September 1, 2000
This is going to be a fairly short catfish report as I couldn't get any information from the Clearlake area.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait and Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) reports a few large channel cats being taken with live crawdads near Rattlesnake Island and a few including a 17 pounder caught at the mouth of the Clearlake Oaks Keys with anchovies.
We went drift fishing off the World Mark Time Shares in Nice Wednesday morning for a couple of hours and caught a 17 pound 7 ounce channel catfish and my friend caught a 14 pound 15 ouncer We were fishing in 15 to 16 feet of water and were using shrimp soaked in Kick'n Catfish® catfish attractant. The drift fishing in this area should really improve in the next couple of weeks.
There are still quite a few catfish working the Nice/Lucerne shoreline as evidenced by my still catching quite a few channel cats in the 10 to 12 pound range with maple/vanilla doughballs while fishing for carp.
September 8, 2000
The north end of the lake is producing some good sized catfish around the Nice/Lucerne area while Rattlesnake Island and the Clearlake Oaks Keys are producing in the south end.
We went drift fishing off the World Mark Time Shares in Nice a couple of times this week and caught fish from 4 to 17 pounds. Shrimp was the hot bait and most of the fish were taken in 14 to 16 feet of water. On Sunday morning I managed 3 nice channel cats going 13, 14 and 17 pounds plus a 4 pound white cat all within a 3 hour period. The drift fishing is slowly picking up in this area and if it's anything like past years it will peak about the middle of October.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait and Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) says they are catching a few channel cats in the Clearlake Oaks Keys off the docks with live crawdads and minnows. On the main lake, Rattlesnake Island is giving up some good fish also with crawdads and minnows. The majority of fish have been running from around 8 to 12 pounds with an occasional 16 or 17 pounder.
The City of Clearlake Catfish Derby is coming up next Friday, Saturday and Sunday so I hope we get a lot of entries. My partner and I will be fishing it in the Nice/Lucerne area and we hope to see other participants there as well.
September 15, 2000
The drift fishing in the north end of the lake has slowed down while the south end is still giving up some big cats.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports only 2 or 3 fish per boat but they are mostly large fish from around 12 to 14 pounds with a couple weighed in over 18 pounds. Live jumbo minnows and live crawdads have been getting the bigger fish. Al suggests if you just want action from smaller cats use cut bait and clams. Most of the fish are being taken drift fishing in deeper water areas such as Frazer Pt., Monitor Island and Shag Rock.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait and Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) says they are getting a few large cats around Rattlesnake Island with live crawdads and minnows.
Drift fishing in the north end of the lake has slowed down considerably although I believe there are plenty of fish out there. The problem is they are not concentrated in any one area due to a lack of large concentrations of bait fish. I have been seeing a lot of small schools of bait but not the large amounts that were present last week. I sure hope they get together this weekend so we have some big fish for the derby
The City of Clearlake Catfish Derby is coming up this Friday, Saturday and Sunday so I hope we get a lot of entries. My partner and I will be fishing it in the Nice/Lucerne area and we hope to see other participants there as well.
September 22, 2000
The fishing hasn't really changed much since last week. The south end of the lake is still fairly productive while the north end is very slow.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait and Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) says they are catching 3 to 5 fish per boat in the 10 to 15 pound range. Most anglers are drifting with live jumbo or extra large minnows. The most productive areas have been the Pipeline, Frazer Point and Luebow Point.
My friend Everett Walton of Morgan Hill found some good action at Shag Rock on Sunday afternoon. He saw a couple of anglers bag 10 fish from around 10 to 15 pounds in 4 hours and after he found out they were using large chunks of mackerel on size 2/0 hooks he caught a 15 and 13 pounder. The bad news is he went back on Monday morning and got skunked. Hopefully the fish were on their way to the Nice/Lucerne area so I can catch them.
After putting in about 19 or 20 hours fishing the derby I didn't fish during the week so I don't have a report on the Nice/Lucerne area other than it was almost dead during the derby. I caught one channel cat about 9 pounds and a 4 pound white cat for the entire weekend. I'm not going to make any more predictions as to when the fall drift fishing bite will break open. I can only hope it will be soon.