Fishing for tips, June 24, 2020

An angler reels in a large carp on the shoreline along Stanfield Cutoff.

There’s a time and place

So you’re going fishing on Big Bear Lake. Perhaps it’s been awhile since you’ve dropped a line in these waters. Or maybe you are a beginner just getting your line wet. There is a time and place that’s best for each of the fish species in Big Bear Lake.

• Trout — Morning has been the best so far with plenty of fish on the bite. Late afternoon is the second-best time to fish for trout. This goes for the shore angler and the troller. Trout don’t like warm or hot weather, so they spend their midday hours hunkered deep in the cooler confines of the lake. During the summer months, your best bet for catching trout is in the western end of the lake where the water is deeper, allowing the trout to cool off. Try fishing from the old Gray’s Landing spot west to the dam along the North Shore. That’s where you will also see the most boats anchored during the summer.

• Catfish — Nighttime is catfish time. Catfish like sandy bottoms and shallow waters. The area along Stanfield Cutoff used to be the best place to reel in some catfish, but you can find these whiskerfish just about anywhere in the shallows of the lake. Big Bear Municipal Water District General Manager Mike Stephenson said the MWD recently stocked the lake with about 5,000 1-pound catfish so there are plenty of chances to catch this species in Big Bear Lake.

• Smallmouth bass — These little fish like rocky areas. And, like trout, don’t like the warmer weather. During the summer, find smallmouth bass in deeper, cooler water around rocks.

• Largemouth bass — Unlike their cousins, the largemouth bass like warmer water. Anglers can find these fish around any kind of structure in the water, like docks.

• Carp — Yes, people like to fish for carp, which like shallow, muddy water in the weeds. Carp will also surface two to three times a day. Here’s a hint: if you see pelicans gathering around the shallow water, they may be corralling carp. Carp is the No. 2 favorite meal for pelicans. What’s No. 1? That would be crayfish.

Big fish

We know anglers love to talk about the ones that got away, but the Big Bear Grizzly wants to know about those big catches. Share your photo and story. Submit photos in JPEG format by email to Be sure to include first and last name of everyone in the photo, where the people reside, the date and location of the catch, and weight of fish, if available.

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