Tuesday, 07 February 2023

The Rider Report: Looking forward to fall

Hot – as in 100 degrees plus hot – weather has met anglers head-on this week. Our nights, however, continue to cool overall.

The bass fishing fits right in with what we know to be a typical early fall pattern with decent numbers and size of fish caught. Catfish anglers are still enjoying a solid bite. The lake condition (read: algae problem) is improving with each passing week.

I want to share something with you – I was interviewed by a reporter at the beginning of summer when the algae problem blossomed. The reporter asked me a very pointed question, to which I gave a very frank answer.

It went something like this:

“When do you think the algae will go away?”

My answer? “In the fall when the lake temperature cools.”

The question and my response weren’t published. Why? Because, frankly, telling folks that parts of the lake are going to be gross all summer long wasn’t in anybody’s best interest. Instead, we talked about mitigation efforts and locations that we knew to be in good shape for water borne recreation.

However, the truth remains. The algae was with us all summer long. The fall has arrived and we’re starting to see the lake cool. With it, we’re seeing the algae dissipate.

I tell all of you this for a few simple reasons.

First and foremost, Clear Lake should be nothing short of a tremendous fishery this fall. This lake has had very little fishing pressure this year. In addition to little pressure from anglers there’s been a significantly fewer number of recreational boaters, personal watercrafts, skiers and wake boarders on the entire lake. That means the fish and habitat are much less impacted by the “traffic” than in recent years.

And, I’ll make no bones about it, my purpose in making you aware of this is very one sided – I want you, your friends and your family to come and fish Clear Lake this fall. You won’t be disappointed!

On another note … Perhaps you’ve heard that Konocti Harbor Resort is scheduled to close in November. (If you had not, you have now.) While many of us are really chagrined about the closure, life goes on.

I want to take just another moment of your time before we continue with the fishing part of the fishing report. Bear with me … I’d like to introduce you to some fabulous resorts around Clear Lake that have been quietly running in the background for years. I’ll give you a few, but there are MANY more. Some of my personal favorites are Indian Beach Resort, Blue Fish Cove, Clearlake B&B, Arbor House B&B, Linger Longer Resort and Featherbed Railroad.

The benefits to hitting up some of these smaller mom and pop accommodations include a chance to get to know the owners – some of whom fish Clear Lake both competitively and recreationally.

Take Sam at the Arbor House in Lakeport … Not only will he cook for you, but I would bet he’s on the lake fishing more than some of our local guides.

I invite you to come to Clear Lake and try some of our often overlooked resorts. You’ll enjoy the experience and support businesses that give Clear Lake much of its appeal. Give me a call or drop me an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you’d like more information on any of the businesses mentioned. Also, you’ll find a host of information online at www.ClearlakeChamber.com .

OK, thanks for reading to this point. Let’s get on with the fishing report …

Bass anglers are working a typical early fall pattern. Simply stated, fish shallow early and deep late. Much of the best action is working the morning hours in less than five feet of water. Surface lures or sub-surface (top 6 to 8 inches) lures can really be magic for fishing the shallow water.

Switch to lipless cranks on rock piles and ledges once the sun is overhead. Finesse presentations are also effective for fishing the deep water transitions and piles.

And, lastly, fall is our peak minnow season. We’ve got fat healthy shiners in stock by the hundreds for the fall fishing season. This is a favorite time of year for many bass anglers to soak live bait and do really well on Clear Lake.

We haven’t seen our crappie back yet – still too warm overall for them to reappear. However, I would anticipate seeing slab action heating up as we head into October and the weather starts to shift toward the chilly side. I’ll keep you posted!

Cats are still on the prowl big time. All of our favorite baits seem to be doing the trick – mackerel, anchovies, shad (yep, frozen shad are back in stock for the season), crawlers, shrimp and more. Your best bet for depth seems to be in the 8 to 12 foot range. Some are being caught in shallower water as well. Soak your bait and enjoy some good rod-bending action from our whiskerfish!

Last but not least, I am thrilled to announce that our Lake Friends of NRA are busy again – this time with a three gun raffle just in time for the holidays. We’re giving away a Kimber Custom II .45 ACP pistol, a Remington 870 12-gauge tactical shotgun, and a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle on Dec. 12.

Tickets for the drawing are $20 each and are available at Lakeshore Bait & Tackle in Clearlake, both Lake County Guns & Rick’s Guns in Lakeport, JR’s Engine Repair in Lakeport and Last Chance in Lower Lake.

And here’s the bonus – if you buy a whole sheet of 10 tickets for $200 you’re automatically entered into a drawing for a Front Sight certificate! Support your local Friends of NRA chapter and buy your tickets today.

Bob Rider is owner of Lakeshore Bait & Tackle, 14913-D Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake, telephone 707-994-FISH (3474). Visit the shop online at www.994Fish.com .

Upcoming Calendar

02.07.2023 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
02.07.2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Area Agency on Aging
02.07.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
02.08.2023 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
100+ Women Strong in Lake County
02.09.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
02.09.2023 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Middletown Area Town Hall
02.11.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
02.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Valentine's Day

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