Bass Fishing at Clear Lake

Does this look like fun or what? The temperature was a crisp 30 degrees. 
Check out the photo essay below.

This is a shot from our bass boats of beautiful Clear Lake, located northeast of the Napa Valley. Known as the "Bass Capital of the West", we obviously had high expectations.  






We were guided by two of California's experts, Keith Clow and Tom Shockley. Here's a picture of Keith in his superfast bass boat. Keith knows more about Largemouth bass than just about anyone.








Double hookups in the middle of winter? Yes, it happened. Here's Jay reeling one in with me. 








Here's a picture of Tom Shockley, 4 time national bass competition winner and world champion. I'm holding a nice 7 pound, 4 ounce Largemouth Bass that held the trip's lead for a while as the biggest fish.








Getting around California's largest lake is a piece of cake in a boat that goes 70 MPH. Here's Keith's Triton making a dash on the last day in an attempt to win the contest for the most fish. 








John Keagy and Matt Westphal (right) showing off their pair of largest fish candidates - weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces. As you might have guessed, these fish did not take the trophy.








This is just some of what the shoreline looks like - this is an old pier - just one of the many places bass love to hang out. 








We caught between 3 and 5 fish each every day - these were some of the smaller catches - but still weighing in at over 3 pounds.








Largemouth bass actually have very small teeth so its easy to grab them by their lips. Here's a picture of John with a few of his big prizes.








Largemouth bass have mouths so big you can stick you entire fist inside. They eat by inhaling which sucks the food into their huge mouths. 








Largemouth bass are all caught and released on this lake (especially the 10 pounder). We caught over 25 fish in 3 days, all by "split-shotting" minnows which means dragging a live baitfish on the bottom with small weights. We found that the ultrajumbo minnows caught the biggest fish. Clear Lake may well be holding the world's largest bass.  






Here's my biggest - it won our contest for biggest fish and was perhaps the biggest Bass I'll ever catch. Weighing in at 10 pounds 7 ounces, this fish qualifies for a write up in the bass magazines. Too bad I wasn't fishing in one of those million dollar bass tournaments! 








Wine is an important part of any fishing expedition. Here's Matt and I showing off our Redington rods and Ojai syrah. This was my first attempt to cast a baitcaster - what a challenge.  






The winners of our fishing contest were: Matt for most fish (over 15 for the trip) and yours truly for the biggest fish. Prizes were nice new Shimano baitcasters!