FLW Pirch photoDid you see those weights at Clear Lake this past weekend: 18 1/2 pounds a day for the 10th place guy–and 97 1/2 pounds to win? How about that Clifford Pirch busting 37 1/2 pounds on the final day of the National Guard to go from six down to win by 10!

But then, Pirch is hardly some guy who just got a BPS gift card for his birthday. U.S. Open champion in 2007 and runner-up this summer, he didn’t fall for the great Clear Lake illusion that seems to baffle so many would-be contenders.

And what’s that? They say the numbers don’t lie, but in fact, Clear Lake never tells the truth. Is the Lake County waterway world class? Of course. Are the top finishers good? No they’re spectacular!

But in a tournament setting once again the scoreboard confirms for most it’s all a ruse.  Take a look at the mean weights for two contests: the National Guard out of Konocti and the U.S. Open this summer at Mead. At Clear Lake, you’re looking at 15 pounds a day, or 45 pounds-even for 48th place. That’s the equivalent of less than 6 pounds a day at Mead!

Seems to me, Clear Lake tournaments are the real “fantasy fishing.”  They let you strut to the scales for three days in a row with a bag of lively 3-pounders, so you can tell your wife and co-workers that all you needed was a kicker.

But, in fact, you’ve been duped; it’s a mirage. A 15-pound bag might let you feel like a pro, but the fact of the matter is, it’s barely average. Do that three days in a row and you’re 20 places out of the money!

So, what can we do about it? Maybe the tournaments can come up with some supplemental method of scoring if this illusion of merely “looking good” persists.  They can have the regular standings, big bass and one more–style points.


One Response to “Clear Lake: The great illusion persists”

In short, I better leave my finesse worms for Clear Lake and my 9″ swimbaits for Mead at home if I expect to cash a check……