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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Freshwater

Big Bear: Boating season essentially a wrap after recent snow

Launch ramp closures

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 29, 2019

Solid catches still there for the taking for shoreline anglers, double-digit landed over weekend

BIG BEAR LAKE — Midweek snowfall that pushed a half an inch essentially dropped the curtain on this year's boating season at Big Bear Lake. But that's not to say that there aren't plenty of feeding targets for anglers willing to brave the chill and hit the shorelines, because indeed there are, as rainbows continue to bite through the recent colder weather and frigid conditions.


Both of Big Bear Lake's public launch ramps are now closed and the majority of private marinas are in the process of closing up shop for the coming winter, with most expected to be shut down for the season by Thanksgiving Day, so the theme at the alpine lake shifts to anglers plying the chilly banks for the weeks ahead.


trophyfromshoreTROPHY FROM SHORE — Andrew Gibbons connected with this 10-pound, 8-ounce rainbow on a yellow Gulp! Egg soaked at Juniper Point at Big Bear Lake this past weekend.

“What a tremendous season it has been,” said Steve Raphael, manager at Big Bear Sporting Goods. “This year has been terrific for catching trout on Big Bear Lake and we've seen a multitude of healthy-sized rainbow brought to net by trollers and bankies alike. With the ramps now closed, the shoreline anglers are catching the majority of Big Bear's fat, healthy rainbows. The North Shore is the best area to wet a line in the early morning hours from Juniper Point westward to the Red House.


He continued, “A simple Carolina rig with a 3- to 4-foot leader and PowerBait or Mice Tails has been the winning combination. A short cast of 20 to 40 feet from the bank has been the ticket, but be prepared because anglers are experiencing quite a few strikes on the fall before they even hit bottom. We are definitely into our winter weather patterns now, which means cold temperatures and winds that are usually kicking in by around 10 in the morning, so dress accordingly and get out there early for the best bite before the wind starts blowing.”


The most impressive recently reported catch came over the weekend in the form of a 10-pound, 8-ounce trophy rainbow that gobbled up a yellow Gulp! Egg on 2-pound Izor XXX at Juniper Point for Andrew Gibbons. And it's likely that won't be the last of the bruiser, trophy-class trout to make an appearance for the 2019 season.


These last two months have seen quite a conveyor belt of large ’bows coming in, and that should continue to some degree for shoreline anglers getting out there early and taking advantage of the still-relatively-trout-friendly conditions with water temps in the low to mid-40s and solid dissolved oxygen levels. With the rainbows taking dough baits on the fall in the mornings, it's clear there's plenty of active and hungry trout strapping on their feed bags for the frigid months ahead, so while we won't see boats on the lake again until April, the catches are still apt to be coming in at a steady clip heading into December and the weeks beyond.


bowsfrombanks’BOWS FROM THE banks will be the theme for Big Bear Lake trouters in the weeks and months ahead with boating season essentially over at the alpine fishery after this past week's snow and both public launch ramps now closed. Quality trout catches are being made in the early morning hours by shoreline anglers soaking dough baits on Carolina rigs with 3- to 4-foot leaders from Juniper Point west to the Red House on the North Shore.


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