Clear lake night time speed limit

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Garrett Charter
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Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby Garrett Charter » Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:46 pm

Is there a speed limit on clear lake after dark?
Garrett Charter

Dave Brabec
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Re: Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby Dave Brabec » Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:07 am

No speed limit but people have been killed at night out there.
from the ca boating laws
A safe speed should be maintained at all times so that: (1) action can be taken to
avoid collision; and (2) your boat can stop within a distance appropriate to the
prevailing circumstances and conditions. In restricted visibility, motorboats should
have the engines ready for immediate maneuvering. You should be prepared to
stop the vessel within the space of half the distance of forward visibility.

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Mitch
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Re: Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby Mitch » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:27 am

I was under the impression that all boating speed limit from 1/2 hr after sunset to 12 before sunrise was 5 mph !!
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Larry Hemphill
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Re: Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:44 pm

That is - or was - the rule at Lake Oroville.
There wouldn't be many night tournaments with that rule.
You could fish the launch cove!
They just put in lighted buoys at Berryessa in the narrows. What great news if you are night fishing dark of the moon!!!

WRB
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Re: Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby WRB » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:45 pm

Most Public lakes in SoCal are closed to night boating. Night bass tournaments I have fished all had 10 mph Max speed limit at night. Bright Q beam light helps if your lake allows faster speeds at night.
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toddmc
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Re: Clear lake night time speed limit

Postby toddmc » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:00 am

WRB wrote:Most Public lakes in SoCal are closed to night boating. Night bass tournaments I have fished all had 10 mph Max speed limit at night. Bright Q beam light helps if your lake allows faster speeds at night.
Tom

Half of the field would sink their boats in SoCal night tournaments if we weren't limited to 5mph. :D Our little puddles are overcrowded.
I spend a bit of time on Clearlake in the summer and I enjoy getting out at night, like Larry. Make sure that you have a bright moon, good mapping, a spotlight, and a calm wind forecast if you don't know the lake well. Fortunately, Clearlake has a lot of lighted housing areas that help you navigate. I still keep it under 40 mph.
Even when you do everything right, forecasts can be wrong. I was fishing the bottom end of Rattlesnake last July at dusk. The bite lit up and I stayed a little after dark. I knew the run back up the narrows to Soda Bay, where I was staying, wouldn't be fun because the wind got much greater than the 13 mph that was predicted. It was probably blowing about 25 mph with four footers. I was by myself with slow mapping on my old Lowrance console unit on a dark moon. The swells were so big that I lost reference with the hillside housing lights very quickly because I was losing a visual of the shore in every wave. My first attempt got me scared enough to cut it short and anchor up behind a point on the east side of the lake. Eventually, the wind got down to about 18 mph at midnight. The run home the rest of the way was still scary and wet as heck. I wouldn't have done that run without my Champion and a lot of big water experience. Be safer than me!

Larry Hemphill
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Good Post!!

Postby Larry Hemphill » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:04 am

Very good points made in your post! The one thing about fishing a large, open body of water, is that the main lake swells can be very scary! If you are fishing the Berryessa narrows at night in sudden heavy wind, the swells will be manageable for most boats. One can have serious problems if a heavy wind comes up on the main body. The distance between the tips of the waves can become several feet - and dangerous if in a smaller boat. As a former guide, I had to be prepared for any conditions and running a 21 foot bass boat (Ranger) gave me peace of mind! Like Todd mentioned, anything can happen at any time! If you are not sure about an approaching weather event, don't take a chance of having to return to the ramp over the main body of a large, open lake. I have a major respect for Clear Lake -things can happen in a hurry!!
I wrote this many years ago on a post I did. In one of the verses found in the Bible, the wind blowing in all four directions at the same time is mentioned. And it happened again at Clear lake about 15 years ago while I was night fishing at Henderson Point. The wind was fierce on the point and within a minute - blew in all four directions, one after the other. Yes, Clear lake is a special place - with wind patterns like no other!!


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