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Big Bear Lake Fishing Report - Trout, Bass Fishing in California


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Big Bear Lake Resort Association
630 Bartlett Road
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Tel: 1-800-4 BIG BEAR
Fax: (909) 866-5671
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Provided by Big Bear Marina

October 8, 2010

Troutfest 2010 is in the books.  The weather was better than the past few years, but the trophy fish stocked for the event, just didn’t want to go on the bite.  A week later the trout are starting to show. Oxygen levels and water temps are good east to west and top to bottom.  The fish are being caught on PowerBait and nightcrawlers along the shore line and by trollers working a variety of lures from 2 to 3 colors of leadcore.

As long as the weather holds the fishing will be good.  Come on up and land yourself a big trout before they and the weather leave us.

This will be the last report for the 2010 season.  Hope you all has a good one.  Tight lines and good fishing.

September 12, 2010

Cool nights have made the water temperatures drop and the trout are loving it.  With temps in the mid 60’s across the lake and from top to bottom, the trout are hitting a variety of Needlefish and Rapalas from the surface down to 12 feet.  When the wind is up the surface action on Rapalas has been working well, with no wind, leadcore at one and a half to two and a half colors with Needlefish in tow has produced limits.  For bait anglers, drift fishing with a slip bobber rigged to the depth of 8 to 12 feet with PowerBait floating behind will get the job done.  The fish are holding from Windy Pt. west to the dam.  Look for them to start heading east towards “Trout Triangle” as temps continue to drop and oxygen levels increase for uniform conditions throughout the lake.

Catfish and carp fishing has slowed as the shore cruisers are heading off to deeper water.

Bass and panfish continue to hit small spinners and jigs pitched near weed beds and structure.

August 28, 2010

Trout fishing was pretty slow during the first part of the week as the full moon lit up the lake.  By the end of the week as the moon waned the trout fishing improved greatly.  A surface bite down to 10 feet is working in the early and late hours of the day.  As the sun gets high the fish are holding from 10 to 15 feet down.  CD Rapalas up top, and Needlefish or Dick Nite spoons down are putting the fish in the boat.  Limits are common with trout from 1 to 3 pounds coming in.

Catfish remain active on the sandy bottom of the lake, for nocturnal anglers using hotdogs, shrimp, mackerel and stinkbaits.  Large and small mouth bass are hitting small spinners and jigs fished near docks and rocks.  Crappie and bluegill are also chewing on minijigs tipped with mealworms or nuggets.

August 21, 2010

Huge channel catfish are the big news this week!  20 pound fish are showing on a regular basis!  Father and son team Dave and Dan Marshall of Sugarloaf caught 7 whisker fish, with two topping 20 pounds.  They fished from 10 p.m. til 2 a.m. off the observatory using shrimp hung from a 2/0 hook.  Dad caught 3 while his son nailed 4.  Below is the impressive stringer.   Not to miss out on the action their buddy Tony Jackson also from Sugarloaf got two kitties weighing in at 21 and 17 pounds.

Bass and crappie continue to be caught on small spinners and jigs off of rock walls and the docks in the bays.   Recent lake records for these species are easily in reach  (Smallmouth 3.12 pounds, crappie 1.26 pounds).  Give it your best shot and bring your fish to our Official Weigh Station.

Not much change on the trout scene.  Fish to three pounds are coming in with most trout in the one pound plus range. Oxygen levels are holding at 26 feet from Gilner Pt. to the dam.  Trollers  with 3 colors of leadcore towing various spoons are getting the most fish.  Bait anglers on the drift with a slip bobber and bait are getting a few too.

August 15, 2010

Gary Kalina aka "Bass Assassin"  from Big Bear City established a new Big Bear Lake record for Smallmouth Bass!  Gary's 3.12 lbs. bass hit an orange crank bait off the Solar Observatory on 8/12.  Gary's  wife Pam is the current Largemouth Bass Lake Record holder with a 5.90 fish!  What a great angling couple!

Trout fishing remains fair on the lake.  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 2.5 to 3 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 PowerBait.

Big Catfish are starting to show.  Jeremy Northam from Lake Forest brought in a pair of fish hitting the scales at 24 and 17 lbs.   Jeremy caught the fish along the North Shore east of Forest Turn.  Both the fish inhaled a hot dog offered up at 1 am on 8/9.

August 8, 2010

Nolan Warriner of Big Bear Lake established the lake record for crappie on 8/2/10!  The slab weighed 1.26 lbs. and was caught on a mini-jig tipped with a Gulp Nugget.  Nolan brought the fish into the Official Weigh Station of Big Bear Lake at Big Bear Marina, after landing the crappie from a nearby dock.  The record catch was released successfully!

