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Clear Lake Bass Fishing Report Sept. 2014

Category : BASS FISHING ARTICLES, BASS FISHING REPORTS, THE TRUTH

Aaron-LeSieur-Clear-Lake-Bass-2

Conditions:   Air temp 95 degrees, wind 3-7mph, water clarity 1-2ft and water temps 68-75 degrees.

I just got back from our annual week-long Damiki fishing trip at Clear Lake, Ca. This year’s trip included FLW Tour Pro Bryan Thrift, FLW Tour Pro Kevin Stewart, Damiki (Ray and Daniel Kim), yours truly and visits from Tackle Warehouse, Bass Fan, Bass Angler Magazine and Tackle Tour. The fishing this year was not nearly as epic as last year’s slug fest in which we were catching 60 bass a day and averaging 20+lb sacks in each boat. Last year the water level was higher, we were at the lake in late Sept. and the jig bite was awesome (Click here for the video). Due to drought conditions in California this year, Clear Lake is seeing some historical low water levels; this coupled with high temperatures, high pressure and the usual summer time algae bloom, provided some tough fishing conditions.

During the first few days we ventured out to determine what the fish were doing, where they were and come up with a viable pattern for the week. We fished shallow weed beds, docks, ledges, and deep rock piles (both north and south) using a variety of techniques and baits; we quickly discovered that the bass were being tight-lipped and Clear Lake was being stingy. On Wednesday the three of us fished for 12 hours and only managed one keeper a piece! It wasn’t until the end of our trip that we started to figure out a couple of patterns that started putting fish in the boat.

For the first couple of hours in the morning we were able to catch some nice fish on rock piles in the 3-9ft range on Damiki Mamba2 Jigs (1/2oz green/black) with a watermelon candy Knockout trailer. Instead of dragging the jigs across the rocks, short hops back to the boat was the key to getting bites. I had my jig on 20lb. braid (no leader) and an Abu Garcia Revo STX 6.4:1 reel coupled with a Dobyns 734C.

Once the sun came up, we moved to off shore weed beds (the most productive ones being isolated clumps) in 4-9ft. to do a little frog fishing. We caught all our bass using the Damiki Air Frog (black) paired up on a 6/0 Owner Beast Hook (weightless). The key to good hook-ups was 65lb braid on a high-speed reel (7.1 or higher) and a rod with a heavy backbone to drive the large hook into the fish’s jaw (Dobyns Champion 735C). Cadence and placement of the bait were also key in getting bites. Making long casts over the weed bed and then using erratic pops and twitches all the way back to the boat provided the most bites versus a steady retrieve. The unique design and features of the Damiki Air Frog also played a role in getting bites on the weed beds. The frog has two large kicking feet that provide noise and vibration when moved across the water. It has two large air chambers to help it float (even with the large hood) and the unique placement of these chambers allow the bait to always right itself if it hits the water upside down (hook up). The body is long enough to allow for the larger hook size for better hook-ups and when all rigged up it is ultra-weedless.

Using these techniques and baits, Bryan and I had over 30 bites and two solid bags of fish on the last day of our trip. The only downside was that we finally figured them out and then had to leave!

Until next time stay focused, fish hard and I’ll see you on the water.

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