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Big Bear Lake Fishing and Boating

Big Bear Lake is prime location for fishing and boating related activities in Southern California. Visitors can experience all that the lake has to offer from its beautiful views, coastline, and its many coves and inlets.

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Fisherman from all over can enjoy a variety of fishing spots at Big Bear Lake and catches, from April to the end of September even during the warmest time of the year. Big Bear Lake has an excellent summer fishing season as the lake’s depths allow certain species of fish to thrive in the summer heat.

Types of Fish

There are several varieties of fish species that inhabit Big Bear Lake, with rainbow trout being the most popular. 

Other fish include several other species of trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill sunfish, blue catfish, common carp, black crappie, and panfish.

Where to Fish at Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake provides many locations to fish, depending on the type of fishing that you are looking to do. Considered one of the best fishing spots, the “trout triangle” is located on the west side of the lake. This triangle is made up of the south shore of the lake from Gilner Point to the Bear Valley Dam and, from the dam along the east north shore to the west boat ramp/ Windy Point. The best way to fish the triangle is by boat.

The North Shore Landing in Big Bear, from the dam to Gray’s Landing and Eagle Point is popular for shore fishing. Popular spots for bass fishing include the weedy areas of Northshore and some of rocky point. 
Most of the Southshore coastline is private and it is hard to access, a boat is needed to access the hidden coves and best bass spots.

Other locations to fish

  • East Ramp
  • West Ramp
  • Near the Big Bear Arena
  • Metcalf Bay
  • Boulder Bay
  • Stanfield Cutoff from Big Bear Blvd. to North shore dr.
  • Windy point
  • Rockwall

The eastern end of the lake, beyond the telescope, is shallow and a poor habitat for trout. Most fish are caught between 15 and 30 feet.

Fishing Events

For fisherman interested in showing off their catch, there are a couple of annual events that take place throughout the year. One event open to all ages and skill levels is the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic that takes place in May.

Fishermen who join get the chance to win cash prices for their catches.

During June, the Fishin’ for 50k Trout Derby takes place. During the derby, 5 tagged fish are placed in the water, all worth 10k. The Annual Carp Round Up also takes place in the same month.

For those looking to compete, Big Bear Troutfest takes place in October. Competitions are divided into Men’s, Women’s, and children’s divisions and fisherman have the chance to win tens of dollars, prizes, and trophies.


Boating is one of the most popular activities to do during the summer at Big Bear Lake. All types of boats can be found on the lake and boaters can cruise the shoreline and the lakes many coves and inlets and they can be rented at many of the marinas on the lake.

Where to launch your boat?

Big Bear Lake has two public launch ramps where visitors can launch their boats.

Carol Morrison East Public Launch Ramp – This ramp is open daily from May 27th, 2022. Visitors may purchase permits, quagga inspections and quagga decontamination stations for all vessels, and restrooms.

Single vehicle and trailer parking are also available, along with the nearby pedal path, vista point and beach where visitors can go swimming and wading.

Duane Boyer West Public Launch Ramp – Open from 7AM to 3PM daily, this popular launch ramp offers guests a convenient method from transition from land to sea. During the winter season the ramp is closed.

Permit sales are also available along with quagga inspections for all vessels and decontamination for simple vessels. Restrooms, fishing docks, fishing pier, and beach for swimming and wading are also located nearby.