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
The good news is that it has been a rainy January, and so far a very rainy February. As I type this we have just had over two inches of rain during the night. The lake has risen around five feet since the first of the year and for this lake that is a lot of water. Our current level for the lake is 6.02 feet, to put that in perspective, our lake is considered to be full when it is at a level of 7.57 feet above the gauge it is measured by. Considering that the lake is rising from this recent rain and with more rain predicted, we have a very good chance of having a full lake this year. The bad news is that our weather has been much colder than normal, the water temperature is remaining in the 40's, and with the storms, wind action, and run off, the water is very muddy in a lot of areas. All of this has made for a very slow, tough bite for the bass. On a better note, the crappie action has been good so far and it looks like it will be another great year for the crappie . The weather has kept most of the fisherman including myself off of the lake and it will take a period of a week or so of stable weather, clearing water, and a warming trend to turn the bass back on.
It's the Holiday season, and with winter type colder weather, the guide business always slows down at this time of the year for all the guides working the lake. We spend this time to get projects done, tune up the equipment, boat, motor, etc, and prepare for the start of the upcoming year. The lake has risen slightly with our recent rains, water clarity is good, crappie are biting and the catfish bite has also picked up. The bass bite typically slows down as the water temperatures drop, but they can be tempted with live bait which we use a lot of for our trips if the customer prefers. We fish seven days a week, all year long, and are always ready to go at short notice. That being said, our bookings are strong for the upcoming year, so plan ahead as much as you can to ensure you get your dates. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a ""Happy New Year, God Bless, Bob & Tary
ou get the date you want. All signs are pointing to a great 2019 season, we wish everyone to have a Blessed Merry Christmas, God Bless
Wow, I have been remiss in not updating my report, for those of you who check on a regular basis, I apologize for not being as up to date as I should be. It was a busy summer for guiding, then throw in the worst wild land fire in the history of the country that burned almost the entire month of August, which created cancellations and re bookings, it has not been a normal season. Currently we are at the start of the fall season which brings cooler weather and starts to lower the overall lake temperature. With the drop in water temperature the bite usually picks up as the fish feel the need to bulk up for the winter. The lake is at it's lowest point of the season which is normal for this time of the year and now will start to fill up as we go into the rainy season. Water conditions are good and we went through the summer with no bad algae blooms. I would classify fishing as good with our average catch per trip being around 15 to 20 fish. Overall this year has not been as good as last year for size and numbers but recently some big fish have started to show up. Recent tournaments have produced a couple of ten pounders and several fish in the five to seven pound class. A friend of mine recently landed a 12 1/4 lber which is one of the largest fish in the past couple of years being caught. Most of the fish being caught are in the one to two pound range and all are fat with plenty of bait fish in the lake to feed on. The normal fall techniques are in play such as deep and shallow crank baits, drop shot worms, shaky head jigs, under spins with a small swim trailer and lip less crank baits. For those who like to target them, the catfish bite has picked up nicely and some recent reports of over 20 pounds being caught by a couple of different people. Currently the weather is great, the fires that hit this area so hard are over, the lake is in great shape, it's a good time to get out on the lake and enjoy the season. The guide business starts to slow down for the months of November and December for all the guides working the lake and will remain slow through the winter months until March of 2019. We run our business full time, seven days a week and are always ready to go at short notice. That's it for now, God Bless, Bob
It's been a busy spring and a busy start to the summer. Fishing has to be rated as very good with catches of 20 to 50 fish, or even higher for my trips, we are getting a lot of action for the customers. Lake water conditions are very good with no real heavy algae blooms as of yet and water clarity very good in many places. Top water action with lures such as the whopper popper, Rico style poppers, stick baits such as the zara spook and buzz baits are all working along with the always popular plastic frogs. Weed growth is pretty heavy in the North Ends of the lake but that is normal for this time of the year and in certain places that can make for a good frog bite. With most of my customers I have been working the drop shot rig and the ned rig along with the rico style poppers. Robo worms MMIII is probably the most popular worm to drop shot, I use 12lb test fluracarbon line with a 1/8 th ounce or 3/16th ounce sinker and only rig the worm up about 8 to 10 inches from the weight. The vast majority of the fish we are catching are in the one to three pound range and a good fish right now is anything over three pounds. My biggest so far this year has been a nine pounder and we have had a few in the five to seven pound range. Customers are really enjoying the hard fighting two to three pounders and they are fat and healthy. The holiday periods are seeing quite a bit of boating activity as the word is out that water clarity is good and the fishing is also very good. This up coming Fourth of July should be a very busy week for the lake. There has been quite a bit of concern from people about the fire that we are currently experiencing in the area. The fire is actually East of the lake and is burning away from the lake and has not effected the lake area at all. There is a tremendous amount of people and equipment on it and they should have it contained soon. If your considering coming to the lake, it's in good shape, the fishing is good, and the fire has not effected it at all. Be safe, have a great summer, God Bless, Bob
Wow, time flies when you are busy. Currently our lake is right at the five foot level on the gauge it is measured by. It is full at 7.50 feet so it looks like we won't have a full lake this year but that has not effected the fishing. Lake clarity is very good right now and I rate the fishing as very good. The water temp's are now starting out around 58 to 60 in the mornings and with the current pattern of warmer weather, the spawn will kick into high gear over these next upcoming weeks. I personally do not concentrate on "sight fishing" which is looking for the fish on their beds, but there will be a lot of that over the rest of this month and into May as the fish continue to spawn. With a lower lake level and some very clear water in a lot of areas, the sight fisherman should have a lot of fun.
