Clearlake is one of the premier destinations for bass fishing in Northern California. But you’re not always guaranteed to hook a donkey! Lake and weather conditions make a huge impact on your ability to get a good catch.
Lately, the weather has been cold and finicky with even a few snow flurries! It’s not been a whole lot of fun to be out on the water, especially if you’re catching anything. But with spring warm-up on the horizon, here's to hoping it gets a little more pleasant for fishing at Clearlake.
Here is the conditions report for the final weeks of April 2022 in Clearlake, CA so you can stay informed and up to date.
Clearlake Weather & Water Conditions
Overall, the weather has been poor and not very spring-like conditions. During these two weeks, it has been cold, rainy, and windy, though there have been some sunny reprieves from the rain.
The cold weather is due to several storms that passed through the area, which brought some much-needed rain and even some snow, although none stayed on the ground for very long.
Water temperature: The water is currently sitting around 56.5-59.5 degrees in the mid-lake area (excludes upper end, north shore, or around rattlesnake). This will only warm up if there is some consistent sunshine in the coming days and weeks.
Water clarity: Clarity around the State Park over the last few weeks has visibility of around 2-3 feet. It could be better with improved lighting. The area around the Narrows has better visibility because of the rocks, with approximately 5-6 feet visibility.
Lake level: As of April 14, the level dropped to +0.15 on the Rumsey level. See our last post on Clearlake Water Level for a more in-depth description of the way that water is measured in the lake. Massive winds dropped the level in just two days. As the wind has eased, the lake level has increased up to +3.5 as of April 14. Wind and rain levels affect the lake levels, though not always significantly.
Kelsey Creek has running water, but it is not at significantly high levels. In the areas around the lake, there is virtually no water except for a few puddles. Anywhere the rain falls around the lake, it is not flowing into the lake, but seeping into the ground instead. This keeps the lake level low overall.
Closures: Launch ramps in Lucerne and Keeling Park are closed and likely to remain closed throughout the rest of the year. All other launch ramps are open.
Events: There have been multiple events throughout the past weeks. Here's a breakdown:
During the week of April 21, there was a 3-day pro event with 350 boats. The conditions were poor, though, and so there were no huge catches. With bad weather, it’s still the middle of the prime season. Despite this, the largest catch was only seven pounds; most were in the 5–6-pound range.
The event had 300 anglers fishing for three days, many of them coming out to Clearlake for an annual trip. Unfortunately, there was nothing above eight pounds.
This is indicative of a poor season and is reflective of what we’ve seen since October. Because there is nothing showing up over seven pounds, there’s something happening with the fishery.
Overall, it’s been a poor fishing season. The conditions are challenging and don’t show signs of improving too much soon. For visitors who are only in Clearlake for their annual trip, don’t feel too disappointed! No one is going home with bass over seven pounds right now! As the weather warms up, we’re hopeful that things will also start to pick up and we can start recording some large catches again.
Secret Baits and Secret Spots on Clear Lake
We all know that Clear Lake is a great spot for bass fishing. But how can you maximize your chances of bringing in a big catch? Well, part of it comes down to knowing the right bait and the right spot to fish in.
Jake Boomer, Alpha Angler President, breaks down some of those secret baits and spots he uses to make big catches on Clear Lake.
Bait makes all the difference. It’s important to keep trying out new options to see what works for you and your gear as well as the conditions of where you’re fishing.
Here are two new baits that will be hot coming into the fishing season!
Topsin: Topspins have a flexible wire with a blade that will spin and flash. The great feature of this is that it can be dragged along while you’re in the shallow waters. The bass go crazy for it! There are three main reasons the Topspin is a great player: it doesn’t ball up with grass, the grass doesn’t get on the hook, and the hook is big and won’t bend with big fish.
Chatter Bait Trailers: This bait is flat with appendages that make it look realistic. They don’t just sink down but will glide nicely through the water and then dive under the mat erratically causing violent strikes. One of the benefits of this bait is that it weighs a lot less and has vertical ribs to protect the hook so that it won’t get caught up in the grass.
When thinking about where to fish on Clearlake, you’ve got to know the spots. Here are two spots that have seen successful fishing recently:
Rumsey Bay area is one of the best places to find large bass. You can find them near the shallow waters, especially with the new baits we introduced that are perfect for fishing in shallow waters.
Lakeside County Park: The whole area in and around the State Park is a great option. There is a lot of scattered grass in the area which is a good place to find fish that are moving in and around the area.
The fish are in pre-spawn and any area around the grasses or other coverage is a prime place to deploy these lures. And if you use the new Topsin bait, you don’t have to worry about the grass balling up around the hook to make it unusable.
If you want to know more about gear, bait, fishing tips, and more, look for more informative articles on the NewJen Bass Blog page!