Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

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DanIsaac
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Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:18 pm

Clear Lake this week…6/19/2015

As some have noticed this is a couple days late, my sincere apologies.

General Info

Lake level this week is 3.29 Rumsey and falling, but the bite is actually beginning to improve dramatically. Now, the average fish runs 3-4 pounds, with an occasional 5 pounder for a picture.

Water Conditions


Water conditions vary day to day depending on wind and air temps but in general they are really good for this time of year.

Techniques


Carolina rigs, drop-shots, senkos, jigs, frogs, and chatter baits top the list of offerings
producing 10-15 keepers a day. Plastic colors, MM3, green pumpkin/watermelon, and watermelon candy are the big three this week.

Locations

Both ends of the lake and most areas in-between are producing fish, with the North end and mid-lake topping most reports.

California Open

A big success from a turn-out and production point of view, unfortunately the same cannot be said for the care and attention to the fish. I was able to attend both Wednesday, and Thursday, however I was out of town on Friday. That said, the release boat reported
75 dead fish in their boat for the three days, and Saturday morning I took a trip out and saw another 50 or so floating across the Southwest corner of the upper end.

Come on guys, this is un-acceptable. I really thought after last year’s debacle a little more care would have been taken at this year’s event. Are there a number of causes?
(or excuses) I’m sure, but the bottom-line, we as a community are supposed to be better than this. Sure, there was a live release boat on-hand, but they cannot save fish handed to them on their last legs so to speak.

That brings me to deterrents, or motivation. Perhaps there needs to be a greater penalty than .20 per fish to motivate anglers to take better care of their bags, say .25-.50-1.0-2.0- and DQ if there’s a bag of 5 dead ones. I don’t know, all I know is that when I heard one angler comment on the dock, “yeah, I knew I was gonna have problems, cuz my pumps haven’t been working right”. Really?

I’m not sure when the sport or organizations came to the conclusion that this is ok, but it sure seems as though they have. There was a time the tournament organizations took pride in their release rates, and they themselves wouldn’t stand for it.

What concerns me more however is that I wasn’t the only one that saw this, and I was truly hoping someone else would bring this to light. Trust me, I in no way wanted to be the one to bring this to light so to speak, thus my delay in writing this week's report.


CDFW

Which brings me to who is supervising the release boat? Watch the “live release” video posted on this very site. Just so you know,,,, the fish are supposed to be released 2 miles away, not a quarter mile out!

So, where was CDFW? After last year’s kill they still permitted the event for the same weekend, and again there was nobody there to monitor the weigh-in procedures, and or the after math.

This continues to baffle me. Last year I donated my time to take stats for the AC Director up here, both day and night tournaments, and the highest boat count they had was 14 at any of the their events. And? You guessed it, there was CDFW personnel present at each and every event in force! They even timed how long it took to weigh each angler, and how long it took for them to get the fish back to the boat, and yes, at one event there was indeed 2 dead fish weighed in by one boat. Trust me; it was handled quite differently as the FTO actually sent his Warden down to check the boat’s live well.

Oh, and that brings us to TOC’s, they were there at both the Angler’s Choice and ABA events, which had no issues to speak of. I would think that an event that they knew had a substantial issue last year would draw a little more interest this year? Apparently not.

So again I ask. Where was CDFW?

In Closing

I understand, and I’ve been warned that I may get criticized by some for bringing this to light. Fine, and for the record, I have been asked to not say anything because this is one of the few remaining big events up here. Well, I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough.
Do we need more big tournaments up here for the anglers to fish? Absolutely we do, we just need for whomever is running them to run them right.

Anglers for one shouldn’t be the ones that realize the bump tank water is 90 degrees, have to go inside to purchase ice out of their own pockets, and place it in the tanks! Thank you Richard, we saw that too!
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2833-34497
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby 2833-34497 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:13 pm

Thanks for the report and glad you bring this up because I've also seen miss handling of fish at other events in different lakes and wondered where CDFW was? I don't own a bass boat, but would something as simple as having livewells and tank checked right before the tourney be feasible?

