Sunday, 24 September 2023

The Rider Report: Cold temperatures complicate fishing conditions

The winter fishing report doesn't change all that much from week to week – so as you may have noticed I'm only updating it once every other week.

This week's report starts the same as the last – cold and rain are upon us and the bite is correspondingly slow across the board. The big however is that after this past Friday we should be plowing headlong into spring-like weather for the next week.

This is the time of year when the “spring is here, nope we're still in winter, but wait spring is” kind of thing is happening. There have been some really strong signs that the bass bite is ready to blow wide open into a spring bite. Here's where we're at.


Bass anglers working live bait and artificials alike have been having a tough time with the often changing weather and recent blast of cold air. The folks that were doing pretty well fishing skinny water a short time are back on deep water rock piles working super slow and looking for a subtle bite.

But, again, we're expecting the temps to warm significantly into the coming weekend and week. We should see some strong activity as bass begin to get their spring fever and start looking for shallow water to do what they do in spring. This is always an exciting time of year with anticipation so thick you could just about slice it with a knife. Add to that the fact that Clear Lake is in better shape this year than we have seen in quite a while and oh my ... I can hardly contain myself! I'll keep you posted ...


There's still not much happening on the crappie front. I've been saying for a while that if this bite happens for us on Clear Lake it will likely be a spring/summer bite as we have been trending that way for the last couple years. I've got folks out with minnows each week poking around for them but the results have been slim. Simply put, we're in wait and see mode ... Don't be afraid to venture to Clear Lake to try your hand.

Lastly on the crappie/panfish front, I want to mention a change in the fishing regulations for California. There is now a limit on bluegill of 25 and a combined bag limit of 25 bluegill and crappie. This is a major change (and welcome to those of us who have seen our fishery hammered over the years). Pick up a copy of the fishing regs and give them a look. The changes for 2010 are listed in the front of the book.


For catfish, anglers are already getting excited about the annual Clearlake Oaks/Glenhaven Business Association Catfish Derby. Applications are available in the store or online at the site. The catfish action has been slow with the recent cold and rain. This too should be changing with the coming spring weather.


We now turn our attention and energy to the annual Lake Friends of NRA banquet coming up Saturday, April 10, at the Lions Hall in Middletown. This is our fourth year for the event here in Lake County. This event sold out last year and we're on track to sell out again this year. This is our flagship event for the year! Drop by our shop in Clearlake and preview some of the nearly 40 guns we'll have at the event, get your tickets, and show your support for the Lake Friends of NRA.


And lastly, we've got a full calendar of classes scheduled for March. Check our Google Calendar on our Events & Classes page at for dates and times. For March we're offering the following classes: Personal Safety & Awareness, Intro to Handguns, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, Semi-Auto Pistol Operation, Handgun Care & Cleaning, and we're teaming with ECTS for American Heart Association First Aid & CPR. I hope you'll join us. Feel free to call 707.994.FISH (3474) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with any questions you may have.


Bob Rider is owner of Lakeshore Bait & Tackle, 14913 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake, Calif., telephone 707-994-FISH (3474) or visit .

Upcoming Calendar

09.24.2023 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Acme Foundation 25th anniversary celebration
09.26.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
09.27.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Town hall on homelessness
09.28.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
09.30.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.06.2023 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
David Arkenstone & Friends in concert
10.07.2023 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship Breast Cancer Run & Walk
10.07.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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