Sunday, 19 May 2024

The Rider Report: Catfish, crappie bites open up

David Wise shows off a big catfish. Photo by Bob Rider.


Hello, anglers, and welcome to another week on Clear Lake. Our fine lake has had a lot of angling pressure this last week and it isn’t letting up as we get into the TOC’s (championship tournaments) for most of the western tourney trails. While the bassin’ is a bit tough, the catfish and crappie bites have opened up nicely for us. Here’s the scoop.

First, the crappie bite … One caller reported that he caught and released 70 crappie at Kono Tayee over the course of a few hours one day this week. He had gone to that location based on a reliable report from a friend that the crappie were in there. We’ve heard other grumblings about Kono Tayee over the last week or two, so things are starting to add up along that line.

Other evidence of a hot bite is showing from the Glenhaven shoreline. We’re getting good reports from Indian Beach. Minnows and mini-jigs are working well. Silver or chartreuse colors are the first to get you bit. Minnows take the guesswork out. Want your crappie fix? Come early and fish late!

The catfishermen are enjoying a steady bite on minnows and mackerel. Anchovies and nightcrawlers have also been among the successful offerings this week. No one spot (or two for that matter) really stands out. The fish we’ve seen here have been from all over the southern end of the lake. We’ve had a few nice fish come through the door this week, too. Like the Koerlins with a nice stringer or Dave Wise with this 19+ pounder. This is a great time of year to be angling for the whiskerfish.

Bass anglers are toughing out typical fall conditions to nail some nice fish. Not lots of fish, mind you, but nice ones. This is the time of year when the minnow bite just really gets going. The pros are throwing premium swim baits like Bait Smiths and Ospreys. Blue Ghost (Citrus Shad) and hitch patterns are best. I’ve had a few local bass guys tossing the 4-inch Calcutta swim baits with decent success, too. (The Calcutta baits are nice because they have a much more reasonable price than the premium baits.)

Here’s the thing – there are a few combinations working for folks right now. For minnows, 6 to 10 feet of water has been a magic number. Then again, so has 15 to 20 feet for those fishing humps and rock piles. For the swim bait guys, ledges and rock piles have been doing best. We also expect to get that yo-yo lipless crank bait bite happening again if the weather cools down.

The weather has been warm during the days and cool at night. The lake’s surface temp has stayed fairly constant in the low sixties. Come out and enjoy our fall fishing …

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



The Koerlins show off their big catch. Photo by Bob Rider.




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