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Clearlake May Bass Fishing Report



Clearlake is renowned as the "Bass Capital of the West" because two-thirds of the fish caught there is largemouth bass, with a record weight of 17.52 pounds (7.95 kg).


The Lake has always enabled locals and visitors to try their luck at catching one of the lake's numerous game species. But none compare to the largemouth bass.


The lake is abundant in weed beds that can be fished year-round. Locating weed beds adjacent to a ledge or channel swing is essential when fishing in weed beds. April, May, and June are the best months overall for bass fishing on this lake.


Weed beds can be fished all year round in Clearlake. Finding weed beds along a ledge or a channel swing is essential when targeting weed beds.


A hard structure (such as a rock pile, rock ridge, or high place) can also help you find success in the weed bed flat. On the west side of the lake, the most profitable weed beds are between 5 and 10 feet deep.


When fishing near drops or ledges, look for bass in the weed beds at their edges. Bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish are just a few of the many species that lay their eggs in the spring. Small creek inlets and cuts, as well as rocky structures, gravel flats, humps, and rocky outcroppings, are the most common places for bass to spawn, and the spawn is well on its way for about one third of the bass population.


From the weather reports from this week, the bad weather has passed, but it is cool today, as it was yesterday, so let's jump right into water conditions, and the biggest thing that's happened during this past week is that the water temperatures dropped, 590 plus a half. The warmest for today was 610 and a half. As for the water clarity, some parts of Lakeport are crystal clear, but this has happened before in five or six feet of water.


There is a new launch ramp closure, the water level is at a positive point of 0.25. It's only going to take about a week to get into negative numbers, so the little bit of weather didn't amount to much as far as what hit the lake and there is no rise out of it at all.


If you're idling in towards the bank, the weed bed is not quite so clear, it gets to be a little bit messed up. It is uncertain if it's a combination of algae or if it is fish, a carp, and crappie have been seen moving around. So it's very typical that this time of year when this happens, you pull up thinking you've got super clear water. By the time you get back to where you want to fish, it's not so clear. Water clarity, up in the Lucerne area in the past few days was maybe two feet of visibility, although it improved a little today.


If the wind ever stops blowing, it'll probably improve some more, but there's probably still five to six feet of visibility down in the main lake, although it is not certain that there is a significant algae bloom down below rattlesnake island and also down in the redbud area, which is also typical for this time of year because the prevailing wind just blows it down into those areas.



Compared to last year, there have been no changes to the launch ramps; the state park will remain closed until it rains, and the center will remain closed. Keeling Park is still closed; it is not certain for how long. Rumors have it that at Clear Lake Oaks somebody dumped some rocks at the end of the launch ramp and made it a little easier to use.


Two people with longer trailers said that they had a rough time down there, so use it at your own risk. Be careful and be safe. The majority of the popular launch ramps are open except for the state park.


Some people also shared their experience that they caught about 2 to 4 fish. One guy this past week had 20 fish in one day and had two the next, so it's a very inconsistent bite and there's no doubt that your best bet is to be sight fishing. If you're good at it or like it, just be prepared to find way more fish that won't stick around.


Because of the areas, half of the fish (approximately 8 to 9) were bed fish. For example, very few people have been bed fishing at all in this, it is easy to conclude that this has something to do with the water temperature but it is very surprising to find the water was clear. Fishes were found in the area, out of about 9 or 10 fishes, in nine or ten beds, the fish stuck around long enough to be caught.


But there were way more fishes based on the number of fishes found in beds versus how many fish stuck around, about 100 fishes were caught in total.


To be able to come up with the numbers, most of the guys up there who were fishing were interviewed. They didn't know what was happening down at the bottom end of the lake. So, when the wind started blowing the way it blew the last couple of days and late last week, It was impossible to go down there, but a couple of boats that went down there reported that they regretted going down because they had to come back up through it all, and the other didn't do any good.


There is not much information about down in the lake but with the little information gathered in the last two days, just visually looking at the lake, from experience, there are not many beds right now, this is very unusual because this is May. The spawn started here in early April or late March, and maybe it is half over. A careful look at the big weed beds and several trips offshore looking for just open spots with fish in them or just fishing them, there is no sign of beds as expected it should for this time of year, so it is difficult to tell what's going on. It is easier to conclude that fishing during this time is not getting any easier.


The majority of the fish that were caught today were caught on hunter spins and drop shots, a handful of fish were presumably on beds, and weren't seen clearly.


Some dogfish were found around weeds, and today is one of the first days that 2 excellent fish that were maybe 7 to 8 pounds were just lying on top of a pile of weeds that was half the size of a boat.


Based on close observation, the spawn is probably around halfway over, nonetheless, there are still a lot of spots to look for beds and not see any. The fish have already left in other regions where you check for beds.


It is difficult to see into the deeper water at six to eight feet because the water quality isn't good enough. It is presumed a third of the fish are down post-spawn, another third are in the process of spawning, and the remaining third are still waiting to get going.


For the last couple of days, there were no traces of large schools of fish, but, for the first time today, a school of threadfin shad was seen swimming around. The school was only about three feet in diameter, so it wasn't a particularly large school of fish, but there were many.


There were threadfin shad, and that's the first time they have been seen this year. Others like the baitfish were seen around in some other spots, but they weren't shad; they were longer and skinnier; they could have been juvenile hitches, but there weren't that many of them.


The weather and all the baitfish made a difference in how well the fish bit. Hopefully, there will be a lot of weather next week, but if it stays stable for a few days after that, the bite could get going.


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