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Fish Report

September 21, 2004

Updated on Sunday

Freshwater

Largemouth bass: A classic fall bite is in swing as water cools and fish chase shad in shallows. At Lake Castaic, anglers tossing buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, crankbaits, jerkbaits and Pop-Rs score fish early. Lake Isabella surrendered a 12-8 to Louis Moroder, Los Angeles, who fished a 9-inch Power Worm. Diamond Valley Lake boasts an excellent top-water bite early and anglers shift to fish 30 feet deep later with drop-shot or Carolina-rig plastic worms. Small fish are on tap at Lake Perris for anglers fishing drop-shot worms. Silverwood, Cachuma, Casitas, Santa Margarita, Lopez and the Colorado River from Lake Mohave south are turning on as water cools.

Trout: The deep-water bite at Diamond Valley Lake rocks. Anglers trolling 13 colors of leadcore and Needlefish take rainbows to 6-0 along the west side near the dams while shore anglers dunking Power Bait or inflated night crawlers in 60 feet of water do well too. Anglers get fish to 4-0 at Green Valley Lake using Power Bait, Power Worms or small lures, although this week's Whitewater trout plant is the last of the season. Power Bait under a slip-bobber and leader fools rainbows near the aerators at Big Bear Lake. Good fishing in general in the eastern Sierra as lake-dwelling browns move to streams to spawn.

Striped bass: The bite at Lake Castaic is not great, maybe four to seven fish daily, but it's better than most everywhere else. Try anchovies or sardines at the buoy line or in Elizabeth Canyon. Along the Colorado River, anglers scored two fish over 30-0 at Willow Beach and better days are expected as weather cools and boat traffic subsides. Top-water plugs early and jigged spoons later bang out fish at Lake Mead.

Panfish: Live minnows or mini-jigs plus flooded trees at Lake Isabella equals a recipe for crappies to 2-0. Bluegill and redear are hungry for worms, mealworms or wax worms at Lake Lopez in Central California. At Lake Perris, small bluegill and redear fall for mealworms or crickets near lot 12, the east end and Rock Climber's cove on mealworms or crickets. Decent bluegill fishing is on tap at Lake Murray and Lower Otay near San Diego.

Catfish: An emergent big cat bite follows autumn weather. R.J. Coleman, San Diego, took a 20-pounder dunking a mackerel chunk in the Kimball Arm at San Vicente; the lake produces blue cats over 50 pounds every fall. Anglers scored several flatheads over 20-0 along the Colorado River below Lake Havasu. Irvine Lake is good in the morning and at night on weekends; Ronson Smothers, Los Angeles, took a 13-pounder. Charles Anderson, Claremont, took a 12-8 at Anaheim Lake. Mike Sunderhaft, Lake Elsinore, took a 14-8 at Corona Lake. Hesperia Lake dominates as anglers have scored fish over 30-0 every week since June. The best action is at the north shore and Finger Point, where Brian Ellum, San Bernardino, took a 32-0 on shrimp.

Saltwater

Albacore: Plan to take a 1 1/2-day trip or longer to find schools of fish 120 to 130 miles southwest of San Diego. One-day boats have a much tougher time as warm water pushes north and fish move toward Guadalupe. For the effort, anglers can find fish from 30 to 50 pounds.

Bluefin tuna: Schools of tuna from 50 to 70 pounds are swimming in the general vicinity of albacore off San Diego. The Gallilean returned to H&M Landing this last week with a 200-pound fish caught during a two-day trip.

Yellowtail: The action at San Clemente Island has been excellent since the Navy reopened the island after months of training. The Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing returned with a haul of 100 yellows off the west end of the island.

Bonito: Excellent in near-shore waters as anglers aboard small boats, piers and jetties reap many fish 2-0 to 3-0. Some offshore schools feature fish to 12-0. Troll, toss bait or splash a surface rig for good times.

Bass: Private boaters report lots of calicos and sand bass on the kelp paddies along the coast.

Trout plants

Locations: To be stocked this week, weather permitting: Bouquet Canyon Creek, Pyramid Lake (Los Angeles County); Hemet Lake (Riverside). Jenks Lake, Santa Ana River (San Bernardino); Cuyamaca Lake (San Diego); Baker Creek, Big Pine Creek, Bishop Creek-Lower, Middle, and South forks, Diaz Lake, Georges Creek, Goodale Creek, Independence Creek, Lake Sabrina, Lone Pine Creek, North Lake, Owens River-Laws bridge downstream to Steward Lane and below Tinnemaha, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, South Lake, Taboose Creek, Tinnemaha Creek, Tuttle Creek (Inyo); Convict Creek, Lee Vining Creek, Lee Vining Creek-South Fork, Mammoth Creek, McGee Creek, Owens River-Benton Crossing, Rush Creek, Saddlebag Creek, Sherwin Creek, Tioga Lake, Trumble Lake, Virginia Lakes (Mono); Kings River below Pine Flat Dam, San Joaquin River below Friant Dam (Fresno); Kern River-Pump House Three to Riverside Park, Kernville (Kern); Kern River-Fairview Dam to Falling Waters Lodge and Brush Creek to Fairview Dam (Tulare).

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An extensive and updated fish report is available Thursday at latimes.com/fish.

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