June 6, 2002
As I predicted in last weeks report, the warming water temperatures have coaxed the catfish into starting their spawning cycle. They are moving into shallow rocky areas in 4 to 8 feet of water.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports good action in Cache Creek and around docks with rocks and or submerged tires. Most fishermen are catching 3 to 5 fish per evening weighing from 7 to 12 pounds apiece with an occasional larger fish up to 25 pounds being taken. Cut mackerel, nightcrawlers and jumbo minnows (live or dead) are the top baits.
Everett (Catmanw) from San Jose was fishing the south end of the lake last weekend and reported watching one very knowledgeable catfish angler boat 12 good sized catfish while working the break at Bass Alley all day with live jumbo minnows. Everett only managed 3 cats from 10 to 14 pounds while fishing at the same time in the same area.
Bassin guide Sandy Hager of Tackle It Sport Shop in Lakeport 707-262-1233 reports good catfish action at Rocky Point and under any of the docks in the Lakeport and Nice/Lucerne Area that have a rocky bottom and or submerged tires. Fishing at night from docks with Mr. Catfish blood or cheese flavored baits is producing some big cats including an 18 and 22 pounder. Fishing rocky areas in the early morning (5:30AM to 9:00AM) with live jumbo minnows and nightcrawlers is producing 3 or 4 fish per person in the 10 to 12 pound range.
June 13, 2002
Well folks, last week I was bragging that my prediction that the catfish would start spawning had come true but although there are a few cats being caught in shallow water in the north end of the lake, they haven't really started their spawning cycle yet. The water temperatures have been over 70° for several days so it should happen any day now.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports very good drifting action in the White Rock/Bass Alley area using jumbo minnows, mackerel and shrimp. Most anglers are catching 5 or 6 fish per evening running from 7 to 15 pounds. Cache Creek is kicking out some decent catches with mackerel, anchovies and nightcrawlers. Shorebound fishermen are picking up some nice catfish off the Red Bud Pier in Clearlake.
Bass 'N Guide Sandy Hager of Tackle It Sport Shop in Lakeport 707-262-1233 reports the catfishing has slowed down considerably in the north end of the lake. A few channel cats up to 16 pounds have been taken off docks in the Lakeport area with live crawdads but they are catching more bass than cats with the crawdads.
We tried the Nice/Lucerne area yesterday morning and got skunked but my friend did catch and release a 12 pounder using shrimp. I checked out some of my favorite spots for spawning catfish but didn't spot a one so I guess we'll have to wait a few more days.
June 20, 2002
The catfish action just keeps getting better in the south end of the lake but the north end is still very slow.
Everett (Catmanw) Walton from San Jose had a great weekend of catfishing in the south end. He fished Bass Alley and Cache Creek from late Friday night till around noon on Sunday and caught and released 20 channel cats weighing from 7 to 16 pounds. He caught a 16 lb'er in the creek Friday night and all the rest were caught drifting at Bass Alley. Most of the fish fell for jumbo minnows but a few were taken with mackerel.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 says most anglers are catching at least 4 or 5 catfish for a day's effort and they are weighing from 5 to 12 pounds. Jumbo minnows, mackerel and shrimp (prawns) are the top baits. Most successful fishermen are drifting Bass Alley and Monitor Island in 10 to 12 feet of water. Anchoring in Cache Creek is producing some nice fish but the action is a bit slower.
We put in a few hours in the Nice/Lucerne Area on the weekend but only managed a couple of fish. I tried several shallow, rocky areas where there should have been spawning catfish but I didn't see any sign of them. The two fish I did catch were in 12 feet of water at the outer edge of the weeds.
June 27, 2002
It's the same story as last week, the south end of the lake is kicking out plenty of catfish but the north end remains tough.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports excellent catfish action in Cache Creek and Bass Alley. One angler caught 9 cats weighing from 7 to 13 pounds drifting cut mackerel at Bass Alley. Three catfishermen fishing Cache Creek on the weekend caught over 300 pounds of catfish ranging from 16 to 22 pounds and one that was close to 30 pounds with mackerel. Another productive pattern has been drift fishing with (you guessed it, mackerel) just off the Redbud Pier in 10 feet of water.
Bass 'N Guide Sandy Hager of Tackle It Sport Shop in Lakeport 707-262-1233 says catfish anglers in the north end of the lake are having a tough time locating fish. The cats should be moving into shallow water to spawn in the rocks and submerged tires but so far they haven't done so in any numbers.
Ed Ott of Ed's Market in Nice 707-274-8029 says the only catfish action that he's heard of is a few nice channel cats being caught in Rodman Slough with nightcrawlers.