What a year it has been so far, Covid outbreak, Black Lives matter protests, political upheaval, and un precedented fires throughout the Northwest and we are still in the middle of it all. Currently and for most of September the bite, fishing, catching, at least for me has been pretty tough and very slow. As a result I have allowed my customers to change their date or cancel their trips over these past few weeks and the up coming week. The smoke from all the fires was also a factor but now is clearing up even though we just had another major fire erupt in Napa and Sonoma counties with many homes & wineries being lost and not under control as of this post. The lake is now at its lowest point of the year, so be cautious when boating close to the shore as many areas now can be a hazard that normally have more water on them. October is always a busy month for the tournament organizations and it will be again this year. Every weekend will have some type of tournament going on so try to fish during the week if you can to avoid the extra boat traffic. We are currently in a heat wave which has set records in many areas and is unusual for this time of the year. We need a cool down period to get the water temperature to drop and to put the fish in their fall feeding mode to get the current bite to improve. Stay safe, stay calm, wear your mask, follow the rules, lean on God, God Bless, Bob & Tary
As far as the Covid 19 concerns go, nothing has changed since my last report. Myself and the other guides working the lake are trying to do business as normal but asking our customers to be concerned and aware of their own health conditions before booking a trip and making sure that they do not have any underlying conditions that could be linked to Covid. I have masks available on the boat for those who want to wear them and also sanitizer for frequent use. Even though Covid remains a big problem and a big concern, as guides we have been very busy with people wanting to get away and out of their own restricted environment in the big cities.
Currently for this time frame of late August, the bite has gotten slower which is typical for this time of the year. The tournament organizations will be hitting the lake on weekends throughout September and October which is also normal, so fishing during the week is definitely recommended to avoid the excess boat traffic. The bait fish are starting to show up all around the lake and I expect that the top water bite will get much better through September and I also expect that the overall bite will get much better as we head into the fall season. As of this writing their are major fires throughout California including three that are in surrounding areas around the lake. We do have smokey conditions now but as these fires get under control and the prevailing West winds kick in, our air quality will get back to normal. It's a trying time in the Country now with riots, fires, political upheaval, & Covid 19, but my wife and I are blessed with good health and we approach each and every day with gratitude for all that we have. God Bless, Bob & Tary
The recent heat wave and normal summer hot temperatures has brought on our algae blooms that we are use to dealing with and are considered normal. While the conditions are not pretty at times with some heavy blooms and algae mats, the fishing has been very good where we are averaging at least 25 fish per trip. We are catching fish out of the weed mats on the upper West end of the lake in the shallow water out to the 10 and 12 foot range, while at mid lake and the South arms we are also catching them on the breaks and drop offs in the 20 to 30 foot range. Currently a whole variety of techniques are working, just pick your favorite and stay with it. Anything from a variety of top water action style baits, to anything you can work on the bottom such as jigs, drop shot, carolina rig, and Ned rig are all putting fish in the boat. The top water action works best early in the morning and late in the evening and during the heat of the day, working the deeper sections of the lake is best. There are not a lot of bigger fish being caught but the one to three pounders are putting up a good fight and providing a lot of action. In a recent 49 boat team tournament, a 8.75 lber was the biggest fish caught and it took 25 lbs to win for the five fish limit, with this in mind, Clear Lake was recently named the best bass fishery in the nation by Bass Master magazine.
On a personal note, myself and other guides have started taking customers again. This is a little concerning since we are taking people from out of our area and do not know a lot about their health history and their practice of social distancing, mask wearing, staying away from crowds, etc. etc. With the virus still in full swing and getting worse as I write this, we have your personal safety in mind and want to make sure you have ours in mind as well before booking and during your trip. With the virus cases mounting each day in the state, it is possible that more restrictions will be put in place and even possible that we could be shut down again. On my boat I have plenty of hand sanitizer and extra masks to be worn by those who want them, and a temperature taker, this in itself may not prevent the catching of the virus, that's why we want to make sure we are all practicing good safety habits and are aware of our own health conditions. The world is in a lot of turmoil right now, getting out on the lake and enjoying the scenery, wildlife, fresh air, and the great fishing is truly a blessing, Stay Safe, God Bless, Bob and Tary
It's Memorial day weekend and the parking lots at the boat ramps are packed with over 1/2 of the boats being from out of the county. As one of the several local guides working the lake, we are being told that we should not guide as we would be bringing people from out of the area and not honoring the Governors shelter in place and Non Essential travel ban. It seems to be a double standard for us since out of county boaters can come here, out of the area guides are coming here and guiding, and you can come here and rent a boat from the local source. With all of this in mind, I expect to start re scheduling and re booking several of my cancellations and also start picking up some of my future bookings in the next few weeks or so.
