Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Familiar faces stay strong despite tougher bite
Image for Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2
Kyle Grover Photo by David A. Brown. Angler: Kyle Grover.
September 29, 2017 • David A. Brown • Archives

Day-one leader Bryant Smith proved that, despite an obvious slump, Clear Lake can still chunk out the weight. The pro from Castro Valley, Calif., added 20 pounds, 8 ounces to the 20-15 he weighed on day one to retain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division finale event presented by Evinrude with a total of 41-7.

While Smith is operating on a different gear than the rest of the field, that isn’t to say the remaining top five can’t hang. Though Smith’s lead seems big, this is Clear Lake and in reality, that is one bite.

Here is a look at how the rest of the top five are getting it done after two days of fishing.

Smith’s leading pattern


Clayton Eslick

2. Clayton Eslick – Gilroy, Calif. – 35-4

After placing second on day one with 19-12, Clayton Eslick added 15-8 today and held his position with a two-day total of 35-4. He fished the same general areas as he did yesterday, but couldn’t tempt any Clear Lake studs today.

“I got two giant bite yesterday, but today they were just all solid 3- to 4-pounders,” Eslick says. “I just didn't get those giant bites today.”

Eslick fished a combination of crankbaits and drop-shots, but the former accounted for all of his weight.

The cloud cover that draped the morning hours stretched into the afternoon, but Eslick says the weather had little effect on his bite.

“I got everything before 1:30,” he says. “The afternoon’s kinda bad for the reaction bite, so I’d just change to a drop-shot and hope to get a big bite.”

When he fished north, Eslick targeted spawning bays where shad gather in the fall. In the lake’s south end, he fished docks and rock piles.

“On the rock pile that produced two good ones yesterday, they weren’t there today; but this is Clear Lake and it can reload,” Eslick says. “I saved some fish in my north spot so I’m going to beat up on them tomorrow.”

Kyle Grover

3. Kyle Grover – Trabuco Canyon, Calif. – 33-10

It’s not that he doesn’t like the main lake stuff, but Kyle Grover decided to play a different game — one that has allowed him to hold the number three spot for two consecutive days. Adding 14-9 to his first-round score of 19-1, Grover has tallied 33-10 thus far.

Tucking deep into a network of canals, Grover pitched docks and punched pennywort mats with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. The latter produced the majority of his weight today.

“I only caught one behind a dock today; it was mostly punching the thickest parts of the pennywort,” Grover says. “The water has come down recently, and while some of the pennywort mats in other parts of the lake have a foot of water under them, the ones I’m fishing have two to three feet of water under them.”

Grover had the place to himself on day one, but he had some company today. The added fishing pressure limited his productivity.

“There were some other boats in there today that weren’t there yesterday,” he says. “I had a horrible afternoon, even though it got a lot better in the afternoon yesterday.

“I just got into a bad rotation. I was fishing behind some people, instead of in front of them. I came up to one spot and there were two big blow-up holes where someone had recently caught fish.”

Jimmy Reese

4. Jimmy Reese – Witter Springs, Calif. – 32-2

Opportunity knocked, but fate slammed the door shut for California pro Jimmy Reese, who gained one spot to place fourth with 32-2.

On his first spot of the day, Reese tempted a big fish with a spinnerbait, but during a particularly violent leap, the fish’s intense shaking snapped the spinnerbait wire.

“It was 7-8 pounds; could’ve been bigger,” Reese laments. “But I regained my composure, went fishing and, fortunately, I upgraded all day long.”

Reese ended up catching his fish on a variety of shoreline cover: dock poles, rocks, private boat ramps, weed patches. Spotting baitfish was also important, as Reese learned in practice where to find banks with quality fish.”

Reese caught all of his day-two fish on a Frenzy Baits Nail (shaky head) with a Roboworm in the margarita mutilator color.


Ken Mah

5. Ken Mah – Elk Grove, Calif. – 31-10

Making a big second-round move, California pro Ken Mah reached the top-10 by adding 18-10 to his day-one weight of 13-0 and rising from 24th place to fifth with a total of 31-10.

“I slowed down a little bit today,” Mah says. “Using my Power-Poles more today was an important part of that. I also switched to a lighter flipping weight. The area I’m fishing is getting a lot of pressure and the lighter you go, the more you slow down.”

Mah has been flipping vegitation, docks and whatever cover he encounters. He says he kept five flipping rods with various craw style baits on his deck and picked up whichever one he thought best suited each scenario.