve Raphael at Big Bear Sporting Goods confirmed the subtle shift in the pattern, reporting that more fish are starting to be caught in the 6- to 10-foot zone, even a little later into the morning at times.

“Other than the trout coming up a little, the fishing’s still been steady – not too much different of a bite than last week,” Raphael said. “Trollers just might want to shorten up a color or so of leadcore when fishing early and late, but it’s been similar techniques working to get the fish.”

Those similar techniques consist of trolling from Gilnar Point to the Zebra Room near Metcalf and Boulder Bays or making runs from the buoy line near the dam toward Old’ Gray’s Landing and the West Launch Ramp. Work the 6- to 10-foot range early before dropping down to the 10- to 18-foot zone sometime around mid morning and into the afternoons. Pink Needlefish continue to be a hot trolling lure at Big Bear, with rainbows also taking ‘crawlers behind mini flashers and wedding rings and the occasional Thomas Buoyant or Rapala.

The best action for bankies remains early in the mornings at the usual haunts along the north shore — both near the notorious Red House and over near the boulders by the dam. However, with the cooling temps and the trout starting to drift up a little closer to the surface, the window for shore anglers is staying open just a little longer in the morning hours now. Around the Red House, go with 3- to 4-foot leaders and PowerBait in either salmon egg or garlic variations. Meanwhile over at the dam, the action remains best for anglers rigging up with slip-bobber setups armed with ‘crawlers, Raphael said.

The 12th annual WON/Big Bear Lake TroutfesT kicks off this Saturday, Oct. 1, with a grand prize Klamath 16-foot boat and Mercury Motor package as the grand raffle prize, along with a host of other prizes and awards up for grabs. Anglers wanting to get in on the fun, two-day fishing derby can still lock up their entries. The call-in registration deadline is Thursday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. (contact Billy Egan at (949) 366-0248), and there will also be a late, on-site registration at the Big Bear Visitor’s Center and Chamber of Commerce from 5 to 9 p.m. The Big Bear Visitor’s Center is located at 630 Bartlett Road, Big Bear Lake, Calif., 92315. TroutfeT entry fees are $75 for adults and $50 for youngsters 15 years old and younger.

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