The last couple of months I have been totally tied up with my time in selling our spot on the lake, buying a home just down the street and moving. We are now settled in, have the boat and truck all tuned up, gear all in order and ready to go for another exciting season here on Clear Lake. I fished with my good friends Steve Kelly and Gary Hill yesterday for my first outing of the year. It was great to get out on the lake and get a rod in my hand and catch some fish. We used live bait on a drop shot rig and moved around trying to locate some fish. Several other boats were out and many of those were keying in on catching crappie in a couple of the hot spots that are holding them. It was a slow and delicate bite even with the live bait and we missed a few that just didn't get the hook. We caught several small fish but did manage to land an eight lber and another nice five pounder. The Lake is rising steadily and we are just about a half a foot below our high of last year. If the rains remain consistent over this next month, we have a good possibility of having a full lake this year. A recent team tournament produced a winning weight of just over 26 lbs for their best five fish. A variety of baits and techniques are working now but it is a winter type bite and you have to put your time in to catch a few fish. The water temperature yesterday was between 47 and 49 degrees. Water clarity mid lake was slightly stained, any area around where the creeks are flowing is very stained to muddy. Those that are targeting the bigger fish and are hoping just to get one good bite are throwing the big swim baits which requires the right rod's, reel's, and the endurance to stay with it all day. The over all bite will get better and better as we move into March and April and the lake will also get much busier as we are now going into full swing for the tournament circuits. Remember to buy your 2016 fishing license, if your bringing a boat to the lake, have it checked and get your clearance sticker before launching, water is cold so wear your life jacket, you won't last long without it if you fall in. The tackle stores are receiving weekly shipments of jumbo minnows and that bite will get into full swing over these next two months. That's if for now for a quick update, feel free to email me at anytime for any or more specific information, God Bless, Bob
For those of you who regularly review my reports and for new visitors, we have spent the last two months buying a new home and selling our wonderful lake house of 17 years. We have sold it to a nice couple that we are sure will enjoy it and be able to create wonderful memories such as we have. We are in the process of moving over these next few weeks and I should be back in action and out on the lake by mid January 2016. We want to take this opportunity to ""THANK"" all of you who have fished with me over the years for your business and your friendship and wish everyone a """BLESSED"" Merry Christmas. Now for a lake update, the lake is currently on the rise with the recent & current rains. With the predicted El Nino, it is a good possibility we will have a full lake for the 2016 season. Considering the facts that the lake is literally loaded with bait fish and with all the juvenile bass that we saw and caught this year, we should have a fantastic 2016 season. January through April will find most fisherman throwing a variety of swim baits, Alabama rigs, jerk baits, glide baits and using jigs to target those big female bass who are putting on weight with their egg sacks getting full of eggs. The end of March and through April will find the action peaking for those bigger bass that will be moving into the shallows for the April spawning period. The one kicker to the start of the 2016 season will be about the amount of rain we receive, how fast and how high the lake rises' and how muddy the water get's which can all impact the fishing conditions. Regardless of the consequences, we will be happy with the excess water if we get it. To close out this report and to put a ""period"" on the end of 2015, My wife and I will be celebrating our ""40th"" anniversary together this next week, it's been quite a ride and we are looking forward to many more years together. We wish & hope for all of us a ""Healthy, Happy, Prosperous 2016, God Bless, Bob & Tary
This last weekend of October finds the last major tournament of the year winding up. Weights are solid with 20 lb bags up to even a 33 lb bag in a tournament last weekend. While the top finishers always have weights of over 20lbs for their best five fish, many of the teams are coming in with 12 to 16lb limits due to the tremendous amounts of smaller fish currently in the lake. The tournament people are catching their fish on a whole variety of techniques and baits. Jig's, Carolina rig's, Shallow and deep running crank baits, chatter baits and Kitech swim baits with an under spin blade, are all working to put fish in the boat and are also effective type baits to keep the smaller fish from biting. Water clarity is decent, water level is at it's lowest point of the year but most ramps are still open for launching. Water temp's are slowly dropping but are currently starting out at around 65 degree's. Fish are being caught both in shallow water and on the deeper breaks and drop off's. The tackle stores are getting regular shipments of the Jumbo minnows and that bite has kicked in for those who want to fish them. Catfish are also being caught on the jumbo minnows for those who want to target them. If you want to have pretty much non stop action, a drop shot six inch Robo worm in almost any color will result in lot's of six to 12 inch bass. Even though we have been in a major drought period, the lake has remained very easy to fish and the bass population is setting up for another great 2016 season with lots of smaller fish coming up the chain and lot's of good size fish being caught in the tournaments. Currently the weather pattern has been pretty mild and these next few weeks should be a great time to hit the lake and try your favorite pattern.
