Mac the Naw: Fishing picking up for Fourth of July weekend |

Mac the Naw: Fishing picking up for Fourth of July weekend

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune

Hello fellow anglers; welcome to Fourth of July weekend. The weather is hot and the fishing is picking up. The roads will be busy and patience will be thin; take your time and watch for anglers jumping from hole to hole, especially around the rivers.

With dry and hot temperatures, here are a few things to remember:

Campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds, and campfire permits are required for open fire, including campfire, barbecues and portable stoves on federally-controlled and private lands. You can obtain a permit from Alpine County Chamber of Commerce or online at

Also, remember to put out your campfire with water only and do not bury it with dirt; long after your camping trip, a fire can start if not extinguished properly. Let’s all play safe when enjoying our great outdoors. Many of our local areas have finally opened for the season, so be prepared for crowed fishing this weekend:

LAKE TAHOE: Doing well for mackinaws; I recommend getting out early to take advantage of calm waters. Best areas have been Cal/Neva Point to Dollar Point. Start at 80-100 feet of water and progress out as the sun comes up — by 9 a.m. you should be out to 180-220 feet of water. Silver and white dodgers with large live minnows have been most productive, and silver flashers have also been working. Average mackinaw has been 2-6 pounds with a few in the 8-10-pound class.

As of right now the Cave Rock boat launch ramp is open, but scheduled to close Aug. 1 and may stay closed up to 30 days or more. Other areas to launch are Tahoe Keys Marina on the south end and for smaller boats, Sand Harbor on the east side. Top lining has been fair for anglers just before first light around Cave Rock to Sand Harbor. Didn’t bring your boat? Call Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters at 530-544-6552.

CAPLES LAKE: Water level is at 61 feet; full capacity is 62 feet. Caples Lake has two boat launching areas: Caples Lake Resort and the El Dorado Irrigation District facility. The lake, dam and spillway also offer shore-fishing areas; if you don’t mind a hike, take a trip to the Woods Creek inlet area. The resort offers fishing, boat and kayak rentals and a general store open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The campground is open on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, call Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

WOODS LAKE: Campground is open, and the lake is scheduled to be planted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Woods Lake is a small lake with access to great hiking trails and lakefront camping.

RED LAKE: Fishing has been slow; the lake has cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout. Camping is available on the opposite side of the dam with limited access. Carry-down boats or float tubes only, and bring mosquito repellant.

BLUE LAKE: Road is open to upper and lower Blue lakes, and camping is available throughout the area. CDFW is scheduled to plant the lake with catchable rainbows soon.

BURNSIDE LAKE: Road is open with camping around the lake area; Burnside is a small lake with wooded shoreline. CDFW is scheduled to plant here soon.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Campground is open on first come, first taken basis, with dry RV sites and tent camping; it also has a heated shower and bathrooms. Fishing has been good early in the morning, then spotty during the day; Powerbait has been most productive in deeper water areas by the dam. The water level is way up and starting to get some algae bloom. For more information, stop by Creekside Lodge in Markleeville.

HIGHLAND LAKES: Located on Highway 4 over Ebbetts Pass, and is open for camping and brook trout fishing. They have a primitive campground with porta potties. Highland Lakes is also the hiking entrance to the Mokelumne wilderness area.

CARSON RIVER EAST AND WEST FORK (CALIFORNIA SIDE): West fork is running nice and clear, east fork is running high with a little green tint to it. Alpine County Fish and Game planted the rivers this week, and CDFW has scheduled plants for both rivers. Salmon eggs and Powerbait have been most productive, and anglers have been using mice tails through the currents; do a little walking to find those bigger trout. For more information, stop by Carson River Resort.

CARSON RIVER (NEVADA SIDE): NDOW planted the river by the broken dam this week with catchable-sized rainbow. Small spinners and salmon eggs have been productive.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a photo of your catch, send it to Have a question or a report in our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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