KELSEYVILLE — Overall, there has been a decent daytime bite for anglers willing to mix up their strategy and willing to put in the time to find bedding bass; fishing “blind” at night, though, was even better.
“Water clarity is still a big deal, with the lower arms of the lake having visibility to 10 feet and the upper end to 4 or 5 feet,” Ross England of Clear Lake Guide Service said. “Many anglers struggled a bit to find bedding fish. “We really have not seen a large amount of fish spawning yet. While there are reports of spawning bass all around the lake, most anglers are having a hard time finding them. With the shallower than normal lake level, you would think that bedding bass should be easy to see and all over the place, they are not.”
“We have been averaging 15 fish per day, mostly 3 pounders and up to 6-plus pounds by doing a combination of drop-shotting plastics mixed in with a little sight fishing while covering a bunch of water.” England said. “Most fish are coming in the 4- to 6-foot range on the upper end and out to about 10 feet in the lower ends of the lake.”
Bass guide “Lunker” Larry Hemphill guided a father/son team from Arizona on two night trips and two day trips, sight fishing during the day with good results, but said the night fishing was outstanding. “You can’t really see bedding fish very well, but fishing the south end, they caught 24 bass the first night and 30 the second,” Hemphill said.
“The best 5 bass weighed 28 pounds the first night and 24¼ the second,” Hemphill said. “All fish were at 5 to 20 feet and caught on drop-shot plastics and Texas rigged. The top bait was the new Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty in green pumpkin and the biggest landed was an 8-pound, 3-ounce monster.”
Keep your options open on the Delta
NEW HOPE — The Sacramento River side of the Delta is still pumping out limits of stripers, albeit, mostly smaller males. The sturgeon bite continues, even as some schools begin to make their way back out into the bay, but don’t forget there are black bass to be had as well as other species.
The system got another flush of cold water from reservoir releases and just as things were warming back up, the winds picked up. But black bass are on their beds and there were some big toads to be found.
WON reader Fred LeDrew said the Delta bass bite have been heating up the last two weeks and this past week he experienced the best bass bite he’d had in a long time. “My fishing buddy Mike Gomez and I have been getting big numbers on crankbaits, chatterbaits and Senkos,” he said. “We fished Hog Slough for about two hours before and after the high tide. While most of the bass caught were buck bass only weighing about 1-pound, the numbers made our outing lots of fun.”
“Before leaving for the day, we made one last stop at a location that has produced big bass for us in the past,” LeDrew said. “In fact, it's the same location where I caught my personal best last year. In about 45 minutes we landed six fish, the biggest weighed 5 pounds, 11ounces and 8 pounds, 9 ounces, a beauty that was spawned out. Both big bass were caught by Gomez.”
Capt. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sportfishing reported that when the wind allowed one to get out on the north east Delta ,the scores were good for striped bass. “On the windy days you definently have to work hard for every bite,” Gravert said. “Our trip today (Sunday) was great, with over a dozen nice-sized keepers to 8 pounds and another half dozen shakers.”
“The fish we cleaned for our clients at the New Hope dock were in all stages of the spawn; from almost ready to spawn, to ready to spawn, to already spawned out females with some males in the mix as well,” Gravert said. “We still have at least another good three to four weeks of striper fishing to come.”
Reports from the Freeport area, show the shad fishing is good and picking up, and don’t forget about the redears, bluegill and catfish either!