March 2, 2001
The lake is up to almost 4 feet above rumsey, 7.56 feet is considered full, and the cats are starting to feed in shallower water. The runoff is slowing down quite a bit but with more rain predicted it should increase and attract more catfish.
According to Terry Knight, Outdoor Columnist for the Lake County Record Bee, there are quite a few channel catfish ranging from 8 to 15 pounds being taken with nightcrawlers and mini crawlers off docks and beaches in the Lakeport area where there is sufficient runoff. There are also some decent catches of brown bullheads being taken in the area especially with worms and mini crawlers.
Rodman Slough in Nice is giving up fair stringers of 1 to 3 pound brown bullheads and a few channel cats to 16 pounds. The top bait has been gobs of garden worms or mini crawlers with a few being taken on clams.
The mouth of Morrison Creek in Lucerne is giving up a few channel cats in the 8 to 10 pound range as well as some nice strings of brown bullheads.
We couldn't get a report from the south end of the lake but my guess is that it's about the same, fish the mouths of creeks or drainage ditches with worms or crawlers and you should do fairly well.
March 9, 2001
The lake level came up another foot in the last week and the catfish are feeding in shallow water. There is still some runoff going into the lake so the best spots are near creeks that are still running.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) says the hot spot in his area is Cache Creek. Most of the fish are being taken with mini crawlers and nightcrawlers. There was a 25 pounder caught at the mouth of the creek and they are catching quite a few large channel cats all along the creek's shoreline as well as nice stringers of brown bullheads (locally referred to as "yellow cats") from 1 ½ to 3 pounds.
In the north end of the lake, Rodman Slough is the hot spot. One angler caught over 20 channel cats fishing the shoreline near the Rodman Slough Bridge using dead jumbo minnows. Most fishermen are catching at least 2 or 3 channel cats and lots of brown bullheads using nightcrawlers and mini crawlers in the slough anywhere from the bridge to the pumphouse. There are several shore access spots along the Nice/Lucerne Cutoff where you can park and fish in the slough.
March 16, 2001
The catfishing is still rated fair but most of the runoff has slowed way down so the fish are more scattered.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports most of the action is in Cache Creek. There are a lot of brown bullheads up to 5 pounds being caught using gobs of garden worms and mini crawlers. There are a few channel cats being taken with cut bait but it's a long wait between bites.
Terry Knight, Outdoor Columnist for the Lake County Record Bee says they are catching a few nice channel cats in the Horseshoe Bend area anchoring near shore and fishing with cut bait.
The docks in Lakeport, especially around Library Park are giving up some channel cats up to 12 pounds with nightcrawlers.
Rodman Slough in Nice is still the hotspot in the north end of the lake. A fisherman that goes by the nickname of "Sturgeon General" caught a bunch of channel catfish including a 33 pound 14 ouncer and an 18 pounder using live extra large minnows in the slough.
March 23, 2001
Catfishing in the north end of the lake has slowed down somewhat while the south end is producing a lot of big fish. Part of the problem in the north end is not enough catfishermen to get a real take on the fishing.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports excellent fishing around Cache Creek. A pair of anglers caught and released 10 channel cats drifting in 6 to 8 feet of water near the mouth of Cache Creek using both live and dead jumbo minnows. Most of their fish were 10 to 12 pounds but they weighed in a 22 and 23 pounder and then released them behind Al's shop. There are still a lot of 2 to 3 pound brown bullheads ( known locally as yellow cats ) being caught in Cache Creek with mini crawlers.
The cats are really scattered in the north end. Persistent anglers are catching an occasional channel cat in Rodman Slough with clams and nightcrawlers but quite a few of them are getting skunked. It's the same story in the Nice/Lucerne area and around Lakeport, an occasional big channel catfish falling for crawlers or clams but even though there aren't many anglers, they still outnumber the fish. With the water temperature rising slowly, more fish should start to move into the shallower water and improve the bite.
March 30, 2001
The catfishing hasn't changed much since last week, the south end of the lake is still producing a lot of quality fish while the north end is only fair.
Al Freitas of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake (707-995-9668) reports excellent catches in Cache Creek. Two lucky anglers checked into Al's shop on Thursday morning with 12 channel cats weighing from 7 to 18 pounds caught Wednesday night on jumbo minnows in Cache Creek. Al says they are catching a lot of good catfish all along the City of Clearlake shoreline with both live and frozen jumbo minnows especially at night.
In the north end of the lake most of the action is off docks at night, there are very few boats fishing catfish. Nightcrawlers and clams are the top baits with a few being taken with jumbo minnows . Most docks in the Nice/Lucerne area and Lakeport to Kelseyville are producing a few fish from around 7 or 8 pounds to over 20 pounds. The successful anglers are using a two hook rig with clams on the bottom hook and nightcrawlers on the top. It's a good idea to reel in a couple of feet every 5 minutes or so to stir up the muddy bottom and alert the fish that there is food around.