Isabella Lake

Location and Directions:

15627 Highway 178
Weldon, CA 93283
use MapQuest

     Lake Isabella is located in upper Kern County approx. 160 miles North of Los Angeles. From L.A. take I-5 to Hwy 14 go north (towards Bishop) go past Palmdale, Lancaster, and thru Mojave till you reach hwy 178, turn left and it is about 45 minutes from hwy 14 at hwy 178.

General Info:

Lake Isabella consists of 11,200 surface acres and 38 miles of shoreline at capacity. It sets at an elevation of 2,650 feet. The lake is open year round, 24/7. Camping is available at several locations around the lake. Sites start at $14 and up. There are lots of stores in the nearby town of Lake Isabella. Lake Isabella Website

Other lakes and rivers in the area:
Kern River
Buena Vista Lakes

Boating Info:

    There are several boat launches that are free however a boat safetey permit must be obtained at the park office. Minimum boat length - 11 feet. There are several marinas with rental fishing boats, pontoons and jet-skis. High winds can kick up here in the afternoon so boaters should be alert.

  • Kern Valley Marina - (619) 379-1634
  • French Gulch Marina - (619) 379-8774
  • North Fork Marina - (619) 376-1812

Fishing Info:

    Lots of Trout, Bass, Catfish, and Crappie are found here. This is considered one of the better crappie lakes in the state with epic spawning runs each spring. Night fishing is allowed and catfish fishing is popular during the summer. There are fish cleaning facilities at many of the campgrounds. Be sure to visit the CDFW web site for complete regulations before heading out.

Lake Records:
  • Largemouth Bass - 18 pounds 14 ounces, taken in 1984
  • Brown Trout - 22 pounds, 15 ounces
  • Rainbow Trout - 9 pounds, 10 ounces
  • Crappie - 3.75 pounds
  • Channel Catfish - 22 pounds, 2 ounces
  • Read and Post Isabella Lake Fishing Reports Here
  • CDFW Fish Planting Schedule for Lake Isabella

Comments and Tips:

A consistent crappie spot for me has been in the French Gulch Marina Area. There are two or three large floating logs that act as a jetty for the Marina. Cast alongside these from shore with a crappie jig and a float. Adjust leader length to catch fish. Try 18" or so first though.

Greg Madrigal

The strip of land between the two dam pieces on the southern end of the lake. That is called engineers point.... Growing up in isabella i can say that the eastern side about 20 -80 ft from the dam on that strip is prime trout area... mainly hit on rooster tails or kast masters.

Cory--- now in San Diego, California

    If you know something about this area or have some photos that you'd like to share, please E-mail and I'll post it here!

  • Amary Brooks with some nice crappie from Isabella.

    A nice Isabella catfish.

    Mike Otillio with an 8.1 pound bass.

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