LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Saturday night was a very special night for me.
It's been eight weeks since my major surgery at Stanford Medical Center and I felt as strong as a horse comparatively. I just put a new engine on my boat and was ready to go out on the water for the first time in more than two months.
I was so excited to get out on the water, that while I was readying myself, I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack.
I didn't think it would be smart to travel too far with the new motor so I stuck along the Nice shoreline – a decision that proved wise because of engine problems later in the evening.
We got on the water just as the sun was going down over the horizon. The weed growth and algae was unbelievable and most places we could not come within 100 yards of the shore.
I could tell it was going to take an entirely new approach to catching fish. However, I knew I couldn't figure it out in the dark. I would have to go out during the day to find out where the weeds had been cleared to get in where I can fish some docks – something with which I was familiar.
With the good reports from the bait and tackle stores concerning the algae and weeds diminishing, I'm anxious to get out during the day to do just that.
We picked the only spot we could find that had some structure, was weed and algae free to a degree and cruised up and down it several times.
On the first pass I hooked up with a nice 2-pound bass. He went deep and by the time he got the boat he weighed 8 pounds with all the weeds he brought along with him. He was fat as a 2 pound bass could possibly be and healthy looking.
Everywhere we looked into the reflection of the lights onshore we saw fry and silver side minnows dancing on the surface. That might explain why the bass was so fat and healthy looking.
We cruised toward the mouth of Holiday Harbor and tried fishing that area, but it was too choked with weeds and algae and the water smelled horrible. It made me wish I had brought along a sandwich bag full of Limburger cheese so I could smell it for a breath of fresh air.
Around 10 p.m. we cruised back to where I caught the first fish and I hooked up with another one about 3 and a half pounds. Both fish were caught on 5-inch Root Beer Senkos.
We finally got tired of battling the algae in the weeds and decided to call it a night about 11:30 p.m.
Despite the engine problems and only catching two fish, it couldn't have been a better night, because after being off for water and ill for two months I appreciated the beauty of the night and catching my first fish in a long time.
Now here's the report from Clearlake Outdoors and E Ticket Tackle.
Dave Brabec, Clearlake Outdoors, Lakeport; telephone 707-262-5852
The fires are gone and the skies are clear. The weed beds are starting to die off as they are just about through their cycle.
Start your mornings with a buzz bait shallow. The fish are up shallow until the sun gets high then they tuck under something or go out deep. Chatter baits, jigs, drop shot, crank baits, rattletraps and swim baits are all working
I’ve been getting more reports of silversides showing up. Catfishing continues to be good all over the lake
East Russian River continues to be good for the planter trout to 14 inches. I went Thursday morning and it was a little slower but we still had limits by 8 a.m.
Ted Elliott, E Ticket Tackle, Lakeport; telephone 707-262-1233
Just like the last couple of weeks, the story is keep moving.
The successful fishermen are making cast after cast and are constantly on the move according to visitors to our shop. The bass are tightly bunched up but once you find them the action is reported to be non stop.
I was out late Wednesday night and was pleasantly surprised to see the weeds and algae appear to be disappearing and conditions seem to be improving, including the presence of bait fish.
The hot lures on the lake are chatter-baits, Lucky Craft LV 500, lipless crank bait, jigs, buzz baits and frogs. The best live bait continues to be crawdads.
Some of the best action has been from Konocti Vista Casino Resort to Konocti Bay. Water conditions in those areas has really started to improve.
In the Lakeport area bass are still being caught but not in the numbers they were earlier this month. The good news here is again the weeds appear to being breaking up which is opening up the water. This should mean the fishing should start to improve.
We had a very nice family, the Vivians, from Gilroy stop by the shop to learn about fishing Clear Lake. I spent sometime with them, teaching them how to rig up their equipment setting them up for an afternoon of fishing from the shoreline.
A short time after they had left I got a call at the shop from a very excited dad Mark, his son Cory had just caught a bluegill measuring 14 and a half inches long and 15 inches in girth.
They had been fishing off the pier at WorldMark using worms. It was 12 year old Cory's first monster fish and boy was he excited. Additionally, we have heard of other monster blue gill being caught around mid-lake to the narrows area.
Cut mackerel and night crawlers are still top baits for catfish around the lake. The bite continues to be good with regards to catfish around the lake.
During this last week several catfish have been caught and released next door to us at the Skylark Shores Motel from their docks.
This is great news considering that the second annual Lakeport Yacht Club Catfish Derby is scheduled for Aug. 24-26. The entry fee is $50 for adults and $15 for children. Entry forms may be picked up at most local tackle shops.
Greg Cornish lives in Nice, Calif. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .