Plenty of fish, lower lake level – Lake County Record-Bee
Gary Hill of Kelseyville recently caught this 8-pound bass while fishing from his float tube near the state park. (Photo by Terry Knight)

Bass tournaments highlight the weekend activities at Clear Lake. American Bass (ABA) is holding two team tournaments, one on Saturday and the other Sunday. Both operate out of the Skylark Shores Motel in Lakeport with 3 p.m. weigh-ins.

The tournaments should draw in the neighborhood of 50 boats each. The tournament director has warned the fishermen that they must wear their protective face masks as well as maintain a 6-foot distance from other fishermen during the weigh-ins and other tournament activities. It’s important fishermen obey the special rules because if they don’t future bass tournaments at Clear Lake could be in jeopardy.

The tournament fishermen should find fair to good fishing. A lot of small bass are being caught right now. For some reason the large bass have disappeared. The recent FLW tournament was a good example. Most of the five-fish limits weighed in the neighborhood of 12-14 pounds and there were only two bass caught topping 8 pounds.

The fishermen report the bass have moved out into deeper water and schools are being found at depths from 8-12 feet. The trick to success is a super slow retrieve. A few fishermen have been finding success casting a lipless crankbait such as a LV500 and retrieving it yo-yo style. Small swimbaits rigged with an underspin also have been successful. A few fishermen are using a style of fishing called “punching.” That is where they pitch a plastic worm or jig into a mass of weeds and allow it to sink. Some of the larger bass are being caught using this technique.

Bass are being caught at most locations around the lake. Some of the more productive areas are the shoreline at the state park, Henderson Point, the shoreline from Lucerne to Clearlake Oaks, and near Shag Rock. On the north end of the lake, Rocky Point is holding some fish but it is extremely weedy and thick with algae. A few fishermen are having success fishing at least a mile offshore.

Other fish

Some large catfish are being caught, mostly by shore anglers using nightcrawlers. The shoreline in Clearlake Oaks has been one of the better areas. A few fishermen have been catching decent numbers of crappie and bluegill. Some of the crappie are weighing between 2-3 pounds.

Low water

Boaters are cautioned to be careful when launching their boats. The water at some of the lake ramps is low and care must be used or your truck will slide into the lake. That happened at Lakeside County Park last week and the truck had to be pulled out. The boat trailer wheels dropped off the edge of the ramp. The water level at the park ramp in Lucerne is very low and a number of boaters have had problems launching there.

Lake level

The lake level was 1.02 feet on the Rumsey Gauge as of Wednesday. Yolo County has stopped taking water from the lake although Yolo is releasing 5 cps of water to maintain the fishery below the Cache Creek Dam.


Trout anglers recently received some great news. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) will be stocking Upper Blue Lake and East Branch of the Russian River the week of Oct. 18. This is the first stocking in more than a month. It is surprising the DFW is stocking the East Branch of the Russian River because the trout season closes on the river next month. Whether or not DFW will actually stock the river remains to be seen. However, they will be stocking Upper Blue Lake and that’s great.

Deer season

Deer hunters are hoping for a change in the weather to improve the hunting. Overall the hunting has been slow, mostly because it has been too hot. While Zone A is closed, the B zones are open.