On another note, our house on the lake is still for sale. We have bought another house just down the street from where we currently live and will be moving there once we sell the one we are currently living in. For $59,000, plus space rent, you are buying a million dollar view, right on the water's edge, makes a great weekend retreat or vacation home or even your permanent residence such as we have done for the past 17 years. See the pictures, click on the photo tab, then click on, ""Home For Sale"". That's it for now, stay safe, wear those life jackets, be courteous to other fisherman, enjoy this great lake of ours, ""God Bless"" Bob
UPDATE: For those of you who regularly visit my site, my wife and I are selling our home on the lake, located in the town of Nice on the North West end , and moving just down the street. We have lived here for 17 wonderful years enjoying a fantastic view of God's creation everyday. We are at a point and time in our life that we need to make this move. We will still be running our guide business with no changes to that operation. Pictures of our home and info can be seen here under the 'Photo Tab"" of Home For Sale. This will be a perfect opportunity for someone to have a Vacation type home, or permanent home, or to buy into it with someone else and split the cost. For only $59,000, plus a monthly space rental of $535.00, you are on the water, with a great location, a place where people rent houses for the week, buy into time shares, rent air bnb's, and come from all over the country to vacation and fish. You can have your own place for under what you would pay for a new boat or suv. Please share this information with anyone you may know that may be looking for a place here on Clear Lake. This value and this spot will be hard to beat and we expect it will go quick. We will not be financing this so if your interested, figure out how to do it, two couples splitting it would be a great way to go. Call Mark Lavine at Keller Williams Realty, 707-245-7230 to see this great bargain.
Now for the fishing report: The bite for me these past two weeks has gotten slower and tougher. The fish are definitely keying in on bait and are following it. One day they are in a particular spot and the next day you may not get a bite there. Fishing structure such as drop offs, ledges and rock piles and finding the bait is key. The water through out the lake is currently a darkish brown, something I haven't seen before, I have been told it is a form of algae. For me it seems that the darker colored baits are needed for this low visibility conditions. Jig's, crank baits, spinner baits, shakey head jigs, are all working. My best success has come from drop shotting baby brush hogs in the water melon candy red color but then I am also limited to my customers ability to use certain techniques and rod set ups. This is the time of the year that deep diving crank baits and also shallow running square billed crank baits come on strong. For those who can stay with and like to flip and punch baits into the off shore weed bed's, it can pay off for some quality fish but it definitely requires a ""stick to it attitude"". We are headed into a week of hot weather so the topwater action around the weeded areas should also improve with baits such as frog's, flukes, horny toads and buzzbaits. The annual Bob's Marine tournament starts this weekend, (9/12 & 9/13), then the FLW will follow that starting 9/24 through 9/26. The Lucerne ramp is getting very shallow and may soon be closed. I don't recommend launching there, the oaks ramp, redbud ramp and Lakeport ramps are all fine and okay to launch. For those of you coming from out of the area, be sure to get your clearance sticker before launching, don't risk the big fine if your on the water without it. That's it for now, stay safe, be courteous, God Bless, Bob
There has been a lot of concern about the fires that have been burning around the area of Clear Lake. One of the fires has been totally contained and the other one will be contained within the next day or so. Both fires have burned 52 homes and numerous out buildings. The fires are quite a ways off from the lake and the lake access and all roads are open and things are normal as far as the lake is concerned. Most of the fisherman working the lake are fishing mid lake to the South Arms due to the upper end of the lake, West & North, experiencing a very ""off"" color water. Overall the algae blooms have not been all that bad this year and currently we have a higher water level than at this same time last year. The best bite on the lake seems to be for those people who are working jigs and crank baits. Jigs with crawdad type trailers worked over the rock piles and deeper ledges and drop off's along with crank baits both shallow running square bills and the deeper divers seem to be the best overall techniques. For those who want to target the top water bite, poppers such as Rico's, frog's, and buzzbaits are all working but require finding the right areas and moving around a lot to find them and staying committed to them. We are still catching a lot of six to ten inch fish and keeping them off the baits such as a drop shot is impossible. You have to wade through a lot of them to put a decent keeper in the boat but that did happen to one of my customers a week or so ago, an 11 year old girl landed a nine pounder on a drop shot baby brush hog, you just never know. Currently fishing pressure is very light but that will change as we go into the Labor Day weekend and the first major tournament of the new season will start with the annual Bob's Marine tournament starting on the 12th & 13th, followed by the FLW series on the 24th through the 26th. October will see a major tournament hitting the lake on almost every weekend. All ramps are open but the lake is still dropping so use caution when launching and keep the motor trimmed up until you get out into the deeper water. Be Safe., Be Courteous, Take Care Of The Fish, God Bless, Bob
