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Plan the Ultimate Big Bear Fishing Trip: A Guide for Anglers

Updated: Feb 1

Big Bear Lake has some of the best freshwater fishing in Southern California. Known for its abundance of rainbow trout, Big Bear Lake is also a hub for fishing for bass, catfish, carp, and more. Fishing tournaments are held in the summer and attract fishing enthusiasts from all over the country to compete for big cash prizes and high-end equipment.


Fishing charters can help new anglers learn fishing skills and develop a passion for the sport, and the professional anglers at the tackle shop are always happy to share their fishing secrets. So if you have a rental cabin in Big Bear or plan on going during fishing months, check out our list of advice below!

Big bear fishing


Fishing License

It is important to know that all Big Bear Lake anglers must have a valid California fishing license when fishing from the water or from shore. Each person must have their own fishing license unless the fisherman is under 15 years of age.



Where to get bait?

Get everything you need for your day of fishing at local Big Bear sports stores.


big bear sporting goods


Big Bear Sporting Goods

Phone Number: (909) 866-3222





bosco's bait tackle

Bosco's Bait & Tackle

Address:400 Pine Knot A ve,

Phone Number: (909) 878-0094







big 5 sporting goods



Big 5 Sporting Goods

Phone Number: (909) 866-2730







Do you need a boat?

Find the boat for your perfect day of fishing,

fishing boats are available in almost all marinas in Big Bear Lake.



how to rent a boat in big bear


Fishing Rules


Big Bear Lake is fairly easy on the rules, but there are a few fishing rules to keep in mind.

  1. For crayfish, there is no limit on size or number. You can also catch them however you'd like; Choose to by hand, net, hook and line, or traps.

  2. For trout, there is no size limit, but you can only catch a maximum of 5. For carp, there is no limit on size or amount. Carp is the only species you can also use a bow and arrow to fish with, as long as the arrow is tethered to the bow.

  3. There are several different species of catfish; there is no limit on size, but you are only allowed to catch a maximum of 10 per day.

  4. For the black bass species, you must have a minimum size of twelve inches and you can only catch 5 per day.

  5. For all of the panfish species, there is no size limit and you are allowed to catch up to 25.


fishing rules for Big Bear, CA

What can I fish in Big Bear?

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.

kind of fishes in big bear

Big Bear Fishing Events


Fishin' for $50K Trout Tournament

With 5 tagged trout worth $10,000 each, you could win up to $50,000! This year, the winner of the Anniversary Tournament will win $2,500 in honor of our 25th anniversary!

Fishing for $50K is the family event of the season!


Bring your crew and spend $50,000 on two days of fishing on Big Bear Lake. Of the thirty tagged trout, five were grand prize winners, worth $10,000 each. It's worth fishing now!


Weight category prizes are awarded to adult and child age groups, and raffle prizes include adult and child fishing equipment. That's just one more reason to invite the whole gang to enjoy the event over the weekend.


fishing tournament winners

Big Bear Lake Carp Round-Up

Welcome to the Big Bear City Water District (BBMWD) Carp Shooting Championships! Participating in fishing activities can help control invasive carp populations in Big Bear Lake.


Every year hundreds of hunters and anglers from all over the United States travel to Big Bear Lake to test their skills and have a chance to win great prizes. Join the fun that helps keep our lakes happy and healthy!

big bear lake carp round up

WON Big Bear Lake TroutfesT

October 7th-8th, 2023


WON Big Bear Troutfest, at Big Bear Marina. The 18th annual Big Bear Troutfest is just around the corner. Make sure to get your entry in soon to guarantee your goodie bag and hat. You won't want to miss this year's event in beautiful Big Bear.

big bear lake tourfest

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