Everything you need to Know about Fishing in Big Bear Lake

The best way to complete your Big Bear vacation is to go FISHING! For what is a lake trip without a little fishing? Big Bear Lake in California is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The lake is a fantastic fishing spot, offering a variety of fish species such as rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and catfish. You can fish from the shore, rent a boat, or fish from one of the fishing docks located around the lake.

It’s important to note that fishing in Big Bear requires following local fishing regulations, obtaining the necessary permits, follow any specific local guidelines, and practicing responsible fishing practices to preserve the ecosystem and ensure sustainable fishing for future generations. It’s always a good idea to inquire with local bait and tackle shops or visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the most up-to-date information on fishing regulations and conditions. Additionally, consider the weather conditions and dress accordingly, bringing sunscreen, a hat, and appropriate clothing layers.


Popular fishing spots in Big Bear:

Boulder Bay Park: This park features a peaceful and scenic fishing area with easy access to the lake. It’s a great spot to fish for trout and other species. You can fish from the shoreline or set up your chair near the water.

Grout Bay Picnic Area: Located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, this spot is popular for fishing and picnicking. You can find good fishing opportunities for trout, bass, and catfish here.

Stanfield Cutoff: This is a popular area for anglers, especially during the trout season. You can access the fishing spots along Stanfield Cutoff Road. It’s a great place to fish from the shore or wade into the water.

East Boat Ramp: Located on the east end of Big Bear Lake, the boat ramp area offers good fishing opportunities. You can fish from the shoreline or rent a boat and explore the lake.

Juniper Point: Located near Stanfield Cutoff, a small park with lake access and fishing areas! You can fish from the shoreline and enjoy a nice day with family while you fish surrounded by beautiful trees.


What Equipment to Use while Fishing in Big Bear?

When it comes to fishing in Big Bear, the choice of equipment will depend on the type of fish you’re targeting and your preferred fishing method. Here are some general equipment recommendations for fishing in Big Bear:

    1. Fishing Rod and Reel: For general fishing in Big Bear, a medium to medium-heavy spinning or casting rod and reel combo is versatile and suitable for a wide range of fish species. Choose a rod length between 6 to 7 feet for good casting distance and control.
    2. Fishing Line: Use monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line with a breaking strength appropriate for the fish you’re targeting. For trout fishing, 4-8 lb test line is commonly used, while heavier lines may be necessary for bass or catfish.
    3. Hooks: Pack a variety of hooks in different sizes to accommodate different bait options and fish species. For trout, size 8 to 12 hooks are commonly used.
    4. Bait and Lures: The choice of bait and lures will depend on the fish species you’re targeting. For trout, popular options include worms, PowerBait, salmon eggs, or small spinners and spoons. Bass anglers often use plastic worms, crankbaits, and topwater lures.
    5. Tackle Box: Carry a well-organized tackle box to store your hooks, lures, weights, and other small fishing accessories. This will help you keep everything in order and easily accessible.
    6. Fishing Accessories: Don’t forget to bring essentials like fishing pliers, line clippers, a landing net, and a stringer or cooler for keeping your catch fresh.
    7. Fishing License: Ensure you have a valid California fishing license. You can obtain one online or from local bait and tackle shops.


Why Fish in Big Bear?

There are several reasons why people choose to fish in Big Bear:

    1. Abundance of Fish: Big Bear Lake is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, and more. The lake is regularly stocked with trout, providing ample opportunities for anglers to catch fish.
    2. Scenic Beauty: Big Bear offers stunning natural beauty, with the lake surrounded by picturesque mountain landscapes. Fishing in this serene environment allows anglers to enjoy the tranquility and immerse themselves in nature.
    3. Recreational Opportunities: Fishing in Big Bear is not just about catching fish; it’s a recreational activity that provides relaxation, stress relief, and enjoyment. It’s an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and spend time outdoors.
    4. Family-Friendly Activity: Fishing in Big Bear can be a great family activity. Whether you’re teaching your children how to fish or enjoying a day on the water with loved ones, it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories and bond with family members.
    5. Variety of Fishing Methods: Big Bear Lake offers diverse fishing opportunities. Whether you prefer shore fishing, fly fishing, trolling from a boat, or kayak fishing, there are options available to suit different fishing styles and preferences.

Fishing Events and Competitions: Big Bear hosts various fishing events and competitions throughout the year, providing additional excitement for anglers. These events can be a chance to test your skills, compete with other anglers, and potentially win prizes.

