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SPORTS WEEKEND

Fish Report

September 26, 1997

FRESHWATER

CASTAIC LAKE--Bass fishing has picked up. Takashi Shitaya, Tokyo, eight-pound bass, on crawdad at upper lake. Patrick Buckley, nine bass, largest 12 pounds 4 ounces, on crawdads and mudsuckers. Richard Salgado, Castaic, 11-pound striped bass, on spoon at 48 feet. Guide Gary Harrison with Steve Arklin, Valencia, six bass to 13-4, on crawdads.

LAKE PIRU--Catfish best bet, with fish to 18 pounds biting at north end and Reasoner Cove on mackerel and chicken livers. Largemouth bass activity fair in mornings and late evenings only, with Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits doing best. Some trout and bluegills.

PYRAMID LAKE--A little bit of everything has shown at the scales: a stringer of 20 bluegills caught on minnows, a 16-pound striped bass caught on a live shad, a stringer of eight smallmouth bass caught on night crawlers and a stringer of four catfish caught on anchovies.

LAKE CACHUMA--Largemouth bass best bet, with surface lures doing well in mornings and plastic worms during day. David Fogg, Santa Barbara, 8-9 bass, on buzzbait at cistern. Red-ear perch bite fair on red and mealworms. Catfish biting off shore at night, with mackerel getting most.

LAKE CASITAS--Rod Thigpen, Santa Paula, three bass, largest 10 pounds, on crawdad. Dave Gaughen, Oxnard, 9-8 bass, on buzzbait. Best bite is at dawn. Crawdads best bait for big fish. Catfish bite steady, with fish averaging eight pounds, biting at five feet on mackerel.

CORONA LAKE--Catfish are the main attraction but the bite is only slow to fair. An 11-8 fish tops the week's list.

SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES--Opens Saturday after a brief closure for repairs. Catfish and bass have been stocked.

IRVINE LAKE--Largemouth bass have become very active, averaging two to five pounds, biting on plastic worms and spinnerbaits. Bass fishermen are restricted to catch and release. Catfish fishermen aren't, and are using mackerel to load up stringers of channel cats from three to 15 pounds. More than 1,000 pounds of hybrid striped bass--a cross between white bass and stripers--were recently stocked in hopes of establishing a "wiper" fishery. Wipers, biting periodically on mini-jigs, also must be released.

LAGUNA NIGUEL LAKE--Catfish are coming alive after dark, with limits or near-limits the rule. Biggest was 22-8 by Marty Sauceda, Costa Mesa, on mackerel at the inlet. Josh Jacobs, Newport Beach, caught an 8-2 largemouth bass on a night crawler, highlighting a fair bite.

LAKE SKINNER--Anchovies and chicken livers fished fairly deep are accounting for sporadic striped bass catches, though the bite is fair at best. Largemouth bass are striking dark-colored plastic worms.

LAKE PERRIS--A drop in the water level has slowed the fishing, but anglers are catching a lot of small bass (early mornings and evenings) and bluegills, and little else.

BIG BEAR LAKE--Catfish activity has picked up, with fish averaging five to 10 pounds biting mostly on mackerel. Trout bite has slowed but a few limits are being filled, mostly by those using night crawler-flasher combos and Power Bait. Some bass and crappies.

SAN DIEGO CITY LAKES--San Vicente's bluegills can't seem to satisfy their hunger, and they're paying the price--2,382 were caught in the past week. Bass fishermen are doing best at El Capitan, where a good bite is under way, and nearly as well at Sutherland and Hodges. Catfish bite best at Sutherland, where a 53-8 blue catfish was landed by Brian Potts, El Cajon, on a crawdad at Parker Point.

LAKE CUYAMACA--The water temperature has dropped to 58 degrees and the trout have decided to keep warm by feeding. Lots of limits, most caught on Power Bait and inflated night crawlers. Crappies and catfish still active as well.

BISHOP--North Lake and South Lake are the best bets, with Bishop Creek providing a nice alternative to lake fishing. Limits are being caught in all three. Lake Sabrina and Intake II fair. David Medina, Cardiff, four-pound brown trout, on Kastmaster at South Lake.

MAMMOTH LAKES--Region has produced some quality fish: a five-pounder on yellow Power Bait at Twin, a four-pound rainbow on a Needlefish lure, and a 3-8 rainbow on a Kastmaster at Convict Lake; a few three-pounders and a lot of 18-inchers, mostly on Rapalas and olive matuka flies. Limits or near-limits of pan-sized rainbows are common.

JUNE LAKE--Best bet in Eastern Sierra for big fish. Trout seven pounds 12 ounces and 7-7 were caught on olive and black woolly bugger flies at Silver Lake. Grant Lake has produced several fish up to four pounds. Action at June and Grant lakes steady in mornings and afternoons for mostly smaller trout.

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