The Clear Lake Team Bass Tournament kicks off at daylight Saturday and weather will play a major role in the tournament. The forecast is for showers and then party sunny conditions, with temperatures dipping down the freezing mark.
Overall the fishermen should find decent action regardless of the weather. The results of the ABA tournament last weekend showed the bass fishing has definitely improved. It took 22 pounds to win the tournament and everyone brought in limits. There is still a lack of big fish and most of the anglers are happy to catch a 6-pounder. The north end of the lake is where most of the action has been. For some reason the south end has been dead.
Just about all the fishermen are saying the trick to success is making a super slow retrieve. Gary Hill of Kelseyville is out on the lake just about every afternoon and he is having his best luck using a Ned Rig. This is nothing more than a 2-inch plastic worm resembling a small Senko. Hill has been rigging the Ned Rig on a size 1 hook and attaching a split shot weight about 8 inches up the line. He casts the lure out and allows it to sit still on the bottom. About every 20 seconds he moves the lure slightly and then allows it to remain motionless. Hill says the trick is to barely move the lure. He watches the line and when it moves he knows a fish has taken the lure. That’s when he sets the hook. The Ned Rig comes in a wide variety of colors and can be purchased at all the local tackle shops.
The Clear Lake Team Tournament is celebrating its 31st anniversary and will go out of Konocti Vista Casino in Lakeport. The tournament sponsors are hoping the field reaches at least 100 boats. Last year the tournament drew 116 boats. As of Thursday a total of 54 teams had signed up and the final day to register is Friday.
The weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Fishermen can sign up for the tournament as late as 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce office, located at 875 Lakeport Blvd. in Lakeport. Only credit cards or cash will be accepted. Many fishermen wait until the last minute to sign up because they want to be out in the first flight Sunday.
This is the first of many tournaments scheduled for the lake. Just about every weekend through June there is a major tournament scheduled.
For those who are not bass fishing, the crappie and bluegill action has been excellent all around the lake. Just about every dock is producing crappie and some have been huge, including a lot of 2-pounders. Red-white jigs have been the top lure for the crappie and nightcrawlers have been taking most of the bluegill.
Trout action at Upper Blue Lake has been good and some huge trout are being caught. The lake was stocked last week and both shore anglers and those trolling from a boat have been successful.
Several anglers have been asking about Lake Pillsbury. The lake level is low and a few fishermen have been out. Overall the action has been slow. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has announced it will be stocking some large trout in the lake this summer.
Bass are still being caught at Lake Mendocino. The smallmouth action has been good near the dam. Most of the successful fishermen report they are catching their bass in 15-30 feet of water using jigs or plastic worms.