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Thread: Clear Lake Bass Fishing Report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Davis
    Posts
    462

    Default Clear Lake Bass Fishing Report

    I did a trip to Clear Lake to check out the 4th best bass fishing lake in the United States. I figured if I am into bass fishing and a launch ramp at the 4th best lake in the U.S. is only 90 minutes from my house I should be there. It is a bit far for a day trip so I got a campsite for two nights at the State Park. The State Park has a launch ramp but they closed it the day before I arrived due to low water. That was a bit of a surprise but I found another ramp nearby so no big deal. I don’t see how this lake got its name. It is anything but clear. Maybe it was clear in the past when it was named but it is loaded with algae now. It is also loaded with bass and they run pretty big. There is no griping at Clear Lake about catching a bunch of ten inch bass. My experience was they are legitimately two to four pounds. A four pound bass is a pretty good chunk of fish. One of those is a day maker for me.

    I was able to get topwater to work early and late but the 13 hours between topwater bites was tough. One evening I waded the beach in front of the campground and hooked eight and a couple of them were four pounds. That is great bass fishing in my book and enough to make the day a success for me. I fished various clousers during the day and got a few fish but they were hard to find. My observation from watching other boats was they were not catching lots of fish. There are plenty of gear guys in boats up there and I only saw a couple fish caught but I did not ask much as to how the fishing was so who knows how they were doing.

    After two days of fishing I was riding my bike in Lakeport and came to the Clear Lake Outdoors Store which I think is the home of the recent world record crappie. Just for fun I went in to have a look. The guy was pretty nice so I asked him if he had anything I could put on a fly rod. He said the bass here could not be caught on a fly rod because they were too big. Sounds like a good problem to have. I told him I could deal with these big bass if he had something I could get them to bite. He thought a bit and got me a pack of Yamasenko worms, some hooks that cost almost a dollar each and a rigging tool which he showed me how to use. My first thought was this is the famous Senko you hear about all the time. These things must work because every gear guy in America is using them. They are about size of a small hot dog which seems big to me but what do I know. I was a little worried about whether I could cast the hot dog but it looked to me like I could put it under a bobber, let it fall, twitch it a couple of times and then recast as I moved along the shoreline. I bought them. The guy thought I was crazy but was pretty excited that I was going to try it and said if I could get it to work I would be on TV. I could use a little TV exposure. Long story short, I fished the hot dog the next day and caught two fish so I guess it worked. After getting a couple on the hot dog I was was eager to do some fly fishing so I went back to the clouser and got three on it so the clouser actually won the day and out fished the hot dog which made me feel good. I joke about the thing but in the future if those fish won’t grab the clouser you can be sure I will be throwing the hot dog at them.

    I took no pictures. Sometimes you just want to fish.
    Last edited by John H; 06-04-2021 at 06:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    69

    Default

    John,

    Great report. Would love to see you on TV at that store, with a huge, but still lively, Clear Lake bass. Ha ha

    There was a very good thread on the board about Clear Lake a few years back. One fly fisher had been doing well on small, sparse, gray and white clousers.

    I keep wanting go try Clear Lake, but the 13 hours in between "golden hours" are tough to take. Maybe arrive in time for a late afternoon/evening session, stay over (light camp), then fish from sunrise to late morning and head home?

    Thanks again for the good report.

    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    El Sobrante
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Great Report, another I may add. Thank you for posting real stuff(?) I don't get out
    much and these reports from you and your colleagues are very important to me.

    Gene Harvey (aka grnwtrs)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    21,630

    Default

    Thanks John.

    Clear lake is a famous fisheries that I read about as a teenager.

    Maybe they need a "Fly Fishing Bass Derby" over there?

    I wonder how the top water was a month ago over there?
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Id
    Posts
    429

    Default

    It used to be clear, I remember. My parents rented a little cabin at a place called Swedbergs over by Konoctie bay when I was just a baby.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Stockton
    Posts
    166

    Default

    A few years ago in August I was having a little family tournament. When other boats would go by their rooster tails were bright green. The fish still bit. When we met to weigh our limits I couldn't see my fish in the livewell. Had to feel around for em. I won of course.
    As I recall, later that week the lake was covered with dead fish. Hasn't been the same since but still a damn good lake. Hate to see it so low. I normally spend a ton of time up there but it's off the list for now. Not willing to damage my boat at the launch ramps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Davis
    Posts
    462

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    I used to read the 100 years ago today section in the Winters paper and people would go up there for their summer vacation and stay for a week or two. When we had no reservoirs Clear Lake was probably a big attraction and it probably took a full day or two to get there. I expect people stayed in those old cabins you see around Nice and Lucerne. Thousands of years of human history there.

    The ramp I used was a mess. My trailer was covered with weeds and algae and I had a wad of monofilament wrapped around the prop. I had to tilt the motor up to get over a shallow spot I could not see because of all the algae on the surface. Fun stuff. That ramp will probably close soon.

    Gene - I am glad you like the reports.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Fair Oaks
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Great report John. I appreciate your observations and shared experience. Makes me want to try it out if any ramps are still open.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    332

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    John -

    Thank you John, your reports are my favorites, and they bring back enjoyable memories. From many, many years ago I can still remember reading Joe Brooks’ article in “Outdoor Life” magazine about Clear Lake’s famous popper maker and fly fisher Lucky Lloyd. Billy, Don Rotsma, and I wrote to Lucky Lloyd placing a huge order for his poppers...they were masterpieces and I still have a small collection. As Joe Brooks described in his writing, with one hand Lucky Lloyd would skull his boat along Clear Lake’s shoreline, while using his other hand for casting. He utilized an automatic fly reel.

    Best Regards & Thanks Again, Bob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    21,630

    Default

    Put up some pictures of those LL poppers Bob or text them to me and I will put them up here?


    Bob use to tie the black "Sponge Spider" that was great for panfish and smaller bass.

    Leo Gutterres of Stockton, CA was famous for his poppers.
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

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