Good news for trout anglers...the oxygen levels have bounced back!  A combination of sunny days, with cooler temperatures at night has made the oxygen levels higher.  At this time plenty of oxygen exist from the dam east to Gilner Pt., from the surface down to 24 feet.  Trollers working the surface early and late with Rapalas have found the fish.   Mid-day is the time to go down with leadcore to 3 colors with Dick Nite Spoons and Needlefish the ticket. Bait anglers need to hang their offering from a slip bobber set from 10 to 20 feet.  Drift fishing from a boat is the best way to go.

The rocks and docks in the bays of Big Bear Lake are giving up small and large mouth bass, as well as, crappie and bluegill.   Small spinners and jigs will get the job done.

Tight lines and good fishing!!!

July 31, 2010

Wow!  What a difference a week makes.  Oxygen levels that were good down to 23 feet last week have crashed to 7 feet from the dam to the west ramp.  Above normal lake temperatures, along with cloudy days and lack of summer storms has depleted the oxygen.  The trout are hanging on near the surface trying to survive.  Oxygen levels do improve from the west ramp to the observatory, but still only down to 15 feet.

Trout are still being caught, but how and when have changed.  Fish late in the day, and up high.  Trollers are doing best with flat-lined Rapalas in gold, or 1.5 colors of leadcore with Dick Nite spoons in pink and purple, or pink and white.  Not much else is working at this time.   Bait anglers are going to have a tough time from shore.  Drift fishing from a boat just below the surface is the only way to go.

Oxygen levels will improve with the right combination of conditions.  Until then, try targeting the other species in Big Bear Lake.  Bass, Catfish, Crappie and Bluegill are plentiful and will make your drags sing.

July 18, 2010

Well it took a month, but the trout worth $50K on from the Fishing for $50K Trout Tournament on June 5 and 6 was landed on the Fourth of July!  Ash Buchan of Sierra Madre was bait fishing off Windy Pt. when the trout with tag number 297 inhaled a ball of orange Gulp.  Though the fish was no longer good for the $50K, Ash did receive a  pontoon rental from Big Bear Marina, dinner for four at Desi’s Restaurant in the Village and assorted Berkley products.  Ash plans to enter TroutFest in October in hopes of bringing in another tagged fish during that event.

Trout fishing remains good on the lake!  Not much has changed since last week with the exception of oxygen levels shrinking down to 23 ft.  With the clarity at 8 feet, you should target the trout from the surface to 20 ft.  Remember that the trout always look up for their prey so baits or lures presented from the surface (CD Rapalas on flat lined mono or Needlefish at 3 to 4 colors of leadcore and PowerBait hung from a slip bobber) are the magic that works.

Both large and small mouth bass are becoming more active in the bays and along rocky jetties.  Small jigs and spinners are taking most of the fish.

Crappie and bluegill are also coming alive as water temps rise.  Mini-jigs tipped with Gulp nuggets are a good combo.  For the nocturnal anglers catfish are showing along the shallow banks in the east end on mackerel, shrimp and stink baits.

July 11, 2010

Another great week on Big Bear Lake!  With water temperatures in the mid 60’s and oxygen levels good down to 25 feet the trout bite remains strong.  The summertime scenario of the trout holding in the western third of the lake is in full swing now.  Trollers and bait anglers are finding the fish from Gilner Pt. down to the dam.  Trollers are whacking  trout on the surface with silver or black CD Rapalas, and down to 2.5 to 3 colors of leadcore with Needlefish in pearl bikini and copper chicken wing getting the most action.  Bait anglers going on the drift from a boat with slip bobbers rigged from 10 to 25 feet are also seeing limits of quality trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers.

The panfish, catfish and bass are out there, just not many anglers targeting them at this time.  Remember Big Bear Marina is the only Official Weigh Station on the lake.  Bring your record or quality catch here to be certified.

July 3, 2010

Trout fishing on Big Bear Lake remained good this week.  Even with the heavy boat pressure from the 4th of July trollers and bait anglers continue to find the fish.  Trollers with 3 colors of leadcore out with Needlefish in pearl bikini and fire pearl landed their limits.  Trollers going flat lined mono with Rapalas in silver also did well.  Bait anglers drifting down the middle of the lake and shore anglers using a slip bobber, also got a few.  The trout are holding between 10 and 23 feet from the dam to the observatory, with most of the action coming from Windy Pt. west to the dam.

The bass (both small and large) are off their beds and active again in the back of the bays.  Small spinners and jigs are working best.

Bowfishing for carp will return to excellent, once the boat traffic slows.

Look for the catfish to come on soon as water temperatures are now hitting the high 60’s in the east end that they call home.