  1. Year-Round Fishing: Fishing in Big Bear is possible year-round, with each season offering unique fishing experiences. Whether it’s ice fishing in winter or enjoying the warmer months on the water, anglers can fish throughout the year.
  2. Big Bear Lake is a Reservoir! It is 6.959 mi in Length. Average Depth is 35 feet and the Max Depth is 72.4 feet.

What is the BEST Season to Fish in Big Bear?

The best season to fish in Big Bear depends on the fish species you are targeting. It’s important to note that weather conditions, water temperatures, and fish behavior can vary from year to year, so it’s always a good idea to check local fishing reports, consult with local bait and tackle shops, or seek advice from experienced anglers for the most up-to-date information on fishing conditions and the best times to fish in Big Bear. Here’s a breakdown of the fishing seasons in Big Bear:

  1. Trout Fishing: Trout fishing in Big Bear is most productive during the cooler months. The prime trout fishing season typically runs from spring to early summer (April to June) and then picks up again in the fall (September to November). During these seasons, trout are more active and can be caught using various techniques such as bait fishing, fly fishing, or trolling.
  2. Bass Fishing: Bass fishing in Big Bear is excellent during the warmer months when the water temperatures rise. The prime bass fishing season typically starts in spring and extends through the summer (March to September). During this time, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are more active and can be caught using a variety of lures and techniques such as crankbaits, plastic worms, and topwater baits.
  3. Catfish Fishing: Catfish can be caught year-round in Big Bear, but they are particularly active during the warmer months. Late spring through summer (May to August) is generally a good time for catfish fishing. Anglers often use stink baits, chicken liver, or nightcrawlers to target catfish.


Big Bear Fishing Rules and Regulations!

It’s essential to verify the current rules with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Big Bear Municipal Water District for the most up-to-date information as information changes frequently. Here are some general fishing rules that are often applicable to many freshwater lakes in California:

1. Fishing License: A valid California fishing license is required for anyone 16 years and older who intends to fish in Big Bear Lake. Make sure to have your fishing license with you while fishing.

2. Fishing Seasons and Limits: Fishing seasons and limits can vary depending on the species of fish. Check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website or contact the local authorities to determine the specific seasons and limits for Big Bear Lake.

3. Catch and Release: Big Bear Lake has catch and release regulations for certain fish species. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules regarding catch and release, as well as any size or bag limits that may apply.

4. Bait and Lures: The use of bait and lures is typically allowed in Big Bear Lake. However, it’s always advisable to double-check if there are any restrictions on specific types of bait or lures.

5. Fishing Methods: Common fishing methods such as angling, trolling, and fly fishing are generally allowed in Big Bear Lake. However, certain areas of the lake may have restrictions on fishing methods, so it’s best to inquire about any limitations before heading out.

6. Boating and Fishing: If you plan to fish from a boat on Big Bear Lake, be aware that there might be additional regulations regarding boating and fishing simultaneously. Ensure you comply with all boating and fishing regulations to avoid any conflicts.

Big Bear Stocking Schedule

You can obtain the most up-to-date information about stocking schedules by contacting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) or the Big Bear Municipal Water District. The CDFW is responsible for managing fish stocking activities in many California lakes, including Big Bear Lake. They can provide you with the latest information on the types of fish stocked and the schedule for stocking. You can reach out to the CDFW through their website at www.wildlife.ca.gov or by calling their local office in your area. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and current stocking schedule for Big Bear Lake. Additionally, you can also check the website or contact the Big Bear Municipal Water District, as they may have information on fish stocking activities specific to Big Bear Lake.

It’s important to note that stocking schedules can vary from year to year and depend on various factors, including weather conditions and management decisions. Therefore, it’s always advisable to check with the appropriate authorities for the most accurate and current information regarding stocking schedules for Big Bear Lake.

Stay in a Beautiful Mountain Cabin

Here at Big Bear Lakefront Cabins, we have beautiful properties throughout all the best locations in Big Bear. You can be right on the lake with your boat dock, have views of the ski slopes at Big Bear Mountain Resort, or be within walking distance from the Village. It’s all up to you!

Our gorgeous cabins feature luxurious amenities like fully-equipped gourmet kitchens, hot tubs, fireplaces, game rooms, and more. In addition, we often feature specials like discounts on kayaks or bike rentals when you book with us.

Look at our spacious cabins and book your Big Bear Vacation today! Be sure to book direct so that you can save your money for experiences, not unnecessary fees.

Plan your summer vacation with our complimentary Vacation Guide!

We understand that planning a trip can be challenging, so we created this handpicked list of local recommendations to save you from hours of research. In it, you’ll find everything from family-friendly activities to adventures on the lake!