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Fishing Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is a fisherman’s paradise – crisp, clean mountain air, clear blue alpine waters, and some of the best fishing in Southern California, all surrounded by towering pines and majestic mountains. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, Big Bear Lake provides the perfect environment for relaxing by the lake and catching a variety of fish.

The State of California requires that every fisherman (and woman) over the age of sixteen have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing. Licenses can be purchased at local sporting goods stores and marinas. There is a limit of five Rainbow Trout per person, per day.

It’s springtime in the mountains and our local fish are very active after a long, cold winter. As water temperatures warm the fish are looking to spawn and find something to eat. Rainbow Trout will be cruising in shallower waters feeding on bugs and worms. Seasonal streams formed by the snow melt are natural spawning grounds for trout, however most streams that feed the lake are off-limits to fishing until after Memorial Day, to protect the species.

Some of the best spring fishing on Big Bear Lake is found in the shallow waters off the North Shore and near the east end of the lake. Whether you’re fishing from shore or from a boat, present your bait in the top 2 to 12 feet of water for best results. Go too deep and the waters are much colder and don’t have enough dissolved oxygen for fish to survive.

Spring trout are best caught with insects, snails, worms, crawfish, roe and small fish. Using a small bobber, suspend your bait 3 to 6 feet below the water and let the bait sit for 10 to 20 minutes. If nothing bites, try fishing another area or switch baits until you get some action.

Although Big Bear is famous for its abundant Rainbow Trout population, our local waters also provide excellent Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, and Crappie fishing. The trick to fishing Big Bear Lake is knowing where to fish and what bait to use.

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