Updated: Sep 30
I am at Clear Lake California for the KBF Trail Series Kayak Tournament. There are three separate days of tournament fishing, and each day is a tournament all to itself. Today is Clear Lake I, tomorrow is Clear Lake II and Sunday is Clear Lake III.
Conditions are Hot and Smokey. There are lots of fires burning in the area, and temps are in the high 90s. Lake temperature is in the high 70's and wind does not seem to be a factor.
I found some good fish on pre-fish day working a Rapala Ripstop 9. I caught an easy limit along some docks, so I figured I was in good shape for day one.
Pre-Fish day they loved the Rapala Ripstop 9
I got a good night sleep at my camp site at the Clear lake State Campground, and got up at 4:00am to launch at Braito's Buckingham Marina.
My campsite at Clear Lake State Campground.
I got to the marina about 4:15am and there was already a long line of vehicles in front of me waiting for them to open so we could launch. Luckily they opened the gate a bit early and I was able to get in and get launched by 5:00am. I engaged my trolling motor and motored to the area that I had caught fish the day before and waited for the sun to come up and start fishing.
My first fish in the tournament!
I worked the same docks I had caught fish on the day before, but they had zero interest in biting anything. I fished the Rapala Ripstop but I could not buy a bite. I moved further down the lake and switched over to a senko, coated with Pautzke Fire Gel, crawfish scent. Finally at 7:00 I caught my first fish, a 15.75” Largemouth. Not the huge fish I was looking for, but I was happy to have it!
For the next hour the action was great. I landed 7 more fish, culled a couple out and lost two really big fish. I had my Limit by 8:15am. Things were looking good! Unfortunately, I caught my last fish around 9:30. I could not get any bigger fish to cull after that. My total was 82.25” at this point. My big fish was 17.75". This limit was nowhere close to winning, but I was really happy to have found fish.
Big fish of the day for me was 17.75"
Even though I did not finish better, I was really happy with getting a limit. Last year when I came to Clear Lake, I caught zero fish on pre-fish day, and only landed 3 for the tournament. It's tough to come to a place that you have never fished before and find them, so I was really glad that I easily got a limit today.
I ended up in 27th place for the day, not great but not bad for my first time ever fishing this end of the lake.
Need to figure these fish out better for tomorrow!
I got back to camp and formulated my plan for tomorrow. I'm still going to start with the Ripstop, but I will switch to the Senko much earlier - we will see how it goes.