Do you like lake fishing? If so, Clear Lake could be the ideal vacation spot for you. Clear Lake is known for some of the best catfish and bass fishing in the western US. Bassmaster consistently rates Clear Lake in first place for bass fishing in Western lakes. The record largemouth bass weighed in at 17.52 pounds.
Bass fishing tournaments kick off with the big Lake County Chamber of Commerce Tournament in March. The 2018 winner caught 10 fish for a total weight of 53.31 pounds with the biggest weighing in at 10.23. 115 teams participated catching a total of 813 fish with a total weight of 2110.72 pounds! See the full results.
At the April 14 Best Bass Tournament Trail contest, the winner caught 5 fish for a total of 30.92 pounds with his biggest fish weighing 8.45 pounds. See the results here.
A smaller draw tournament was held May 5, with 8 anglers taking part. The winner caught 5 fish weighing in at 13.54 pounds and the top big fish came in at 8.52 pounds. Top techniques used were drop shot and senkos.
More bass contests are scheduled throughout summer and fall. See the schedule on the California Fish and Wildlife site. Follow Clearlake Bassmasters on Facebook for more about bass fishing, contests on the lake, and local updates.
The annual Catfish Derby, held in May, is billed as the "largest catfish tournament west of the Mississippi". The 2018 winners caught catfish weighing 24.34 pounds in the adult division, 20.27 pounds in the ages 11 to 15 division, and a whopping 27.36 pounds in the kids up to 10 division. See the full results.
The record catfish for Clear Lake weighed 33.33 pounds. In 2017, 11 year old Tanner Castillo was the youngest ever to win the derby with a 28.81 pound catfish, according to this article. Catfish were first introduced in Clear Lake in 1910, having been brought west from Mississippi to California in 1874 and stocked in the San Joaquin River.
This year, Clear Lake Campground also held a camper catfish derby for fish caught right at the campground. Tom Viada was the winner with a catfish weighing 18 pounds 11 ounces. Most fish caught were in the 7 to 15 pound range.
Although the contest is over, there's still plenty of great fishing right here at the campground. Fish on Cache Creek right from our shore, you don't even need a boat. Just reserve your space and bring your pole!
New Catfish Contest: Catfish Gold Rush, August 25-26 at Redbud Park (just minutes from the campground), boats only. See the poster on our Facebook page.
Martha Bakerjian is a part-time employee at Clear Lake Campground and writes a web site about Italy: