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There are a bunch of places to fish the duct around Bakersfield, and if you ask me, one of the worst places is across from the golf course. Yes, I said it. I realize a lot of big fish have been caught there, but an awful lot of fishing pressure too. A friend of mine has caught 4 stripers over 40 lbs from that area, but that was years ago.
Try the gates at Tupman and the gates off of Freborn road. Both sets are really close to the golf course. Lots of siphons from the golf course to the grapevine. Sometimes big fish are at the siphons. Try grates where the water is pulled from the aqueduct. Those grates house Tule Perch which come out to play at night and the big fish kinow it.
Most of all put in a lot of time and throw big lures, bucktail jigs and leave the bait at home. It will catch you lots of small fish, but not many big ones.
I would venture to say, I have fished the California aqueduct as much if not more than almost anyone in the last 10 years. There are big fish to be had, but it takes a lot of time and effort.
Good luck. BTW, my best year fishing the aqueduct yielded 55 fish over 10 lbs, lots of those over 20 lbs, so the fish are there.
 

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My goal was to always catch a 50 lber also Bill. Still my goal, but I don't fish as often as I used to. I bought a viciously fast motorcycle and love to ride that too, so my time is split, not to mention I am contemplating turbocharging the bike to eventually get close to 500HP.
I do love to fish the duct though. I can help with the locations if people are interested. You know as much as I do though, that to catch the big fish takes lots of time and effort and a little luck also.
 

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I went out to those two gates a couple of nights ago, and got blanked. Not even a hit. I find January to be the toughest fishing month of the year in the duct though. I plan on spending a full 24 hours of fishing this weekend though, hitting up a bunch of spots.

StriperBill:
Does the state allow fishing where the water enters the aqueduct from the pipeline that comes from over the mountain (from Kern County, the last pumping plant (Edmonston, I believe or Wheeler Ridge, I get them confused). I've seen pictures of that area and it looks like a torrent of water coming out. I wonder if the stripers go up there to feed. I believe that would be in your area, right?
 

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J. Owen
I'll check those lures out. I don't use much topwater in the duct. It really isn't that often you get into a topwater bite. How have you been doing on big fish in the duct? In 2008, I didn't fish that often and my biggest was only 25 lbs or so. There isn't many spots in the duct that aren't known, but if you know a spot where you think there might be a 50 lber and want to divulge that information, fire away. hehe
I will probably concentrate my efforts this weekend up North, closer to San Luis Resevoir. I know a few spots up there, where there are some real slobs, just getting them to bite is the question.
 

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Yeah, I have fished Old River quite often. There are two siphons within a half a mile of each other there. One that goes under Old River road and the other one is down river a half mile or so. I've caught a few big fish there, but nothing really big. I think the biggest was 15 lbs or so.
 

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There are no set rules when it comes to fishing, and striper fishing is no different. If you want to trying dropshotting worms, give it a whirl. Some guys like me gate and siphon hop, but with the cost of fuel it gets more difficult all the time. I've also seen guys walk the duct, throwing rattletraps as they go or whatever else suits your fancy. I even tried bicycle trolling for awhile to try and cover lots of area. I used a side planer to try and keep the lure away from the bank and used human power to troll with. Wasn't too succesful at that, mainly cause of grawl on the roads, lots of obstacles along the way, and if you were going upstream compared to downstream, well you get the idea. Early in the morning sometimes you can get a striper or two to hit topwater also. Zara spooks or poppers. Don't forget gitzits, bucktails and big crankbaits worked extremely slowly. You can get native bait in the aqueduct, sculpins are legal and there is not so legal bait either. I won't go into that.
I went fishing yesterday at 3:30 and fished all night long execpt for an hour catnap. I hit several gates and siphons all the way from the golf course by taft almost to San Luis resevoir. Fishing was tough. I probably caught 6 fish or so, the two biggest around 6 lbs each, will be poached and eaten. I did hook into what felt like a very good fish, the type that feels like a log and just starts moving, but only had it on for less than 10 seconds and came uncoupled, so in reality I can't even guess its size. Hell, maybe i was a log.
Now for another catnap and I am going to go out another 4-5 hours or so tonight and see if I can get a biggun.
 

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Nice fish Rizzel!
I went out there the other night, but got the big skunk! I believe that small minnow you are holding is a silverside. The aqueduct is loaded with them. That would probably make a good fly pattern.
As far as stripers moving up and down the duct, they do, but they have limited mobility, that is, they can only move from pumping plant to pumping plant. I doubt a fish could make it through one of those big pumps when it is spinning. And there are three pumping plants in the grapevine area.
I think the reason why so many big fish have been caught over the years at the Taft Golf Course is because about three miles South of there is a pumping plant and the fish hit the end of the line there, and then move up to the Taft gates to feed. That is the first southerly pumping plant from the Dos Amigos pumping plant which would be about 150 miles away. The fish can freely roam (when the gates are open) the full 150 miles. Then from that pumping plant you have three more after that, the last one being Edmonston which pumps the water over the Tehachapi's.
Contrary to what the other guy told you about being able to fish anywhere on the aqueduct, that just isn't true. I believe you cannot fish within 1 mile of the pumping plants. Usually they have signs posted upstream of the pumping plants stating "No fishing beyond this point".
Striper fishing is addicting, and I can see you are excited about it. Especially driving that far to fish Old River Road. I usually drive approximately 200 miles North to fish a couple of my favorite spots.
I may go to Old River in the next couple of days, because I only live 20 miles from the spot, so I can buzz out there, fish a couple of hours, and come home.
Good luck with your striper fishing.
 

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Fished the duct last night, went to three or four sets of gates, and two siphons. Only caught one fish, approximately 5 lbs on a jig. Had another hit, but that was it.
Was going down a dirt road to a set of gates and it was muddy. An excavator had been working on the road beside the canal, and I slid off the road, into an almond tree, which was a year or two old. By the time I got out of that jam, I damaged my left running board, my left mirror, and left and almond tree for dead.
 
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