Page 1

Page 2 Kern Angler

Kern River & Isabella Lake year-round fishing guide Spring 2012

Profiling the Isabella Lake fishery Upper Kern River

Mike Mencarini Kern Angler

To Black Rock

To Johnsondale

Brush Creek

South Creek Limestone

Limestone Joes Diner

mile 20 Fairview Dam

Bombs Away • Roads End mile 18

k ree C s bia o T

Pack sadd le Cr Fairview eek • Fairview • Calkins Flat • Chamise Flat

Isabella Lake Fishing Derby Historical Data



mile 16

Salmon Creek

Satan’s Slot mile 14 Salmon Falls


mile 12 Gold Ledge

• Towns 190

Roads & Highways



Prior to the construction of Lake Isabella the lake bed as we now know it was a gold rush town known as Whiskey Flats. In the early part of the 1900's the town prospered and the name was changed to Kernville. The Kern River flowed just on the outskirts of town, all the way to Bakersfield. As the city of Bakersfield grew as an agricultural community, the need for water increased. In the late 1940's the Army Corp of Engineers developed plans to create an artificial lake. The area best suited was where the town of Kernville and Old Isabella then stood. Beginning in the late 1940's some homes and businesses were moved to what is now Kernville just a few miles up the road and Lake Isabella a couple of miles below the new lake. Everything else was dynamited and razed. When the construction of the Main Dam and the Auxiliary Dam were finished in 1953, there was California's largest man made lake, 568,075 acre-feet at full pool. Lake Isabellais renowned for its huge

bass, with many fish hitting the teens on the scales. With an abundance of shad, crappie, bluegill and the periodic stocking of trout, Isabella bass have plenty of food to grow them big. Some say that Isabella could produce the next California record bass. Whether fishing from shore or from a boat, Isabella trout are easily caught. The lake has a great fishery for trout, as the Department of Fish and Game, and the Chamber of Commerce annually stock thousands of pounds of beautiful rainbows in Isabella. Trout in the 4 to 6 pound class are not uncommon. Isabella features a year round crappie bite with both white and black species in the lake. In the spring when the lake water level begins to raise, large schools of crappie can be found in the submerged willows of the North and South Forks of the lake. The Kern River Valley is a sportsman's paradise with great year round fishing and hunting with a mix of hiking, camping, biking, rafting and an airport for those who have a small plane. There are plenty of accommodations to fit everyone's needs and budget.

mile 10

• Springhill • Corral Creek



• Day Use


• Other Interests mile 8 Hospital Flat River, Streams & Creeks • Chico Flat Rapids Fender Bender • Thunderbird Camp 3 mile 6 • Halfway

mile 4

• Riverkern Q

• Kernville Fish Hatchery Ewings

Kernville •

Tagged fish caught 2000: 148 1999: 269 1998: 305 1997: 138 1996: 85 1995: 250 1994: 247 1993: 104 1992: 235 1991: 303 1990: 348

Three-day prize total $ 6,920 $ 9,500 $15,380 $ 6,500 $ 4,020 $15,000 $23,000* $ 8,860 $13,600 $ 8,910 $ 6,160

* One $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend ** Two $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend *** Six $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend

Total entries: 2011: 6,735 2010: 6,547 2009: 8,820 2008: 5,082 2007: 4,608 2006: 3,906

2005: 2004: 2003: 2002: 2001: 2000:

3,835 3,289 2,643 3,473 3,833 4,702

The Kern Angler is a special edition produced by the Kern River Courier Publisher Michael Batelaan Contributing writer Mike Mencarini

mile 2

To Wofford Heights

Three-day prize total $26,590* $75,810*** $30,640** $6,510 $13,230 $25,140* $10,360 $14,280 $10,700 $ 8,870 $ 2,330

1999: 1998: 1997: 1996: 1995: 1994:

4,191 4,898 4,080 5,021 5,800 3,790

1993: 1992: 1991: 1990:

5,355 4,315 3,014 4,704

Kern Angler

Headquarters Cannell Cre ek

ek un Cre Bull R KR3 Powerhouse

Tagged fish caught 2011: 191 2010: 258 2009: 182 2008: 116 2007: 253 2006: 311 2005: 224 2004: 275 2003: 208 2002: 183 2001: 44