We are catching some really nice fish in the two to three pound range and there has been a lot of fish caught recently in the tournaments that are in the 7 to 10 lb range. Currently most patterns are working, the drop shot, shakey head, carolina rig, wacky and texas rigged senko's, jerk baits, alabama rig's, are all working if you stay with any of them long enough. Just a reminder for those of you who will be fishing during the spawn, please picture and release your fish where you caught them, especially if you caught them off of their bed, give them a chance to finish the spawn. The crappie bite has been excellent and it seems they can be caught almost anywhere around the lake. The tournament season is in full force so weekends have been especially busy and with the nice weather now here, it will get even busier, fishing during the week is much less crowded. The weather has been all over the board this year and it's my opinion that the current spawn is a little later than normal, May should be a great month as the fish continue their spawn and then go on a feeding spree to get their energy back. Be safe, be courteous, don't crowd in, there is plenty of room for everyone, watch your boat wake when taking off, no need to ""Rock"" the boat for someone else. God Bless, Bob
A lot of things have happened since my last report. I was hoping that we would be headed for a full lake by this time but looks like that is not going to happen. We had the driest December on Record and so far no rain for February. The lack of rain has not effected the fishing, currently the bite for February has to be listed as good. I had back surgery in December, it was very successful and I am better now than I was before surgery. The surgery kept me off the water for about eight weeks but I am back in action now. Currently all of the typical patterns for the pre spawn bite are working if you stay with them long enough. Jerk baits, lipless crank baits, under spins rigged with a swim trailer, drop shot with a six or seven inch worm, a shaky head jig with a worm or creature type trailer, square billed crank baits, the ned rig and the Alabama rigs will all catch fish in the right areas at the right time. It's winter, the water temps are hanging around the 47 to 53 degree range depending upon the day and night time conditions. The fish are starting to school up a little and they can be found both shallow and deep, you just have to be patient, fish slow, but cover as much water as you can. The crappie and blue gill are being caught all around the lake and it looks like is going to be a banner season again for the crappie. Lot's of people are showing up and fishing from the banks and docks to target this fish that is prized for it's taste and fun to catch on light action tackle. The game wardens are actively checking to make sure catch limits are being followed and also that fishing license's are current. March will be a very busy lake with fisherman out targeting the bigger pre spawn bass and with the tournament season in full swing. The largest tournament of the month will hit the lake on the weekend of the 17th and 18th. The vast majority of fish being caught are in the one to three pound range. Some bigger fish have been caught but so far are pretty elusive. That's it for now, remember to wear your life jackets, water is very cold if you fall in, be courteous, don't cut in and or crowd your fellow fisherman, watch your boat wakes, when your near another boat, don't get up on plane until you have moved a good distance away to avoid those big wakes. God Bless, Bob
""Oh Boy"" Where did the time go?? Thanksgiving in a few days, then Christmas, then 2018 and the start of a whole new season. It's been quite a year with a lot of eventful happenings, with many of them tragic and devastating around the country. My wife and I have had some challenges this year and have some ahead of us, but Thank the Lord we have come through them ok and are blessed to be in good health. It's been another good season of fishing at Clear Lake and this is the time of the year that our business drops way off with people concentrating on the holidays and staying out of the inclement weather. We spend this time now through January catching up on projects and enjoying the holidays. I upgraded with a new boat motor earlier this year and now I am in the process of updating my electronics and installing the new I pilot trolling motor. Fishing/catching has slowed down from the vast numbers we were catching in the summer but that is normal for this time of the year. This is also the time of the year that we will start to do live bait trips for those customers who like to use it. My schedule is pretty much open from now through February but March and April bookings are coming in strong for 2018. The lake was impacted during the summer with some strong algae blooms and as a result the water color is a much darker color than normal. This will all clear up over the next month or so and the fish that we have been catching are all fat and healthy. We started out 2017 with a "flooded"" lake, I am hoping that 2018 will bring us a full lake and normal conditions and looking forward to another great year doing the work I love. Here's wishing everyone a Blessed holiday season, ""Happy Thanksgiving"" and have a ""Merry Christmas"" God Bless, Bob and Tary
Wow, I have been remiss about keeping a current report, staying busy guiding will do that. Since my last report, there has been a big change in the numbers of fish that we are catching and also the size of the fish that we are catching. I have seen it get tough before at this time of the year which is kind of a transition period into the fall feeding for the bass, but this year seems to be much tougher than usual. The recent tournament results show that the majority of fisherman are weighing in much smaller five fish limits and the numbers of big fish being weighed in are way down. My recent trips have also been way off the pace of what we were catching four to six weeks ago. There currently seems to be no big concentrations of fish in any one area and we are moving around a lot to catch one here and one there and all of the fish are in the one to two pound range. This up coming week, the FLW Costa series pro's will hit the lake for three days, this will be the real tale of the tape for what is going on with the fish. The first two weeks of October will also see two big events hitting the lake and will provide an even better picture of fishing conditions. October always finds us as guides winding down, with fewer people wanting to get out and fish, along with colder weather and the start of our rainy season. October also is usually the kick off month for the use of any live bait for customers that prefer to use.
This summer we saw some pretty serious algae blooms, had a long spell of hot weather with many days of 100 plus, and the water temps got up into the 80's. With all of that, we had a fish die off around the lake due to a lack of oxygen in the water for the fish. The algae blooms are gone and the fish die off seems to be over, hopefully with the fall cool down, the bigger fish will start to show up and the overall catch rate will improve. The fall season patterns for baits are normally crank baits, both shallow and deep runners, under spins with a swim bait type trailer, jig's and the standard drop shot and shakey head worm set ups. The vast majority of my recent trips have all been using drop shot Robo worms in the MM color and baby brush hogs in the watermelon candy color. That's it for now, following the upcoming tournament results will provide a great overview of current conditions. My thanks to all of you who follow my reports and who fished with me in the past, stay safe, be courteous to your fellow fisherman, God Bless