Clear Lake saw a slightly cooler morning with a blustery north wind as the top-10 field set out for their final shot at the title in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Evinrude.
Clear Lake has been fishing tough all week, but today has the makings of a real head-scratcher. The wind could be a big factor for some, like Bryant Smith who has led the pro division for two days. He’s been fishing docks in the Redbud arm and on the lake’s north end.
This morning, Smith got off to a rapid-fire start with four keepers by 7:45. He wasn’t catching any size, but the past two days he’s caught his better fish in the afternoon. When we circled back to check on his late-morning progress, we couldn’t find Smith in Redbud or the north end docks. It’s possible the day’s north wind shut down his dock bite.
We thought the wind would crank up the reaction bite that second-place Clayton Eslick has been targeting; but the main lake rocky shoreline he has fished the past two days must not have produced, as we saw him fishing docks by late morning.
Third-place Kyle Grover and fifth-place Ken Mah are both working the winding labyrinth of residential canals in the back of the Rattlesnake arm. Both are targeting pennywort mats, but also fishing docks between the vegetation clumps. Punching soft plastics is the main deal, but Mah spent time tracing dock edges with a squarebill.
Jimmy Reese, who started the day in fourth was also fishing docks. He’s throwing a mix of spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs and worms. He caught a nice vibrating jig fish early, but much of the morning seemed to be requiring the slow, methodical worm work.
The high, bright skies should continue to keep anglers focused on docks, as the shade factor becomes increasingly attractive. Smith carried a 6-pound lead into the final round, but a day like today could become a heart-breaker or a hero-maker. We’ll find out at today’s final weigh-in, set for 3 p.m. PT at Konocti Vista Casino Resort.