Great Parks 2016 Fishing Season Opens

Fishin' Line

The 2016 fishing season is officially open! Last Friday, we stocked 750-pounds of beautiful rainbow trout at Lake Isabella, which we will continue to stock until April 8. For the full stocking schedule, visit Great Parks’ website. You can also view the full schedule of fishing events for 2016, and I’ve included some exciting new information about those below.


Online Registration
For 2016, all Great Parks’ fishing tournament will offer an option to pre-register for the tournament online. Don’t worry if you are trying to register online and get a message that says the event is full. Each tournament we still have a handful of spots open the day of the event on a first-come-first-serve basis. Just make sure you are at the boathouse early to get a spot. To register in advance for any tournament, click here.

Rod Busting Series
The Rod Busting Tournaments are back, but this year they will be offered as a series. Lake Isabella will host the four tournaments. The cost will remain $40 per team (boat included). However, this year we will also be including two fishing ticket vouchers to use at Lake Isabella on another day in 2016.

During the tournaments, each team will weigh in their six biggest catfish and/or carp. The top two teams (based on weight, ties will be broken by biggest fish) will walk away with prizes that day. First place will receive 50 points; second place, 49 points; third place, 48 points; and fourth place, 47 points. All other teams in attendance or teams that “zero” for the day will receive 40 points for the Rod Busting Series’ standings.

At the end of the four tournaments, we will add the teams three best scores (dropping your lowest score) and announce the Rod Busting Series Champions. Series champions will each receive a special grand prize and bragging rights for a year.

Colossal Fish Contest
Last year’s Colossal Fish Contest was a huge success. A photo of Mark Davis (2015 Colossal Grand Prize Winner) and his fish is currently hanging up in the Lake Isabella boathouse for all to see. This year, the weekly contest will begin on April 11 and run for 28 weeks. Any weeks that have less than 15 entries will be carried over into the next week. All other rules will remain the same in 2016.

Kids’ Events

We will continue to host our widely popular Kids’ Mystery Fish Challenges. There are three planned for Lake Isabella and one each at Miami Whitewater Forest, Winton Woods and Sharon Woods. The first one of the year will be on Memorial Day, Monday May 30, at Lake Isabella from 10 a.m. to noon.

Lake Isabella will also be hosting three sessions of the summer Fishing Camps:

  • Fishing Camp 101: Reeling in the Basics
    Tuesday, May 31-Friday, June 3 or Monday, June 6-Thursday, June 9
  • Fishing Camp 202: Exploring Deeper Waters
    Tuesday, June 28-Thursday, June 30

Be sure to sign up for summer day camps before March 31 to take advantage of the early bird pricing.

LI Kids 1

Fish On!
Whether you’re competing in a tournament or just out at one of the parks enjoying a relaxing day of fishing, we want you to have a good time. So remember to check back here, the Fishin’ Line, for weekly updates. If you are uncertain if your favorite boathouse will be open due to weather or flooding, you can always check our Park Alerts & Closures page or call the boathouses directly:
Lake Isabella: 513-791-1663
Miami Whitewater Forest: 513-367-9632
Sharon Woods: 513-769-4326
Winton Woods: 513-931-1849

You can also email with any questions, comments, fishing stories and pictures.

Anthony Unkrich, Harbor Manager, Lake Isabella