Tuesday, 31 January 2023

The Rider Report: Chilly weather doesn't deter bass

A chilling wind has followed the wet weather this week. The wet weather we need. The wind I could do without.

A quick peek at the lake this morning explains the lack of trailers at the launch ramp. White caps! Lots of ‘em. While that makes the fishing a no-go for today, previous days have been pretty good if you don’t mind the rain. The weekend is supposed to clear up, but the wind is supposed to stick with us until Sunday.

Here’s what I’m hearing about the fishing action …

A good bass bite continues on live bait. Some nice big fish have been reported from 6 to 9 pounds this week. Anglers are finding the fish in deeper water (20 to 30 feet) along primary points. Deep rocks have been productive for anglers fishing jigs and drop shotting worms. Patient anglers are throwing swim baits like the Bait Smith in Blue Ghost or Black Hitch and the Ospreys. You’ll fish hard for a few fish with these, but the payoff can be BIG when it comes time to meet the scale.

If you can tolerate to cold (and sometimes wet), night fishermen are simply killing the big bass. An angler in our store this week brought pictures of last night’s catch – three bass over 10 pounds – caught while fishing in the rain and dark. His secret … Jigs. Oh my …

Crappie anglers are fishing a few key spots. Kono Tayee is getting the most attention. Shag Rock and shoreline locations along Highway 20 north of Clearlake Oaks are too. Word has it that a person could walk from boat to boat without touching the water at the more popular fishing holes.

So a little reminder here … If you’re planning to fish the hot spots, bring your manners and your patience. And plan on fishing in close quarters to other anglers trying to do the same thing you are.

This is also a good time of year to consider cruising to some of the other well-known spots to find your own hot action. Jago Bay, Jones Bay and Konocti have all had on-again, off-again bites. We’ve been checking the popular Four Poles location every couple of days and aren’t seeing any sign yet of a return of the crappie there.

Several of you have been asking for more of the Fin-S Shad lures … We’ve got a fresh supply of them in straight from the folks at Lunker City in Connecticut. We’ve added a new color this year that looks wonderful – Piranha is what they’re calling it, but most of you call it Fourth of July - it is a mostly clear lure with tiny red, blue and silver flakes. You asked for ‘em. We got ‘em!

For catfish, we’re still looking to deeper water (15 to 25 feet) for the best bite. One fellow was telling me Thursday that he’s been doing well fishing near Rattlesnake Island and M&M Campground over in the Oaks. He said that the bite turned off when the weather took a big change on Wednesday. He also noted that the big schools of baitfish – that had been present while he was catching fish – were absent when he wasn’t. So look to this tried and true pattern for cats - look for the birds, find the baitfish, find the whiskerfish. Minnows, mackerel and shrimp were top reported baits this week.

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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