Fishing in Lake Arrowhead and surrounding areas
Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Bass, Catfish, Crappie, Sunfish and Carp - Lake Arrowhead is a private lake. Therefore, it's use is restricted to homeowners in a tract of land roughly 1 mile around the perimeter of the lake, known as "Arrowhead Woods", and who must belong to "Arrowhead Lake Association" in order to access the lake.
Association members and guests have the opportunity to catch a nice variety of fish year round. Trout fishing, for fish up to 12 pounds, is the most popular - trout are stocked throughout the season -- but bass and crappie fishing is gaining rapidly. Cast-a-bubble, or the "on the drop" are two of the most productive methods during the day for the deep fish. Crappie fishing is good all over the lake on small jigs and baits for fish up to 15-inches, and carp anglers are doing very well with these hard fighting fish in the shallow water on dough balls, worms and even jigs. For details, call (909) 337-2595.
Please remember that there is no public fishing - only ALA members and their guests are allowed to fish the lake, and boat launching is prohibited by any persons other than members of the Arrowhead Lake Association. Boat rentals are not available at Lake Arrowhead.
Big Bear Lake
Rainbow Trout, large and small mouth Bass, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Sunfish, Channel Catfish, Pumpkinseed and Carp - Big Bear Lake is open for fishing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is famed for it's annual May Trout Classic, which draws a full field of 400 anglers every year. Big Bear Lake is stocked regularly by the Department of Fish and Game with catchable sized rainbows and by the Fishing Association with fish up to 16 lbs. You can fish from the shore, bring your own boat, or rent one from one of the many marinas. Various colors of Power Bait, still fished or drifted, are always effective, as well as trolled or cast C.D. Rapalas, Super Dupers, Needlefish, and Flashers with 1/2 a crawler. While you can fish all year, (no ice fishing!) Spring and Fall the best at this great high altitude lake.
Deep Creek and Bear Creek
Two of the premier wild trout streams in Southern California have benefited greatly from past winters' snow and rain. After years of drought, both streams are up and running full and should be producing some fine catches. While most Southern California streams hold trout in the six to ten inch class these two streams are notable exceptions. Their limited access and rugged terrain have a lot to do with it. You have to be a dedicated stream angler to fish them. Both streams feature the elusive native Brown Trout. Maps are available at the Discovery Center. You will also need an Adventure Pass to park at the trailheads nearest the stream. The Brown Trout can only be fished with artificial lures (no bait) on barbless hooks. There is a limit of 2 a day on trout 8" or larger. Anglers are encouraged to "catch and release" in these areas.
Deep Creek has long been recognized by those in the know as a prime big trout stream. It has, by southern California's standards, a large population of browns and rainbows and some BIG fish. Above its confluence with Holcomb Creek there are mostly rainbow's, but further downstream lie some very large browns. A few years back the Department of Fish & Game did an Electro-Shocking study on the stream and found areas like Devil's Hole to have browns 18"s and larger. The occasional story of the "good old days" when 5 pounders (and larger) were caught in Deep Creek, can sometimes still be heard...
Bear Creek - Further up the mountain is another good producer of wild brown trout. Running clear and cool below Big Bear dam, Bear Creek also supports a good population of rainbows and, some say, a few salmon. Two trailheads east of Snow Valley Ski Resort provide good access to the stream below. While the fishing is good in the upper reaches of the stream, the further down you go, the better it gets, and the greater the ratio of browns to rainbows. Effective gear for both of these streams is the same as you would use on any on any smaller Sierra waters. And, like any fragile stream, practicing catch and release, with barbless hooks (it's the law in the wild trout sections!) is the only way to insure a quality fishery for future generations. If you'd like to experience a great angling get away, without driving hours on end, consider these wild trout streams!
Forest service maps are available for $2.00 from the Arrowhead Ranger Station for the Deep Creek area. Stop in their office on Hwy.18 near Arrowhead Villas Road or call (909) 382-2782. Maps for the Bear Creek area are available from the Big Bear Ranger station near Fawnskin. Call (909) 866-3233 for more information.
Green Valley Lake
Trout, Bass, Catfish and Bluegill - Fish and Game heavily seeds this lake with trout, with whitewater from several stockings still showing. Besides the usual floating baits like Power Bait, Zeke's and Sierra Gold, fished on a light three-pound leader or a cast-a-bubble in the deep water, the Super Dupers, Kastmasters, Rapalas and Trout Teaser lures are also catching them, especially early and late in the day. Shoreline fishing all year for a nominal fee as well as boat fishing during daylight hours.
Stream fishing (wild trout) from Green Valley Creek down to Willow Creek. Two-fish (8" or longer) limit using artificial lure with a single barbless hook.
Trout, Bass, Catfish, Crappie, Carp and Bluegill abound in this loca lake, 15 minutes from Lake Arrowhead. The trout fishing is usually very good, with Power Bait (green and rainbow colors), Super Dupers (copper and gold), Kastmasters (gold and silver) and Rooster Tails (all colors) being very effective. Trout season is November through April but you may fish year round for trout, catfish and carp at this lake.
Trolling from rental boats ($20 for half day, $40 all day, $200.00 for a season rental which runs April through October) is very productive, especially if you bring or rent an electric motor, as well as float tubing ($5 a day) and shore fishing (free) almost all around the lake from dawn to dusk. For boat rental or other information, please call (909) 338-2233.
There's an annual Free Youth Fishing Derby every June for kids under sixteen, and a big tagged fish Fishing Derby that happens four times a year, with a $2,000 top prize! There's also $1,000, $500, $200, two $100, and five $50 prizes and lots of other nice prizes (hundreds in all!) to be won. It only costs $10 to enter at the boathouse and it's well worth-it. Historically, most of the tagged fish are caught during the derby! Don't miss out!
If you need to stock up on snacks or supplies, there is a bait shop and a snack bar within the park stocked with goodies for visitors to purchase, there is also a grocery store across the street from the lake. There is no camping at this 150 acre park, but there is a camping site across the way called Camp Switzerland and they are reasonably priced, call 909-338-2731 for more information on camping fees. Camp Switzerland is located at 24558 Lake Drive in Crestline.
Silverwood Lake State Recreational Area
Huge striped bass, plentiful crappie, catfish, largemouth bass and trout (the trout are stocked during the cooler months in Silverwood's streams). This lake is close by, and offers activities the whole family can enjoy. Popular lures for the stripers and largemouths are the big Rapalas, Z-Plugs, and shad imitators like the Shad Rap, fished on heavier tackle. Make sure to use a good attractant, like the new Power Bait jelly, on these and all lures to mask human scents and get more strikes. Baits for stripers and cats include mackerel, anchovies and nightcrawlers. You can also use live shad with a net, and these can be caught right out of the lake!
Fish by float tube, fishing boat and motor (which can be rented), or from shore. Park entrance fees are $6 per car, and $5 to launch your boat. Bait, tackle, food, drinks and more are available at the marina store.
Fishing Equipment and Resources
Licenses, bait, tackle and other supplies are available at:
Cedar Glen Trading Post - (909) 337-3310
28946 Hook Creek Rd., Cedar Glen
Lake Arrowhead Marina - (909) 336-6151
870 State Highway 173 - North shore
Big Bear Marina - (909) 866-3218
500 Paine Ct., Big Bear
Holloway's Marina and RV Park - (909) 866-5706
398 Edgemoor Rd., Big Bear