The lake is currently in great conditions with very nice water clarity and no algae blooms, although with the predicted next few days of hot weather, we may see the algae blooms start to appear. I have been out on the lake twice this past week and I would rate the fishing as good. I have not caught any real big fish but most of the fish we are catching are hard fighters in the one to three pound range. The top water bite has started to pick up as the bass start to feed up from the spawn and also those that are protecting beds and their babies. I do expect that once we can fully start guiding and for those who will be coming here through out the summer and fall, that we will continue to have a good fishery and a good bite.
The Covid 19 crisis is far from over and I expect in the next few weeks we will see a spike in our counties current 10 cases from this Memorial day crowd that has come to the lake. As for myself, my wife, and our own caution, I will be selective in my trips, giving a critique of my customers health and well being, and being satisfied that neither myself, or my customers pose a threat to our mutual health before booking any trips. Stay safe, practice all the safety protocols, Happy Memorial Day, God Bless, Bob and Tary
It's been a long time since I posted, it seems the whole world has changed since my last post. I last guided on March the 12th and right after that our Lake was closed down to all fishing, boating of any kind, and even fishing from the shoreline was and is prohibited. I have had to cancel all of my mid March, all of April, and I am in the process of cancelling at least the first two weeks of May. I have been sending deposits back and many of my customers have been asking when the Lake may be open for fishing. This will all depend on our Governors recommendations and also our County Public Health Director. It is a good possibility that the lake will be closed for the month of May and even into june for taking people from out of the area. Our County health director issued a press release yesterday advising all out of the area people to please not visit Lake County during this time of stay at home and shelter in place order. Even if you own a second vacation home here, they are asking that you honor the stay at home order in your own county and not travel to Lake County.
I am hoping that I can start my guide business back up by July, but that will depend on how the virus is peaking, what the Governor declares and what our own Public Health Director orders. For those of you who visit my website and this Facebook page and have pending trips or want to reschedule a trip, feel free to call, text, 707-349-4460, email, email@example.com, or leave me a message here to find out the status of the lake. My wife and are doing fine, taking daily walks along the uncrowded shoreline of the lake, working in our garden and enjoying this """Very Expensive Vacation"" Stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands often, we hope you have toilet paper, (smile) God Bless, Bob and Tary
Well once again I have been remiss in keeping my reports up to date. It's amazing what staying busy guiding can do to paying attention to my reports. It's been another great season for Clear Lake and my business, and from what I have seen from this years trips and my most recent trips, 2020 is going to be even a better year than 2019. All the fish we are catching are fat and healthy and are getting bigger all the time. From now until the end of March, most of my trips will be worked around using live bait if the customers prefer and the results can be amazing. A recent two day trip with the same customers resulted in 122 fish caught for the two days using live bait on a drop shot rig. It doesn't always happen like this but the live bait definitely improves your chances.
The artificial bite currently is geared towards those who want to fish the bigger swim baits and A rigs along with lipless crank baits and deep diving crank baits. Now through April is the time to throw the larger stuff and look for that trophy size bass. The crappie bite is setting up to be another great year and they are currently schooling up out in the deeper water before moving in mass into the shallows to spawn later on. The catfish are also hitting our live bait while fishing for bass and they have been big and fat so it looks like it will be another good year for them as well. The lake was and is in good shape going into 2020, we had a full lake this year and with our current rainy conditions we are on track to have another good year of water level.