WOW, Time has gotten away from me since my last report. I had a really busy June and July is also going to be pretty busy. The lake is being drawn down by Yolo County but we still have plenty of water and are at a higher water level than we were for this same time last year. (All ramps are open) Lake was really busy over the Fourth of July Holiday but is back to normal now and fishing pressure is minimal. The upper end of the lake both South and North sides have the normal vast expanses of weeds and mats. The lower arms of the lake are the deeper arms with less weeds but also get the heavier concentrations of algae due to the wind patterns and you have to move around to find the clearer water to fish in. We are still catching hundreds of the smaller bass in the six to ten inch range and you have to use larger baits to keep them off and literally wade through them to catch a bigger bass. I have had luck catching top water fish with Splash it's and Rico's anywhere I can find weeds just under the surface and with some open areas in between,this bite can go all day long if you can find the right areas. Some good fish are being caught on buzz baits and zara spooks, again you have to stay with them and cover water, but it can result in the bigger and better bites. Frog action has been hit and miss, the popper style lures seem to be working the best. Crank baits and spinner baits have also been producing fish for those concentrating on them. With the heat wave we have had over the past few weeks, afternoon water temp's have been in the low 80's, this is not the time to be carrying fish in the live wells, picture and release as soon as possible.
I have been able this past week to locate numbers of fish in a couple of locations, bait definitely seems to be the key here, deeper water with balls of bait seem to be concentrating the fish and we were able to catch several off of one spot. I have been using watermelon candy red worms and baby brush hogs along with the good ole stand by, the MMIII's on drop shot rigs. As we go through July and August, the lake will continue to drop, the upper end will be a matter of using frog's over the weeds or punching and flipping baits into the mats and around the weed edges. The deeper arms of the lake will get hit with drop shot, jig's shakey heads, flick shake worms and crankbaits. The bite has to be considered slow to tough simply because of the huge amount of smaller fish that at times seem to be impossible to keep off the hook. A great time though to bring the younger crowd and let them have a ball catching those fish. That's it for now, be courteous, don't crowd, and take care of the fish. God Bless, Bob
Since my last report a lot of the fish have spawned and are now starting to feed up from the rigors of the spawn. Lake level is still decent and still above the level it was for this same time last year. The weeds on the North and West end of the lake are coming on strong and it will require finding open areas and fishing weed lines. Although a lot of the fish have spawned, there are more that will be spawning as we move into the First couple of weeks in June. We have had unsettled weather with thunder storms and some cold nights but are heading into a warmer period and a more stable weather pattern. The bite seems to be picking up and the top water action will be kicking into gear with some recent reports of some buzz bait and frog action. We have one more major tournament on the 101th, 11th, & 12th, then the lake should settle down some from all of the fishing pressure. It's been a very busy lake with most of the people realizing we have plenty of water compared to most lakes and that there has been some really nice fish being caught.
My action for the most part has been just drop shotting and wacky rigged senko's since I have not concentrated on sight fishing with my customers. Deeper water patterns will come into play as we head into the summer months and with the vast amount of weed growth that will be depleting the amount of areas to fish on the upper end of the lake. We are catching literally hundreds of six to eight inch bass that can be found all over the lake, this bodes well for the future and is fun for the younger crowd but can be frustrating in your efforts to catch a larger fish. Large schools of bait fish are being seen around the lake and the birds are feeding heavily on them, baits such as flukes have seen an increase in action because of the larger size shad that are being hit by the bass.
Chatterbaits and small swimbaits are also working better now because of the huge population of bait fish through out the lake.
