Mac the Naw: Winter fishing report |

Mac the Naw: Winter fishing report

Doug Busey Special to the Tribune

Courtesy of Doug Busey Eric St. Denis shows off a 42-inch mackinaw trout he caught in 30 feet of water at the Cave Rock shelf Sunday. The fish put up a 30-minute fight and weighed in at 28-plus pounds.

Hello fellow anglers. ‘Tis the of winter as of Dec. 21, but with that brings good news. As of Dec. 22, the days start getting longer by one minute each day. Also, remember during this time of year that we can have a daytime high temperature at 2 a.m., so dress accordingly on your next outing. Always put a little emergency bag in your vehicle that contains water, power bars, a wool blanket, a pair of dry socks, an extra jacket, a beanie for your head and flashlight. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. You never know what can happen, you could be at Indian Creek Reservoir and your battery dies. It may only be two miles from the nearest phone but the elements can take a toll, even if you are in good physical condition. Be safe, be smart. The lakes in the high country are starting to freeze now, but ice fishing is not even a thought for a few more weeks. I spoke with Dave from Caples Lake Resort last week. He told me the lake had frozen over a few times so far, but had thawed by afternoon. Dave said he would keep me informed on the ice conditions and when it’s safe to ice fish. We will have the ice fishing get together the second week of January on Red Lake, provided the lake is safe to venture on. That date to come.Hope you haven’t put your fishing gear away because this time of year yields larger fish as you are about to see in your local fishing report.LAKE TAHOE: If you can take the cold, get out and fish. Richard Boudreau was trolling a Rapala lure near Cave Rock two weeks ago and picked up a 10-pound brown. Eric St. Denis was fishing with his father last week near Cave Rock when he pulled in a 28.9-pound, 42-inch mackinaw trout. Eric was trolling a 10-inch Trophy Stik lure in 30 feet of water when he caught this beautiful fish. Toplining in shallow waters this time of year has brought in more macs in the 10- to 20-pound class. I caught my largest mac in January 2010 fishing with Gene St. Denis just north of Emerald Bay. The fish was 39 inches long and an estimated 18 to 20 pounds (we didn’t have a scale with us). We were trolling 12-inch Rapalas in 35 feet of water. For more info, call Blue Ribbon Charters at 530-541-6552. Or if you want to get a stocking stuffer for that special angler, ask for a gift certificate to fish with Gene on the PT 109.CAPLES LAKE: The lake is too thin for ice fishing and too dangerous for shore fishing. I recommend waiting a few weeks before venturing up there. The resort is open on weekends until Christmas Day. It will then be open every day for the rest of the winter season. You can ski at Kirkwood one day and ice fish the next (after the lake gets at least 10 inches of ice). Call 209-258-8888 for info or reservations.RED LAKE: As of last Thursday, the lake had started to freeze over. It had a thin sheet of ice across the top, but we still have a few weeks before it will be safe enough to ice fish.CARSON RIVER: Downstream from Hang Man’s Bridge is open all year to catch and release. With special regulations, artificial lures and flies only with single barbless hooks. Upstream, the east and west forks are closed until the last Saturday in April. The Carson River Resort is now open all year for that quick getaway. You can go to Grover’s Hot Springs in Markleeville, Calif., in the morning then fish for a few hours in the afternoon. For more information, call 530-694-2229.INDIAN CREEK RES: Use caution on the paved road from Highway 89. There are parts of the road that never see the light of day until spring, and can be dangerous holding ice and snow. I ran across a ranger that was stuck in the snow on this road a few years ago. The dirt road off Diamond Valley is recommended, but can also be icy or muddy. Anglers have been catching a few small planters over the last few weeks. They are using PowerBait or Power Eggs. One angler trolled a wooly bugger behind his float tube and caught and released 12 trout. As of Thursday, the area received four inches of snow. On a positive note, the Alpine County Fish Commission and the Chamber Board are scheduled to plant the lake this week with 1,800 pounds of trout from the American Trout and Salmon Hatchery in Susanville, Calif. The trout will be 2-to 4-pounds each.TOPAZ LAKE: The Topaz Lodge Derby is on, running Jan. 1 through April 14. You have to be 21 years old or older to participate as it is sponsored by the Topaz Lodge and Casino. Where else can you go fishing and get paid to do so? Each week the two largest trout brought to the general store will be awarded $50 for first place and $25 for second place. Any Topaz Lodge tagged fish will automatically get you $100 in cash, $10 in free slot play and 10 entries into the drawing. All trout 2 pounds and larger without a tag will get $5 free slot play and 10 entries into the drawing. They will draw tickets for $1,000 in cash and prizes April 14 at 7 p.m. You must be present to win. There are some regulations. Trout must be caught in Topaz Lake. Only colored tags from Topaz Lodge will be accepted. Contests who break regulations are subject to disqualification from this and any future Topaz Lodge derbies. Just play by the rules. It’s fishing, not the lottery.Also as a note, since Oct. 1 the Nevada Department of Wildlife has planted more than 12,000 pounds of trout in Topaz Lake. For more info on the derby or lodging call 800-962-0732 or 775-266-3338. Also note that these rules are different than the ones on the Topaz Lodge Web page. These are the official rules and the Web page will be updated soon. Hope to see you out there.PYRAMID LAKE: When the wind is not blowing the fishing is great. In the last two weeks, a 24-pound and a 20-pound cutthroat were caught and released. Most fish this year came in at the 5- to 10-pound class this year.NDOW’S LAST LOCAL PLANT OF THE YEAR: Mitch’s Pond, Wilson Common Pond, Baily Pond, Sparks Marina and Paradise Pond.ALPINE COUNTY ROAD-CLOSURES AS OF DEC 13: Blue Lakes, Schneider Cow Camp, Burnside Lake Road, Forest Dale, Pleasant Valley, Silver Hill, Woods Lake and Highland Lakes.Wolf Creek and airport roads are still open, but use extreme caution on either of these roads.Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to If you have any questions or a fishing report call the NAW Line at 775-267-9722. For those who have commented on my photo, yes it is more than 10 years old, and I will update it for the new year.Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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