Anglers are reeling in the dough |

Anglers are reeling in the dough

Doug Busey, Tribune fishing writer

Hello, fellow anglers.

Many exciting things are going on right now: Topaz Lake, ice fishing and even fly-fishing. But the most intriguing thing for me is that the days are getting longer. Soon we will have an extra hour after work to wet a line.

The Topaz Lake Lodge Derby is well under way. The first day started with 4 to 6 inches of snow at the lake, but that didn’t deter the avid angler. The general store reported weighing 121 fish, with the average being 2.50 pounds. Seventeen tagged fish were caught and two of them were second tags. They paid out $1,900 just on that day.

The largest fish caught for first week was by Gardnerville’s Jay Briggs, who caught a 4.7-pounder. Runner-up was William Warner of Silver Springs at 4.4 pounds.

During the second week, Topaz Lodge weighed in 109 trout in excess of two pounds; the average was 2.53 pounds. Also, an angler by the name of Ken caught four tagged fish for a total of $700. First place went to Kevin Morrison, weighing in at 4.3 pounds, and second place went to Jon Flint at 4.1 pounds.

I also have the good word that there are a lot more tagged fish for the catching out there. Where else can you get paid to go fishing?

CAPLES LAKE: Many anglers have been out ice fishing, with 24 inches of ice and slush covered by 1 to 3 feet of snow. Night crawlers or fresh water shrimp have been the best bait of choice. Other anglers have done well with small gold Kastmasters or small spoons jigging. The areas to fish are by the dam or spillway. Parking is limited so use caution when exiting or entering your vehicle. For more information on conditions, call the Caples lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

RED LAKE: The lake has 24 inches of ice, water and slush on top of that and another 12 inches of ice on top layer. A strange combination that can be dangerous. Always use caution on any frozen body of water. There also are 1- to 3-foot drifts of snow on top of all of that. Fishing has been reported as hot for anglers using thunderbolt spoons in a rainbow pattern of small gold Kastmaster lures. Night crawlers or salmon eggs have been the bait of choice. Some recent reports have come in that you might need to bring an extension for your auger.

ICE-FISHING NOTE: Many anglers have never ice fished but would like to learn. I recommend your first adventure be with a professional guide. Tahoe Flyfishing Outfitters of South Lake Tahoe are those professional guides. Not only do they guide fly-fishing trips this time of year on the Walker and Truckee rivers, (which are fishing awesome right now), they guide ice fishing trips to Caples and Red lakes. They can be reached at 530-541-8208.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: As of last week, the lake was still frozen over and anglers have been ice fishing. I personally have never seen Indian Creek safe enough to ice fish. I have seen some very inexperienced anglers clawing a hole in the ice with a hammer to fish. My recommendation is to wait for the lake to thaw. This body of water is very unstable and can have a dangerous outcome.

BAILEY POND: Formerly known as Fuji Pond in Carson City. Recently named after C.K. Bailey, the innovator and one of the main people responsible for this project. I spoke to Vern Krahn of the Nevada Parks Department this week, as many anglers have wondered why the pond is closed. The two main reasons for the closure are safety and protection of resources. It may look inviting to attempt to ice fish, but with unstable conditions, the ice is changing daily. As for the protection of resources, the parking lot and the surrounding areas have become covered in snow and ice as well as mud. When driven on, this destroys the area and is costly to the parks department, which does manage the pond. Krahn informed me that the pond may open and close at various times of the year because of these concerns. He said that the department is only looking out for the future of Bailey Pond. You may call the Nevada Parks Department at any time to check when the pond will be open or may be temporarily closed. That number is 775-877-2262.

For any information on the Topaz Lake Lodge Derby, you can call the general store at 775-266-3337, or you can log onto If you are looking to rent a fishing boat, call the Topaz Marina at 775-266-3550.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have any questions in our local fishing world, call the Naw line at 775-267-9722. The Naw will be on a fishing adventure of his own for the next few weeks. I will be out fishing our local lakes; maybe I will see you on Topaz Lake next week or on Caples Lake ice fishing on Jan. 22. If you get a photo of your catch, you can send it to or drop it off at the Tribune office.

Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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