Time for a Tackle Check

The fishing in the Kern River Valley is firing on all cylinders. I have been talking to a lot of fishermen. Whether it be a bass, trout, catfish, or crappie fisherman, I have been getting positive feedback. I have to make sure I am ready for a variety of fishing opportunities this season.

Bass gear, all good. I have enough crappie jigs for several seasons. Plenty of lead and hooks for many days or nights of catfishing. I do need a little work on my river tackle. My fishing arsenal took a hit this last week.

A good old school fishing buddy of mine came up for a visit and a day of fishing. We played basketball together back in school. Chris was a heck of an athlete.

He also told me he had done quite a bit of ocean fishing. There is a lot more space fishing in the ocean than fish-ing the upper Kern. Chris is six foot six and had had a little trouble maneuvering and fishing the brush line along the river.

Some of the trees on the upper Kern look as if they are decorated for Christ-mas. The decorations are my silver and gold Vilmax spinners. Needless to say, I need to replenish the inventory in my spinner box. Its okay, lure companies will never go broke as long as there are fishermen like Chris and myself.

We did manage to catch some nice rainbows. We started at Bone Creek and caught a few native trout. We worked our way down to fish the main river. We caught six fish up to sixteen inches using silver and gold Vilmax spinners (before they could become tree ornaments).

We had good success making long casts to the opposite side of the river. A seven-foot rod and one eighth ounce spinners did the trick.

Our original plan was to lake fish. There has been some lunker bass being caught. Unfortunately, last week was one of the worst wind weeks of the season. It seems as if some early spring weather patterns are hanging around through May.

Saturday and Sun-day turned out to be more fishable. I just have a hard time with the rush hour at the launch ramp. Since I do everything in slow motion it would be unfair for other boaters.

The A.B.A. bass tournament scheduled for May 16 was canceled. I was hopeful after golf courses throughout the state had opened up. I figured a golf course is a lot like a lake. Plenty of room for social distancing. I know I can cast my seven-foot rod all day long and not hit my fishing partner. Hopefully, we can fish our June 13th tournament.

This is a great time of year to shore fish for catfish. One of my favorite ways to fish. Sit in a beach chair with your fishing rod in a sand stake. All a fisherman has to do is keep an eye on the rod tip. This is a great way to relax and take in the scenery around Lake Isabella.

It’s a different feeling seeing the rod tip dip as opposed to having the rod in hand and feeling the bite. Catfish are pretty good about hooking themselves, especially when using a circle hook. This gives a fisherman time to get up out of the chair. I do not lose too many fish using my slow-motion fishing technique.

One of my favorite fishing areas for catfish is Camp 9. Hopefully, the forest service will open the area soon. Seems to me that it will lessen the overcrowding in the other areas and launch ramps.

If the goal is to achieve social distancing, the opening of Camp 9 would sure help. Plus Camp 9 is close to home I can be at the launch ramp in ten minutes. Just thinking about my Kernville fishing buddies. See you on the water.