October 6, 2000
We really don't know what to say, this is supposed to be the best month for catfishing especially in the north end of the lake but so far it is fair at best.
We drifted the Nice/Lucerne shoreline mostly in 14 to 16 feet of water for a couple of hours each morning this week. My results were as follows: Monday, 1 fish 6 pounds; Tuesday, 1 fish 7 pounds; Wednesday, 2 fish 12 and 13 pounds and Thursday, 2 fish 13 and 15 pounds. All were taken on shrimp soaked in Kickn Catfish attractant and all but the 6 pounder were released to be caught again. The plus side of this report is the fishing got just a little better each day. Thursday morning besides the 2 fish I caught, I missed several fish so the action was pretty good for 2 and 1/2 hours of fishing.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707) 995-9668 says the catfishing is real tough for most anglers. A few of his regulars who really know the area are taking 2 or 3 channel cats from 10 to 15 pounds drift fishing at Bass Alley and anchoring over deep holes at the mouth of Cache Creek. The top baits have been clams and mackerel.
October 13, 2000
The south end of the lake is producing some pretty decent fishing while the north end remains spotty.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake reports good action in Cache Creek around White Bridge. One angler brought in 4 nice channel cats weighing from 9 to 15 pounds caught on mackerel. Most of the fish have moved shallow according to Al and quite a few large fish are being taken from shore with mackerel and nightcrawlers in the Clearlake area.
There are a few good fish being caught in the Clearlake Oaks arm by knowledgeable fishermen using shrimp, mackerel and large minnows near Rattlesnake Island in 15 to 25 feet of water. Shore fishermen are catching an occasional fish at M & M Campground with mackerel and clams.
The drift fishing in the Nice Lucerne area remains spotty, I have no idea why it hasn't broken wide open like it did for the past few years. There isn't much time left till the winter pattern sets in so I hope they show up soon. There are a few fish in the 8 to 14 pound range being taken off docks at night in the Nice/Lucerne area with mackerel, clams and nightcrawlers.
October 20, 2000
The fall catfish bite has yet to materialize in the north end of the lake. The only area that is producing is the Clearlake arm in the south end. Unless there is a last minute miracle it appears to be a poor fall season for the north end.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports good action on 8 to 12 pounders from shore at the white bridge in Cache Creek with chicken liver fished from around 6:00pm to midnight. On the main lake, anchoring near White Rock and the Pipeline are producing a lot of big cats with clams and chicken livers. One angler had 6 fish for 60 pounds anchoring at White Rock.
The Clearlake Oaks arm of the lake is giving up a few large fish on the south side of Rattlesnake Island drifting in 20 to 35 feet of water. The top baits have been jumbo minnows and mackerel. They are still catching an occasional cat from the shoreline at M & M Campground in the Oaks. The best baits have been clams and mackerel.
We really can't give an accurate report on the drift fishing in the north end as there have not been any boats out all week as far as I know. Locals fishing off their docks at night are picking up an occasional cat in the 10 pound range with mackerel or clams.
October 27, 2000
The wintery weather has improved the catfishing quite a bit. The south end of the lake is producing the most fish but that may be due to there being a lot more people catfishing in that area.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports good catches from White Rock to Jago Bay. Most fish are being taken anchoring in 20 feet of water with jumbo minnows. Most boats are getting from 4 to 8 fish per trip with most of the fish running from 10 to 15 pounds with an occasional lunker of 20 or more pounds.
There are very few catfishermen trying the Clearlake Oaks arm but I fished off the shore at M & M Campground on Tuesday afternoon and caught and released 2 nice channel cats weighing 15 and 16 pounds using maple/vanilla doughballs. I'm sure there are active fish in the area, we just need some anglers to give it a try.
We guess everybody has given up on the drift fishing in the north end of the lake. I should be trying it myself but my boat is temporarily moored in Clearlake Oaks.
There are a lot of catfish feeding in shallow water in the Nice/Lucerne area but very few anglers are pursuing them. I fished the beach in front of Holiday Harbor yesterday afternoon and caught 2 cats weighing 5 and 12 pounds in an hours fishing time with maple/vanilla doughballs.