While bass action on Clear Lake has been rated good for fish between 1-3 pounds, the good news is some larger fish have been caught. Most of the guides report their clients have been catching from 10-20 fish per day. The best action continues to be in the north end of the lake where the water color is perfect. The water temperature has been as high as the mid-60s.
There also are reports from some anglers that the bass are moving into the shallows to spawn. Water temperature is the key to the spawning cycle and when it rises to 65 degrees the bass start spawning.
The other good news is that jerk or rip lures have been very successful. There is nothing more exciting than casting a jerk bait and having a bass explode on it. The trick to success is to make a sharp jerk and then allow the lure to still for about five seconds. Often the bass grabs the lure when it is motionless.
Jumbo minnows and even live crawdads also have been successful. There is no place in the county that sells live crawdads, but you can trap them. All the tackle shops sell the traps and will show you how to use them. In the old days just about every tackle shop and even some of the convenience stores sold live crawdads, but no more.
Local fishing guide Bob Myskey keeps detailed records of all the fish his clients catch. He does this to establish fishing trends. His latest statistics show the bass fishery at Clear Lake has dramatically changed during the past year. For the year 2017, from Jan. 1 through April 3, his clients caught a grand total of 460 bass covering 19 trips. Of that number, 93 bass weighed more than 3 pounds and five weighed more than 8 pounds. By comparison so far this year his clients have caught 334 bass covering 21 trips with only 17 bass weighing more than 3 pounds and only two weighing 5 pounds, with one 6-pounder.
Myskey says that he believes the fish die-off last year resulted in the deaths of 50 to 70 percent of the larger bass. There is no question that the number of large bass has declined this past year. The good news is there are literally thousands of small bass in the lake many of these bass will weigh at least 5 pounds within two years.
Crappie action continues to be wide open and most of the fishermen are catching from 20-40 fish per day, some weighing as much as 3 pounds. Crappie are being caught at just about every location around the lake and some have been huge. The docks at Library Park in Lakeport are providing good fishing as is Lakeside County Park. Clear Lake State Park, Redbud Park and the county park at Lucerne are also loaded with crappie. Silver-colored crappie jigs have been the top crappie catcher. The only problem is there have been so many crappie fishermen that the tackle shops are running out of the jigs.
Upper Blue Lake is still rated from fair to good for trout. The lake hasn’t been stocked for several weeks but the fishermen that stick it out have been catching some large trout between 1-2 pounds. Trollers have been having the most success.
The spring wild turkey season has been successful for several local hunters. One hunter reported bagging a nice tom on Sunday in the Cache Wildlife Area. He said he saw several toms but no other hunters.