Kern County, Central California

Lake Isabella Fishing

Fishing at Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, kokanee salmon, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. If you plan to fish from a boat, be sure to pick up a boating permit before launching into the lake. (See Lake Isabella Boating)

Where to Fish on Lake Isabella

The eastern side of Engineering Point (between the two dams) is reported by locals to be an especially hot spot for trout along with Boulder Gulch. Also along the auxiliary dam trout fishing is usually excellent. Bass fishermen like Rocky Point and the areas in the South Fork around French Gulch and Freear Point. Salmon are often taken around the flume and at Piney Point.

Good places to catch crappie are up the South Fork Arm, Freear Point, and in the vicinity of the French Gulch Marina. Bluegill are commonly found in the shallows of the coves. Anglers going after catfish like working around both dams, Paradise Cove, Stine Cove, and Boulder Gulch.

Much More Below

Lake Isabella Record Catches
Which Baits and Lures Work the Best?
Lake Isabella Fishing Guide Services
Fishing Supplies     Fishing Regulations

Fishing Map of Lake Isabella

Fishing Boat Rentals

French Gulch Marina and North Fork Marina have fishing and pontoon boats, hourly rates, half or full day. See Lake Isabella Boating

Lake Isabella Record Fish

  • Rainbow Trout - 9 pounds, 10 ounces
  • Brown Trout - 22 pounds, 15 ounces
  • Largemouth Bass - 18 pounds, 14 ounces, caught by Keith Harper in 1984
  • Catfish - 50 pounds
  • Crappie - 3 pounds, 12 ounces

Which Baits and Lures Are Catching Fish at Lake Isabella?

Bass: Crayfish, Rapalas, Plastic Worms, Rapalas, Senkos
Trout: Salmon Eggs, Rooser Tails, Kastmasters Spoons, PowerBait, Marshmallows, Small Spoons and Spinners, Flatfish,
Kokanee: Father Murphy's Kokanee Bugs, Kastmasters
Catfish: Nightcrawlers, Chicken Livers, Clams, Anchovies
Crappie: Live Minnows, Meal Worms
Bluegill: Meal Worms, Dry Flies,

Lake Isabella Fishing Guide Services

Scotten Fishing Trips
Onyx, CA
(760) 378-1992
Website: Scotten Fishing Trips
Jerry Scotten provides every necessary for a great day of fishing on Lake Isabella. Base your trip at their Onyx Ranch in the Kern River Valley.

Kern River Fly Fishing Guide Service
11301 Kernville Rd., Kernville, CA
(866) 347-4876
Kern River Fly Fishing Guide Service
Fly fish for trout and bass along the Kern or into the Golden Trout Wilderness. Owner and Certified Casting Instructor Guy Jeans has over 30 years of experience fly fishing the Kern River.

Rusty Bass Hook
11301 Kernville Rd., Kernville, CA
(866) 347-4876
Rusty Bass Hook
Professional bass fisherman Rusty Brown offers special 3-day, 2-night package trips to Lake Isabella, including lodging. He uses a fully tournament rigged Ranger Bass Boat.

Fishing Derby

March 24 - 26, 2018
Website: Isabella Lake Fishing Derby
Over $40,000 in prizes
Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce   (760) 379-5457


Lake Isabella Area
Fishing Tackle and Bait

James Sierra Gateway Markets
13432 Sierra Way, Kernville, CA
(760) 376-2424

Second Amendment Sports
2523 Mohawk St., Bakersfield, CA
(661) 323-4512

Website: Second Amendment Sports

Bob's Kern River Bait
8011 Niles St., Bakersfield, CA
(661) 366-7866

Kern River Fly Shop
11301 Kernville Rd., Kernville, CA
(866) 347-4876

Website: Kern River Fly Shop

Bob's Bait Bucket
2131 S. Chester Ave.
Bakersfield, CA
(661) 833-8657

Joe's Bait Farm
3105 F St., Bakersfield, CA
(661) 301-3029

Fishing Regulations for Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella Fishing Regulations Made Easy, a Sequoia National Forest publication, lists the fishing regulations for Lake Isabella and for streams in the Kern River Ranger District. Stop by the Ranger Office in Kernville and ask about the publication's availability. (760) 379-5646