Major national bass tournament tours are held at Clear Lake, as well as local and amateur tournaments, where the average tournament-winning weight can be more than 5 pounds, a weight unmatched by any other lake in the nation. Clear Lake has earned a reputation for being home to “monster bass,” and those in the know refer to Clear Lake as the “Bass Capital of the West.”
In April 2007, the ESPN Bassmaster Golden State Shootout tournament record was broken twice on Clear Lake within mere minutes, as Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, came in with 117 pounds, 6 ounces – nearly 7 pounds over the record – and Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Alabama, followed with 122 pounds, 14 ounces. Even organizations like U.S. Bass, Cal Bass, and Western Bass agree that Clear Lake is the “number one bass lake in the nation.”
The California Depart of Fish & Game requires all tournaments to receive a permit to hold tournaments. This list is continually updated. Visit the DFG website to search for tournaments on Clear Lake at www.dfg.gov
Several businesses around Lake County offer fishing licenses and supplies, including a variety of bait and tackle. For the Lake County Boating Map and Directory call the Lake County Visitor Information Center, 800-LAKESIDE (525-3743).
Besides monster bass, Clear Lake also is home to catfish, carp, crappie, bluegill, and the Clear Lake hitch, a fish indigenous to the Clear Lake basin and found only here. In the past, hitch was an important staple to the native Pomo people of Lake County, and can be seen swimming up major streams in the late spring.
Fishing opportunities abound throughout Lake County's other major bodies of water – in the cold, clear waters of Blue Lakes, which has rainbow trout, catfish, bluegill, and bass; Lake Pillsbury, which has bass, sunfish, and rainbow trout; Highland Springs Reservoir, which has catfish, bass, crappie, and bluegill; Indian Valley Reservoir, which has trout, bass, catfish, kokanee, and crappie; and the North Fork of Cache Creek, which has rainbow trout.