Photographers Michael Batelaan Ad Production Michael Batelaan, Mike Ludiker Advertising Sales Valerie Minoux, Sara Wakeman Business Office Sara Wakeman Advertising policies Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertising at any time. Cancellations or rejection shall not preclude payment on similar advertising previously run. The Kern River Courier is not liable for errors in copy or an advertisement beyond the cost of the actual space occupied by the error. Publisher reserves the right to place the word “advertise-

ment” on any ad copy that appears to resemble editorial matter. Reproduction policies The entire contents of the Kern Angler are copyrighted ©2012 by Kern River Courier. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1145 Wofford Heights, CA 93285 Office: 6392B Wofford Blvd. Wofford Heights (next to WH Post Office)

Phone: 760-376-2860 Fax: 760-376-2862 E-mail address: Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment. ©2012 Kern Angler/Kern River Courier All Rights Reserved.


Kern River & Isabella Lake year-round fishing guide

Kern Angler Page 3 Black Crappie Silvery with irregular dark green or black mottling. Length of dorsal find about equal to front of dorsal fin to eye.

A quick identification guide

Game fish of the Kern River and Isabella Lake

Blue Gill Dark spot at rear base of dorsal fin, vertical bars on sides, body very deep and compressed, mouth small, pectoral fins long, pointed.

Rainbow Trout Lateral band on the sides is reddish to violet. Quite silvery except on the back. No small red spots on the sides.

Red Ear Sunfish Opercular lobe stiff, with broad red or orange margin below and behind. Gill rakers short and stout. Pectoral fins long and pointed.

Brown Trout Dark brown or olive brown on the back, shading to golden brown on the sides and white or yellow on the belly.

Channel Catfish Small irregular spots on sides. Tail deeply forked, with pointed lobes. 24 to 29 rays on anal fin. Narrower head than white catfish.

Little Kern Golden Trout Highly colored with distinctive shades of red and yellow on lower sides and belly.

Black Bullhead Fin membranes usually black. Pectoral spine weakly barbed on rear edge. Tail squarish and is not deeply forked.

Large Mouth Bass Upper jaw extends past a vertical line drawn through rear margin of eye. Dorsal fin deeply notched compared to small mouth bass.

Kokanee Salmon Has elongated, torpedo shaped body, bluntly pointed snout. Typical coloration is bright red with a pale green head.

Small Mouth Bass Dark vertical barring on sides. Upper jaw does not extend to rear margin of eye and dorsal fin not deeply notched.

Carp Body ranges from brassy green to golden to silver. Humped appearance, large scales. Long dorsal fin.

Win a Weekend Gateaway! Stop by the park, check us out & leave your business card Raffle for new customers only. “Now Taking Online Reservations”

You can find us between Ewings Rapid and the Kernville Bridge with over 1,000' of Private Shoreline! Every site is equipped with water and electric (most include sewer)... no generators here! Our downtown location is easy and convenient for our guests to explore the restaurants and shops. Come visit us today to take a look around and book your next vacation to the Kern River Valley! Monthly (Long term) Sites are Available

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Full Hook-Ups Shaded Campsites 30/50 Amp Service Tents Welcome Table & Fire Ring/Grill Hot Showers (Included) Air Compressor Station Dump Station Ice & Firewood For Sale Laundry Available Year Round Camping RV Storage

24 Sirretta Street Kernville, CA 760-376-2345


RiverView RV Park

Sirretta St

Spring 2012

Circle Kernville Road Park

■ Ewings Bridge

Page 6 Kern Angler

Kern River & Isabella Lake year-round fishing guide Spring 2012

DERBY Continued from page 1

Lower Kern River To Southlake

Isabella Lake To Kernville

178 Auxillary Dam

155 Main Dam Main Dam

Kern River Valley information • Keyesville South

Keyesville •

Pea r

l Ha






mile 2

Keyesville Bridge


■ Ambulance ■ Fire ■ Law Enforcement ■ Search & Rescue ■ Lake Patrol ■ Forest Service


Recreation information U.S. Forest Service

7046 Lake Isabella Blvd. Lake Isabella Weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. business calls only, 760-549-2100

Roads & Highways

mile 4

Kern County Fire Stations


yo an nC nR

Lake Isabella Station 72 4500 Lake Isabella Blvd. Lake Isabella business calls only, 760-379-2626


• Other Interests River, Streams & Creeks Rapids

Borel Powerhouse Q Sandy Flat mile 6


• Day Use



Kernville Station 76 11018 Kernville Road Kernville business calls only, 760-376-2219


