Bass fishing remains good at Clear Lake despite the unsettled weather. In fact, one angler reported catching two bass weighing more than 8 pounds each this past week. The only negative is the lack of fishermen. A good example was Wednesday when I checked out Clear Lake State Park, Lakeside County Park and Library Park in Lakeport. There were a grand total of only two bass boat trailers in the parking lots at those three locations.
The water is starting to clear and the fishing conditions are excellent. A check of the water temperature on Wednesday afternoon showed it to be 58 degrees. Normally at this time of the year the temperature ranges from a low of 42 degrees to a high of 50 degrees.
The successful fishermen are using a wide assortment of lures ranging from shallow-running crankbaits, LV500s, plastic worms to swimbaits. Jumbo minnows also have been successful. Some of the better areas are Henderson Point, Shag Rock, the Nice-Lucerne shoreline and the docks near Redbud Park. The rockpiles at Rattlesnake Island are also giving up decent numbers of bass.
The other good news is that some larger bass are starting to show. A number of fishermen report catching bass between 5-7 pounds.
Early sign-ups for the Clear Lake Team Bass Tournament open Jan. 19 at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce office in Lakeport. The tournament dates are March 17-18. The entry fee is $200 per team with a 100-percent payback of the entry fees. Entry forms are available at the chamber office and online at www.lakecochambr.com.
The bluegill and crappie action on Clear Lake has been nothing short of phenomenal. Several fishermen reported catching up to 25 bluegill per day using nightcrawlers. Some of the bluegill are weighing up to a pound. The hot spots include the docks along Glenhaven and around Clearlake Oaks.
BETTER TO BE SAFE
Fishermen going out on the lake during the winter months are cautioned to always wear a life jacket when in the boat. When the water temperature drops below 50 degrees you can only last about 10 minutes in the water before hypothermia sets in. Also be cautious of slippery conditions such as the decks of bass boats, which will have a sheet of ice on them early in the morning.
Trout action is rated as fair at Upper Blue Lake. The lake was stocked two weeks ago and there have been very few anglers out. Some of the trout being caught are weighing up to a pound.
GOOD TIME TO HIKE
Winter is an ideal time to spend some time hiking and bird watching. Recently I spotted two bald eagles at Lakeside County Park. The lake also has a large population of white pelicans as well as egrets and other waterfowl. Clear Lake State Park and Anderson Marsh are both great areas to plan a winter hike. If the weather is nice, then a hike up to the summit of Mount Konocti offers a great view of the lake and surrounding hills.
There have been reports of more dead ducks being spotted along the shoreline at Nice and Lucerne. The ducks are ruddy ducks and the cause of death is avian cholera. The disease will run its course and the ducks will migrate out of the area in February.
Most of the hunting seasons are now closed. Pheasant season closed last week and overall it was rated as poor. Most of the hunters reported bagging few birds. The pheasant population in the Sacramento Valley continues to decline because of a loss of habitat. Quail season is open until Jan. 28 and Lake County has an excellent population of quail. Some of the better hunting areas are on public land. Duck and goose season remains open until Jan. 28 and this last week saw an improvement in hunting at the refuges in the Sacramento Valley. The duck hunting on Clear Lake has been slow.