Big Bear Lake Fishing: Best Spots, Species and Charters

Big Bear Lake fishing

Fishing isn’t just a pastime; it’s a gateway to tranquility, a break from our daily hustle, and boy, oh boy, Big Bear Lake provides that respite and a delightful adventure rolled into one.

Set against the backdrop of California’s breathtaking mountain landscapes, this deep blue water body is a paradise that caters to every fishing enthusiast’s dreams. But wait, don’t just take my word for it. Let’s just explore this magnificent angler’s haven!

 Why Big Bear Lake is a Fishing Paradise

So what’s the secret ingredient that makes this lake so irresistible to fishing enthusiasts? Biodiversity. Thanks to its robust ecosystem, nestled in the heart of the untouched San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is a smorgasbord of game fish species.

We’re talking about Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and then some. So whether you’re a trout chaser or a bass whisperer, this lake offers an exciting challenge for all!

But what about access to the lake, you ask? No sweat! Lined with numerous public docks and piers, getting to the heart of Big Bear Lake’s aqua action is a breeze. Plus, several boat rental services are also available to enhance your fishing experience.

And as far as the rules and regulations are concerned, they’re as clear as the lake’s waters. The governing bodies have designed easy-to-follow regulations, balancing the thrill of the catch while maintaining a healthy fish population – a win-win for both the anglers and our fishy friends!

big bear lake view

Best Spots for Fishing at Big Bear Lake

Finding the perfect fishing hole can be the secret to a successful fishing trip. After ruffling through many angler’s secrets, here are some fan favorites at Big Bear Lake.

Site 1: The East Ramp

Pack your gear, folks, and the first stop is East Ramp! This spot, located on the eastern bank of the lake, comes alive with Rainbow trout in spring.

Who can blame the Trouts? With the mild temperature and an abundance of food, it’s like a trout party over there. So, if you’re planning a springtime fishing expedition, East Ramp should be your go-to spot!

Site 2: Grout Bay

Ah, summertime! The perfect season to bask in the sun and reel in some fish. But where you ask? Well, none other than Grout Bay!

Known for its cool water temperatures, thanks to the nearby snow runoff, Grout Bay is a paradise for trout in the summer. So, while others are sweating it out in the heat, you can enjoy a cool fishing experience at Grout Bay.

Site 3: Juniper Point

Come fall, and it’s time to set sail towards Juniper Point. Yellow-orange leaves were falling, the autumn sun was setting, and a flock of fish was in the water.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Known for its water clarity and depth, Juniper Point is swarming with various fish species during autumn. So whether it’s the beautiful panorama or the thrilling tackles you’re after, Juniper Point has it all!

big bear lake fishing spot

Best Fishing Charters at Big Bear Lake

Have you ever been on a fishing charter? It’s like fishing on cheat mode, but fair and square. These are professional services that put you slap-bang in the middle of fish action, and Big Bear Lake’s charter services are some of the finest.

1: Lucky Bear Fishing Charters

Get ready to hit the fish jackpot with Lucky Bear Fishing Charters! Yeah, that’s right – they don’t call it “Lucky” for no reason. With experienced guides who know every nook and cranny of the lake, you’ll never have an empty hook.

All you need is your fishing license and a dash of luck; the rest is handled by these pros, from gear to guidance.

2: Big Bear Charter Fishing

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure and a whole lot of fish, then Big Bear Charter Fishing is your ticket to fishing paradise! They offer daily excursions guided by seasoned experts in spec ‘d-out boats that are equipped with all the fishing gear necessary.

They cater to all, from beginners casting their first line to seasoned anglers looking to grab a prize catch, making it an experience like no other!

Fishing Techniques and Baits

Before you toss your line in, it pays to know the ins and outs of fishing techniques. Let’s dive into some strategies and bait choices to make your fishing expedition a success.

1: Bottom Bouncers

Bottom Bouncers are a popular method for fishing in deep waters. Attach a bait or a lure to your line and let it sink. Patience is key here!

Monitor your line closely for any movements. A sudden pull or slack can signal a bite. Also, remember to use a heavier weight in windy conditions to maintain control of your bait.

2: Slip Bobbering

Slip Bobbering is another common method where you use a bobber or a float on your fishing line.

The bobber keeps the bait at a pre-set depth and enables casting in areas full of underwater vegetation, which often host a diverse population of fish.

As soon as the bobber disappears underwater or moves abruptly, you’ll know you’ve got a fish on the hook!

