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Fishing The Lake


Fishing regulation change annually, check in the California Sport Fishing Regulations for current changes.

  • Because of elevated levels of mercury, it is advised to take precautions before eating any fish taken from Clear Lake. Check in the California Sport Fishing Regulations for admissible amounts (if any) to be consumed.
  • Bass: Open season, all year. Limit: five. Minimum length: twelve inches
  • Catfish: Open season, all year. Limit: no limit
  • Crappie: Open season, all year. Limit: twenty five
  • Bluegill: Open season, all year. Limit: no limit
Bass: (largemouth)
Spring is the most productive time for bass at Clear Lake. Tules and docks are the primary fish holding areas. Tules make up much of the shoreline. Look for bass in the pockets formed in the tule beds. The fish can be found at the north end of the lake, from Lakeport to Rocky Point during the spring months. Another good place is the shoreline from the State Park to Corinthian Bay. Some other top places are Clearlake Oaks Keys, Pepperwood Cove, Fraiser Point, Wheeler Point, Baylis Cove, Holiday Cove, and Jago Bay. In the summer, warming temperatures send the bass up under the docks for protection. Casting crankbaits and rubber-baits under the docks and against the pilings will produce fish. The largemouth bass record at Clear Lake is 17.52 pounds.
Catfish: (channel catfish)
Catfishing is Clear Lake's "sleeper" fishery. The lake record for channel catfish is 33 pounds, with fish in the 10 to 20 pound range not uncommon. Though catfish can be found about anyplace on the lake, the south end tends to be the most productive. Live crawdads, nightcrawlers, and minnows fished in holes with a rocky bottom is the key. Some areas to try for catfish are Rattlesnake Island, Rodman Slough, Horseshoe Bend and Cache Creek.
Crappie, Bluegill: (black crappie)
Crappie fishing at Clear Lake is considered fair. Look for fish as far down as twenty-five feet. Bluegill can be found anywhere along the shore during the summer months.