o n the Upswing
can be strange things. As the economy of the last decade boomed, so did fishing at Clear Lake, one of the West’s premier bass des- tinations. In fact, for several years, it ranked among the top five bass lakes anywhere in the country – maybe the world. Things reached a crescendo in April 2007, when Steven Kennedy set a BASS record with a 4-day total of 122 lbs 14 oz. Angling at Clear Lake, which had been steadily improving, went off the hook as 30+ lb tournament bags became almost commonplace. Unfortunately, if you’re a bass angler, you probably know the rest. Skyrocketing gas prices followed by the knock-out punch of the worst recession in the last 50 years hammered the world of bass fishing. And in 2008, as the housing bub- ble burst and the economy began to slide, bass fishing at Clear Lake took a dip, too. Those easy 25-lb bags suddenly became distant memories.
C lear L a ke
By Andy Parsons
Basswest got together with two of Clear Lake’s top fishing guides, Bob Myskey and Ross England, and long-time outdoor writ- er Terry Knight to talk about what happened and why, and where fishing on these legendary bass waters is headed next.
how we Got here
During its glory years, what contributed to Clear Lake’s pro- duction of so many huge fish? No one knows for sure, but long- time guide Ross England (clearlakeguideservice.com) points to some intriguing possibilities. “We had a couple of winters where the water never got below 50 F. I was taking people out who had never thrown a ripbait in their lives and we’d put a little ripbait on a spinning rod and catch twenty to thirty fish a day in the winter. “The biomass in the lake was just incredible,” continues England. “We had an extensive popula-