Clear Lake

Clearlake, California

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Short Take: 43,000 acres; shallow, natural lake with milfoil, tules, boat docks, rock, one small tributary. Whenever the roll of premier California bass lakes is called, Clear Lake is usually among the first mentioned. While not as famous as some of the state’s other lakes that have produced fish in the 15- to 20-pound class, Clear Lake definitely can hold its own with bass in the 5- to 10-pound range. It is the sheer number of fish of this size that has put Clear Lake on the angling map. “Without question, Clear Lake ranks as one of the better bass fisheries in the entire West,” notes California angler Skeet Reese, who has fished Clear Lake for well over a decade. “It is the largest natural lake in the state, but it is basically shallow with a variety of cover that provides plenty of habitat for the fish. “If Clear Lake were located in southern California instead of where it is north of the Napa Valley, I’m pretty sure it would already have produced some truly monstrous bass.” That is extremely high praise, indeed, for any body of water, but it is also totally appropriate for Clear Lake. The lake record is 17.52 pounds, and five-fish, 30-pound stringers are taken each spring. Primary Species: Largemouth bass.

Clear Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Short Take: 43,000 acres; shallow, natural lake with milfoil, tules, boat docks, rock, one small tributary. Whenever the roll of premier California bass lakes is called, Clear Lake is usually among the first mentioned. While not as famous as some of the state’s other lakes that have produced fish in the 15- to 20-pound class, Clear Lake definitely can hold its own with bass in the 5- to 10-pound range. It is the sheer number of fish of this size that has put Clear Lake on the angling map. “Without question, Clear Lake ranks as one of the better bass fisheries in the entire West,” notes California angler Skeet Reese, who has fished Clear Lake for well over a decade. “It is the largest natural lake in the state, but it is basically shallow with a variety of cover that provides plenty of habitat for the fish. “If Clear Lake were located in southern California instead of where it is north of the Napa Valley, I’m pretty sure it would already have produced some truly monstrous bass.” That is extremely high praise, indeed, for any body of water, but it is also totally appropriate for Clear Lake. The lake record is 17.52 pounds, and five-fish, 30-pound stringers are taken each spring. Primary Species: Largemouth bass."

Activity Type: Fishing
Nearby City: Clearlake
Season & Limits: Best March through June, September, October
Local Contacts: Clear Lake State Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Clear Lake

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May 2018