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Clear Lake delivers in time for the holidays

Courtesy of
Record Bee
By Terry Knight
John Pearl of Upper Lake caught this 12.25-pound bass earlier this week out of Clear Lake.
John Pearl of Upper Lake caught this 12.25-pound bass earlier this week out of Clear Lake.

Clear Lake is kicking out some huge bass. Earlier this week local fishing guide John Pearl of Upper Lake boated a monster bass that tipped the scales at 12.25 pounds. That is one of largest bass to come out of the lake in several months. There were also reports of a fisherman catching a 10 pounder this week. Another fishermen reported catching two bass that weighed in the 8-pound class.

Without a doubt the bass fishing continues to improve each week. Most of the fishermen are having little trouble catching from 5 to even 20 bass per day and while they aren’t as large as Pearl’s trophy bass, there are plenty in the 1-3 pound range and they are fat and hard fighters. The successful fishermen are using a variety of techniques and lures to catch their fish. Drop-shotting a plastic worm is ranked right at the top of the list followed by casting a jerkbait such as Lucky Craft Pointer Minnow. A few fishermen are using a shaky head jig rigged with a plastic worm. The trick to using the shaky head jig is to barely move the lure along the bottom. Of course, it’s hard to beat a live jumbo minnow rigged below a slip bobber. All the tackle shops have minnows.

 A lot of fishermen don’t know that winter is the ideal time to catch a double-digit bass. The lake record of 17.52 pounds was caught on a bitter cold day in February 1990. For some reason these trophy bass feed when the water temperatures drop to the 45 degree range.

Another reason the fishing is improving is that the water color is improving. In many areas you can see down a foot or two. The bass action is also spreading around the lake. For example, the north end in Lakeport is kicking out some good numbers of fish. The same goes for the Nice-Lucerne area. Bass are also being caught off Rattlesnake Island on the rockpiles as well as around Shag Rock and Henderson Point.

 The other good news is that the few fishermen that are targeting crappie and bluegill report the action has improved daily. Some of the bluegill have been huge-weighing up to a pound or more. One of the hot spots continues to be around the docks at the Indian Beach Resort in Glenhaven where just about everyone is catching crappie and bluegill.

The big question on local fishermen minds is “where are the fishermen.” On any given day there have only been two or three bass boats out on the lake and that includes weekends. Apparently, the fish die-off and dark water coloring a few months ago have given the lake a bad name. That has also changed as the fishing is improving daily and the water color is also improving. Whereas the lack of fishermen on the lake makes the local anglers happy it does have a negative impact on the businesses that rely on the fishermen. All the tackle shops report that their costumers have been far and few between the last couple of months.

 For those last minute Christmas shoppers one suggestion is to buy a gift certificate from one of the local tackle shops. All the shops have experienced fishermen and they can suggest the hot lures and other fishing equipment.

Upper Blue Lake was on the trout stocking list this week. The lake has been providing decent trout action for both boaters and bank fishermen. Along with the trout a few bass are also being caught.

With the exception of duck and goose hunting, the hunting seasons are winding down. The bear season closes on Dec. 31 and to date there have been 1,297 bears taken by hunters. The duck hunting is improving in the Sacramento Valley as more ducks and geese arrive daily. The duck hunters on Clear Lake are bagging a few birds but overall its been slow.

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