UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Clear Lake smorgasbord

Clear Lake smorgasbord
Mount Konocti looms over a glassy Clear Lake as EverStart Western Division anglers prepare for the day-one takeoff.

CLEAR LAKE, Calif. - A blind bass could swim with his mouth open and fill his belly on Clear Lake. Indeed, with voluminous schools of shad, hitch and silversides offering easy food sources, EverStart Series Western Division anglers might feel like they're selling hamburgers outside a buffet, but well-crafted strategies and well-placed baits will deliver impressive weights for today's weigh-ins.

Dock talk told of incredible practice catches, with some anglers reporting limit catches in the upper 20's and whispers of the elusive 30-pound bag have held enough credibility to keep the chatter fresh. Of course, everyone's aware of the disparity that often exists between practice and tournament realities. But this is Clear Lake and there's no question that such quality swims here every day of the week.

That being said, the path to a stellar bag will be no cake walk. Sure, Clear Lake has plenty of productive habitat throughout its shallow northern end and deeper southern reaches. There's even a handful of slam dunk honey holes. However, if you think any of the sweet spots will see anything less than a thorough scrubbing by multiple boats, well, the Bigfoot Trail Tracker Club will be meeting shortlyAnglers set out for theif first round of Clear Lake competition. after today's weigh-ins. In truth, finding fish isn't the biggest challenge - it's getting to what you found in practice.

Local pro Paul Bailey said he had no trouble locating big groups of bass during practice, however, he knows he cannot count on simply rolling up to any of them at will. Therefore, Bailey worked on developing something he could replicate in multiple scenarios.

"These fish are really schooling up good," he said. "There are probably 20 big schools throughout the lake with really active fish. I don't know how many of those schools I'm going to be able to get to throughout the day. There are going to be five or six boats on each spot.

"It's going to be hard with over 100 boats in this tournament, so I tried to (identify) a pattern. It's really hard to win a 3-day tournament off a school of bass, or even two schools of bass. I figured I can go hit a couple of schools today and then use the pattern for the next two days and hope that pans out."

Cody Meyer, who recently finished seventh at the Forrest Wood Cup, agrees that Clear Lake will California pro Cody Meyer expects to try a variety of shallow and deep presentations today.challenge many and reward a few.

"There are a lot of big fish out there right now - a lot of 4- and 5-pounders swimming around," Meyer said. "They're just not really easy to catch. Once you find them, it seems like you can catch a couple of those fish, but it's not as easy as (many) are saying."

Meyer spent his practice looking at a mix of deep water spots in the south end, as well as some shallow topwater and flipping patterns. Reports have indicated that the latter produced massive catches in the shallow grass, so Meyer expects give a heavily weighted Beaver a good look today.

Bailey said he expects a variety of tactics to produce well. "This is a huge swimbait lake. The (baitfish) are all coming up, so reaction baits are going to be huge. Also, the guys who know how to slow down and use the plastics are going to do well because once the sun comes up, the reaction bite slows down and those plastics guys are going to be able to get them."Flipping and punching plastic baits into grass and weeds may be one of the top patterns on clear lake.

Now, we can't talk about the premier Golden State fishery without mentioning the go-to western rig - the dropshot. It's not for everyone, and it's not for every scenario. However, from shallow tule edges to rocks in 30-plus feet, this tried-and-true finesse rig will certainly see plenty of action today.

Subtle, slender baits like Roboworms and Zoom Finesse Worms often get the call, but California pro Matt Newman has a different strategy - he beefs up his dropshot by rigging it with creature baits or craws. One of his favorites is a 3-inch Wave Craw.
Slender worms, he said, can be hard for bass to spot when fished around tules, whereas the larger, more detailed profile of a craw stands out better.

Anglers donned sweatshirts and foul weather gear for the chilly takeoff and the days cooler period, which probably lasted another 45 minutes or so. Yep, Clear Lake sees overnight temperatures plunging into 50's, but it does not take long for the heat to resume. The American flag hung completely limp at the check-out boat and it's unlikely to see much change. Hot, still, sweltering - these are the terms that'll aptly describe Clear Lake. Then again, you don't seem to mind too much when you're Matt Newman likes to beef up his dropshot with a 3-inch Wave Craw.sticking big NorCal largemouth.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Redbud Park located at 14655 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake, Calif., at 7 each morning. Weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Thur. and Fri. and 4 p.m. on Sat. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on Clear Lake is being hosted by Twin Pine Casino & Hotel.The American flag hung perfectly still during the morning

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:58 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Expected high temperature: 93 degrees
Wind: East 3-6 mph
Humidity: 25 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-09-22-clear-lake 

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta, Jack Farage totaled 37-2 to edge ahead of Cesar Laguna for the co-angler win. The win is Farage's fourth as a co-angler at the FLW Series level and he took home a brand new Ranger boat because of it.  READ MORE »

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Blake Dyer set the pace on day one with a 27-pound, 3-ounce bag and he never relinquished the lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Weighing 15-8 on the final day, Dyer totaled 62-13 to stay ahead of a final-day charge from Jason Borofka. For his win, which is his first with FLW, Dyer takes home $31,114 and a trophy that will last forever. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Tournament fishing is full of highs and lows and today, the latter may play a key role in determining the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event resented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Specifically, several anglers expressed their hopes of doing their best work during the afternoon low tide period. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Blake Dyer has dominated through two days of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the Cal Delta. With a total nearing 50 pounds, he’s also one of just two pros to bring in back-to-back 20-pound limits. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the crew hasn’t been doing work, and with the big fish in the Delta, anything is possible on the final day. READ MORE »