June 26, 2010

Not much has changed in the past week.  The weather is great, the water temperatures and oxygen levels have remained the same and the trout just keep biting.  (See last weeks report for details)

Bowfishing for carp has gone off the charts.  The fish are big and in the shallows.  Come on up and shoot a bunch, just dispose of them properly (not in the water or shore, sealed trash bag and can are best).

Mike Willman along with his sons Matt and Jason took a trip with Curt Dills,, last week and took 12 fish home after releasing another 13, during a trip.  Mike exclaimed, “My kids had one of the best days of their lives today,

June 13, 2010

What a great week on Big Bear Lake!!!  The weather is perfect the fish are biting and it just doesn’t get any better than this!  Fishin’ for $50K saw 539 anglers ply the waters of Big Bear Lake in search of that one fish worth $50K.  Two tagged trout were caught, but the $50K trout eluded the anglers.  Thousand of dollars of Berkley PowerBait,  Shakespeare leadcore trolling combos, and Pflueger spinning combos added a lot of excitement to the event.  Kim Bray from Colton CA caught a 5.54 lb. trout for the largest in her division, worth $500 plus a $500 bonus from Berkley for the largest trout caught on PowerBait.  Check out the links attached for more info on the event and all the winners.

Trolling leadcore at 2.5 colors down to 4 colors with gold Buoyants has put limits on his boat for everyone.  The fish are still in the Trout Triangle area.  Beyond Gilner Pt. is tougher as oxygen levels are low below 16 ft.  Surface water temperatures are in the low 60’s and oxygen levels are good with the exception of the West ramp, Gilner Pt. area.  Bait anglers from shore and boat should start  rigging up their slip bobbers between 14 and 25 feet now that the oxygen levels are too low to support trout on the bottom.

Largemouth bass are heading into their  spawn.  Please do not disturb these fish now.  If you do catch one please release it unharmed so the species can thrive.  Look for the Catfish, smallmouth, crappie and bluegill to go off soon as the waters continue to warm.


The weather in the Big Bear Valley finally improved this week, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70’s over the Memorial Weekend the anglers and fish were just loving it!  Water temperatures all over the lake are in the low to mid 50’s, the ideal temperature for trout.  With the oxygen levels high throughout the lake the fish are everywhere.  Shore anglers using PowerBait and nightcrawlers fished on a short leader (12-24 inches) off the bottom are getting limits of fish from 1 to 2 lbs.  Larger fish are showing for trollers going down 3-4 colors (15-20 ft.) of leadcore (18 lb.).  These fish are in the 2-3 pound range with an occasional 6-8 pound fish showing.  Below is Ken Smith from Culver City who on his first fishing trip to Big Bear Lake caught a 8.14 lb. rainbow trolling a Rapala outside Lagonita Pt.  Also shown is George Marsh of Big Bear City who landed a 6.32 lb. trout at 3 colors on a Needlefish outside of Metcalf Bay.


Not much change on Big Bear Lake this past week.  The weather was a mixed bag.  Even on the days when it was chilly and windy, the fish were on for the few anglers out there.  Easy limits of trout from 1 to 4 pounds were common for trollers and shore anglers.  The trollers working the surface with Rapalas down to 3.5–4 colors of leadcore (17-20 ft) with Needlefish and Dick Nite Spoons got most their fish in Trout Triangle. (Eagle Pt., Lagonita Pt. Solar Observatory).  Rainbow pattern colors worked the best.  Shore anglers using PowerBait and nightcrawlers from Juniper Pt. to the East Ramp on a short leader (12-24 inches) kept the bows on the chew.

Bass and panfish continue to hit spinners and minijigs near shore and docks.  Several smallmouth bass over 2 pounds have come in.

Below is the Choi Family from Corona, CA.  They brought Anthony Choi’s 9.76 lb. trout to the  Official Weigh Station at Big Bear Marina, because Daddy did not want to stop fishing.  Anthony thought this had to be his day after landing the 9.76 trout, he figured he would catch  a bigger one!


Carl VanBurger of Apple Valley, CA was the big winner of the 28th Jim Hall Memorial Trout Classic this past weekend.  Carl is pictured below with his fishin’ buddy Martin Mosley.  The hefty 8.55 lb. trout came in on a trolled  Rapala off Boulder Bay early Saturday to claim the 1st place cash prize of $2025.00!!!

Another 8.0 lb. trout was brought in by Michael Lomelin of La Puente, CA.  Michael got his fish off Juniper Pt. on a Storm (wildeye live crappie).  Unfortunately he was not  entered in the Classic, if he had been the fish would have taken 2nd place worth $1215.00.

