Updated for 2022:
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 Clear Lake Team Bass Tournament in March, one of California's top bass tournaments. 100% of the entry fees are paid in prizes.
From March through November there's usually at least one bass contest a month - see the Clear Lake fishing contests list on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website. Smaller local tournaments are even held in winter months.
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 2021 winners caught catfish weighing 23.72 pounds in the adult division, 22.62 pounds in the ages 11 to 15 division, and 22.43 pounds in the kids up to 10 division. In 2017, 11 year old Tanner Castillo was the youngest ever to win the derby with a 28.81 pound catfish.
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. The all-time record catfish for Clear Lake weighed 33.33 pounds.
The Catfish Derby is a fun family event featuring food and entertainment too. It's held in Clearlake Oaks, just 15 minutes from Camp.
Clear Lake Campground also holds a camper catfish derby in spring for fish caught right at the campground. But even when there's not a contest, you can fish on Cache Creek right from our shore, you don't even need a boat and we sell some bait in our store. Catfish are often caught throughout the year. Just reserve your space and bring your pole!
Read more about Fishing on Clear Lake and Cache Creek
Martha Bakerjian is a part-time employee at Clear Lake Campground and writes a web site about Italy: