May 2, 2002
Most of the catfishing activity is still in the Clearlake and Clearlake Oaks arms. The unseasonably cold weather and resulting colder water temperatures have prevented the cats from becoming really active.
Cary of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 says most of his customers are catching 3 or 4 catfish per trip weighing from 12 to 18 pounds apiece. The hotspots in the Clearlake Arm are Bass Alley and the mouth of Cache Creek. Rattlesnake Island in the Clearlake Oaks Arm is also producing some nice fish. The top baits are mackerel, chicken livers and either live or dead jumbo minnows. For shorebound anglers Cary informs us they are catching quite a few catfish at the white bridge in Cache Creek.
There are very few catfish anglers prowling the north end of the lake. There are a few catfish being caught anchoring in Paradise Cove near Lucerne.
The annual Clearlake Oaks Catfish Derby is only two weeks away, May 17th, 18th and 19th.
Dick Jones of The Pit Stop in Lakeport 707-262-0931 says they are still catching some big crappie (1 to 2 pounds) in Rodman Slough with live minnows but you have to cover quite a bit of water till you locate some fish.
May 9, 2002
The catfish action is heating up due to the warmer weather and higher water temperatures (60 - 65°).
Everett (Catmanw), the very knowlegeable catfisherman from San Jose and his brother Doug had a great time last weekend. They caught and released 13 catfish ranging in weight from 3 to 23 pounds with most of them going from 8 to 16 pounds. They fished the Bass Alley area and Cache Creek both drifting and anchoring. They caught 7 cats with jumbo minnows, 5 with mackerel and the 3 pounder with shad.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 says they are catching around 3 or 4 fish per person anchoring in Cache Creek with chicken livers. One angler caught 3 cats weighing from 17 to 20 pounds in the creek with livers. Drifting with jumbo minnows (live or dead) and mackerel on the break at Bass Alley is producing some big catfish including a 27 and 24 pounder.
The north end of the lake is producing some decent catfish with shrimp or nightcrawlers fished under a bobber in 5 to 8 feet of water in or near the tules.
The annual Clearlake Oaks Catfish Derby is only one week away, May 17th, 18th and 19th. The best of luck to all the participants.
May 16, 2002
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports the best action is in Cache Creek where most fishermen are catching 4 to 6 fish for an evening's effort running from 10 to 20 pounds apiece. Jumbo minnows are catching most of the fish with mackerel and chicken livers accounting for the rest. Drift fishing at Bass Alley has been very good when the wind lets up enough to get a decent drift, one angler using jumbo minnows caught 18, 21 and 27 pound catfish during a 4 hour session there. I imagine there will be a lot of boat traffic in that area this weekend with the Clearlake Oaks Catfish Derby going on.
Bassin guide Sandy Hager of Tackle It Sport Shop in Lakeport 707-262-1233 reports a few catfish in the 10 to 12 pound range are being taken on live crawdads between Rocky Point and the mouth of Rodman Slough.
We gave it a try this morning for about 3 hours in the Nice/Lucerne Area but they were not cooperating. I lost a good one that wrapped around a submerged cable but had no other action.
The annual Clearlake Oaks Catfish Derby starts tomorrow at 12 noon and ends at 12 noon on Sunday. My friend Andy (Tadpole) Rico and I will be working the north end of the lake and hope to find some big cats. I hope everyone in the derby has a great weekend.
May 23, 2002
The catfishing was very good for some of the catfish derby participants while others struggled due to the windy weather. Most of the winning fish were caught in the shelter of Cache Creek and a few in Rodman Slough. The top 21 fish went from 19.71 lbs. to a whopping 30.10 lbs. My partner and I caught 4 cats from 14 to 17 pounds during the derby while fishing the Nice/Lucerne Area and near Rocky Point.
The nasty winter storm that hit us Sunday night and lasted through Monday really cooled off the water temperature and the fishing. We fished the Nice/Lucerne Area yesterday morning for about four hours and only managed to catch one 5 pound catfish. The water temperature had dropped from around 67° to barely 60°.
Cary of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports that he fished Cache Creek on Tuesday for a little over 2 hours and caught 5 catfish weighing from 8 to 15 pounds apiece using chicken livers as bait.
There are a lot of brown bullheads (yellow cats) in the 2 to 4 pound range as well as a few big channel cats being caught in Rodman Slough with mini crawlers and clams.
With the warmer weather and decreasing winds, the catfishing should improve quite a bit on the main lake.
May 30, 2002
The catfishing is improving due to the warmer weather.
Brad Farrin of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports most catfish anglers are catching 3 to 4 fish for an evening's effort weighing from 7 to 12 pounds apiece. Cache Creek and Bass Alley are the top spots for boaters and the ends of docks are producing some good fish for shore bound fishermen. Live jumbo minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers are the top bait offerings.
Bassin guide Sandy Hager of Tackle It Sport Shop in Lakeport 707-262-1233 reports good late evening catfish action off local docks in the Lakeport Area. One angler caught and released 3 cats weighing 15, 20 and 30 pounds off his dock with live jumbo minnows while trying to catch bass. Berkely Power Bait blood flavored Catfish Nuggets and Mr. Catfish dip bait in blood flavor are accounting for a lot of catfish as well.
We gave the Nice/Lucerne Area a try this morning for a couple of hours and caught only one catfish but it weighed a whopping 18 pounds. I was using light steelhead gear baited with a shrimp soaked in Baitmate Live Craw fish attractant and it was a real battler. It took over 10 minutes to bring it to the net.
The water temperature in the north end of the lake is reaching over 70° in the afternoon which should get the catfish to start their spawning cycle. With a few more days of warm weather they should be gathered up and spawning in shallow water around submerged rock ledges and submerged tires