3: Fly Fishing

Prefer the classics? Fly Fishing is one for the timeless angler. This traditional method, powered by replicating the natural food of the fish on the water surface, is a can’t-miss tactic at Big Bear Lake, especially with its high diversity of insect life.

fly fishing bait

Most Sought After Fish Species and How to Catch Them

Alright, my fellow fishing buddies, it’s time to reel in the real information – what fish to expect and how to catch them! Make way for the geological, aquatic celebrities at Big Bear Lake.

1: Rainbow Trout

Sliding in as the kingpin of the lake is the Rainbow Trout. Who can resist the charm of this fish with its gorgeous rainbow-like colors?

Now, here’s a tip. Trout are sight feeders, so lure selection can make a significant difference. Go for natural and brightly colored baits, like worms and salmon eggs. Whether you’re bottom bouncing, trolling, or float fishing, these baits can surely get you a trophy trout!

2: Bass

Coming in close on the popularity scale is the Bass. The Big Bear Lake is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, and catching these powerful fighters can turn an ordinary fishing trip into a remarkable one.

When it comes to bait, soft plastic worms and crawfish are a hit because bass are predatory creatures, and these lures imitate their natural prey.

Follow with techniques like drop-shotting or using bass jigs to target these fellas – and voila, you’ve got a bass at the end of your line!

3: Catfish

Last but certainly not least are our whiskered friends – the Catfish. These little heavyweights might not be the most beautiful swimmers in the lake, but boy, they sure do possess some strength!

Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and stink baits are catfish delicacies. Remember, catfish are bottom dwellers, so bottom bouncers or flat lines will serve you well. So, gear up and get ready to wrestle these underwater giants!

rainbow trout in water

Packing Up for the Fishing Trip

Alrighty, we’re all set for an adventurous Big Bear Lake fishing trip. But wait, hold your horses! Before you zip off to the lake, let’s go over some packing essentials.

Essentials for Every Trip

Naturally, you’ll need to pack your fishing gear – rods, reels, hooks, and desired baits. Don’t forget to pack your Polaroid fishing glasses, a hat, and sunscreen to battle the sunny glare of the water. Safety is always paramount, so do include a first-aid kit in your essentials.

Safety Measures

While fishing is a joyous activity, it’s not one without risks. Always keep an eye on the water and weather conditions, wear a life vest when onboard a vessel, and hydrate regularly. And one more thing – respect the Lake and the fish.

Follow the catch and release regulations where needed to preserve the spirit of fishing for our future generations.


Fishing at Big Bear Lake isn’t just about casting your line and hoping for the best. It’s a rich experience, painted with the vibrant hues of the fish species, bathed in the golden Californian sun, and punctuated with the thrill of the chase and the joy of the catch.

Equipped with this little guide, you’re ready to navigate the sparkling waters, working with the game and the elements to bag your exciting haul.

So, tie up those fishing knots, rev up your boat engines, and get ready to answer the call of the wild waters. Happy Fishing, folks!


What is the best time to go fishing at Big Bear Lake?

Big Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. However, the best time to fish depends on your targeted species. For instance, spring and early summer are prime for trout, whereas bass are more active during the summer.

Do I need a fishing license for Big Bear Lake?

Yes, anyone over the age of 16 is required to have a valid California fishing license. You’ll also have to abide by all California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Can I rent fishing equipment at Big Bear Lake?

Absolutely! There are several establishments around the lake that offer fishing gear for rent.

Are fishing tournaments held at Big Bear Lake?

Indeed. Big Bear Lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year that cater to all sorts of anglers – young, novice, and experienced. It’s a great way to enjoy some friendly competition while enjoying the beautiful setting.

Is Big Bear Lake good for fishing?

Absolutely! Big Bear Lake is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. With a diverse range of fish, including Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and more, the lake is a popular destination for both seasoned anglers and novice fishing enthusiasts.

What is the cost of a fishing permit for Big Bear Lake?

Everybody over the age of 16 fishing in Big Bear Lake is required to have a valid California fishing license. The cost varies depending on your residency status, age, and the validity of the license.

Daily permits cost around $24.33 for non-residents and $16.5 for residents. However, prices can change, so it is advisable to check the official California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for current license fees.

Are there restrictions on the type of bait or tackle I can use at Big Bear Lake?

At Big Bear Lake, you can use a variety of baits and tackle. However, it’s important to remember that certain California statewide regulations apply.

For instance, the use of Lead sinkers and lead weights weighing one-half ounce or less is prohibited in all freshwater lakes and reservoirs in California.

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