Tuesday, 31 January 2023

The Rider Report: Dealing with a cold bite

Changing weather is the name of the game here. We’ve had cold and warm, wet and dry, and Thursday – wind. The lake temperature is in the upper 60s. Daytime highs have been anywhere between the 60s and 80s. Nighttime lows have been between 35 (burr!) and 50 degrees. What it all amounts to is an overall more difficult bite. Here are the nuts and bolts of what’s going on.

Bassin’ is hit or miss. Some folks are really struggling while others are doing just fine. (Typical of the fishing during transitional fall weather.) Artificials require a lot of work to put some nice fish in the boat. Minnows are working far better. We’re still fishing ledges and drop offs, but we’re also hearing about rocks and rocky points. Then there’s shore anglers like Frank Kimble who nailed a 9-pound, 10-ounce bass at Redbud Park this week on a nightcrawler. Now not everyone is catching fish from shore like this, but Frank’s big bass gives us reason to keep trying!

Crappie are still on hiatus. We’re not hearing about any concentrations of crappie being found. Their time will come … and I’m hoping that our weather will just get downright ugly early on and bring us a crappie bite early this year. But for now, we wait … for cooler, wetter weather and the return of our famous slabs. Bluegill aren’t being found in huge concentrations but some are being caught under docks around the south end of the lake. One location that stands out is the docks around Richmond Park in the back of Konocti Bay.

We’ve seen a nice upswing in the catfishing over the last week or two. A few nice cats have come in for pictures. Here are some great examples of what’s happening. Shaun Merritt bagged a 13-pound, 12-ounce cat – caught in the Clearlake Oaks area. John Chavez nailed a 10-pound, 5-ounce cat in the Clearlake area. And another angler came in with an entry at 18 pounds, 13 ounces. Good to see some big fish coming in. Nightcrawlers, mackerel and livers are the top baits.

Bob Rider owns Lakeshore Bait & Tackle in Clearlake. Visit his Web site at www.994fish.com or call him at 994-FISH (3474).


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