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Robb R » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:18 pm

I am also glad you brought this up . It's to bad that some can't find the time to support the effort and privilege we get when fishing
for sport or leisure . We spend a great deal of time complaining about the "bucket" fisherman and our own sport guys can't do right .
Dan , we all appreciate your updates -- please keep on posting ....
Tight lines ,
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby SObassman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:28 am

I have not fished a California tournament in a long time but I am sure they must still have the 6 hour rule for summer tournaments so this type of thing is not suppose to happen. I was surprised when I looked at the results after day 2 to see 1 angler had 5 out 10 fish dead. We used to hold club tournaments on Trinity this time of year and there was always a officer from California DFG there to over see what was going on and that the fish were handled correctly. On one of our lakes here in Oregon the DFW asked clubs not to hold tournaments during the summer months because of this problem and suprisingly all the clubs have respected this request. It has to be up the anglers and tournament officials to look out for the protection of the fish and Won Bass should do a better job. Dan thanks for the info.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby bassrman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:06 am

I fish the Cal Open, every year' and the high fish mortality rate this year was not the fault of WON Bass' Bill Egan ran a very fast and smooth weigh in ! I believe the problem was with the anglers that were from out of the area' that don't fish in 100 deg temps ! I ran into a few anglers that never had any ice to cool the live well ! I carried 20 bottles of frozen water a day to place in the live well! also heard talk of live well intakes clogging up with grass & crawdad parts !I run a Oxygenator to help with aeration ! anyway tournament anglers just need to use there common sense and take care of there fish !....
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Clear lake Donky !

Jason Borofka
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Jason Borofka » Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:25 am

Make it a 1lb penalty per fish at Clear Lake, and trust me they will do every thing they can to keep them alive!

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Roscoe » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:37 pm

Just a idea but why not have a third person on boat for the pro and co angler and he weighs all the keepers and the biggest 5 count. Kind of how MLF is done, maybe something real similar so that way fish is caught and released right after its caught. I understand that means getting people to help do that but I'm sure something could get figured out. I was watching a kayak tourney and they go by length and take a pic of it on a measuring board and the pic and size is downloaded on a chip and then the angler hands that chip in and it's recorded. I'm sure they could do something similar to that. Just a thought, but it does suck when you have that many dead fish in thee top fishing spot in the U.S.

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby bassrman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:58 pm

Maybe DFW should bump up the 6 hour rule a month earlier?...

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Oldschool » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:02 pm

The bigger the bass are the more susceptible to live well stress they are.
Lots of good articles by Sure-Life labs, who make Catch & Release, no reason today to run a tournament with poor handling practices.
Every tournament angler should be briefed on proper live well management to reduce stress kills. Keep the well water cool, in the 70's, add 3% hydrogen peroxide; 1 cup to 15 gallons ( average livewell size ).
Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 mixes with water HO2 creating added dissolved oxygen O2, the 70 degree water holds more O2 than 80 degree water, reducing stress.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby mark poulson » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:41 am

Maybe a cheap way to go is to have the tournament org.(in this case WON but any org. who puts on warm weather/water tournaments), provide ice and livewell treatment to every participant. It can't cost that much, and it would go a long way to improving survival in live wells over the course of a tournament day.
It seems to me, if they buy in quantity, and use their sponsor connections, this can be done without raising the entry cost too much.
I know it's the responsibility of each boater to take care of their own fish, but, at the end of the day, dead fish hurt tournament angling in general, and damage the fishery.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby mark poulson » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:43 am

Or proof that each boater has ice and some kind of livewell treatment, at the same time the livewell check is done, before they are allowed to fish.
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Oldschool
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Oldschool » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:38 am

Mark, they must first admit there is a problem before it can be fixed.
Post release mortality rates have always been a problem when the DO levels are lower than bass can survive.
Maybe it's time tournament boats have livewell management aides like water temperature and DO levels, good for summer warm water and night tournaments.
Tom

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Robb R » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:06 pm

Mark ,
Great suggestions --- simple solution and it cant cost much to the tourney organizers . Problem --do they actually care ?!
If the people in charge made the penalties really stiff for both the anglers AND the tourney organizers , this problem could be solved overnight .
Like Joe Pesci says in Goodfellas ----"always the dollars "
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby drew » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:27 am

This is a tough time of year with regards to fish mortality because of the spawn.

