Kayak Fishing Big Bear Lake

Kayak Fishing Big Bear Lake, California, in the summer is a lot of fun!

If you've been stuck on shore fishing and becoming a little tired of watching everyone else out on the water catching fish it might be time for you to invest in a kayak.  Kayaking is a great way to get on the water because there are no California Registration fees with the DMV and the lake access fees are usually less than  motor boats.  You can often find used Kayaks on Craig's List or Ebay for a few hundred dollars.  They also have decent ones during the summer at Costco for around 500 dollars.  If you want all the bells and whistles like rod holders and foot propelled with nice storage hatches and seats then it will likely cost you over a 1000 dollars.  Still much less than any other boats on the water.  Sit on Top fishing Kayaks are very durable  and will last you a long time.

Our first trip out to Big Bear Lake on the kayak was a July 4th weekend.  We paddled out the night before and watched the fireworks from the which is an amazing display over the water.  I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to go!  The next day we headed out fishing on the Kayak.  We tried trolling from the kayak which works decently, but you have to do a lot of paddling.  Pulling lures on lead line works the best at anywhere from 2-5 colors depending on the thermocline and the depth of the fish.  You can often find this information before you go of from the Big Bear Lake Marina website http://www.bigbearmarina.com/.  You should spool your real with the lead line and then attach about 20 feet of 8 pound fluorocarbon line as the leader.  Then you can attach your lake troll, Rapala's, spoons, or baits to the end of this line.  I'll post another blog to detail trolling at a later date.

When you get tired of paddling there is always the bait and wait game.  In the hot summer months as the lake temperature rises the fish migrate and stack up at the west side of the lake.  So head on down to the dam and grab yourself a big white buoy.  Don't be scared of the big motor boats.  Just paddle on by and tie off to one of the open buoys because you don't need any special reservations.  This area is great for fishing in the summer.

Once you are in position set up your rods with a slip bobber.  It really helps if you have a fish finder, but if not that is fine.  Watch the fish finder and look what depth the fish are marking at.  Usually anywhere from 15 feet down to 24 feet suspended off the bottom.  Set your bobber stop at these depths with a single night crawler hook and thread half a night crawler onto the hook.  Cast the float away from the boat and let the wind and current carry the float.  When you see that float disappear hold on tight cause you are in for a wild ride!  These summer trout fight fantastic.  Warm water conditions in the lake make it difficult to release the rainbows with a reasonable survival rate.  You may just want to keep a limit since you're bait fishing and call it a day once you catch your 5 fish.  If the night crawlers aren't working then you should switch to a small treble hook size 16-18 and put a small ball of power bait on.  This also works very well.

Don't forget to stop by the East or West Launch facilities for a boat inspection and to buy a day pass on the lake which is $15 or a yearly pass which is $45.  I usually get the yearly pass since you only need to go three times to make it worth while.

If you'd like information on how to rig a slip bobber then check out my instructional video here!

For a Big Bear Kayak Fishing Preview check out this video!

A Few More Pictures of really nice hold over rainbows.

Good Luck Fishing!


  1. Fishing is a popular sport that provides people with an opportunity to relax, get away from everyday stresses, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the great outdoors.

    Fishing Alaska


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