Tuesday, 27 September 2022

The Rider Report: Christmas brings a holiday catfish record

Winter has brought a chill to the air, some rain, some wind, and ... a new CATFISH RECORD for Clear Lake. More on this in just a moment.

Overall, the fishing is typical of this time of year. The bass bite continues to be better on live bait than on artificials. The crappie thing is about to get a whole lot more interesting – stay tuned! And well, catfish are slow but clearly some are still willing. Here's your Christmas holiday fishing report.


Bass anglers, surprisingly, are finding feeding fish in 5 to 13 feet of water. The deep water (18 to 25 feet) bite doesn't kick in until the mid-day sun has taken the chill out of the air. The key to wintertime success is slow, slow, slow. The deep water bite is very subtle and requires anglers to pay close attention to line movement. The shallow water bite is much more lively but with smaller bass overall. Any way you slice it, when the weather permits winter time angling is a fun and peaceful.


Crappie: I have had some interesting things mentioned to me about what boaters are seeing at the now defunct Konocti Harbor resort. I have had no confirmed reports of fish being caught there. You can no longer fish from the docks there. But, a bass fishing boater friend told me this week that he saw an abundance of crappie there with nobody around to fish for 'em. Any of you die-hard crappie anglers care to give it a try and report in on your success?

We've had cold ... and we've had rain ... both are what it usually takes to bring the slab bite on nice and strong. I'm hoping some of you will be the 2010 pioneers who find 'em and report! I'll up the stakes! I'm offering a FREE Shimano Convergence or Clarus fishing rod to the first customer to bring in a limit of Clear Lake Crappie to be photographed in January. That's right. Find the fish – win a rod!


And now ... catfish. The longstanding Clear Lake channel cat record of 33.25 pounds was broken this past week by Clampers Fred Miranda and Greg Spelhaug with a 33.33 pound giant whiskerfish. The fish was caught using a home brew of mackerel, shad and special sauce on 25 pound line. The Indian Island area of the Redbud Arm of Clear Lake is responsible for producing the fish.

Miranda and Spelhaug brought the beast to Lakeshore Bait & Tackle for preliminary weight and pictures. LSBT staffer Jerry Sloneker took a couple photos in front of the store and put the fish on our scale. When our portable scale hinted at a possible lake record, the two attempted to have the fish weighed with a local grocer but were turned away.

Frustrated but resourceful, the two found that the wonderful staff at Redbud Hospital were willing to weigh the fish. The fish was weighed three times with all three resulting in the 33.33 pound reading.

It's official! Clear Lake has a new catfish record! And if that news wasn't enough, I'm proud to share that these two local guys released the fish back into Clear Lake. The legend lives!


To add some commentary to this – Jerry and I both agree. This was simply the healthiest BIG fish we've seen come out of Clear Lake. The lake conditions earlier this year frustrated us immensely. Apparently they were nothing but great for our fish population.

And lastly kudos and a heartfelt thanks from all of us here at Lakeshore Bait & Tackle to Redbud Hospital for stepping up and truly being a part of our community.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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

Upcoming Calendar

09.27.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
09.27.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
09.27.2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Clearlake Planning Commission 
09.28.2022 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Levee and flood risk workshop
09.29.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
09.29.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update meeting
10.01.2022 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship annual walk and run
10.01.2022 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Konocti Challenge

Mini Calendar



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