September 5, 2002
The catfish action is still very slow. I think the cooler weather will cause the fish to start feeding soon.
Ken Morrison of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake 707-995-9668 reports very few catfishermen going out. The few that are making an effort are catching only one or two fish per outing and most of the action has been at night. Live jumbo minnows have been accounting for most of the fish. The most productive spot has been the mouth of Cache Creek and most fish are running from 9 to 14 pounds.
The only reported action in the north end of the lake has been in the Nice/Lucerne Area. Night fishing off docks and the shoreline along Highway 20 just before you enter Lucerne has been giving up a few nice cats using mackerel and shrimp as bait.
Drift fishing in 15 to 25 feet of water from the World Mark Time Shares to Barnes Yard with shrimp and mackerel should start producing some good catches of big catfish as it always does in September and October but no one's giving it a try.
September 12, 2002
We keep hoping to report an improvement in the catfish action but I'm sorry to say it's still quite slow.
Ken Morrison of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake reports very few catfish being caught. Of the few anglers targeting catfish, the more successful ones are managing one or two fish for a night's effort. The few fish that are showing up are falling for live jumbo minnows. The top spots are Bass Alley and the mouth of Cache Creek.
The bad news is Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake is closing it's doors as of Friday September 13th. There are rumors that any one of several people are going to reopen it soon but I have no idea as to when that will be. With Don's being closed the closest bait shop for most of his customers would be Limit Out Bait & Tackle in Clearlake Oaks 12599 E Highway 20 (707)-998-1006.
There's not much going on in the way of catfish action in the north end of the lake. There is an occasional fish being caught off docks at night in the Nice/Lucerne Area but bring a good book or a sleeping bag because it's going to be a long wait between bites. My fishing buddy, Andy Rico of Nice caught a 12 pound channel catfish off my back deck on Tuesday morning with a doughball but that's the only catfish action we've had all week.
September 19, 2002
With the closing of Don's Bait & Tackle in Clearlake it's going to be difficult to get good catfish information for the south end of the lake. I'm hoping that someone will reopen it soon or I can find another source.
We did get some good information from Catfish Guide Anthony Howard (707)-994-3023 of Clearlake: He has been averaging 3 to 4 fish weighing from 10 to 15 pounds apiece per trip. Nightcrawlers and sardines have been the top baits. He's been fishing Monitor Island and Indian Island in the south end and the mouth of Rodman Slough in the north end with similar results at all three spots.
There are a few cats in the 8 to 10 pound range being caught in the early mornings in the Clearlake Oaks Keys on chunks of hot dogs and nightcrawlers.
Soaking nightcrawlers and mackerel off docks and beaches in the Nice/Lucerne Area is accounting for an occasional catfish in the 8 to 14 pound range plus quite a few pan size brown bullheads (called "yellow cats" locally).
September 26, 2002
The fishing has picked up a little for some anglers but it's still pretty tough for me.
Catfish Guide Anthony Howard (707)-994-3023 of Clearlake went out for 4 hours last Sunday morning and caught 6 catfish weighing from 6 to 12 pounds dunking mackerel and nightcrawlers in 8 to 10 feet of water just north of Lakeport.
Elden Riley, manager of M & M Campground in Clearlake Oaks caught 7 catfish weighing from 8 to 16 pounds near the southwest end of Rattlesnake Island last Sunday morning while drifting with frozen shad.
They're catching some nice pan size cats in the 3 to 4 pound class near Monitor Island with anchovies
I tried a little drift fishing off the Nice/Lucerne Area yesterday morning with zero results. We then tried the Barnes Yard Area in 10 feet of water and my partner Andy Rico of Nice caught a 16 pound catfish with shrimp.