Tuesday, 07 February 2023

The Rider Report: Crappie bite goes crazy

Crappie craziness! The crappie season on Clear Lake is one of my very favorite times of year. The energy that surrounds the Clear Lake Crappie Craze is simply contagious. The question today isn’t IF the crappie are biting, but rather can you squeeze your boat in alongside the others that are taking advantage of current conditions. Live bait reigns supreme with the bass bite and the whiskerfish are cooperating, too.

Limits of crappie are being taken at a few key spots around the lake. Kono Tayee, Shag Rock, Clearlake Oaks and Glenhaven are the top spots this week.

The best bite is on during the first few hours of daylight. The crappie bite continues throughout the day at a more moderate pace.

There are a couple of key things I’m hearing about the bite. First, you’ve got to be “in the school” to do well. What this means to you is boat placement. If you’re not right in the mix (politely, of course) with the other boats on the school, you’re not going to catch the fish. Second, look for clouds of bait fish. Where there’s bait, there are crappie (and bass) feeding. As for what baits to use, minnows – of course – are a hot ticket. For artificial baits, try the Panfish Assassin or Fin-S Shad lures.

Now for a few words on the bass bite … We’ve got a wide open bite on jumbo minnows all around the south end of the lake. The surface temperature is hovering in the upper 50s and should remain there until we start to see more wet weather. The net effect of this is that bass are feeding heavily in preparation for the winter cold water slow-down. Those folks offering only artificials are working a bit harder to put a limit together. Deep cranks, swim baits, and drop shotting have been the choice of many working the bass

Our CatFest event from the 24th was a real hit. We had five boats and ten anglers. Our biggest cat went 15 pounds, 2 ounces. We had an 11-3, a 9-6, and several under seven pounds. Gary Moore’s 11-3 was the biggest fish in the pool and he took home a cool 50 bucks cash. We fished the 30-foot waters off of Rocky Point between Jago and Jones bays. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, either. I hope you’ll consider joining us for our next CatFest event – the more the merrier!

The catfish bite is pretty good. We’ve heard that there is a great bite a little cove just north of the Clearlake Oaks launch ramp. Other areas around the south end are producing well too. Stick to the basics – minnows, mackerel, anchovies or shad. Fish that water from 15 to 30 feet for best results.

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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