Fishing through the algae bloom at Clear Lake with Hi’s Tackle
first impression was that there was definitely more algae in the entire lake
than we had seen before and the normally clear water was chock full of green
bits of algae while some areas had thick slicks where the wind had pushed the
floating algae against the shoreline. The main lake main lake was green in color
and visibility was down to just a few feet versus the very clear water that can
be found in Clear Lake during the winter months. The conditions while not ideal
seemed fishable the further we got away from the shore, so rock piles are
definitely in play.
Jonah fishes frogs over the algae
while Cal (far left) switches to buzzbaits
We decided to start off
near Rattlesnake and try our luck with a few frogs near the tulles. When we
arrived at the island both Jonah and I pulled out frogs with braided line and
started pitching near the edge where we could hear and see fish splashing about
and moving the tulles. When the frogs landed just inches from the tulle line
they plopped right on top of the algae matte, as we retrieved them back towards
the boat they just bounced on the surface, the algae was too thick for the frogs
to penetrate “So much for frog fishing,” I said “this is definitely the worst
algae bloom I’ve seen since I’ve been fishing the lake.” Jonah responded that he
had seen the algae blooms like this in the past and with that lifted the
trolling motor and head to the far bank. It was clear we would have to make
adjustments to catch any fish today.
Buzzbaits cut trails through the
On the opposite bank the
algae was not as thick on top but there were slicks of algae, but at least our
lures could break through. “It looks like we are fishing in pea soup,” I said. I
fished crankbaits while Jonah worked the frog. The crankbaits would come out of
the water clean as the algae didn’t stick on the lure itself, but it did cling
to the line and would spray the reel with a good spattering of what looked like
Zander pulls a bass out of the pea
Meanwhile Cal on the other
boat decided to have a little fun and tied on a buzzbait to see if the more
boisterous lure could entice a fish to strike. Cal waited until Jonah had his
frog halfway back to the boat and cast right over the area he just finished
working just to mess with him. Not more than a few squeaks of the quad blades
later did a three pound bass explode through the algae and strike the buzzbait!
“Oh I see how it is, we have a poacher over here,” Jonah joked.
Looks like were going to have to
wash some gear after this trip
A few casts later another
even bigger bass jumped out of the algae next to the buzzbait but missed it
entirely. Even though fish were able to see and hear the buzzbait it seemed like
the algae was making it difficult for them to key in properly on the lure. “I
think we have a better shot at getting them suspended or on the bottom with
plastics,” Jonah said. He proceeded to rig up a weightless senko while I tied on
a drop shot rig.
Jonah and Scott cross the lake to
get to rockpiles
After we retied we head to
the other side of the lake to try and find clearer water. It didn’t take long
for us to get a few bites and land a few fish. While Jonah was landing 2-3lb.
healthy looking Clear Lake bass I was pulling out dink after dink. We were
surprised to see so many small yet mature bass and judging from the huge bait
schools we saw cruising the shoreline it is going to be a really good season
next year. Still my mind was on right now and I wanted to catch some bigger fish
so our next move was to the rock piles.
Jonah adapts and switches to a jig
and gets to "strolling"
Cranking rockpiles and strolling gets the