Mac the Naw: Winter getting back on track |

Mac the Naw: Winter getting back on track

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
Neal Linbarger with his first place catch for week four weighing in at 3.10 pounds. Linbarger also won second place in week four with a 3.7 pound catch.
Courtesy of Carilyn Albin |

Hello fellow anglers; welcome to spring-winter! Only a couple weeks ago I was enjoying a day on the lake with no coveralls or even a jacket on. I was worried there might be no more ice fishing due to our unseasonably warm weather, but now I have faith in Mother Nature.

It was only a couple of years ago we were driving back from the fishing derby award ceremonies at Topaz Lodge in mid April and it was snowing so hard, we could only drive 25 mph most of the way home. With our recent storm, I do have faith that our lakes will rise enough to launch our boats and to keep our higher lakes frozen to ice fish a few more times this year. Now let’s check out our local report.

CAPLES LAKE: As of last Monday, the lake still had 10-12 inches of ice on it. The late afternoons brought slush on top, but the nights brought the ice back to its original form, hard and slick. Some anglers have been venturing out to catch small rainbows. No reports of any larger fish in the last week or so. The best action has been with a nightcrawler right off the bottom by spillway just off the dam. The Caples Lake Resort is open for cabin rentals and the general store is still closed until about the beginning of May, or this year maybe sooner. For more information, call the Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

RED LAKE: The ice has also been reported as slushy in the afternoon. The ice was reported at 8-10 inches. The fishing has been good for most anglers and they have been using small spoons or gold Kastmaster jigs. Small nightcrawlers have also been producing a few. Always use caution when venturing out on a frozen body of water.

CARSON RIVER: For those who enjoy river fishing, remember that the east fork on the California side, from Hangman’s bridge down to the Nevada state line, is open all year with special regulations. Artificial lures or flies only with barb less hooks, and the limit is zero (catch and release only). The Nevada side, from the state line throughout Douglas County and beyond, is open all year with a five fish limit and you may use lures, flies or float a salmon egg if you wish. A reminder that the Carson River Resort is open for reservations all year. Don’t forget to make yours for opening day. They can be reached at 530-694-2229.

MONITOR PASS: Has been open for most of the season this year, but with our recent change in weather, I feel it will close.

INDIAN CREEK RES: I missed going fishing last Monday, and I do regret it. Reports are that the ice has come off of the lake and the fishing has been doing very good. Anglers have reported using power bait and catching rainbows up to 1.5 pounds. Some anglers have been throwing Thomas Buoyant spoons from the dam and also producing some nice fish. I will be up there this Monday to make up for lost fishing time. Use caution on the dirt road as it gets very muddy and slippery. The paved road has been open so far this year, but that can change with weather.

TOPAZ LAKE: Water level is still too low to open the boat launches at Topaz Landing Marina and the State Park, but I have some good news. I spoke with the people at Topaz Lake RV Park. They normally allow boat launching for their guests only, but they have most graciously opened their boat launch to the public until the lake has enough water to safely open the State Park ramp. At the time I spoke with them they did not have their docks in the water, but there is plenty of room to shore launch large and small boats. For more info you can contact them at 530-495-2357. They are located 100 feet north of the Agriculture Inspection Station — or, as I call it, the bug station.

DERBY REPORT: So far this year, 15 tagged fish and 26 fish over 2 pounds have been brought in. That means there are a whole lot more tagged fish out there to be caught. One angler caught a 15” 1.5 pound trout and it got him a $100 cash prize. Not all of the tagged fish are big ones. On week four, to me this is a first, Neal Linbarger caught a 3.10 and a 3.7 pound trout and took home the 1st and 2nd place cash prize for the week. The largest trout I have recorded for the year so far is Dave Gilbert with a 5.10 pound rainbow. Now remember that any trout caught in Topaz Lake is eligible for the derby and the weekly prizes. And get this, last week the NDOW planted 1,290 pounds of Tiger trout in the lake. For more information on the derby or lodging call the Topaz lodge at 775-266-3338.

BLUE LAKES, WOODS CREEK, AND BURNSIDE LAKE: All located in Alpine County are closed for the season.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure, hope to see you on the waters. If you have photo of your catch send it to If you have a question or a report in our local fishing world, call the Naw line at 775-267-9722.

Good Fishin’ and tight lines!

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