Fishing is a strange brew of art, science and sport. And fishing on Big Bear Lake, means taking the science part of the sport seriously. Experienced anglers utilize the Big Bear Municipal Water District’s weekly limnological report. What is a limnological report? I’m glad you asked.

This report includes a combination of temperatures and dissolved oxygen readings throughout the lake. Rainbow trout, the big money fish in Big Bear Lake, are very sensitive to these two readings. If the oxygen is too low it becomes a life and death situation for the fish, according to the MWD.

Oxygen levels below five parts per million is the breaking point for trout. The higher the concentration of dissolved oxygen, the better trout thrive.

As for temperatures, the optimum is 52 to 58 degrees. In the summer, the closer to the surface, the hotter the water. Trout swim deep in the summer. But don’t ignore the dissolved oxygen levels. Too deep and the oxygen level falls off. The trick is to find the place where there is enough dissolved oxygen at the right water temperature.

The Big Bear Lake limnological report is available online at As of June 3, water temperature ranges between 58.1 to 64.2 degrees. Dissolved oxygen levels range between 4 parts per million and 9.4 parts per million.

Optimum fishing spots near the boom line at the dam are between 14 and 15 meters below the surface. Drop your line about 14 meters down at Papoose Bay and 10 to 11 meters near the west launch ramp. 

The water temp starts to rise at the Solar Observatory where 5.1 parts per million of dissolved oxygen is at the 9 meter mark, but the water temperature is 59.7 degrees. Juniper Point is at 63.5 degrees 6 meters below the surface with 8.7 parts per million of dissolved oxygen.


MWD tip of the week

Try varying your depth when not catching any fish. If casting from shore, cast far and short to try to find the sweet spot.


Take the bait

June 22-23: 10th annual Carp Roundup. For more information, call 909-866-5796.

June 22: Big Bear Big Bass Tournament. For more information, call 909-866-7374.

July 6: Free fishing day, sponsored by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. No fishing license required.


On the record

Try your hand at breaking one or more of these records:

Smallmouth bass, 3.64 pounds, caught near B’s Backyard Bar-B-Que by Mike Madden, Big Bear Lake, May 20, 2012.

Rainbow trout, 18.69 pounds, caught from shore south of the dam by Erin Dominguez, Trabuco Canyon, May 24, 2009.

Largemouth bass, 5.9 pounds, caught by Pam Kalina, Big Bear City, Oct. 8, 2008.

Channel catfish, 28.67 pounds, caught near the Solar Observatory by Dan Marshall, Sugarloaf, Sept. 5, 2011.

Blue catfish, 22.04 pounds, caught near the Solar Observatory by Dan Marshall, Sugarloaf, Sept. 19, 2011.

Crappie, 1.26 pounds, caught in Gibraltar Bay by Nolan Warriner, Big Bear Lake, Aug. 2, 2010.

Bluegill, 0.45 pounds, caught in Papoose Bay by Clayton Green, Big Bear City, May 27, 2012.


Official weigh station

The Big Bear Municipal Water District recognizes Big Bear Marina as the first official weigh station on Big Bear Lake. Lake records can be challenged so long as the fish are weighed in at Big Bear Marina. Official records are kept for crappie, bluegill, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, carp, rainbow trout and catfish. Bring big fish and quality limits to the marina for weigh-in and be eligible for monthly prizes.

Big Bear Marina is at 500 Paine Road, Big Bear Lake, adjacent to the MWD office. For more information, call 909-866-3218.


Grizzly seeks fish photos

Got a big fish to brag about? Send a JPEG photo along with a complete description of the catch, bait or lure used, location caught and person’s complete name to The Grizzly at or drop off a photo at The Grizzly office at 42007 Fox Farm Road, Big Bear Lake.

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