#16, "Episode 3: September 7-8, 2012 - Clear Lake - Bob's Mar..." Sat Sep-15-12 08:38 PM by swimbait
Tournament day 1 video http://www.calfishing.com/files/Movies/show/e3/e3.flv
Prefish Day (Friday)
Thursday night I drove up to the lake. Big fire on Hwy 16 had the road closed. Got there at midnight after a 1.5hr detour. 5:30am the next morning we were up and at it.
Had one bump first thing on Brock's weedless bait by state park. Then the sun got up and turned real flat and blah. This was a theme all week. Get the fish early. We tried Hendrson for nothing. Tried Braitos and caught a 2lber. Then over to Lucerne.
Pitching to the grass mats by Lucerne in 10' with brush hogs yielded one 3lber. The water was clear there, no algae, but not much sign of bass. Drove over to trailer park.
Trailer park was shallow. Dragging up mud on the the trolling motor all over. No fish. Ran around some more. We like driving the boat (not really). Fires around the lake and a head cold had me sneezing like crazy.
Tried by county park and quercus. Late in the day we got some breeze and I caught a 5lber on Brock's weedless lure. Don't know if this lure has a name or not but it's nice. Very weedless and thin so you can actually land fish on it. Recommend owner beast hook 8/0 with a decent weight.
Got off the water around 3pm. I was dying from being sick and not sleeping. Caught up with a few old friends at the check in thing. Good crowd. I like ChampioN boat people :) I told Nico he was holding out on the fishing catching for the tournament since his slaying skills were not evident this day.
Tournament Day 1 (Saturday)
Nico had this spot by long tully point where he'd gotten a lot of bites in practice. The fish weren't real big but there were a lot of bass there. We were in the last flight and didn't expect to get the spot. Amazingly no one was on it.
We pulled in and Nico began demonstrating the skills that were in absence the day before by catch a 4.5lber on his 3rd cast with an S-Waver and two more fish shortly thereafter (3lber and 13.25incher). Got some cool video footage. It was a fun morning flurry thing.
I was feeling no mojo so resorted to a drop shot and caught a 2.3lber. We left and ran to the mid-lake where Nico had caught one pushing 7lbs on Thursday on the S-Waver. We get to his spot and he gets drilled by a big fish. Miss! The next cast the fish boiled but didn't bite. The back hook on the bait got mangled from the first bite. Grr..
Continuing to feel no mojo I caught a puny 13.25incher on dropshot. When you have the fish ruler out at Clear Lake, it hurts your pride. At least we had 5 fish. It took about 2 hours. From there we executed the remainder of the plan which was to go to Rodman slough and brave all sandbars. It's shallow. Just telling you in advance. If you don't run in there right you'll get real stuck.
Made it in to our spot with great anticipation. No boats were in there. Caught nothing. Major bummer. Flipped and pitched and flipped for over an hour with no bites. Couldn't believe it.
Finally Nico caught a 3lber and I got a 2lber along with a few more 13 inchers. With about 2 hours to go in the tournament we were over it so we got out of there and went back to the mid lake to try for big ones some more. The condition was bad. Calm, too much algae for swimbaiting really. If it's windy you can throw but if it's calm and the surface stuff is really think it's not great.
We picked up and made a run for long tully with an hour left. A half mile short of the point my motor lost power and died. And wouldn't start. It was bad. We were full on dead in the water :(
Called the TD, he said Rick Kendrick would come get us. We were about 1/2 mile offshore. A lot of guys were running in to the weigh in for the 1pm flight but I didn't want to flag people down because I figured they just had a little time to get in.
A few minutes later Jared Litner drives right past and I waved him over. It was kind of surreal since I know Jared from years past fishing Central Coast in the old Wilderness Outfitters days. It just seemed like about the most random thing for him to drive by right then a half mile offshore randomly at Clear Lake. We talked and he said he could help out.
Jared was out there fun fishing and enjoying his day and this is just a pain in the butt kind of thing, to get flagged down like that. Especially after driving like 9 million miles to New York and back to fish the Elites on Onieda. But he stopped for me when he could very easily just drove on by and I downright thought it was a nice thing to do.
A minute later Rick K pulled up so it all worked out. Rick brought Nico in with our fish and later came to tow me in. Having had boats of various sorts since 1998 it was embarrassing to get towed in for the first time! But all things considered it was a lucky break because we could weigh our fish and the boat died only a few miles from the ramp, in good weather on a day when guys like Jared and Rick were there to help out.
I feel there may have been some karma in effect from the day earlier this year when Nico and I were out at San Pablo with my 3 year old son and we towed some drunk idiots back to the ramp in 20mph wind. Karma plays on the water :)
So thank you Jared and Rick K. Sincerely.
At the ramp the mechanics from Bob's did some troubleshooting and it turned out the air compressor was toast, seized up to where the engine couldn't start. Bummer. Tom and Al the mechanics were super cool. Thank you guys! We had 16lbs for day 1, not very good but not terrible. 28 was leading. Plenty of bags over 20.