Tuesday, 07 February 2023

The Rider Report: Live bait fishing is on

The weather has been kind to anglers this past week with cooler, drizzly weather coming on over the weekend. (Dare I say prime crappie weather …) Live bait fishing is on, on, on. The bass, catfish and crappie are all present this week and taking minnows easily. The surface temp of the lake is running in the upper 50s to low 60s. Here’s the report …

Bass pros are fishing swim baits to come up with big fish in the championship tournaments of most western tourney trails visiting our lake this time of year. BaitSmith, River2Sea and Osprey lures are all top sellers. Submerged rock piles and ledges are the patterns that are getting the most attention.

Most folks that aren’t on the tournament trail are fishing minnows this time of year. Why? Because this is the time of year when you can have an absolute ball fishing jumbo or extra-large minnows behind a split shot sinker and catch plenty of nice fish. Reports of 3- to 5-pound bass are plentiful when fished from 6 to 20 feet of water.



Crappie? Yep. In a few words, they’re in. Jones Bay and Jago Bay are both producing. Kono Tayee and the Glenhaven shoreline are producing. Some reports are coming from Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa that crappie are there, too. The bite at all locations is best in the early morning hours. Top bait … minnows. Jigs are effective, but minnows are producing more and bigger crappie as this season makes its start.

Catfish are coming in on shad and mackerel. Jumbo minnows are doing well also. I’ve heard several reports of a good bite on cats in Jago Bay. Drift fishing is especially effective this time of year because the winds are typically light. Catch a nice slow drift and you’re in business. Most folks fishing for cats are not leaving disappointed.

We’re hosting our regular CatFest event on Saturday, Nov. 24. We’ll kick it off here at the shop around 4 pm with a barbecue. Plan on hitting the water around 6 p.m. and fishing until 11 p.m. We’re asking for a $3 donation for the food and we’re offering a big cat pool with a $5 entry. The format for the event is simple. Come, fish, and have a good time. This is a non-contest event. We all fish the same area. Slowest boat leads the flotilla. We’ll launch together, fish together, and return to the ramps together. Drop by the shop to sign up for the event.

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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