April 6, 2001
We realize these reports are getting rather redundant but the south end of the lake in the Clearlake Arm is still producing most of the catfish while there are very few catfishermen trying their luck in the north end or in the Clearlake Oaks Arm.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) says Cache Creek is still the hotspot. They are catching up to 10 cats per night using dead jumbo minnows. Anglers anchoring in the Monitor Island area near Honeymoon Cove are catching quite a few fish with dead minnows and cutbait. Most of the cats are running 8 to 12 pounds with a few from 18 to 23 pounds. Al adds that the crappie fishing around the State Park is very good.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait & Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) reports very slow catfishing in the Oaks Arm. Bob says the crappie fishermen are catching an occasional catfish with live minnows but the crappie fishing is awesome with lots of 1½ to 3 pound fish being taken in the Keys.
The north end of the lake is still very slow. I still get an occasional report of 2 or 3 channel cats being taken off docks in the Nice/Lucerne area at night with nightcrawlers or clams but that's about all. I haven't heard of any boats trying the north end for cats so there's no way of knowing how the fishing really is.
April 13, 2001
The water temperature is still colder than normal for early April due to all the nasty weather we have been experiencing, therefore the catfishing is still pretty slow.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) says most fishermen are lucky to catch 2 or 3 fish per trip but they are running from 15 to 25 pounds each which certainly makes it worthwhile. The most productive area is still Honeymoon Cove just north of Monitor Island and successful anglers are anchoring rather than drifting. The bulk of the action has been late night to early morning and the top baits are dead jumbo minnows with a few being caught on mackerel.
The only other catfish action is off docks at night using nightcrawlers and clams. You have a chance off just about any dock on the lake that has 10 or more feet of water but it's a hit or miss proposition with a lot more misses. In other words, there are a lot more fishermen getting skunked than catching fish. I keep hoping for a spell of warmer weather so we can start doing some serious catfishing but so far the weatherman is not cooperating.
April 20, 2001
The never ending cool, cloudy and sometimes rainy weather is still hampering the catfishing. Anglers with a lot of patience are catching a few cats once in awhile.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait & Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) says some local residents in the Clearlake Oaks Keys are catching one or two channel cats off their docks with dead minnows or mackerel, most of the fish are running around 6 to 8 pounds. Bob adds they are catching quite a few nice crappie with minnows and mini jigs in the Keys as well.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports fair action in Cache Creek for channel cats using mackerel and crawlers at night. Most fishermen are catching 2 or 3 fish in the 5 to 6 pound range for their efforts. Al says they are catching some big crappie (1 to 2 pounds) off Bass Alley and Jago Bay with live minnows.
There still aren't many catfishermen trying the north end of the lake but the few that have are lucky to catch one or two small cats.
Ed Ott of Ed's Market in Nice (707-274-8029) reports very slow catfishing but excellent crappie fishing off most docks in Nice and especially in Rodman Slough with live minnows. They are running 1½ to 2 pounds but Ed weighed in a monster that weighed 3 pounds and measured 17½ inches.
April 27, 2001
The long awaited warm weather has improved the catfishing but not as much as we'd like. Most of the action is still in the south end of the lake.
Bob Higgins of Limit Out Bait & Tackle in Clearlake Oaks (707-998-1006) reports a few large channel cats being caught near Rattlesnake Island with shad including 3 monsters weighing 15, 18 and 21 pounds. Locals are catching quite a few cats running around 5 to 8 pounds off their docks in the Keys with anchovies and clams.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports fair action for big cats anchoring near Monitor Island, Bass Alley and White Rock with nightcrawlers and mackerel or clams. Al says he had 3 fish weighed in the past week over 20 pounds including 25 and 26½ pounders. Most shore anglers fishing anywhere from Austin Beach to Garners Resort are catching one or two fish running around 5 to 8 pounds using nightcrawlers and clams.
Ed Ott of Ed's Market in Nice (707-274-8029) reports fair catches of channel cats around 7 to 8 pounds and lots of 3 to 4 pound brown bullheads in Rodman Slough using nightcrawlers.
We caught a 12 pound catfish off my back deck Thursday afternoon using corn while fishing for carp.
Crappie in the 1 to 2 pound class are still taking minnows and crappie jigs in Rodman Slough, most docks along the Nice/Lucerne shoreline, Paradise Cove, Kono Tayee and the Clearlake Oaks Keys.