Mac the Naw: Winter fishing has begun |

Mac the Naw: Winter fishing has begun

Jerry Dow from Carson City breaks the ice at Red Lake during an ice fishing excursion with Doug Busey last Monday.
Courtesy Photo |

Hello fellow anglers; I am here to say winter fishing has officially begun. Last Monday, my friend Jerry Dow from Carson City joined me for some ice fishing at Red Lake. We arrived about 10 a.m. to a cleared parking area behind the dam. There was approximately a foot of snow on the dam, which makes it much easier to pull your sled on.

When we got to the top of the dam, we saw a couple anglers that had already started fishing. The lake was completely covered in ice and about three inches of snow. Before we got to our fishing spot, one angler had reeled in two fish and told us the lake had eight inches of ice on it.

Now that we felt safe, we ventured out and drilled our own holes. Jerry and I used gold Kastmasters to jig in one hole and used a nightcrawler in another hole. As we fished, I spoke to other anglers around us to see what they were using. One angler told me his wife had caught and released 30 fish a few days earlier using green Powerbait. Most others were using Kastmasters with a worm attached or small spoons.

The fishing would turn off and on throughout the day. By 3 p.m. when we left, most anglers had caught their limits or came close to them. Two of those anglers I spoke to told me this was their first time ice fishing. They said they could not wait to come back and do it again. Yes, they are hooked.

Sunday, a few friends of mine will be joining me at Red Lake at about 10 a.m. for our annual ice fishing get together. For anyone that would like to join us, please do. For the first time ice fisher, I will drill you a hole to get you started. No special equipment is needed for this type of fishing — all you need is a pole, pinch weights, No. 8 hooks, worms and a five-gallon bucket or a small sled to carry your gear. For those that prefer jigging, gold Kastmasters or Thomas Buoyant spoons work well. A good pair of polarized sunglasses, sunscreen and warm clothing are musts — it’s better to dress for 20-degree weather and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Now for Caples Lake: I spoke to a couple anglers last week and there was four to six inches of ice on the lake. There have been a few anglers out, but they aren’t having much luck. Personally, I will wait until the lake has a minimum of an eight-inch foundation before I venture out. The edge may have four inches of ice, but the farther out you go the ice gets thinner. Use caution any time you venture into thin ice. For more information, call the Caples Lake Resort at (209) 258-8888.

On the other side of the hill, fishing at Topaz Lake is off and running with the first week of the Topaz Lodge Fishing Derby. Twenty-five trout weighed in at more than two pounds the Topaz General Store; David Richter was the first angler of 2015 to weigh in, with a 2.12-pound trout at 8:15 a.m.

The largest fish weighed in on week one was James Hubbard from Gardnerville with a 4.10-pound rainbow, and second place went to James Muller from Gardnerville with a 4.03-pound rainbow trout. Those catches got Hubbard $50 cash and Muller $25 in free slot play; but it gets better. There were seven lucky anglers that caught a tagged trout worth $100 cash.

There are no entry fees, all you need is to be 21 or older (the derby is sponsored by the Topaz Lodge and Casino) and have a valid fishing license. Where else can you get paid to fish? For more info, call the Topaz Lodge and Casino at (775) 266-3338.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure; if you have a picture of your catch send it to Have a question about our local fishing area? Call the Naw Line at (775) 267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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