The slow fishing has just about everyone confused. There is an abundance of baitfish but nothing eating them. The good news is the water is clearing up in many areas and the aquatic weeds are dying off. The bad news is that most of the northern end of the lake is very shallow because of the dropping lake level. As of Wednesday morning the lake level was holding at minus-2.58 feet on the Rumsey Gauge. There is no water being released from the dam. The docks at the north end of the lake are out of the water and the only boats being launched are going out of the Fifth Street ramp in Lakeport.
Two weeks ago the City of Lakeport dumped three loads of rocks at the end of the Fifth Street ramp and the result was that the ramp became easier to use and boats were launched with no trouble. It is the only public ramp on the lake that is considered operational. The public ramp in Clearlake Oaks is semi-operational.
The other major question that anglers are asking is where are the trophy bass? In past years, catching a bass between 6-8 pounds was the norm, but not this year. Any bass between 4-6 pounds right now is considered a trophy. The fish being caught are in good condition, just not very large. The drought and low lake level have caused a number of bass tournament organizations to reschedule their tournaments to other lakes. Even if they were to hold a tournament, an 80-boat field would make launching the boats at the Fifth Street a major undertaking because there is little parking available.
Whereas the bass aren’t too active, the catfish action is excellent. The few anglers out after the catfish report catching 10-20 catfish a day using shrimp or nightcrawlers for bait. Some of the catfish being caught were huge, weighing up to 25 pounds. The top areas have been in the deeper water in the south end of the lake.
The other big question is where are the crappie? Last summer the crappie were being caught in good numbers but that action has died this winter. Crappies are normally a winter fish, but not this year.
Lakeport Bait and Tackle shop has moved to a new location. According to owner Robbie Mason, the new location is 1050 N. Main Street in Lakeport (next to the old Bank of America). Mason said the new location offers a much larger shop and will have a complete line of bass, catfish, crappie and trout fishing tackle. He also carries live bait.
According to Mason, his business will offer fresh sandwiches and a wide variety of drinks in the near future. The hours of the shop are 5:15 am to 6 pm seven days a week. His telephone number is (707) 900-5101. Mason is an experienced fisherman and can offer advice to anglers new to the area.
Trout action at Upper Blue Lake is rated fair to good. The lake was stocked a week ago and both boaters and bank fishermen have been catching fish. The lake is in perfect condition and nearly full.
Wild turkey hunters are enjoying a productive season. The turkeys are being seen everywhere, including within the city limits of Lakeport and Clearlake. The fall season runs through Dec. 11.