Bass fishing on Clear Lake is a hit and miss right now. Bass are constantly on the move, which means anglers also have to move around until they locate the fish. Anglers who are able to locate bass take on 20 catches per day, which is common. Other fishermen are in difficulty and catch only a few.
One fisherman who is on bass is Mike Rothstein of Lakeport. He’s been on the lake pretty much every day for the past week and caught 15-30 fish a day. Most of its fish are caught on a plastic surface frog thrown over the weed mats. He said there were a lot of baitfish and bass were constantly exploding around him.
Another local fisherman, Gary Hill of Kelseyville, fishes daily from his float tube. On Wednesday he fished off Clear Lake State Park and caught a dozen bass weighing 3 to 5 pounds.
The highest areas were off Lucerne and in the arm of the rattlesnake. The shoreline along Highway 20 near Clearlake Oaks also produces a good number of fish.
The Best Bass Tournament (BBT) held last Saturday drew 79 boats and just about every team caught a limit of five fish. The weight gain was 24 pounds. The tournament rolled out of Library Park in Lakeport and the boats had no trouble launching despite the low water.
There are a number of big bass tournaments planned on the lake over the next couple of months. Whether they actually happen depends on the level of the lake. Currently, the level of the lake is dropping about an inch per week.
Catfish / crappie
The action of the catfish remains very good for the few fishermen after them. Some of the catfish were huge, weighing in the 20 pound class. Crappie’s action has been slow but should improve as the fall months approach.
Clear Lake continues to attract many anglers even in the middle of the week, and one reason is that the other lakes in Northern California are so low that boats cannot be launched. The Fifth Street ramp in Lakeport is one of the few places on the lake where you can safely launch a boat. Aurora RV Park in Nice has a boat launching ramp which is still operational and boats can be launched there for a fee. Call (916) 201-6078 for more information.
Be extremely careful when crossing the lake. There are a lot of huge boulders just below the surface and a number of boats hit these boulders and suffered damage.
A number of fishermen report seeing baby grebes on the lake. There has been a lot of concern that there will not be an outbreak this year. For some reason the hatch was very late, but the chicks are here.
Deer hunters have very few places to hunt this year, with all of California’s national forests closed to all use. Now, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has also closed all wildlife lands in the state. The closures are the result of drought and extremely high fire danger. The closures will last until it rains or gets cold.
Despite the drought, Clear Lake State Park is the perfect place to spend Labor Day weekend. The park is super clean and offers great hiking trails as well as picnic areas. The park is teeming with wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, and ospreys. It is one of the jewels of Lake County.