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Clear Lake catfish a new lake record at 33.57 pounds!

By BILLY DRIESSEN/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 16, 2019

LAKEPORT — When you think of Clear Lake fishing you think of it as a lake of giants, a reputation that this bass fishery has more than earned throughout the years, but for more than one species of fish — now, a 10-year-old catfish record has been broken.

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A 33.57-POUND catfish is the new lake record at Clear Lake. The huge fish was caught by Frank Gentle of Kelseyville on May 9, 2019 using a nightcrawler. He released the fish back into the lake after having it weighed on a certified scale at the Clear Lake Outdoors Tackle Shop in Lakeport. The old record was 33.33 pounds and was caught back in 2009.


“I’ve seen some big catfish, but this thing was a monster,” said Dave Burruss of Clear Lake Outdoors. “The new Clearlake Lake record catfish was caught by Frank Gentle of Kelseyville on May 9 while fishing with an Oro Dam Bait nightcrawler from shore in Soda Bay. This monster cat weighed in at 33.57 pounds, breaking the previous lake record of 33.33 pounds that was caught back in 2009.


“It was shocking, the fish looked as big as the angler,” Burruss said. “Frank brought the fish up to the tackle shop because he knew he had caught something truly special and he wanted to get it weighed on a certified scale to be absolutely certain. It might have only beaten the record by half a pound, but when it comes to fishing records, that might as well be a ton. It’s either the biggest, or it’s not.


“Not too long ago we had a bass fisherman that caught the biggest bass out of Clear Lake in 30 years weighing in at 16.07 pounds, around a pound shy of the original record set by Jerry Basgal in 1990 of 17.52 pounds,” Burruss said. “Clear Lake also boasted the 4.4-pound black crappie caught right at the Indian Beach resort, making it the new state record, only it wasn’t weighed on a certified scale, making it invalid for a true record. Either way, with the giant fish of all species being caught at Clear Lake, this fishery is truly the land of giants,” Burruss said.


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