I would not put all of the blame on the anglers most from my experience are very knowledgeable and really try their best.

Also from many conversations with biologists that have specific knowledge of the sport I recommend to do nothing other then keep the livewells on manual (continuous). I do not lose fish I have been very successful with this approach. If I have extra rowdy or hurt fish I will use Catch&Release or Rejuvenade.

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby crawdaddy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:49 am

I fished this tournament and I too saw some fish lost due do mortality. Looking at the results though the numbers you report seeing were not reflected in the final standings as they give the number of live/dead fish brought in by each angler. I had one dead fish out of 15 weighed in. I kept my livewells on all day and used the stay alive livewell treatment. The fish that died was healthy in appearance, not thin and beat up looking, and it was not gut hooked or otherwise harmed in the catching process. I routinely opened my livewells during the tournament days to release trapped gasses. When I opened my livewell the fish was just dead, never even saw that it was struggling. High temps, bumpy rides, stressed post-spawn and spawn fish, and a lot of handling were probably the main culprits. It was unseasonably warm during days 2 and 3 of the tournament and if you look at the standings that was when most of the fish mortality occurred. Some anglers had more fish mortality than others so maybe they were not as experienced with fish care or maybe they had livewell troubles or some other problems, hard to tell. Given the time of year and the general experience level of the people competing in the Northern Open it would seem that the conditions probably played a bigger role than fish care capabilities in this instance.
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DanIsaac
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:09 pm

Crawdaddy, my point exactly....one can do everything right and still have an issue, and NO temps were not un-seasonably warm, last year it was 104-106. This is pretty normal this time of year, and mortality rate stats vs. reality differ greatly as the release boat is continually culling fish that die after being weighed, and even after dumping their loads delayed mortality occurs.

IMHO this event, after last year's debacle should never have been permitted for the same weekend once again this year. Especially since CDFW did not oversight whatsoever. But that's just my opinion. At a minimum SOMEBODY should be providing ICE and ADDITIVES for the anglers, and or INCREASED
penalties for dead fish should be put in place in order to motivate those that DON'T DO the right things to do so. Oh, and none of this dismisses bump tanks being 80-90 degrees three days in a row. I guarantee if the situation was handled correctly these numbers could be reduced dramatically.

You are correct in that it was warm, it was post spawn, and oxygen levels were already low. Yes, I know it sounds as though I have an issue with CDFW....so for the record, I DO! IMHO they are the biggest group of hypocrites this State's Government has ever produced. Just to clarify, this issue isn't with the Wardens as we have a number of really good ones around here. However, the Commission and permitting officials apparently just don't care unless it is convenient.

For instance, three years ago Future Pro had an issue with 30 or so dead fish and at an event out of Red Bud and "sh*t" hit the wall. We were told they had their permits pulled and were not allowed to hold an event on Clear Lake for a year, which they did not have. If that is correct, doesn't that sound "conflicting" to you? The release boat was schedule to be on hand here as well, but someone was ill so it never made it.

Furthermore, nearly every weigh-in I attend around the lake (so I can be as informed as possible) has had at least ONE Warden present, and most have TWO, and no this isn't a Warden issue, it's above them. Why not at an event where they know they had an issue last year, and yes they knew?

