Fishing with Noble: Good Ol’ Reliable Section Four

Fishing with Noble / Noble Smith

“Section Four” being the stretch of the upper Kern River from the lake to the power plant. The sections of the river are numbered by the Department of Fish & Wildlife for their stocking program. There are six sections altogether. One through three are in the lower river, and four through six are on the upper river.

I believe Section Four receives more fish annually than all the other sections because of the amount of fishing pressure it receives. There are four large campgrounds that offer RV hookups along that stretch of river. There campgrounds are usually full all summer long. That’s a lot of fishermen.

Riverside Park and the Edison power plant are probably two of the most popular fishing spots in the entire valley. We all know there are some large fish are caught near the power plant every season. A good number of fish are caught at Riverside Park, also.

These two areas are great for family fishing. Very accessible, just a short distance to hike the kids and gear to the shore. Which means a short hike back when the kids get bored. At the park, you can stop at the swing set before heading back to camp.

Section Four also has a lot to offer the more serious fisherman. Fishing the shoreline near the rodeo grounds offers some good action with a lot less fishing pressure. There is also a large stretch of river that runs from Riverside Park to the old cemetery. This section gets very little fishing pressure. Along with a little hike, you can fish this section of river on the airport side.

This is why I like to fish Section Four in the off-season. Since it is so heavily stocked during peak season, it would be more likely to find quality holdover fish.

Near the end of last year’s season, fishermen were catching some of these large tailwalkers stocked for the derby. They were catching them near the old cemetery. I would think there are a few holdovers swimming around Section Four somewhere.

Section Four also gets stocked for the Whiskey Flat weekend. A lot of fishermen are preoccupied by the celebration. I think fishermen spend less time on the water and more time in town. This all means more holdovers.

The last time I was on the lake chasing bass I noticed 60 degree water temps. I was thinking, “It’s crappie time.” This was about a month ago. Now we seem to have gone back into winter mode. I still think we are close to a crappie spawn. Although I would like to see a few more winter storms to beef up our snow pack.

Spring is on its way, even though a while back it seems like it was already here. Once the water temps stay consistent in the low 60s, it should move the crappie up to spawn. I do not see a large takedown of lake levels like last year. The lake should be on the rise this spring.

It looks like the lake will be approaching the 200,000 acre-foot level for our fishing derby. There should be plenty of water at some of the favorite spots. Camp Nine, Stine Cove and Paradise Cove should all have good shore access for fishermen. These are all great areas for trout this time of year.

Good news for the bass guys wanting to fish competitive tournaments. The ABA will be back at Lake Isabella for a full season of tournaments. Ray King will be tournament director this year. The dates are April 28, May 26, June 16, July 7, August 11, and September 15.

The tournaments are very competitive. The thing I like most about fishing tournaments is you never stop learning. You take something away from each tournament to make you a better fisherman.

I love this time of year looking forward to the upcoming season. This season I hope to be a trout, catfish, crappie and bass guy. Also a river and a lake guy.

See you on the water.

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