Fishermen at Clear Lake can expect periods of rain, wind and sun for the weekend. The bass fishing has been changing daily as well. Just ask Kelseyville’s Fred Williams and Gary Hill, who fished a good portion of the lake Wednesday and caught only one bass. The fishing conditions were excellent with little wind and calm waters. Hill said they used all types of lures and even nightcrawlers but there was still no action. He did say there were massive schools of threadfin shad everywhere and they snagged a few while retrieving their bass lures.
Other fishermen report catching from five to 10 fish per day working the deeper water in Soda Bay and off Henderson Point. The docks north of Lakeport are also producing fish. One area that normally produces good numbers of fish during the winter months is the Nice-Lucerne shoreline.
The big issue remaining is a lack of fishermen. Even on good-weather days there have been few fishermen on the lake. That should change this weekend as American Bass (ABA) holds a team tournament Saturday. The tournament goes out of Konocti Vista Casino in Lakeport and the weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. The tournament is expected to draw from 20-30 boats.
Fishermen who plan on entering the 31th annual Clear Lake Team Bass Tournament scheduled for March 17-18 can sign up today starting at 9 a.m. at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce office located at 875 Lakeport Blvd. in Lakeport. The blast-off numbers for the first day of the tournament will be issued in the order the fishermen sign up. Some fishermen will wait in line all night to get a low blast-off number and be first out on the opening morning of the tournament. The reason tournament fishermen want to be first out is because they want to be the first to reach their secret fishing spot. The tournament is one of the more popular bass tournaments held on the lake and should draw well over 100 boats.
Bluegill action remains good at a number of locations around the lake. Shag Rock, Kono Tayee and Henderson Point are providing excellent bluegill fishing for those using nightcrawlers. Crappie are also starting to show up in several location,s including Clear Lake State Park. Fishermen are reminded that the daily limit and possession limit is 25 fish, and that is for a combination of crappie and bluegill.
Catfish action has been good for the few anglers after them. The best action has been in the south end of the lake near Redbud Park and off Rattlesnake Island. A few catfish are being caught by shore anglers at Clear Lake State Park and at Lakeside County Park. Jumbo minnows, nightcrawlers and cut bait have been effective for catfish weighing up to 15 pounds.
Trout action at Upper Blue Lake is rated from fair to good. One angler reported he caught a limit of trout while fishing from the dock at the Pine Acres Resort. He said he cast small crankbaits and also used Power Bait. The trout ranged in size from 12-15 inches. The fee to fish from the dock is $10. Fishermen also reported catching trout from shore along Highway 20. There have been few boaters out on the lake.
Without question one of the most spectacular sights in the country are the thousands of ducks and geese in the Sacramento Valley. The Sacramento Valley is the primary wintering ground for more than 50 percent of all the waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. More than 3 million ducks and geese spend the winter in the valley. The ducks and geese start their migration in Alaska and Northern Canada and settle in the federal and state wildlife refuges in the Sacramento Valley by mid-December. There are four federal refuges and two state refuges. The largest is the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, located just south of Willows on I-5.
The Sacramento Refuge offers a 6-mile, self-guided auto tour, one that takes you within a few yards of thousands of ducks and geese wintering at the refuge. There are also bald and golden eagles as well as pheasants and hawks.
One of the most spectacular sights is when the huge flocks of snow geese leave the refuge in the morning to feed in the nearby rice fields. The sky literally turns white with the geese and their calls are deafening. This is one trip where you want to bring along a pair of binoculars and a good camera. The tour takes about two hours. To get there, take Highway 20 from Lake County to I-5. Turn north on I-5 and take the Norman Road Exit just south of Willows, and turn north on the frontage road to the refuge. As you enter the refuge there are signs directing you to the tour road. The refuge is open to visitors from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.