It pays to wear a life jacket |

It pays to wear a life jacket

Doug Busey, Tribune correspondent

Hello, fellow anglers.

I would like to share something very important with you. Although you may think it’s a little early in the boating season, it’s not. This is something that may save a life — yours or someone else’s.

I’m talking about boating safety. Many of us take this for granted for various reasons. A typical one is “I’ve been driving a boat for years, I can swim.” But do your passengers know how to swim or keep afloat in 3-foot swells? Most accidents happen in calm waters. This is a fact.

Before passengers come onto your boat, instruct them to wear the life jackets and show them where the fire extinguishers are located. These are just the basics of boating safety.

In fact, Nevada Department of Wildlife has started a program called “It Pays To Wear Your Life Jacket” to promote boating safety. This simple act of safety might put a wad of cash in your wallet — $1,000 worth to be exact.

Throughout this year on waters on the California/Nevada state lines and some other Nevada waters, including Topaz, Lake Tahoe, Lahontan, Lake Mead and certain parts of the Colorado River, officers will be watching for people who are wearing their life jackets, meaning ALL people on the boat. You may be approached to receive one of the special envelopes that could earn you a $1,000 prize or a sub sandwich from Port of Subs.

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Don’t just wear your life jacket to win one of these prizes, wear it for your own protection, as well as for your passengers. Check into the new styles available. They are not as uncomfortable as you think they are. There are so many new life preservers available now, including a fishing vest with a CO2 cartridge — perfect for float tubers. Or you can try a complete camo suit with inflatable compartments. This is perfect for the angler or hunter.

If you’d like information on where you can take a boating safety course, you can call NDOW at (775) 688-1500, or call Edwin Lyngar at (775) 688-1548. You also have the option of going online at or you can send a letter to NDOW Boat Safety, 1100 Vallet Road, Reno, Nev., 89112.

You can take this course in the privacy of your own home. When you get your certificate of completion, show it to your insurance agent because it could save you up to 15 percent or more on your boat insurance. So be safe and learn boating safety.

Now let’s check out what’s going on in our fishing world:

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw fishing has been good from Dollar Point and Cal-Neva, fishing at a depth of 180 to 200 feet using a silver herring dodger flasher blade followed by a live minnow. Average size is 3-6 pounds, with an occasional 9- to10-pounder. Rainbow and brown action has been fair to slow with best action around the Cave Rock area to Logan Shoals, trolling a jointed, sinking rapala in a rainbow pattern. For more information, call the guys at The Sportsman at (530) 542-FISH.

TOPAZ: Last week, very few boaters were out due to windy conditions. An occasional 16- to 17-inch rainbow has been reported. Best action has been with silver flasher blades followed by a night crawler. Chuck reported there were a lot of shore anglers, but nobody stopped in to report their catch. For more information, call the Topaz Lake Marina at (775) 266-3550.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVIOR: Approximately one and a half weeks ago my friend Steve Lightfoot and I stopped here to go fishing. We fished from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. with only two bites — on my pole, of course! Even checking with Dave Kirby of the Woodfords General Store, action still has been quiet this last week. Alpine County will be stocking the reservoir at the end of this month, so obviously fishing will pick up.

PYRAMID LAKE: Action has been reported good to great. The larger cutthroat trout have been coming out of the deeper water. Best action is still using a frog pattern flatfish or an Apex lure, or using the standard colors of Torpedos. In fact, last week, Andy Moore of Carson City, trolling a flatfish, caught a 12-pound, 13-ounce cutthroat. With our recent mild weather, go to Pyramid and catch a trophy fish.

One final bit of news, a new Dolly Varden trout record was caught on 10-pound test by Mike Courtiss. Courtiss’ Oct. 6, 2002 catch on the Kulik River in Alaska was 27 pounds and 6 ounces.

Well, I think this is enough to wet your taste buds. If you have a photo of your catch, drop it off at the Tahoe Daily Tribune: Attention: Mac-the-Naw. You too could be in the Naw Hall of Fame.

If you have any questions or comments, call the Naw line at (775) 267-9722.

Good fishing and tight lines!