Winter at Clear lake?

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Fishin Andy
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Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Fishin Andy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:21 am

Hey everybody lookin to hit up clear lake a couple times in the next few months. Not trying to get everybody’s secrets, but I will be fishing out of a kickboat/inflatable pontoon. I’m fairly limited to max two miles of shoreline, so any advice with a broad brush stroke of good places to start would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

JL
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby JL » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:55 pm

One good area to Launch would be Braitos Marina. Its located in the narrows of Clear Lake and would give you access to deep water ledges and docks. Good Luck!

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ash
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby ash » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:43 pm

The deep water line around Rattle snake Island - Push off at MM cross over to Rattlesnake and fish the rock piles and ledges. The Limit Out used to sale Shiners - i would check there for some live bait :D (not joking) also an old school single tail Kalins swimmy grub on a dart head or pball head.

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DanIsaac
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby DanIsaac » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:51 am

This place went into FULL winter mode this week and it can be brutal out there right now.
Jumbo minnows would nit be a bad idea. More than one of us blanked at least once this week!
Lake lost 6 degrees and you had to slow way down! Still fish to be had but much, much, nuch slower! Dan
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Fishin Andy
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Fishin Andy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:26 am

You guys are awesome thanks for all the info, looks like I’ll be heading that way the first weekend in January, hopefully find one of those clear lake winter pigs lounging around waiting for a hudd. Pending weather permitting anyways.

Larry Hemphill
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Stick with it!!

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:02 am

Winter fishing at Clear Lake is not like other lakes that have spots and smallies which are more active in the winter. And Clear Lake water is very warm in the summer and can be VERY COLD in the winter. The cold air sinks into the "bowl" where the lake is - and can even have some snow in the winter. The feeding window is very short - maybe an hour or two, day or night, maybe every 2 or 3 days for each bass. I have been told, and have read, that a bass can digest a crawdad in about 18 hours during the summer, but it takes around 3 days in the winter. Answer - they don't need to feed much. I remember a sudden trip I made to Clear Lake a few years ago on January 4th. Very cold weather as you would expect, but dead flat water as much of the winter is there, except for storms. No bites before dark and nothing for the next 5 hours. About 11 pm I heard a carp roll, then another, and another until they were making merry on a winter night. I was fishing jigs with a big Yamamoto grub tail. Suddenly a good bite and a 4 pounder in the boat! For the next hour I had 5 bites - aggressive bites!! In about an hour and a half I had 5 bites and 5 bass in the boat for 20 + pounds, including a 7 pounder. And these were feeding bites - how could they hit this hard in 44 degree water? The window may be short, but it could be the favorite window of your career. Obviously, they are not bothered by fishing pressure in January, especially at night. Winter fishing is about location and timing. Other than the spawning period, winter is the time to catch the bass of a lifetime - day or night!! Where was I that night? Near Rattlesnake Island - really!!!!

Larry Hemphill
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I forgot to mention......

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:15 am

I think the best time to fish any lake during the winter - day or night - is during an incoming storm. The warmer air arrives first before the storm itself. The barometer is dropping. That has triggered some of the best winter bites I have ever had at Clear Lake - lots of 10 to 12 lb bass, and a 13-2. That may not be possible in this day and age, but the bite for quality bass will still be good. The bite will stay good during the length of the storm. Once the cold air sets in as the storm clears out, the bite for quality bass is usually over - for a day or two at least. I have only had one bass over 10 lbs landed at Clear Lake during a post-front night trip. And it was a full moon!! Winter cold front days and nights will find me in front of my fireplace, keeping warm, reading about spring bass fishing!!!

Bsapp206
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Bsapp206 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:51 am

Larry where have you been? You retired from nite fishing these days? There's only a few of us guys that love the winter nite bite. It hasn't been the same the last year or two out there. I used to see you out there on these cold nites. A lot of us believe those weeks around Xmas are your best bet for DUb digit fish on clear lake. I'd typically always get a few giants around that time. Marty Pardinski with his glow boat used to get the big girls during this time as well.

Larry Hemphill
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You mean the "Glow Boat?"

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:11 pm

Yea, I remember the Glow Boat!! When I introduced him to night fishing, I told him one didn't need too much light! I guess he forgot that part. He looked like a cruise ship more than a bass boat out there!!! We caught some nice bass in those days. I fear those days (or nights) are over.

Fishin Andy
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Fishin Andy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Why are those nights over you think?

Larry Hemphill
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Some thoughts

Postby Larry Hemphill » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:55 pm

Nights will still be good, but the huge 5 fish limits are nearly over, unless some things change. Too much relocation of bass in one or two areas of a lake, Clear Lake and Berryessa for example. Many lake operators are more interested in the trout population these days to bring in customers. Just read about all the trout plants in every paper! Lake Amador is a perfect example. They manage a fantastic fall thru spring trout program, giving them a year-round customer base. It was the best trophy bass lake in Nor Cal for many years, but was closed in the winter for lack of business. Many of the trout planted these days are too big for the bass to eat. Luckily, the smaller ones make a fine meal as the bass can digest the growth hormone given to the trout. Just study tournament results from Clear Lake and others about 15-25 years ago. Many were weighed in at the 10 to 12 lb range during the spring. Lake records still stand at many nor Cal lakes in the 15 to 17 lb range. Southern California used to see 18 to 20 lb bass on occasion. Pretty rare now. Fishing is pretty much a reflection of the time we live in - lake conditions, age of bass populations, droughts, and relocation of hundreds of tournament bass nearly every weekend other than December and January. The new practice of weighing the tournament bass where it is caught and immediately releasing it just might help to sustain the fishery some. But this will only be in major tournaments. I do think the daytime pressure has only helped the night bite over the years, but the average bass are smaller now. But - there are ALWAYS some toads out there - and they often bite at night!!

Hogbassing
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Hogbassing » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:54 am

I would say everthing you said is true. For most the nor cal lakes. Also believe the lack of planted trout for years has hurt the smaller lakes as well as the fires. The bait has been much smaller in the past few years with the sustained cover of smoke for month's.

Sam K
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Sam K » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:09 pm

Winter night bite at CL?... I'm in!

PB (13) came in the middle of the night in the middle of winter. Days, we threw Baby Brush Hogs, shakey heads and did fine. We went out a bit later in the day, when things were a bit warmer. Mr. Hemphill has a point about storm fronts.

Fishin Andy
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Re: Winter at Clear lake?

Postby Fishin Andy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:41 pm

Never thought this topic would receive so much attention. I appreciate all the info you guys have shared.


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