BY MIKE STEVENS
BIG BEAR LAKE – While it’s still very much the heart of summer throughout Southern California, there have been some breaks from the heat as each week seems to have had a few autumn-like days in the mix.
At Big Bear Lake, that means cool overnight lows along with mild days can drop the water temps a few ticks, and that can turn on trout—and other species—even if it’s a short-lived trend.
With fall like weather the surface temperatures of the lake have dropped well over 4 degrees in the past few days down into the 67-degree range,” said Scott Eberhard of Cantrell Fishing Guide Service. “This has moved the trout up in the water column, and you can expect to catch fish from just under the surface down to 10 feet with consistency. The shore angling is still a bit on the slow side except very early in the morning and very late in the day, but trollers and bait drifters are having success in the western half of the lake.”
There were warmer days over the weekend that bumped the water temperature back up to 68-plus, and more warm, clear days this week could bring it back to an even 70 degrees, but that’s won’t be enough to completely shut down the summer trout bite at Big Bear Lake.
The key takeaway here is, with the WON Big Bear Troutfest inching closer (Oct. 7-8), the lake’s trout population is already showing how quickly they’ll perk up with even a small temperature dip. That paired with the outstanding overall condition the lake is in after that “miracle winter” is expected to make this year’s Troutfest one for the ages as far as the potential for outstanding fishing is concerned.
Eberhard also thinks bass fishing will pick up over the next few weeks if the cooling trend continues, and he told WON there are already slab crappie that can be caught just outside weed lines off main-lake structure.