Thursday, 18 July 2024

The Rider Report: The fishing is good

Howdy, anglers! If you’re like me, this fair weather has me just itchin’ to get back on the water and wet a line. Seventy-degree days and cool nights have got the bass biting well, the crappie are back and so are the cats. So, to put it in condensed form – the fishing’s good, come to Clear Lake.


For the bass, live bait anglers are still having the most success. The run on Jumbo Minnows hasn’t eased up – we’re still putting almost 3,000 jumbos through the tank each week here in our shop alone.


The good news there is that we’ve reached a threshold where we are maintaining a constant supply without running out each week. So if you need one dozen or 10 dozen, we’ve got plenty for you. Fish your minnow along steep areas where the water depth drops quickly from the shoreline. Position your boat in 15-ish feet of water and cast in toward the bank for best results.


Those folks working artificial baits for bass are still toughing it out a bit. (Those cool nights aren’t helping…) We’re hearing about four and five inch swim baits – like Maverick’s hand poured “BH Minnow” – working at the north end along the Kelseyville and Lakeport shorelines. Spinner baits and Senkos are the other key lures for the week. The swim bait bite is on the very leading edge of the “swim bait season” and should take off well just about as soon as the night time temps warm up. Actually, the overall bite is teetering on the brink of going just nuts when the warmer weather arrives.


OK crappie fishermen – THEY’RE BACK! Many reports of a strong crappie bite are coming in from several areas around the south and mid sections of the lake. Minnows are the mainstay, but we’re beginning to hear a bit about a bite on darker-colored mini-jigs. Panfish Assassin’s Gold Pepper Shiner immediately comes to mind for a good color selection with this type of bite.


The hottest (and most crowded) section of the lake is over in the Clearlake Oaks Keys. Other locations with honorable mentions this week included Kono Tayee Point, Anderson Marsh, and a few spots down here around the south end. The ideal water depth is 5 to 8 feet around submerged brush, tules, rocks and docks. Konocti Harbor Resort and The Four Poles – both of which have done well in the past – are both still without much action.


The catfish are back on the bite after a week or two of a slower bite. Jumbo minnows, mackerel and anchovies are tops. Drifting bait has been effective when the winds are light enough to contend with. Shoreline anglers are also doing okay. There’s no real secrets here… Just average fishing with the usual stuff.


The biggest buzz around Lake County these days is all the hullabaloo over the quagga and zebra Mussels. The official county Web site can be found at www.co.lake.ca.us and should have information available as it develops.


Beginning April 8 (that’s this coming Tuesday) all boats coming into the county must undergo a brief inspection and certification process. All of the tackle shops and a few of the resorts in the county will be offering the inspections.


The mussels pose a substantial threat to our lake and fishery here and there is a concerted effort under way to prevent an infestation that could potentially devastate our resource. Our staff and volunteers will undergo training on Monday and will be better prepared to answer your questions at that time. Please check the county site or call for program details.


Once we’ve been fully brought up to speed on the ins and outs of the program we’ll develop an information page at www.994Fish.com with a condensed, straight-to-the-point, answer-your-questions and get-you-on-the-water approach.


 

And lastly, local hunters have done well during this spring turkey season. We’ve seen birds to just over 20 pounds come in this week with many birds being taken on public lands. Cache Creek, Knoxville and Upper Lake areas have all given up nice toms. We’ve got pictures for you on our Braggin’ Pics page. The turkey population this year seem to be good and strong and the hunting should continue to be good throughout the season.


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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