Big Bear Lake is a wonderful paddling location with beautiful scenery, great fishing, and camping opportunities. The stunning scenery and peaceful environment make Big Bear a great place to come paddling throughout the year. The beautiful trees and rock formations along shore draw boaters and paddlers from all over the world. Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit Big Bear Lake; the water at this time is much warmer and suitable for swimming. Unfortunately, this does mean that the lake can be more congested with boats. This should not deter you from visiting, however.
There are two public boat/kayak launches located in Big Bear. The Duane Boyer public boat launch is located on the western part of the lake. The other free public boat launch, the Carol Morrison public launch, is located on the eastern part of the shore. You will need to get a boat permit for your kayak that costs $20 for the day or $50 for the entire year. If your kayak has a sail or a motor, then it will require a CF number to operate on the lake. Inspections of your kayak or paddleboard are required to prevent quagga mussel infestation.
Rainbow trout, bluegill, bass, carp, and even catfish are fishable throughout the year. Trolling rapalas along the north shore to the observatory is a great way to target trout during the spring. Trolling needlefish lures with leadcore line can also be effective. The trout during the summer will be very deep in the lake, making them harder for kayakers to target. Make sure to purchase a boat permit at the launches or else you will be stopped by the Big Bear Municipal Water District. Using powerbait a few feet off the bottom of the water is a great way to go after catfish throughout the year.
Air temperature in Big Bear Lake ranges from the 40s to mid 50s in the winter and the 70s to low 80s in the summer. The water can partially freeze over during the winter, so it is best to call beforehand to learn about water conditions.
Carol Morrison Public Boat Launch (Big Bear Lake)
Duane Boyer Public Boat Launch (Big Bear Lake)