About 45 miles from Bakersfield on Hwy 178. Two towns nearby are Kernville and Lake Isabella. Full
service marina at French Gulch. Elevation:2650'
The town of Lake Isabella was called just Isabella before the dam and was named in honor of Queen Isabella of Spain by Sven Barton back in 1893. At one time there were only two communities making up the valley, there was no dam, roads were dirt and stop signs were not needed. Kernville and Isabella (the two communities) were relocated in preparation of the Isabella Dam beginning in 1948. They now sit under the lake in quiet memory. The lake was created in 1953 by the U.S. Corps of Engineers when the dams were put into place. Lake Isabella gives you an opportunity to try some good Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill
fishing. It is the largest lake within the Southern Sierra with over 11,000 acres and is open year-round. It was constructed in 1953 with the placement of two dams over the Kern River.
The best fishing is from February to June and September through November. Float tubers are required to
stay within 200 feet of shore. The lake is heavily stocked with 10-12 inch Rainbows. Florida-strain Largemouth Bass were planted within the lake in 1972 and
it became a trophy lake for bass by the mid 1980's with bass reaching up to 18 Lbs. Try Clouser Minnows,
Hair Mouse, Popper's, and Shad Minnows. The bass has a 2 fish limit with a minimum size of 15 inches.
Crappie fishing is especially good in the Spring using Cole Buggers, Jay's Wiggletails, and small white
woolly buggers in size 10-12. The crappie has a limit of 25. The best area to fly fish is the brushy
areas on the eastern end of the lake where the South Kern River enters and the north side from
Robinson's Cove to Rocky Point Cove. Another good spot is the northern end where the North Fork of the
Kern enters. Both of these areas have dead trees that will allow you to float tube without competition
from baitcasters and boaters. A recent Winter activity has been to flyfish for the many Carp that feed along the shallows. There are eight campgrounds around the lake with over 800 units.
Fishing Map Available
Covers the water of Lake Isabella. Shows camping areas, road access, trails, and below-surface stream channels. Special Features are Suggested Carp Flies, Fishing Season and Regulations, Fish Identification, Where to Fish, and Stream Etiquette guidelines. Printed on Rite-in-the-Rain Paper that will allow you to write those special notes. Waterproof and Durable.