Looks like the people of the Kern River Valley are getting their prayers answered. The Sierra snowpack is way above normal. The Borel Canal project is done. The lake is well over 100,000 acre feet and rising. Now that the flume is sealed at the base of the Auxiliary Dam, the lake can reach its max of over 360,000 acre feet.
All this changes my approach to fishing this spring. Lake water should rise well into the river channel and over towards the airport in the North Fork. In the South Fork, lake waters should rise well into Brown’s Cove and around Lyme Dyke towards Rabbit Island. All the brush in these areas make for great fish habitat. It also makes it difficult to fish traditional methods. Heavy brush structure is a graveyard for many lures and terminal tackle.
When I restock my already heavily stocked tackle boxes this year, there will be a few changes. Instead of diving and lipless crankbaits, there will be more top water lures, spinner and buzzbaits. Probably throw a lot more Whopper Ploppers than I will Rapala DTs. There is not much in bass fishing that compares to a fish coming out of cover and busting a surface lure.
The rising water will definitely enhance our fishing derby. Areas like Camp 9, Stine Cove and Paradise Cove have traditionally been productive areas for derby trout. The water should rise into these areas by mid-April. All launch ramps should be available with the exception of Launch 19. Less time to launch, more time to fish. Should be another great derby this year.
Looking forward to another great crappie season. As soon as our lake water temps warm to between 55 and 60 degrees, the fish will move in shallow to spawn. I have already heard of some fish being taken. The wide open bite should start any day now.
River fishing has been inconsistent. I went to fish the river opposite side of the old cemetery. I have heard of some trout being taken in this area. The day I fished, storm water had increased the river flow to over 2,000 cfs. The water was murky and shore access was terrible. The rising water was up into the brush and shore. Found a few clear spots; could not get a bite. It’s going to take a little work this spring. Runoff will be strong. The challenge will be to find fishable water.
My brother, Bob, came up to visit and trout fish the upper Kern. I told him conditions were not right and fishing was tough. Sometimes it’s just about getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. We knew the DFW had stocked some nice sized rainbows around the bridge at Riverside Park. We elected to go up and start where Brush Creek enters the Kern. The challenge of catching a holdover and seeing more of the scenic Kern is much more appealing. The shores of Riverside Park were lined with fishermen. Some of these anglers have forgotten about the thrill of the chase. We managed one nice fish. The upside is we saw and fished miles of the Kern.
I would like to see the DFW distribute the trout more widely throughout sections 4, 5 and 6. If they stock the fish where all of the fishing pressure will be anglers will crowd up and take all the fish in no time. If fish are stocked randomly in different spots each time, it will force fishermen to be fishermen. The buildup of holdovers will increase. In the long run, I think fishermen will appreciate it. Many will fish waters they haven’t fished in some time.
Looking forward to March 30. First ABA bass tournament of the season. It will be very interesting with these rising water levels. I do not know if I am in shape for an 8 hour tournament. Somehow, I don’t think it will matter.
See you on the water.