August 4 2000
The hot weather has kept a lot of anglers off the lake. The few that have been going out are having fair action with good size channel catfish.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports 2 to 3 fish per angler for drift fishermen in the deeper areas such as Bass Alley and Luebow Point. Most of the cats are running from 8 to 13 pounds and are falling for jumbo minnows and mackerel. Cache Creek is giving up lots of pan sized catfish around 1 to 1 1/2 pounds with fresh clams and liver.
Pete Lygren of Glenhaven Beach Campground and Marina (707-998-3406) says very few fishermen are going out due to the hot weather. Those that have are taking a few nice channel cats in the 5 to 15 pound range around Horseshoe Bend with nightcrawlers.
There have been very few catfishermen trying the north end of the lake and the few that have are not talking. Locals fishing off their docks at night are taking a few nice cats with nightcrawlers and clams. I have been catching an occasional channel cat from 8 to 10 pounds off the beach just east of Barne's Yard with doughballs while fishing for carp. ( Yes I admit it, I fish for carp on purpose, they are huge and they fight as good or better than a channel catfish ).
August 11 2000
It has been very difficult to get catfish reports this week as there haven't been many catfishermen on the lake. This may be the shortest catfish report I have ever done.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports a few anglers trying their luck at Bass Alley, White Rock and the north end of Monitor Island are catching from 2 to 4 channel catfish from 10 to 15 pounds each with jumbo minnows and mackerel for a nights effort.
The other bait shops that report in have not heard from any catfishermen this week.
In the north end of the lake some of the locals are catching a few cats fishing off their docks at night using nightcrawlers and clams. I'm still catching an occasional catfish with doughballs while fishing for carp. I caught a 9 pound channel cat with a doughball off the public beach in front of my house yesterday morning.
If this year is like the past few years, the drift fishing in 15 to 25 feet of water off of Nice and Lucerne should get into full swing by the end of this month. I checked my log and found that I started catching fish in that area on August 25 of last year.
August 18 2000
The catfishing appears to have slowed down in the south end of the lake but the fall drifting pattern in the north end has already started producing a few fish.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) says the fishing has slowed down quite a bit. An angler that puts in a full day or night of fishing is lucky to catch 3 fish but on the plus side most are running from10 to 18 pounds. Al suggests drifting or anchoring in the deeper water on the north side of Monitor Island and around Frazer Point. He adds that there is still some action in Cache Creek but most of the fish are very small and it's difficult to get in there due to the weeds. The fishing may actually be better than it appears since Al says he's not getting that many fishermen going out and giving it a try.
Perhaps the upcoming City of Clearlake Catfish Derby September 15th, 16th & 17th will give us a good read on how good the fishing really is in the south end.
Since I mentioned last week that the drift fishing in the Nice/Lucerne area should get started soon, I gave it a try for a couple of hours each day on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I got an 11 pound channel cat on Wednesday and a 10 pounder on Thursday drift fishing with shrimp in 25 feet of water off the east end of Barnes Yard in Lucerne. I saw a lot of marks on the graph and lots of bait but only in the 23 to 26 foot range, nothing deeper or shallower.
While I was making phone calls to the various bait shops Thursday morning, I looked out my window and saw local angler Andy Rico (Tadpole) land a 13 pound 12 ounce channel cat from the beach using threadfin shad for bait.
August 25 2000
The north end of the lake, especially the Nice/Lucerne area is producing some nice size channel catfish. They are being caught drift fishing as well as off the shore. The south end remains fair at best.
We tried drift fishing off of Nice and Lucerne several times in the last week and have managed to get one or two channel cats in the 10 to 13 pound range each time. I only go out for a couple of hours so I imagine if someone put in the hours they would catch quite a few. There doesn't seem to be a concentration of fish in any one area or depth. I have caught fish in 15 to 27 feet of water. The top bait as always is shrimp with anchovies catching their fair share as well.
There are still a lot of catfish working the shoreline in 5 to 10 feet of water but I don't see anyone trying for them. I caught 11 and 12 pound channel cats yesterday morning on the west beach in front of Holiday Harbor in 6 feet of water with maple vanilla doughballs while fishing for carp.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait and Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) says they are catching quite a few brown bullheads in the Keys with mini crawlers but not much in the way of channel catfish.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports one boat drift fishing with jumbo minnows at the Pipeline had 10 channel cats ranging from around 8 to 18 pounds. He adds that Cache Creek has been giving up nothing but very small bait stealing size catfish.