Thursday, 18 July 2024

The Rider Report: Bass bite is steadily improving

What a difference a week makes. Last week sunshine, sunshine, sunshine. This week – rain. But that’s OK. The fish haven’t really noticed the change all that much. The lake is hovering in the 47-degree (at the south end) to 51-degree (at the north end) range. Overall, the bass bite is steadily improving as we swing towards the springtime. Let’s look at the detailed report …


My goodness, we got into some minnow action this past week. (A fact that the minnow hatchery folks are taking to the bank.) It took three shipments of minnows to get us through the President’s Day weekend. The bass fishing surged with bass to nearly 11 pounds being reported as shallow as – are you ready for this? – 2 feet.


The reports would have us suggesting that you can find bass from 2 to nearly 20 feet. Rocky Point, County Park and State Park all at the north end of the lake have yielded good results for many anglers. Indian Island and Rattlesnake Island have also come up in conversation repeatedly. The key for most? Tules.


Besides minnows (and they’re No. 1 for sure) we’re getting wind of jig and drop shot bites developing well. Jerk baits and the very beginnings of a swim bait bite are also on the scene this week.


Now, my admonition … This current series of storms is likely to set us back some, but not to the tough bite we were experiencing a few weeks ago when the weather was really cold. The warming days following this spot of unfavorable weather should really get things moving. And another side note: All of the bass we’re seeing are fat, healthy fish. I don’t know about you, but my nerves are just jumping over the thought of the spring bass bite here on Clear Lake.


Now, for a dose of stark reality - the crappie scene is still suffering this week. We have had isolated reports of crappie being caught here and there, mostly from private docks in deeper water on live bait. None of the reports have given us a good picture of where or when to fish for the slabs. Keep up the hunt and keep us posted – they’re bound to show up some time.


Catfish action has been steady. We weighed a nice 19-pound, 8-ounce cat that the Koerlins nailed on mackerel. Others are catching whiskerfish on everything from our freezer – shrimp, clams, anchovies, mackerel, shad, etc. The quantity numbers aren’t super, but most folks fishing for cats are catching them. And the shore anglers have done just as well as boaters for catfish lately.


And speaking of catfish… It’s never too early to start talking up the annual Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association Catfish Derby. This annual event draws on the order of 500 anglers with the top prizes being a boat, motor and trailer combo in the adult category and a youth-sized ATV for the kids division. This year’s event is being held May 16, 17 and 18. Questions? Give us a call or come on by. We’ve got your entry forms here in the shop.


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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