Unimproved Road

Miracle Hot Springs •


Lilly Canyon


mile 8

Southlake Station 71 9000 Navajo Ave. Weldon business calls only, 760-378-3055

White Maiden’s Walkway


Ca ny on





Delonega Hot Springs

Sycamore Creek mile 14

Delonegha Bridge reek Mill C

Horseshoe Falls

China Gardens • mile 16


Pin Ball • mile 18 Diversion Dam

General infomation Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. Lake Isabella (across from Senior Center) Local: 760-379-5236 Toll Free: 866-KRV4FUN Kernville Chamber of Commerce 11447 Kernville Rd. Kernville (corner Sierra Way & Kernville Roads) Local: 760-376-2629 Toll Free: 866-KERNVILLE

Our Fishing Forum has renewed it’s active exchange now that stocking has resumed. Join the Discussions, Ask questions, Share info & concerns.

Royal Flush

Kernville office: 105 Whitney Rd. 760-376-3781 (around the corner from the museum) Closed weekends.

Returning Fishermen

Gree nhor n Cre ek


Isabella Lake office: 4875 Ponderosa Drive. 760-379-5646

Welcome Back

mile 10

Delonegh a Creek

Kern Valley Hospital Emergency Department McCray & Laurel Mountain Mesa 760-379-2681

Sheriff/CHP Substation

• Towns


In-person pre-registration will be held at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce office at 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. until noon on Thursday, March 29. Beginning Friday, March 30, Derby headquarters moves to the Moose Lodge at 6732 Lake Isabella Blvd. You can also register by mail to KRVCC, P.O. Box 567, Lake Isabella CA 93240 or go online to

• Lake Isabella

Slippery Rock •


almost all of the prizes. Derby registration closes at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 31. Once that time has passed, it is too late. When the derby begins, there are no more registrations. Derby registration costs only $20 for an individual and a bargain price of $45 for a five-person family and only $5 more for each additional child. Tickets for the boat are $20 each or six for $100.

Democrat Picnic /Day Use Area Democrat Hot Springs




Everything You Need to Impress The World... In One Location


No Obligation Quotes & Answers Always Shop Before You Invest!

To Bakersfield Check it Yourself... Just Google, Yahoo or Bing ~ Kern Valley

Spring 2012

Kern River & Isabella Lake year-round fishing guide

Kern Angler Page 7

Camping is plentiful all around the lake.

Longest Trout Don’t forget about the longest trout contest. Four fishing derby anglers have a chance to win some money. You must be a registered entrant to participate, the trout can be tagged or untagged. First place is $1,000, second $500, third $250 and fourth place is $200.

Michael Batelaan/Ker n Angler

Valley camping information Kern Angler

Campgrounds in the valley and the shoreline around Isabella Lake are controlled by the U.S. Forest Service, with two offices in the valley. As of spring 2010, camping fees are in effect in most campgrounds. Check with the Forest Service offices for details.

Also, as a reminder, camping in one spot is limited to 14 days out of a 30-day period. For more camping information, visit the U.S. Forest Service’s offices in Lake Isabella or Kernville. The telephone numbers for the U.S. Forest Service’s offices in Kernville and Lake Isabella are (760) 376-3781 and (760) 379-5646.

Isabella Lake boating information Kern Angler

Photo courtesy KRV Chamber of Commerce

What to do when the fish are not biting Kern Angler

If the fish just aren’t biting, here’s some things to try. Sometimes the sluggish have to be coerced. ■ Change your bait. The only way to catch a fish is to use the right bait. If all your neighbors are using salmon eggs, use stinkbait. It’s like an advertising sales campaign. When responses starts to flounder, take a look at your offer. Are you giving your prospect an incentive to bite? Or are you simply saying, “Here is my product or service. Let me know if you want it.” ■ Change your tackle. Inexperienc-ed fishermen often use hooks and line that are too heavy. Try a lighter approach. ■ Go where the fish are. Fishermen go back to the same spot again and again because they have success there. Ask

the marina or bait shop owners where there’s a good spot. There are lots of bait shops in the area and they’re all willing to help you find the right spot. ■ Cast your line in new waters. When your fishing spot goes dry, it’s time to move to a different spot. Cautious testing can reveal a hot spot. If it doesn’t pan out, try yet another one. ■ Fish when the fish are hungry. Timing is everything. The most successful fishermen cast their lines at the crack of dawn when the fish are hungry and more apt to bite. Resist the urge to have that extra cup of coffee and get out there. ■ Be patient – and persistent. A successful fisherman may cast his line and reel it in a dozen times before a fish will bite. It’s patience and persistence that brings in a limit at the end of the day.