The numbers of BIG fish that died makes it even worse, then again, they are the most at risk.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby scubaman » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:20 pm

Firm believer that most mortality are the anglers fault. I have never lost a fish. I have two separate 22 gallon live wells both with separate airator and recirc pumps

I believe the key is to have both airator and recirculating going all day. Split the fish up. They are dying from simply from the ammonia build up. Crawdads and waste create instant ammonia build up (toxic to fish). If you see crawdad or anything that is not a fish get it out of your water immediately. The recirculating will keep temp stable ...the same temp the fish just came from. Adding ice. I would question this method.....change in temp causes stress.....also culling tags. A of guys don't use them right. Constantly catch fish with big rips in their mouths

Cleaning live wells with chemicals. A big no no

Think I am crazy at every tournament I weigh in fish are jumping around like crazy. Weigh Master always makes a comment....good live well

6 hour rule is stupid......proper fish care is not

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby WON BASSIN » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:55 am

Guys,

For the record.... DFG was present at the weigh-ins each and every day of the event. The bump tanks were iced each day to keep the water in them as close to the actual lake temp as possible. The bump tanks are filled with actual lake water to begin with. All 3 bump tanks were supported with pumping O2 and we as always have used our so far exclusive "Mesh" weigh bag system to allow those fish at the bump tanks to benefit from the oxygenated water. I spent more time assisting guys with their bags than I did announcing to insure we did the best we could to process the fish back to the release boat as soon as possible. We did have a 4th tank that was to be used for photos', but we abandoned the use of it since it was in the sun most of the day and did not have the O2 pumps.

We did address the anglers that obviously showed some issues with their live wells, and even went as far as making one angler use a different boat for the 3rd day. We will and always do our very best to protect the natural resources, and ensure that our events are run with precision and care.

Regardless I have been in contact with the DFG personal that was at the event and we are applying for new dates for next years highly successful event. The Cal Open at Clear lake in 3 short years has established itself as "THE CALIFORNIA OPEN" as has the long running U.S. Open at Lake Mead. Once the DFG Jamboree is completed and our dates are secured, we will release the dates for 2016.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Oldschool » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:28 pm

The DFW should have knowledge to prevent stress mortality. Surface water during the summer is usually a lot warmer than water 5' or below where the bass live. To the best of my limited knowledge dissolved oxygen (DO) levels for bass should be somewhere between 3-12 mg/L , not lower or higher. FLMB are not as tolerant to water temperature change as other bass, shouldn't be more than 10 degrees different than their normal body temperature when caught.
Monitoring the livewells, holding tanks and keeping them within whatever the DFW establishes, the mortality rates should be very low. It's only a major problem during hot summer and summer night events when DO levels are very low and water temps high. The contestant should have the needed equipment to monitor and maintain their live wells.
Tom

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Turkeyman » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:02 pm

What did the release boat do with the dead fish? Dump them? Have the anglers that bring dead fish in take them home, or donate the fillets to a food pantry or something. That way there is no waste of the resource. Nobody on this forum can say that they have never had a fish die. Whether they saw it swim away or floated away. Delayed mortality is hard to determine.

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Chad LeBlanc » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:40 am

Pretty Simple,

Shut down the lake to summer month tournaments. Ive been a proponent of this for years.

Chad

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby mark poulson » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:57 am

I was a tournament weighmaster on Castaic for a lot of years, and had the question of what to do with dead fish come up with the game warden who supervised some of our weighins.
I was told that, for tournaments with a variance so fish below that lake's slot limit can be kept and weighed in, any dead fish need to be returned to the water, so they stay a part of the ecosystem, to be eaten by something else.
The only other option is for one of the tournament anglers, covered by the permit for the tournament, to take them home to be eaten, since they are not within that lake's slot limit. Giving them to someone else, a non-participant who isn't covered by the variance, would open whoever takes them up to unlawful possession of non-slot fish charges.
So it's not always as simple as just donate them to someone.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby WON BASSIN » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:06 am

The dead fish were kept by the release boat and given to a charitable food donation church!
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby bassrman » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:35 am

Bill !..... if you do move the tourney dates for next year ? please don't move it up to the major spawning months (April & May ) !... if any thing ' move it to the 6 hr period ( June 15) that would help reduce the mortality rate' and also the post spawn is a major angler draw ! rather than a bed fishing tournament " you would probably lose a lot of anglers that don't "sight fish" ?.....

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:22 am

I'm sorry guys, I've been busy with reels. I've finally caught up so just to clarify and be as honest as possible.

