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Mac the Naw: Fishing season is always open

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
A view from the reeds of North Pond, located in the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area just north of Yerington, Nev.
Courtesy Photo |

Hello fellow anglers; someone asked me the other day, “When does fishing season open?” I told him that I fish all year around. The rivers and streams in Alpine County are closed until April 25, 2015, but the lakes are open all year.

As for ice fishing, that has come to a close for this year. Due to our unusually strange winter, the higher lakes have started to thaw out. I talked with John Voss from Caples Lake last week and he said he has not seen such an early thaw in 40 years. There are still plenty of places between California and Nevada to wet a line all year long. Also a good note to fellow anglers, on March 8 we turn our clocks ahead one hour — and that is only next week. More daylight hours to fish and the daylight gets longer each day by one minute. Here are some local areas that we can enjoy in our local area.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake level is at 51 feet and the maximum level is 62 feet. Due to great efforts by the El Dorado Irrigation District, they have minimized the flows and are keeping the lake as full as they can. Right now the water level is at the bottom of the Caples boat launch and by mid-summer it is expected to be halfway up the ramp. My Naw hat is off to the EID.

Just last week, Josh Otto from Kirkwood caught a nice stringer of rainbows off the shore. He was using silver Kastmasters lures and Powerbait. This is a good time of year to get up and do some shore fishing. The browns and the mackinaws are still in the shallower waters. For more info, call the Caples Lake resort at (209) 258-8888. The resort is open for lodging, but the store is still closed until May.

CARSON RIVER (CALIFORNIA): Closed until the last Saturday in April, except for the area from Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada state line, which is open to fishing all year to catch and release using artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks.

UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER-TROUT CREEK AND TAYLOR CREEK: All located in South Lake Tahoe. Closed until July 1, 2015.

RED LAKE: Partially thawed and is too unstable to ice fish. Even with our small storm coming in this weekend, stay off any lake. Red Lake has good early spring fishing from the shore.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Campground is still closed until end of April. Fishing has been spotty. A fellow angler told me he started at first light and the bite was over by 9 a.m. The unimproved launch ramp is open for small boats and float tubes by the dam. This time of year, try different tactics. Keep changing up your color of Powerbait and patterns of lures. The fish are there, they just don’t know what they want to bite on until you excite them. And with our weather changes, you just have to keep trying — that’s why it is called fishing and not catching.

TOPAZ LAKE: I found out the reason for the lack of reports. With our last windstorm, it knocked out power and communications in the area. Let me catch you up on weeks five and six of the Topaz Lodge Fishing Derby.

Week 5: first place went to Annette Oberson from Gardnerville, Nev. with a 3.13-pound, 21.5-inch rainbow and second place went to Tom Blotter from Wellington, Nev. with a 3.4-pound, 20-inch rainbow — there were 45 fish weighed in over two pounds and no tagged fish caught. Week 6: first place went to Joseph Wall from Yerington, Nev. with a 3.5-pound, 20-inch rainbow and second place went to Robert Brister from Mammoth, Calif. with a 3.2-pound, 20-inch rainbow — here were 35 fish weighed in over two pounds and no tagged fish caught that week.

With the decent rainfall, we have had more anglers are getting out on the lake with their boats. The Topaz Marina is still closed due to low water conditions, but the Douglas County ramp is open for small boats. The Topaz RV Park is still closed for the season.

The derby is open until April 12, 2015 and will close at 7 p.m. sharp — you still have time to catch some of those $100 tagged fish. For more information, call the Topaz Lodge at (775) 266-3338.

CARSON RIVER (NEVADA): Open to fishing all year — the water flow has been good, but the fishing has been slow. NDOW has not planted the river this year as of this date.

MASON VALLEY WILDLIFE AREA: Located just north of Yerington, Nev. off Highway 95, the area opened two weeks ago for fishing. The area has many bodies of water, but if you check your regulations you can only fish on five areas in the management area: Hinkson Slough, North Pond, Crappie Pond, Bass Pond and Cooling Pond. The ponds offer trout, bass and catfish. Make sure you check your regulations for each body of water you fish, as each pond has special regulations.

NEVADA FISH PLANTS: These areas have been planted in the last two weeks: Topaz Lake, Truckee River, Wilson Common, Paradise Pond, Cooling Pond, Hinkson Slough, Mitch Pond and Baily Pond.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to dprice@recordcourier.com. If you have a question or a report from our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at (775) 267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.


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