10 Best Fishing Spots Near Bakersfield and Kern County

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The Bakersfield area and especially the southern Sierra Nevada and other mountains in rural Kern County have some excellent fishing spot.

Besides Bakersfield, the fishing spots we list below are within easy reach of other Kern County communities such as Delano, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Wasco and Rosamond.

Major outdoor recreational spots in this large county include Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern River Valley and Sequoia National Forest.

The county is book-ended by the California Coastal Mountains on the west and the Sequoia National Forest on the east. It’s a major producer of almonds.

What follows are the best places to fish in and around Bakersfield and throughout Kern County.

After that, scan through the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” section at the bottom. Here we’ve listed nearby locations that also have some very good fishing and often aren’t too far of a drive.

Brite Valley Reservoir

Located in the city of Tehachapi, 68-acre Brite Valley Reservoir offers anglers with a variety of catches such as trout during winter months and catfish during the warmer season.

Additionally, the lake has bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie and carp.   

This lake is open to the public for the entire year. Camping is also allowed here. 

Google Map and Directions to Brite Valley Reservoir

Cuddy Creek Pond

Cuddy Creek Pond is a small park lake in the Lake of the Woods community.

According to some sources, this is a great place to get youngsters into fishing, especially whenever it is stocked with rainbow trout.

Google Map and Directions to Cuddy Creek Pond

Hart Park Lake

Aerial view of Hart Park Lake in Bakersfield.
Photo by sonia-cervantes (Canva)

This shallow lake in Bakersfield’s Hart Memorial Park is open to fishing year round and will be most popular whenever it is stocked with trout (cooler weather) or catfish (warmer season).

You also might catch bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie and carp.   

The park is part of the larger Kern River County Park and also offers picnic tables, a playground, barbecue areas and other amenities.

Google Map and Directions to Hart Park Lake

Lake Isabella

This massive reservoir is less than an hour northeast of Bakersfield.

Lake Isabella is probably most famous among anglers for its largemouth bass fishing, but there also are a variety of game fish to catch here, including trout, crappie, catfish and even some landlocked Chinook salmon.

Visitors also enjoy a wide range of activities including all types of boating and windsurfing. Camping is also very popular with multiple campgrounds from which to choose.

Much more: Lake Isabella Fishing

Kern River

A fly fisherman battles a fish on the Lower Kern River.
Photo by Jeffrey Walters

The Kern is a very well-known fishing river in the Central Valley area, including several forks beloved by fly fishermen and other trout anglers.

Rainbow trout and brown trout are the primary quarries among anglers, while the river and region also are excellent for backpacking, hiking and whitewater kayaking.  

Warmer sections of the river system also support largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill and other species.

Read much more from our local expert: Complete Guide to Kern River Fishing

Ming, Lake

This man-made recreational lake in the Kern River County Park (also see Hart Park Lake) with year-round angling for good numbers of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie and carp.

Lake Ming also gets stocked with rainbow trout in the winter season.

Nearby amenities campsites, picnic tables, barbecue grills and a playground.

The lake is also popular for motor boating and water skiing. 

Google Map and Directions to Ming Lake

River Walk Lake

The Park at River Walk, also known as River Walk Park along the Kern River in Bakersfield, is a 32-acre park with two small lakes.

The upper lake is about 3 acres while the lower lake is 2 acres. 

Anglers can catch largemouth bass and crappie in the lakes all year, although these fish bite better in warmer weather from spring through fall.

In winter, watch for plantings of hatchery rainbow trout, when fishing will briefly be very good (and quite likely very popular).

The park has barbecues, gazebo, picnic areas and a playground. An amphitheater serves as a venue for live music events.

Google Map and Directions to Riverwalk Lake

Truxtun Lake

Truxtun Lake is a 28-acre lake with resident populations of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, crappie, and carp.

The lake also might be stocked with rainbow trout during the cool season, so keep an eye on reports.

True to its name, the lake is located along Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield, along the Kern River.

Google Map and Directions to Truxtun Lake

Webb, Lake

Created in 1973, this good-sized manmade lake in the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area has gained popularity as a spot for fishing and lots of watersports.

Anglers can generally expect to catch largemouth bass, catfish and a variety of panfish that might include bluegill, black crappie and sunfish.

The smaller Lake Evans in the park adjacent to Lake Webb also has fishing opportunities for a similar population of fish.

The lakes are located between Bakersfield and Taft. Head south on Enos Lane (CA-43) to get there.

Google Map and Directions to Webb Lake

Woollomes Lake

This fair-sized lake near Delano is primarily fished for warm water species such as  largemouth bass, channel catfish and common carp. 

The 339-acre lake is only open to non-motor-powered boats such as canoes, rowboats and sailboats.

This is a good place for a picnic and barbecue.

Woollomes Lake is a quick trip 34 miles north of Bakersfield.

Google Map and Directions to Woollomes Lake

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Tulare and Kings Counties: To the north, the Visalia area is a gateway to great trout fishing streams and multi-species reservoirs near Sequoia National Park.

San Bernardino County: To the east, the biggest county in California has a wide variety of freshwater fishing, from Big Bear Lake in the mountains to the Colorado River and Lake Havasu on the Arizona border.

Los Angeles County: To the southeast, California’s most populous county also has great fishing, including bass fishing mecca Castaic Lake and lots of saltwater angling.

Ventura County: To the south, this smaller county is home to great angling at Casitas Lake and access to some great Pacific Ocean fishing grounds.

Santa Barbara County: To the southwest, the Santa Barbara area includes the excellent Cachuma Lake and more ocean fishing than you can shake a stiff fishing pole at.

San Luis Obispo County: To the west, this coastal county offers a surprising number of lakes (Nacimiento among them) and a wealth of Pacific Ocean fishing right out the door.