From now through April you can work a variety of techniques from throwing the big 8 to 10 inch baits, to drop shotting plastics and live bait. This is the time frame when that trophy size bass can be caught but you have to be prepared for what the weather will bring with colder temperatures, storms, wind, and rain. The lake is literally loaded with millions of crappie, blue gill, silver side minnows, and shad, all of which bodes well for bigger bass in 2020. There is so much bait in the lake that currently it is my estimation that we have over a thousand white pelicans working the lake and herding the bait into the shallows to eat, It's and amazing sight to see. I will close by wishing all of you who read my report a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2020. God Bless, Bob and Tary
Time has certainly flown by this year. September will find the start of some major bass tournaments on week ends so try to fish mid week to avoid the extra fishing traffic. The Lake is in good condition, the algae blooms have not been bad this year and the water level is still higher than this same time frame last year. The upper half of the lake has a lot of off shore weed beds which are good for punching a bait into and throwing a top water lure such as a frog or buzz bait. You have to cover a lot of water to get your bites but the fish are there, you just have to find them. The vast majority of fisherman are working the deeper water in mid lake to the South arms. Drop shot rigs, shakey head jigs, crank baits and spinner baits are all being used along with top water baits such as the Rico poppers and spooks. Over all the bite is decent but finding the bigger fish is tough. We are catching a lot of fish in the one to two and a half pound range, catching a three pound bass is considered a really nice fish and catching a five pound bass is considered a real lunker. Currently the catfish bite is considered really good while the crappie bite is really scattered. It's labor day weekend and the lake is pretty busy but overall traffic will drop way off except for the scheduled bass tournaments on weekends. Be safe, be courteous, take good care of the fish, God Bless
Wow how time flys when you are busy. Sorry I haven't updated sooner. The lake is in great condition, water clarity is very good, better than I have seen it in a long time. Water level is currently three feet higher than it was this same time last year which for this lake is a lot. Fishing has to be considered as excellent with most of my trips landing 25 to 50 fish and those numbers seem to be improving each trip. The top water action is getting better as we move into the hotter season and the weed beds developing off shore. A variety of techniques and baits are all working with the drop shot, ned rig, and senko's being the most popular. Jig's are also working very well along the deeper structure and rocky areas. The vast majority of the fish we are catching are in the one to three pound range, they are fat & healthy and are fighting hard. It's a great time to get out on the lake and enjoy the good water conditions and the great fishing. I expect that the fishing will remain very good as we go through the summer and so far our water conditions are better than they have been in a long time. It's Fathers day weekend as I write this and a lot of people are out enjoying the lake. Be safe, be courteous, God Bless, Bob
The good news at Clear Lake is that the lake is dropping and some big fish are being caught. The bite went from everyone struggling to put a fish in the boat to some very solid limits and days out on the water. Starting with last weekends 133 boat tournament which was on the 16th and 17th, several big fish are being landed and lots of fish in the 3 to 7 pound range. The average weight per fish caught in that two day tournament was over 3lbs. I know personally of the following, one 14.70 lber, three over 10lbs, four over 9lbs, four over 8lbs and numerous fish in the three to seven pound range that have been caught since and during that tournament. The 14.70 was caught and on video by one of our local fisherman, one of the nines was caught by my customers and another of my customers caught a 8 1/2 during this past week. By far the most popular technique has been the “”A””rig, then its practically everything you can imagine. Although lots of people think they have to throw the big baits to catch a big fish here, my customers nine lber was caught on a four inch drop shot worm and the 8 1/2 lber was caught on a Ned rig. The fishing should only get better and the news is out about the bigger fish being caught, it’s been a pretty busy lake even during the week. The up coming WON Clear Lake Event, 10th, 11th and 12th of April is already seeing a lot of pre fishing going on. There should be some fantastic weights coming in for that one. We are heading into some more inclement weather, rain is predicted for this next week, but I don’t expect it to back the bite off that much. The lake is still in “monitor stage”” and will remain in monitor stage until it drops below the eight foot level. It is at 8.59 feet as of today, (3/24), it will drop about an inch a day if we don’t get to much rain this next week. As long as it is above eight feet, the five MPH speed limit a quarter mile offshore will remain in effect and I stress to the boaters, please follow the rules. As of today, 3/24, all boat ramps are open except the ramp at Redbud Park in Clearlake.
Currently Clear Lake is in a Flood stage, Flood stage starts at a level of nine feet on the gauge they measure the lake by. We are just under a inch of Ten Feet, we will probably go just over ten feet . At this level water gets around and in some of the lower elevation homes that are on the lakes edge. Lots of fixed docks around the lake will also be under water, (see the photo I just posted}. Wind and wave action can and does tear up a lot of docks, and shoreline structures when the lake is at the level it is now. The lake is still open for fishing but a mandatory five mile per hour speed limit is imposed on the entire lake until you are out at least a quarter of a mile off of the shoreline. Once past the quarter of a mile distance from the shore, you can get your boat on plane, be aware, lots of debris is in the water. Remember and follow the rule, wave action does a lot of damage close to shore. Currently fishing, catching bass, is very tough, water is still cold, holding around 46 degrees and a lot of the lake is very muddy from all the run off. Clear Lake can rise much faster than it goes down. There is a rock formation in front of the dam that only allows so much water to reach the dam at any given time. We are currently, 3/2, getting some rain and a couple of days next week more is expected. Once we get past next week, it looks like we will have a nice long sunny stretch according to the long range forecast. It is my guess that the speed restriction will stay in place for at least a month, the lake has to drop below eight feet before they lift it. Currently all launch ramps are closed, the only ramp you can launch at is the Konocti Vista Casino ramp. If your bringing a boat to the lake, make sure you understand the restrictions and follow the rules, we don't want damage to property and we want the lake to remain open and not have home owners upset due to a negligent boater. Although the bass bite ranks very tough to brutal right now, the crappie are still biting very good when you can find them. Stay Tuned, God Bless