Cheryl’s Diner 27 years serving the Kern River Valley

Cheryl Borthick Voted 2010 Kern County Small Business Person of the Year

If you brought your boat to Isabella Lake, you’ll need a permit for it. Boat permits must be purchased, according to the Kern County Parks and Recreation Department, which licenses boats on the lake and patrols the surface of the lake with a Boat Patrol vessel. Also, regulations must be strictly followed. Citations may be issued to those violating boating regulations. Permits are available at any marina and at several convenience stores in the area including Crossroads Shell in

Boating Regulations ■ Speed Limit is 5 mph (no wake) within 200 feet of shore, within 100 feet of swimmers (other than waterskiers), near docks, marinas or within South Fork Wildlife Area. ■ Alcohol or drug use is illegal while operating a boat and is a felony if such use causes death or serious injury. Conviction may bring a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. ■ Boat operators must be at least 16 years old. Each person aboard must have US Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device; water skiers and personal watercraft riders must wear PFDs at all times. ■ A tow boat must qualify to hold at least 3 people, including an observer at least 12

Lake Isabella, James Sierra Gateway Markets in Southlake and Kernville. Unmarked underwater hazards, such as submerged fencing (particularly near the South Fork area), tree snags, rock outcroppings, sand spits and islands appear and disappear with Isabella's ever-changing water level. Be aware that Isabella Lake has sudden winds that come up that can gust to 60 mph. When in doubt, get off the lake! Keep in mind that the law limits boating to the daytime - one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. years old, capable of rescuing an injured waterskier. The observer must raise a red flag whenever a line is out or a skier is preparing to ski or a skier is down. ■ The Right-of-Way rules apply to everyone on the water, including windsurfers. As with driving a car, passing is on the right, yielding at a crossing gives the go-ahead to the vessel on the right and overtaking another vessel requires a wide berth. Anchored and sailing vessels usually have the right-of-way. ■ Waterskiers, personal watercraft riders and windsurfers often seek the calmer waters near the Auxiliary Dam. Theymay reach speeds from 35-70 mph, posing a hazard to each other as well as to boaters. It is best to simply avoid congestion.

Tickets 6/$5 or $1 ea Rambo TheRaffle 28"x10" handcrafted gourd Rain Stick with over A Must Have! theRainbow 1,000is apegs. Raffle tickets: Available at the Isabella Fishing Derby Headquarters,Friday & Saturday March 30 & 31 Drawing Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Come on down to

NUUI CUNNI Native American Cultural Center

Hot Dogs &fixin's Saturday March 31 Farmers Market 9to2

Friday Night: All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry! Saturday Night: All-You-Can-Eat Ribs or Spaghetti!

Proud sponsor of the 4th largest fish The coffee is always on 2600 Highway 155 French Gulch Campground Lake Isabella

• Daily Specials • Breakfast Served All Day • Home Style Desserts • Seasonal Patio Dining Open 6:00am • Dinner 5:00pm till Close • Breakfast Served all Day • 7-Days a week!

11030 Kernville Road, Kernville 760-376-6131 2012 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby $100 Trout Sponsor

Visit us or write us at or


Sponsored by: Kern River Paiute Council Operating under a Special Use Permit offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture & National Forest Service on a non-discriminartory basis.

Your Lumber, Masonry, Hardware, Paint, Tool & Plant Nursery Place Hardware

L&M LUMBER INC. 4700 Lake Isabella Blvd. Lake Isabella 760-379-4631 Monday through Friday 7:00 to 6:00 Saturday & Sunday 8:00 to 5:00 Ace Rental - Ace Contractor Center

Satisfaction Guarantee: Your Satisfaction is our goal... We Guarantee! Note: L&M Lumber is not responsible for printing errors. Some merchandise may be subject to stock on hand. L&M Lumber however will make every effort to honor most out of stock items with a rain-check.

Page 8 Kern Angler

Kern River & Isabella Lake year-round fishing guide Spring 2012

Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce presents

2013 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby March 23rd thru 25th 2013

Tagged trout with values up to $10,000 & $20,000 & prizes totaling over

$250,000 In person Pre-Registration at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. #B Lake Isabella For more information call: 760-379-5236 or 866-578-4386

Easy Registration available at

Kern Angler 2012  

Kern Angler 2012

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