UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Front Blurs Clear Lake Spawn

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on Clear Lake presented by Mercury is underway after launching out of the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. After several days of clear blue skies, heavy clouds rolled in overnight. The 111 pros and co-anglers will need to adapt to the incoming front as they vie for the $33,000 top prize.

In the past few days, those pre-fishing enjoyed calm and clear conditions. It was 70 degrees, and bass were moving up to spawn. Many anglers were gearing up for a sight-fishing extravaganza. This front has thrown a wrench in those plans. The lower temperatures might slow the fish from moving up, and visibility is greatly reduced.


About the Fishery

At nearly 44,000 acres, Clear Lake is one of California’s freshwater gems. It’s fed by several streams and springs and outflows into Cache Creek.

Clear Lake is renowned for its largemouth population. As we’ve seen in previous years, bass weighing in the double-digits are prevalent. The lake is full of baitfish, with hitch and shad being the primary forage. The bass this time of year are prone to take cover around tules, docks and shallow flooded timber.


Current Conditions

The temperature at takeoff was 50 degrees with 10 mph wind gusts. The water level is very high, and the water temperature is in the low to mid-60s. A front replaced clear skies with clouds overnight and is predicted to continue into Friday with storms before subsiding on Saturday.


Tactics in Play

The bass in Clear Lake are getting ready to spawn. Fish have been sighted on beds, but what stage of the spawn they’re in isn’t so clear.

“I think that they’re just starting to move up,” says last year’s Clear Lake event champion Joe Uribe Jr. “The primary spawn hasn’t quite happened yet. The fish are still adjusting.”

With the cloud cover, early morning sight-fishing will likely be out of play. Anglers will need to throw moving baits such as Rat-L-Traps, umbrella rigs and swimbaits to trigger early strikes. If the fish are visible on beds, look for drop-shot rigs, stick baits and other finesse baits to play a role.


Critical Factors

Homework – There are bass on beds, but the clouds will make sight-fishing difficult. Anglers who have bedding fish marked on GPS from practice will have a huge advantage. They don’t need to see the bass to catch them, and the fish will have a harder time seeing the anglers. The more marks an angler can run to, the better the chance to run into an aggressive fish willing to bite.

Big bites – This isn’t a lake where you fill your limit and then hunt a kicker fish for a good bag. If you want to be near the top of the leaderboard, it’s going to take five big fish.

Quick start – It is crucial to catch a big bag on day one. Weights are likely to drop in the upcoming days with many of the bigger bass being plucked from the beds early.


Dock Talk

Guys are seeing giants on beds. During pre-fishing when visibility was high, anglers would burn down the bank and mark plenty of bass to race to on opening morning. However, those fish have been hard to catch.

In a two-day tournament last weekend, it took 55 pounds to win. Predictions for this tournament have been similar. A bag weighing near or even above the 30-pound mark is predicted to lead today, with the subsequent days’ weights slipping slightly.


Tournament Details

Format: All 111 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. PT

Takeoff Location: Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina, 2755 Mission Rancheria Road, Lakeport, CA 95453

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 2:30 p.m.; Day 3 at 3 p.m.

Weigh-In Location: Days 1, 2 and 3 – Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina


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Tags: clear-lake  chris-burgan  morning-story  2016-04-21-clear-lake 


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