Sunday, 28 November 2021

The Rider Report: Direct talk on algae

It’s time for some direct talk about this algae problem.


I’m stunned by the drama and spin the Bay Area media has put on this algae bloom and subsequent decay.


One news channel made the following statements: “toxic algae bloom,” “killing everything in the water,” “officials say not to go into the water,” “has never been this bad,” “Clear Lake’s year of the scum.” They followed such ridiculous statements with closeup video of areas that were most severely impacted by the swamp-like conditions.


Never mind that the lake is California’s largest natural lake. Never mind that there’s some 42,000 surface acres of water here. Never mind that their statements are inflammatory and inaccurate. Never mind that the algae has been here for many years – perhaps thousands. (Oh, did I mention that Clear Lake is considered one of the oldest lakes in our hemisphere?)


Never mind that many of our lake’s fine on the water resorts and restaurants are unaffected by the bloom. (But negatively affected by Bay Area TV News.)


Here are some direct facts.


The most affected areas are Clearlake Oaks, the Keys, an area along the city of Clearlake’s shoreline, and portions of Cache Creek. They’re swampy. Don’t swim where it’s swampy. (Duh!) I believe that Lake County Public Health is recommending folks “avoid contact with the algae”. (Duh, again!) That’s a far cry from “officials say not to go into the water” as reported on the news. Check your facts and don’t exaggerate! (Sorry, I’m pretty fired up.)


Launching a boat? Check the ramps in affected areas. If they’re thick with algae, don’t run your main motor until you’re clear of it. (You don’t want to clog up the flow of cooling water.)


Conditions are improving DAILY right now as a fall-like weather pattern brings cooler temperatures and some wind. If you simply want to avoid the algae, use one of the numerous ramps located on other parts of the lake.


This is simple, folks. There are many (perhaps 40,000 or so, just guessing) acres of water to enjoy on Clear Lake.


The bass fishing is decent. Not great, but not too bad either. The catfish bite has been fantastic all summer long. There are a ton of baitfish in the lake – silver sides, baby bass, crappie, and bluegill.


ALL of this information is a stark contrast to “killing everything in the water” as reported on, you guessed it, TV news. Check your facts and don’t exaggerate!


It is really easy to get wrapped up in what’s wrong with something. But let’s not get carried away – Clear Lake is an amazing NATURAL resource with a life of its own. You can’t compare it to Tahoe, you can’t compare it to Berryessa, Sonoma or Mendocino. They’re all NOT Clear Lake. Heck, we’ve got our own volcano! (Oh goodness … Don’t tell the TV news we have a volcano! Can you imagine the hysteria?)


OK, I’m off the soap box – for now. How about a fishing report …


The bass, as I mentioned above, are doing just fine. Deep water finesse fishing has been the name of the game. Some folks, however are doing well in the early morning hours in a scant 2 feet of water. Once the sun’s overhead, you either need to fish aquatic weed beds or deep water. Drop offs and ledges have also been productive. Live bait – minnows and crawdads – have accounted for the best catches. Finesse baits like 6-inch Maverick or Roboworms have been useful. Jigs and creature baits too.


For the cats, stick with what works. Mackerel and crawdads are simply tops. Lots of other stuff works too. Soak your bait in the areas that are relatively free of the algae. Deep water, mid-depth water and shallow waters have all accounted for action this week.


Come to Clear Lake. Fish. Dine. Stay and visit a while. Drop by our store and say “Howdy” while you’re here. I really enjoy meeting our readers.


Bob Rider is owner of Lakeshore Bait & Tackle, located at 14913-D Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake, telephone 707.994.FISH (3474). Visit the store online at www.994Fish.com .

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