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  • Writer's pictureKern River's Edge Team

Your guide on how to fish the Kern River & Lake Isabella


Wondering how to fish the Kern River and Lake Isabella, where the best spots are, and where you can go to get supplies? We’ve got you covered.


We’ve laid out all the most important insider tips, tricks, and best practices on how to fish the Kern River. Take a look below and don’t forget to bookmark this article for your next fishing trip.


What supplies do you need to fish the Kern River

Just like any other fishing trip, you need the basic necessities to fish the Kern River. These fishing supplies include:

  • Live bait

  • Fishing license

  • Fishing rod and lines

  • Hooks

  • Drinking water and sun protection!

Where to get supplies when you fish the Kern River & Lake Isabella

There are many places where you can find the necessary supplies to fish the Kern River area. However, the following locations are trusted sources that are guaranteed to have what you need.

  • Riverkern General Store: This fishing supply store is located two miles north of Kernville. You can follow them on Facebook to get updates.

  • Sierra Gateway Market: Also located in Kernville, Sierra Gateway Market is a local source for snacks, gas, fishing supplies including live bait, and more.

  • Riverside One Stop: Located at 10800 Kernville Rd, Riverside One Stop has everything you need to get your fishing trip started — including fishing licenses and tackle.

Where are the best spots to fish the Kern River

When it comes to fishing the Kern River, the best spots are typically the sections with deeper pools, which can be found in both upper and lower Kern. We recommend fishing the following locations:

  • The Curve

  • KR3 Power Plant

  • Delonegha Bridge

  • Keyesville

  • High flows on the Kern River mean that Lake Isabella will be your best bet for fishing. Try Camp 9, Stine Cove, or go see our friends over @ French Gulch Marina for more lake information.

Where are the best spots to fish around Lake Isabella

When it comes to fishing around Lake Isabella, the best spots are the quieter sections of lake on the east side, or up closer to where the Kern River meets Lake Isabella and of course near the marinas.

  • French Gulch Marina has a small store with lots of supplies, and gasoline for boats.

  • Red's Marina serves lunch on the water.

If you need helping finding any of these locations, reach out to us online or leave a comment below.

What time of year is best to go fishing at the Kern River

When it comes to the Kern River, the best time to go fishing is typically in the winter, spring, or fall. Preferably, the temperature should be somewhere in the 50s or 60s.


To get more insight into when and how to fish the Kern River, check out some of these additional resources:

  • Kern Valley Sun: Find expert articles giving advice and tips on all things Kern River fishing, including weather, how-to's, bait, and more.

  • Kern River Fly Shop: Book a guided tour with fly fishing experts and learn everything there is to know about fly fishing the Kern River.

  • Lake Isabella Fishing Derby: Check out the local fishing derby and learn where to stay, what to do, and how to get involved in the fishing scene.

  • Leave No Trace by packing out what you pack in, and leaving the space better than you found it.

Care-for-It

Recreating responsibly includes packing trash bags to leave our wild spaces cleaner than you found them. There is a glass ban in the Sequoia National Forest, so remember to use plastic storage containers, ziploc bags, or bota bags for camping gear and kitchen supplies instead. See more Kern River camping tips.


Ready to go fishing on the Kern River?

Then let’s go! At Kern River’s Edge, you’ll find spacious campsites, concierge firewood, ice deliveries, and the best fishing spots on the Kern River. With over 40 camping sites to choose from and easy access to all types of activities — including fishing —, there’s something for everyone at the River’s Edge campsite.

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