Yes, I received a call late the other night from one of our local wardens asking if I did not remember speaking with him. I absolutely did remember, as we had a nice long discussion regarding last years event, and this years as well, and yes I did see one other uniformed officer come and go.

However, this gentleman that called me had been in street clothes, and is a fisherman as well. He asked if I had been busy, and I the same, pleasantries so to speak. He responded yes, I just came off a 127 hour week. Yikes, so somehow between the street clothes and the 127 hr week comment I came to the conclusion he was off duty. Apparently just that was NOT the case! So, for the record, I could not be more happy to have been WRONG! He explained he was in street clothes for a reason, and I assured him he need not explain to me, and I apologized for any confusion.

One of the questions I did ask though, was, "after last year's kill, how did this get permitted for the same week once again this year, you saw what happened last year?" He responded he had, and had documented and reported what he had witnessed, but that someone else makes those decisions.
Great, but why I asked? He responded he did not know?

Now, I cannot go into the full length of our phone conversation as it's just too long. So to paraphrase I asked, besides the fact I mistakenly thought you were off duty, was I wrong in any of my other observations? He replied, NO, and everything again was documented and a report submitted as before, and some were quite serious violations. Great, I'm good with that so I guess we'll see.

What transpires from this point, regarding this year's event, and I suppose next years as well, is now in the permitting biologists hands, but for the record I'm glad to see the Org is looking to other dates as well. Good luck to everyone!
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby Rich hamilton » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:06 am

I dont even know how to respond to this thread. I guess my response is "REALLY"?
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby backlash » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:27 am

OK, I am an older guy with most of my Tournament fishing behind me. That said, it sounds like there is plenty of blame to go around. Just a note: I hope in the future none of you guys or gals have to take your kids out on the water and describe to them what it was like to fish in a tournament......if they aren't around anymore.

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby drew » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:50 pm

2X. Only in CA.

Rich hamilton wrote:I dont even know how to respond to this thread. I guess my response is "REALLY"?

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:46 pm

backlash wrote:OK, I am an older guy with most of my Tournament fishing behind me. That said, it sounds like there is plenty of blame to go around. Just a note: I hope in the future none of you guys or gals have to take your kids out on the water and describe to them what it was like to fish in a tournament......if they aren't around anymore.



Worse yet, have to explain why they see so many BIG bass floating dead the day after a tournament.......
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:48 pm

drew wrote:2X. Only in CA.

Rich hamilton wrote:I dont even know how to respond to this thread. I guess my response is "REALLY"?



Yep ONLY in Cali....had this occurred in any other State heads would have rolled, and there's no way any org would have gotten a second permit for the same week a year later.....YEP only in CALI!
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby mark poulson » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:44 pm

A question from a fisherman, not a boat designer...
Would it be possible/practical to add an either/or switch and valve to your livewell's intake, with the second intake attached to a 6'+- long flexible, weighted hose, that could be stowed in your splash well when you're motoring? That way, you're not drawing warmer surface water into the livewell while you're fishing.
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby drew » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:29 am

I'm sure an invasive species that the people paid for would have such an impact in any other state. Maybe those that vote for Hilary. Your just bashing the fine anglers that competed in this event and Wonbass for doing a stellar job again. Tough time of year maybe. Will it have a negative impact on the fishery, no. Most likely it will not even be measurable.


DanIsaac wrote:

Yep ONLY in Cali....had this occurred in any other State heads would have rolled, and there's no way any org would have gotten a second permit for the same week a year later.....YEP only in CALI!
Last edited by drew on Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby DanIsaac » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:49 am

to each his own........busy time of year for sure.....Dan
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Re: Clear Lake this week....6/19/2015

Postby 2833-34497 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:30 pm

drew wrote:Your just bashing the fine anglers that competed in this event and Wonbass for doing a stellar job again. Tough time of year maybe. Will it have a negative impact on the fishery, no. Most likely it will not even be measurable.


I would think anglers and organizations would want to fix issues or learn from mistakes made to make it better for future generations rather than doing nothing! As for tough time of year maybe a different time would then be a fix, but finding a solution through discussions is a start!


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