Trout fishing remains good on the lake for trollers and bait anglers.  High winds and cool temps have kept the pressure down.  The lake is full of trophy trout so be sure to come up and get in on the big bows, before they are all gone.


The 28th Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic is all set for May 15-16 on Big Bear Lake.  Trophy sizes trout will be plant this week for the event.  Last year the 1st place fish was 13.83 lbs.  Two weeks later a new lake record of 18.69 lbs. was brought in.

The trout bite is good for trollers going down to 3 and 4 colors of leadcore, using Needlefish, Rapalas, and Buoyants.  Some fish are also being taken on the surface with spinners.  Limits of fish to 2 lbs. are the norm, with a few bigger fish hitting the scales.  Below is Carl VanBurger of Apple Valley who landed a 3.47 Big Bear Bow, while fishing with his buddies Curt Dills and Martin Mosley.

Shore anglers using short leaders baited with doughbaits and/or nightcrawlers are doing well also, when the wind is down, and the water is less muddy.

Largemouth Bass and Crappie are starting to show in the back of the bays and along floating buildings and docks.  Small spinners and mini-jigs are the magic here and best accessed by walking the shore.

The hot area of the lake for trollers is “Trout Triangle” and for bait anglers from Juniper Pt. to Windy Pt. along the North Shore.


It looks like Mother Nature is finally going to give us a break this coming week. Another chilly week with high winds and a tossed lake, just reminded us of how badly we all want spring to arrive. Even with the high winds, trollers going down with 3 to 4 colors of leadcore towing Neddlefish and Rapalas in rainbow patterns scored limits of fish to 2 pounds. Shore anglers working Juniper Pt. with PowerBait and nightcrawlers fished off the bottom on short leaders are getting their share. The best action is right out in front of the marina in "Trout Triangle" (Eagle Pt., Observatory, Lagonita Pt.) Come on up and celebrate Spring with us!


The rainbow trout have turned on all over Big Bear Lake.  With surface temperatures at 47 degrees and the promise of improving weather the fish are liking it.  Limits of holdover trout form 1.5 pounds to 4.5 pounds have been reported by anglers from boat and shore.  Be sure to get in on some great Alpine Trout fishing without the long drive and rough weather up north.


It's pretty simple, when the weather is good so is the trout bite!  After 5 inches of snow on Monday we got a glimpse of spring, the anglers and the fish showed in good numbers.  Trollers using leadcore and a variety of lures found the trout all over the lake from as short as 1.5 colors all the way down to 4 colors.  Bait anglers along the North Shore from Juniper Pt. to the dam fishing PowerBait and nightcrawlers off the bottom on a short leader also did well.  Bass are are hitting large and small jigs worked along the shoreline.  Keep an eye on the weather and get in on the start of a great spring bite.


With lake surface temperatures in the low 40's and Mother Nature not wanting to say goodbye to winter, the season is off to a chilly start.  Shore anglers along the North Shore from the dam to Juniper Pt. are doing well fishing off the bottom with a sliding egg sinker,  short leader (12-18 inches) and PowerBait and/or nightcrawler pitched 10 to 20 feet from the shore.  Those trolling on the surface or with leadcore form 1.5 to 2.5 colors are seeing less action due to the cold, slow pace of the trout.  The trout are spawning up the  streams a beautiful sight to see, but be aware it is against DFG regulations to fish in these streams, or any moving water coming from these streams.  A small winter storm is due on Monday, followed by high pressure and warmer days ahead.  Look for the bite to improve as the weather does.  Tight lines and good fishing!


A lot of excitement is being generated for the 2010 season on Big Bear Lake.  The lake has risen 3 feet and will continue to fill as the melt-off continues and the promise of a strong El Nino, with rain to come, lingers into spring.

The water temperature is about 40 degrees now and the fish are just starting to come out of their winter slumber.  Shore anglers on the North Shore are seeing some action for trout fishing off the bottom with PowerBait and nightcrawlers.  Keep your leader lengths short (12-18 inches) so the slow moving trout can find them.

The public launch ramps are scheduled for an April 1st opening.


A lot of excitement is being generated for the 2010 season on Big Bear Lake.  The lake has risen 3 feet and will continue to fill as the melt-off continues and the promise of a strong El Nino, with rain to come, lingers into spring.

The water temperature is about 40 degrees now and the fish are just starting to come out of their winter slumber.  Shore anglers on the North Shore are seeing some action for trout fishing off the bottom with PowerBait and nightcrawlers.  Keep you leader lengths short (12-18 inches) so the slow moving trout can find them. 

Big Bear Marina and Holloway's Marina is scheduled to open on April 3rd for the 2010 season.  The public launch ramps are scheduled for an April 1st opening.




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