The Napa Valley Fishing Report: Clear Lake bass activity ‘busted out’ – Napa Valley Register

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The Napa Valley Fishing Report: Clear Lake bass activity 'busted out'

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Brent Randol, one of St. Helena’s “A” Team anglers, led the way to 100 big Clear Lake bass caught and released last week.

Bill Ryan, holding the 7-pound, 14-ounce bass that ended their count at 100 fish, said fellow St. Helenan Brent Randol "sent me some good luck for this."

BILL RYAN
June Was Busting Out… all over! With all due respect to a song in Rogers and Hammerstein’s famous musical “Carousel,” let me borrow words from one of its favorite tunes to tell you that June bass fishing at Clear Lake “busted out all over!”Just look at the numbers: *2000 bass caught and released by a major pro bass tournament in mid-month.*Dan Solomon and I caught and released 85 bass in 12 hours of “lure in the water” fishing.*A week later, Brent Randol and I caught and released 100 bass in the same amount of time on the water.*Two minutes before our time was up on Day 2, I boated a 7-pound, 14-ounce “hawg” in 8 feet of water just inside a major weed line up in the North End. It came on a ned rig with a yellow/orange head and ranks as the biggest bass caught by any of Bob’s clients so far in 2021. It would have been the third biggest bass of the 2,000 fish caught and released by the pros in the tournament a week earlier. Book top pro guide Bob Myskey (274-0373) quickly. Clear Lake is full of big bass eager to bite and Bob knows how to find them for you. He always describes this kind of hot action as lots of big fish down there all competing for a bug to eat.*How many more? I’m guessing 9,000 more bass caught and released in June. My math went like this: 30 anglers a day fishing with guidesm, times 15 fish caught by each, minus 150 bass a day legally kept by anglers, times 30 days.*Possible minimum total of 11,185 bass caught and released in Clear Lake, in June.Coming Up Soon… will be Clear Lake water temperatures of 80 degrees and up. That triggers the top water and rubber frog bite. It’s when the bigger bass come out to play, and is my favorite time to fish. A popper or frog chugged briskly in a calm pool calls up the big bass. They launch right out of the water to grab that lure. Pull too early and you’ll come up empty. Feel the weight first, and then set that hook hard and fast. Jim Barfield always called it “pull some lips.” Gotta start early in the morning to be ready to cast at first light. Once the sun gets up over the water, that bite peters out pretty quickly.*But don’t despair. Right at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, plunk a white rubber frog up into little openings in the tule line. Jim Munk taught me that 15 years ago. It still works. Get their heads turned and started out before they can wrap around a tulle stalk and just wait you out.Got It Wrong… two years in a row; don’t listen to me next year. I told my readers to wait 10 days before booking a trip so the party boats could have a chance to figure out how to attack the new season. WRONG! The ocean king salmon season opened last Saturday, and the fishing was good right out of the box.Bodega Bay’s counts tell the story. The Hot Sheet’s headline was “Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing put on a clinic over the opening weekend with 27 limits of king salmon on Saturday with another 29 limits of salmon on Sunday…” Dividends? Sure. Both days saw limits of rock fish and a few ling cod.Those kings went from 10 pounds up to the low 20s, and the boat was back at the dock by 12: 30 p.m. Sunday. Better book some trips fast; call Captain Powers at 875-3344. By the way, be extra careful not to boat silver salmon, or coho. The harvest of coho is strictly prohibited to protect the state’s threatened or endangered coho salmon stocks. Your boat team will know when one is inadvertently hooked and will release it quickly. Private anglers should know this key distinguishing factor: the gums at the base of the bottom teeth on a coho salmon are gray. Chinook’s gums are all black. The Hot Sheet offers us more information at bit.ly/3dBPkURReporting In… from the Duxbury, Stinson Beach and Rocky Point areas, Captain Jerad Davis on the Salty Lady told the Hot Sheet, “They bit like mad dogs in the early morning…” I like to hear those reports early in the season. The salmon sizes will get bigger as we get deeper into the season. Go get yours now. Remember, you can keep two legal size salmon a day. May to Sept. 30, the legal size is 20 inches. Don’t forget to send me pix of your very biggest ones.Two Big Frog Tournaments… are on tap in the Delta. Don’t miss these at Russo’s Marina — the Ultimate Frog Challenge on July 31 and Aug. 1, and the Snag Proof Open Aug. 7-8. These are big fish contests. Bring your kids to share the thrill of the weigh-ins with the anglers.And, meanwhile… back home in Napa County, the big kokanee action at Berryessa continues. Sure, you can go to Sweeney’s Sports on Imola and get all the answers and koke gear you’ll need. But, I’d want to start with a couple of guided trips to learn the system. Call koke expert Troy Barr at T-Roy’s Guide Service (372-7599) to get a handle on this technique. I’ve seen reports on kokes up to 19 inches, a worthy adversary for sure.Email Bill Ryan at [email protected]

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