Southern CA Freshwater

Big Bear Lake kicks out reported 8-pound largemouth

Plenty big enough for new lake record but not likely to qualify

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff Writer Published: May 09, 2019

Trout action slows some but quality is still there

BIG BEAR LAKE — As a cold-water, higher altitude bass fishery, largemouth at Big Bear Lake are slow to grow and don’t get to preposterous sizes like they do down farther south and closer to sea level. So when a photo surfaced at WON headquarters on press day showing a reported 8-plus-pound largemouth, it was undoubtedly a bit of big news and something worth looking into further.

THIS REPORTED 8-POUND bass would have stood as Big Bear Lake’s new largemouth record for angler Phil (no last name available), which easily would have eclipsed the previous record of 6.35 pounds if the fish had been weighed at the lake’s lone official scale at Big Bear Marina — however, the fish was apparently weighed at Holloway’s Marina instead, but that couldn’t be confirmed by marina staffers as of press time.

The big bucketmouth, caught by an angler who is only known as Phil (his last name could not be tracked down prior to this issue going to print) between Metcalf and Boulder bays last week, was apparently weighed only at Holloway’s Marina and not at Big Bear Lake’s lone official weigh scale at Big Bear Marina, likely rendering the angler’s probable new lake record merely the new “unofficial” lake record. However, Holloway’s Marina staff on press day couldn’t confirm the weight of the fish and had no further information. Staffers at Big Bear Municipal Water District, whose offices are located close to the lake’s only official scale, told WON they couldn’t confirm that the bass had been weighed at Big Bear Marina on mid-afternoon of press day either.

If the fish had in fact been officially weighed at Big Bear Marina, it would have easily eclipsed the official standing lake record of 6.35 pounds, which has been held by angler Scott Eberhardt since early April of 2014, according to BBMWD’s website. A big bummer for the angler after a catch that is akin to perhaps catching a 12 pounder or a teener-class bass at lower-elevation lakes farther south.

Meanwhile, the trout bite has tapered off some over the past week-plus but the quality has still been there for anglers putting in the time, both from boat and along the banks.

“Trolling 100 to 200 feet off the north shoreline from the Observatory west to the S.S. Relief at depths of 6 to 12 feet with Rapalas and Needlefish, or nightcrawlers on a Wedding Ring or behind micro flashers has been successful in bringing some nice rainbows to the boat,” said Steve Raphael at Big Bear Sporting Goods. “Working the south shore from Boulder Bay to the buoy line with the same techniques is also producing.

“Shoreline anglers are doing okay from Windy Point west to the Red House with PowerBait in a variety of colors and scents presented from the bottom on 2- to 4-foot light leaders,” Raphael added.

THE RED HOUSE on the north shore of the lake is producing best for shore anglers, and the quality has been there too, like this 6-plus pounder that was taken on red PowerBait last week.

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