Friday, 17 May 2024

The Rider Report: Great crappie fishing on the lake

Dave and Michelle show off their crappie catch at Indian Beach Resort. Courtesy photo.


I have but three things to say today … Crappie, crappie, crappie! Well, OK, I have more to say than that … But stay tuned because I’ve got a crappie report to knock your socks off! (And pictures, too!)

We’re a few days into a super nice weather trend. We’re seeing 80-degree days and cool nights with a water temp hovering in the low 60s. There’s a lot of activity on the lake with 196 teams fishing the FLW tournament this week. That’s almost 400 anglers – add camera boats, crews and spectators, and that’s a lot of folks on the water.

So let’s start right out with our crappie report. Tony from Indian Beach Resort stopped in with a good report of early morning crappie being caught on their docks. So I asked him, “You folks taking any pictures over there?” He responded with a hearty “You bet.”

He left to fetch his digital camera and when he returned, I was very pleased to hook up and grab his pictures. Sure enough, guests David and Michelle were catching plenty of good-sized crappie.

The report was simple – mini jigs fished in the hours before daylight were working great. Since last weekend I’ve checked in with the folks at Indian Beach Resort and they’ve begun to catch crappie throughout the day. The bite has developed into a morning/evening thing. I’ve been hoping for an early bite this year … Looks like we’re onto something – I’m stoked! Bring in or send (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) your pictures and reports as we fine tune our reports going into the coming weeks.

OK, with all the excitement brewing over the crappie swinging into action, let’s not overlook the fall bass bite. Bassin’ hasn’t been easy for most folks tossing artificial lures. The top action has been jerk and rib baits, lipless cranks, drop shot rigs, Speed Worms and spinner baits. Some of the serious guys are throwing the new Bait Smith swim baits looking for BIG fish.

Now, on the flip side of this, the live minnow folks are catching fish with relative ease. Lots of 2- and 3-pound bass are being caught on minnows of every size.

This is also the time of year when live minnows work great for catfish, too. Cats are also being caught on all the typical baits – from livers to anchovies to mackerel and just about everything in between. We’re seeing a lot of shad schooling around shoreline areas where deeper water is close by. Fish on the edge of the schooled baitfish or on the bottom below the school for best results. I love the fall catfish bite …

The Pope Valley Turkey Shoot (it’s actually a trap shoot where you shoot to win frozen turkeys) was a ton of fun. It was wonderful to see hundreds or perhaps a couple thousand people all enjoying a good time shooting trap, eating smoked turkey legs or tri-tip sandwiches, and participating in activities for all ages. The raffle was simply AMAZING. This is a must attend event for next year!

Coming up there’s a turkey shoot being held at the Lake County Rod & Gun Club at Highland Springs on Nov. 11. Ukiah has a couple of shoots coming up on Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 up on Vichy Springs Road in Ukiah.

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




More of the crappie catch at Indian Beach Resort. Courtesy photo.






Upcoming Calendar

05.18.2024 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Inaugural veterans charity run
05.18.2024 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Sheriff’s Activity League benefit breakfast
05.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
05.18.2024 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Land Trust benefit
05.21.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
05.22.2024 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake Leadership Forum
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Memorial Day
05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.