Most mornings, I awake and set forth to one of the beautiful Mother Lode lakes. With my boat trailing my truck, I meet with my clients for that given day and go fishing. However, on this morning, I find myself in my wife’s car with only a couple of rods, reels and a small assortment of gear headed to a foreign destination. It’s a lake I have fished only a handful of times and is known for record-sized catches. I am en route to fish the notorious big bass factory in Clear Lake, and I don’t think I could be more excited.
This trip has been scheduled for months and I’m fortunate to be meeting my good friend Nate Monroe at a place he has rented for the week. He towed his boat to this location, and all I have to do is show up to fish. How sweet is that?
As I make the relatively long drive, I have dreams of grandeur. It is hot, and the heat of summer is not always the best time to fish. But, I know that absolutely giant bass frequent this body of water, and if my line is in the water, I have a chance.
On my travels, I keep entertained by listening to music recorded by a close friend of mine. The words sung and the rhythms played make the drive go by painlessly and, before I knew it, I was at the doorstep of this ideal pad, located right on the water.
After short greetings and a brief unload of my tackle and suitcase (a brown paper bag), Nate and I are both chomping at the bit and hit the water ASAP. Clear Lake, as I remember so well, didn’t fail, as there were waves rolling and crashing into the dock that was attached to our place. We assess the situation and decide that running a long distance for the short period of time we have to fish was out of the question. Being optimistic and understanding this body of water, we agree there are quality fish to be had everywhere.
Unlike the lakes I am accustomed to, here there are docks, tulles, weed lines and more. Everything about this place is fishy. We tuck into an area that is protected from the wind and begin to sling hollow-bodied frogs into the vegetation and around all the fish-holding obstacles. It’s a great change of pace for us both. The first session comes to an end and we look forward to returning the next day.
Long before the sun rises, we get up bright and early. Luckily, the wind had subsided throughout the night, giving us access to venture across the vast open water. After arriving at a premium location that Nate had found, we begin to cast. Again, we toss the frog pattern, which is one of the most exhilarating ways to fish, as bass will devour them on the surface. We are quickly rewarded and have many explosive takedowns. Watching largemouth bass swirl and do backflips on these lures is an Xperience all anglers dream of.
The morning comes to an end far too fast and although we do not manage to land any true giants, we do bring a handful of stout hard-fighting fish into the boat. The chance to visit this world-renowned lake, change things up, and spend a few hours with a good friend pursuing green monsters has me asking for more.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932 or xperiencefishing.net.