Mac the Naw: A birthday celebration with Capt. Gene St. Denis on Lake Tahoe
Special to the Tribune
Hello fellow anglers; the weather has been beautiful, but a little scary. We need some more precipitation in the form of snow up on them there hills. Hopefully March will add to our snowpack.
Last Monday, Renee and I took advantage of the nice weather with friends Deanna and Geary Ness, and fished on Lake Tahoe with Gene St. Denis. Being that it was Deanna’s birthday, we had a party on the water. Where else would friends celebrate such a great occasion?
We started about 9 a.m. off the Cal/Neva point. Within a half-hour we were on fish, and the fishing was fantastic. We were trolling a flasher and dodger combination with a live minnow about 12 inches behind the dodger. We fished in 200-240 feet of water right off the bottom.
By 11 a.m., we had a few boats coming closer to check out what the heck we were using. We had our limits soon after and headed back for shore. Our fish averaged 2-3 pounds; Deanna caught one about 5 pounds and the Naw got one about 8 pounds. There was one small mackinaw we caught and could not release, but the funny thing is no one remembered who caught it. That was how good the fishing was.
I have fished with Gene St. Denis many times over the years, and cannot remember a bad day. If you are not familiar with fishing on Lake Tahoe, call Gene at Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters at 530-544-6552. You will learn how to fish Tahoe, and the history of the Tahoe Basin and surrounding area in one afternoon; and most likely meet a new friend. Other areas of Lake Tahoe that have been producing mackinaws are Meeks Bay and the Tahoe shelf.
CAPLES LAKE: Has 4-5 feet of ice on it, and an extension on your auger is recommended. Nightcrawlers or small jigs have been most productive, along with freshwater shrimp from the grocery store. No need to venture to the middle of the lake; I have had my best luck in 5-15 feet of water. Caples Lake Resort is open for cabin rentals into April, when they will close to get ready for the spring season. For more information call the resort at 209-258-8888. Special note: if you stay there, resort manager Drew is an experienced ice angler.
RED LAKE: Has 4-5 feet of snow with 12-18 inches on top. Fishing has been very spotty over the last couple weeks. Kastmasters or small spoons have been most popular for jiggers while nightcrawlers or Powerbait have produced a few small rainbows. The lake can produce cutthroat, brown, rainbow and brook trout.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Ventured here with friends two weeks ago; we fished for five hours with a few bites. A couple anglers caught some small rainbows with garlic Powerbait. The water level has come up a couple feet and all of the places we used to fish along the shoreline are now submerged.
The lake has no ice on it and the paved road is not open at this time. It may open at any time, but for now I would use the entrance off of Diamond Valley Road. It is a dirt road with a little washboard in some areas, but is accessible with most any vehicle.
TOPAZ LAKE: The Topaz Lodge Derby is going strong. Last week two tagged fish were caught and 54 weighed in at over 2 pounds. Shad LaFantise from Walker, California, took first place with a 3.15-pound rainbow.
Action has been on and off. Shore anglers have had better luck than the boaters using worms or Powerbait. Trollers have been going a little deeper with Rapalas on the south end. For more information call Topaz Lodge at 775-266-3338.
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE FISH PLANTS: Sparks Marina, Paradise Park Pond, Wilson Common Pond, Baily Pond, Mitch Park Pond.
Good luck on your next fishing adventure; only two more weeks until daylight savings time. If you have a question in our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Get a picture of your catch, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good fishin’ and tight lines.
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As another summer heads to Lake Tahoe, residents are finding ways to stay busy and one of the more popular activities to gain traction on both shores is pickleball.