Every year during the middle of summer my family gets together for a stay at the Falling Waters resort. This year’s get-together involved around twenty family members and friends. Most of them like to relax around the pool, take short hikes along the river, and barbeque and visit.

There are a few of us that like to fish.

Every year there is a friendly competition for which family member catches the most fish. This year’s competition was very challenging due to the crowds enjoying the Kern River Valley. It was tough to fish our go-to spots.

Family friend Jason took the prize this year with a four fish total. He was able to catch two nice crappie around Red’s Marina. He also caught two nice rainbow trout on the river. Brother Jim took second due to his finesse fishing skills. Jim caught three nice native trout out of Peppermint Creek.

Brother Bob edged me out of third place with a nice bass caught out of the Boulder Gulch area. Due to a rule change, Bob was able to nab third place.

The new rule is as follows: If a person hooks a fish and brings it close enough to see it then it counts as a catch, even if the fish breaks loose. The new rule was accepted by all. So brother Bob has bragging rights for 3rd place this year.

I spent a lot more time lounging this year than years past. I hoped to redeem myself for my last place finish in the family derby by fishing the A.B.A bass tournament on August 15.

It was a great turnout; thirteen boats entered the tournament. Summer tournaments are held to six hours for the survival of the fish and the fisherman.

Roy and I come in an hour early since Roy is the tournament director. I was sure glad of that this particular day. It was a scorcher on Lake Isabella.

We were able to find some active fish in shallow water. I was surprised. Due to the heat, I thought it would be a deeper water bite. We were able to bring in four nice keepers for a total weight of just under 10 lbs. We lost just as many fish as we caught.

Roy had a nice five-pound plus fish on that broke off just before I was able to net it. I thought about implementing brother Bob’s new rule. I did not think the A.B.A. would buy into the rule change.

The tournament was won by Randy McAbee, Sr. and Clark Small. They edged out Randy McAbee, Jr. and Mason McAbee 17.78 to 17.46 lbs. Family bragging rights by .32 lbs. It was another great day on Lake Isabella. All thirteen teams weighed and released fish.

A total of 58 bass caught and released. There was not much other fishing activity on the lake due to the heat. Shore activity was mostly water sports and swimming. The lake is still in a full-on algae bloom. Due to the heat the people did not seem to mind the green water.

I did notice some anglers deep water trolling for crappie. They were fishing 20 to 30 feet of water on the north side of rocky point. I saw them stop a couple of times to reel in fish. The same would be the hot tip for trout – deep water, slow trolling.

This is also a great time to night fish for catfish. Water sports are done and temps are cooled down a bit. Seventy degrees is nice after a day a 100 degrees or better.

See you on the water.

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