Stay safe, be courteous, take good care of the fish, have your boat checked and be ""Clean and Dry"' if your coming from out of the area. That's it for now, God Bless, Bob
Since my last post there have been several tournaments an at least a couple of those tournaments were able to bring in some big bags of fish for five fish going over 30lbs. Those tournaments were able to hit the lake under ideal conditions for "Sight Fishing"" and or bed fishing as it is called. Recent weather changes with wind and colder temperatures has pulled the fish back out and finding numbers of bed fish has been hard to do. The weather has made the bite up and down and at times down right tough. That should change as we get later into this week and with temperatures expected to get into the low 80's and stay there. It's my opinion that the majority of fish have yet to spawn and that should happen within these next couple of weeks if the weather remains stable and hot. The tournament people have found their best success if not sight fishing to be the use of a LV 500 lipless crank bait used with a yo yo pumping style retrieve. Other techniques such as jerk baits and swim baits like the locally made trash fish are also putting fish in the boat. For those who like to use techniques and baits such as a drop shot rig, senko's and shakey head jigs, be prepared to wade through large numbers of small fish in the six to eight inch range. (They are everywhere) It's been a very busy lake with spring break, tournaments, club tournaments and just casual fisherman and we have more tournaments pending. In a nut shell, look for the water temp's to move up and stay in the low 60's, more spawning fish will be moving up, the senko bite should kick into gear with more fish moving shallow, the live bait action has been good and should stay that way for the next few weeks. Please if you are taking fish off of the beds and are not in a tournament, take a picture and put them back to do their thing and protect their eggs. Currently the lake is in good shape with higher water levels than anytime last year and as soon as the winds die down, the water clarity will be excellent. Be safe, be courteous, have fun, God Bless, Bob
Since my last report and with no recent rains, the water clarity has cleared up considerably, especially on the West & North ends of the lake. The last three weeks have seen three big tournaments on the lake that have resulted in several 10lbers and lots of 7's, 8's & 9lb fish being caught. That being said, the vast majority of the fisherman are catching fish in the 2 to 3 lb range. Currently we are having a small cooler system moving through with maybe some sprinkles but right back into a warming trend for the next week. On the warm afternoons the bass are moving into the shallows and suspending under the docks. It's my guess with the water temps getting up into the low 60's in the afternoons, the bass will be bedding up soon. The crappie and bluegill are already making beds, and the bass will soon follow. Everything you can imagine is being used to target the bass, big glide baits, Arigs, big & small swim baits, jerk baits, drop shot, shakey head, crank baits, chatter baits, all are being used and all will work at the right time and right place. The fish are schooling and staging in the normal pre spawn bays and coves. You have to move around, cover water and locate the concentrations of fish. Now is also a good time to start throwing the trusted senko, a great pre spawn bait, fan cast it around and under the docks and out in the open to target the bass that are holding out a little deeper. A reminder for all of you that may be bringing a boat from out of the County to have your boat inspected and get your required Lake County Clearance sticker before launching your boat. The sticker from the State of Ca is not sufficient, you must have the Lake County Sticker.
Also keep in mind that all of the larger fish with the fat bellies this time of the year are probably females with eggs in them. Take your pictures, handle with care and get them back in the water asap. Now is a great time to come and fish Clear Lake and target a fish of a lifetime. Take measurements, a good photo, and have a replica made for your wall mount, release the trophy alive. I constantly hear complaints from other fisherman of people being rude, cutting them off, barging in front of them, etc. Be courteous regardless if you are in a tournament or not, there is plenty of areas to catch fish here at Clear Lake without trying to poach someone's area. The next month or so will be off the charts for catching quality bass, be safe, enjoy, be courteous, God Bless, Bob
Since my last report, the month of January proved to be a very slow and tough bite through out the month. Many of the locals contributed this to the vast amount of bait fish in the lake that provided plenty of food for the fish. My years of experience on this lake has always found January to be one of the toughest months of the year for catching fish. February has started off with a much better bite and this past week almost seemed like spring time conditions. The water temp was getting up to around 54 degrees and the water clarity was very good due to the fact we had no rain or run off for the entire month of January. I had a couple of recent days on the lake where I was able to boat up to 20 fish for five hours on the lake. Using a shakey head jig with a trick worm or Robo brand worm on it, jerk baits and drop shot were all coming on strong. Now we are in the middle of a storm that is passing through and has brought over 8 inches total of rain in some areas and the creeks are all running muddy. This will probably back the bite off considerably, at least in those areas where the creeks are flowing in. The good news is that the lake is now at 3 1/2 feet and is rising fast. My guess is this latest storm will get the lake level to four feet or better which is much better than anytime last year.
This is the time that the Alabama rigs, big swim baits and big glide baits will put a big fish in the boat for those that can stay with throwing them all day long. It certainly was fun this past week to see the tough bite subsiding and to be able to catch fish in the normal areas with the normal presentations. My guess is that it will take at least a week for the mud lines to clear out and settle and with a warming trend predicted for this upcoming week, we should be right back into a strong bite again. Anyone venturing out this next week or so should look for the cleaner water which will probably be mid lake and in the South Arms. I was impressed with the quality and size of the fish we caught this past week and it looks like we are going to have a good spring time bite. Higher water levels will provide more cover for the fish and with the abundance of bait fish in the lake, the bass are all fat and healthy.
Watch for more floating logs and limbs in the lake from this past storm, wear your life jackets, be sure to have your boat inspected before launching if you are coming from out of the area, and the wardens are checking for 2015 fishing license's. Have Fun, God Bless, Bob