SKEET REESE: Revisiting Clear Lake and the California Delta - Major League Fishing
SKEET REESE: Revisiting Clear Lake and the California Delta
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SKEET REESE: Revisiting Clear Lake and the California Delta

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It's been a long time since I got to creep through some of my favorite California fishing haunts like Clear Lake. Photo by Chris Shangle
May 18, 2020 • Skeet Reese • Angler Columns

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to do something that I haven’t done in a long time, and that’s go out and “fun fish” two of my favorite bodies of water, Clear Lake and the California Delta. I’ve fished a handful of tournaments there in my pro career, but these past few trips were all about trying to catch a few, and get some content for social media and my YouTube channel.

It was a blast catching fish and reliving some of the memories I have of these bodies of water. They’re truly special fisheries and were both very important in my development as an angler.

Clear Lake’s Opening Day

Due to the state’s shutdown, Clear Lake was closed for over a month. They started by opening it up to kayaks and then to residents of the county in early May, and I was there on opening day to sample the action.

I started the day with big baits, trying for one of the giants that Clear Lake is known for. I never connected with a big one, but I caught 40 or so healthy bass. Most of them were 3-pounders and once we figured out the bite, it was a case of, “how many do you want to catch?” because they were biting so good.

It was crazy how many bass we saw swimming around there! You could see four or more bass just about any time, and everywhere you looked. The Berkley PowerBait The General and the new PowerBait Ca$h Out were the top producers and I could have caught quite a few more if I started using them sooner in the day.

I have so many great memories fishing here and it was where I got my first “big win” at 19 during a Redman event (now an FLW BFL). That laid the foundation for me and was a great stepping stone for my career. And it was all thanks to Clear Lake.

The Delta and Clear Lake are absolutely loaded with healthy largemouth right now! Photo by Chris Shangle

The Delta is Fishing Great

During this whole COVID situation, the Delta is one fishery that remained open. It’s received tons of fishing pressure since everything else has been shut down, but even with that added attention, it’s fishing great and the grass is very healthy.

I remember my early years when it would take 15 pounds to win a five-fish event on the Delta, and then the place exploded with big bass in the late 1990s, when the grass took hold. It’s always a great time to fish here, but this year was especially good. The lack of rain and runoff has made it clearer than usual and that helped the grass growth explode, and the whole place is alive and healthy.

The past few times I’ve been here was for a tournament, so this time around, it was great just to go and fish and explore. I checked on places I haven’t fished in 20 years and it brought back a lot of great memories I have on one of the premier fisheries in America.

Keeping Busy and Looking Ahead

During our break in the Bass Pro Tour schedule, I’ve kept busy with producing content and doing sponsor work and I’ve also knocked off a bunch of projects on my list. From redoing the garden and fixing fences and baseboards, I’ve done it all during this time off.

But I’m ready to get back out there and compete and can’t wait for Heavy Hitters on the Kissimmee Chain. I’ll also be fishing all three of the FLW Pro Circuit Super Tournaments, and that’s going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be a good challenge for me fishing a tournament with that many boats again and I’m really looking forward to it.

This year has been a roller coaster and all you can do it hold on and make the best of it.

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel!

We’ve been hard at work on some awesome content for my YouTube channel, Skeet Reese Fishing. Here’s a new video on fishing poppers that will come into play on both the Delta and Clear Lake. I’d be stoked if you subscribed!