Mac the Naw: Happy naw year |

Mac the Naw: Happy naw year

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
Slade Conboy and his dad, Doug, caught this 10-pound mackinaw last week at Caples Lake.
Courtesy of Doug Busey |

Hello fellow anglers. ‘Tis the season for ice fishing. Caples Lake and Red Lake have been iced over for the last few weeks. I personally like to have at least 8 inches of ice to fish. Well, we are in luck. I spoke with Dave from the Caples Lake resort last week. Dave reported 8 to 10 inches of ice at the dam area. There were a few anglers out enjoying a beautiful day of ice fishing. Doug Conboy with his son Slade from Modesto, Calif., were fishing with Grandpa John, who was visiting from Alaska. This three-generation fishing party caught a nice 10-pound mackinaw. They were using night crawlers right off the bottom. Other anglers were catching some nice rainbows using small spoons and Kastmaster lures.

Ice fishing is a great winter sport for all to enjoy. No special equipment is needed, except for an auger to drill your hole. If you do not have an auger, most anglers I have met over the years will either drill you one or loan you their auger. When I first started ice fishing, I had a 5-gallon bucket to carry my gear in and it also makes a great stool to sit on. Here is a list of equipment each first-time ice angler needs: Fishing pole, pinch weights, pack of hooks some worms. For those who like to use jigs, bring some small gold Kastmaster lures. As you progress and talk to other ice anglers, you will be amazed at how much stuff you will bring with you. My friends and I now have two small sleds we bring for the chairs, pole holders, snow shovel, a scoop to keep your hole clear and even a couple carpet samples we got from Lowe’s to keep your feet warm and dry. No, we do not have an ice-fishing shanty yet, although some anglers have brought them.

Red Lake is another good ice fishing destination. As of last week the lake had 10 inches of ice on it. Here you can catch Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Cutthroat trout using the same gear as Caples Lake. Most important thing of all to bring is polarized sunglasses and sunscreen SPF 50. The sun reflecting off of the lake is extremely strong and can cause snow blindness (sunburned eyes) and give you a sunburn faster than any summer day. Hope to see you on the frozen tundra this season.

For those that will be going to Topaz Lake for the 2014 opener on Jan. 1, here are few things to know. The water level was up on the Nevada Park launch about 15 to 20 feet. I spoke with Chuck Fields at the Topaz Landing Marina. Chuck told me that the water was to low for him to open the launch and to put in the rental boats as of last week. This may change though as we get closer to Jan. 1. The water level has been going up each day. For more information, call 775-266-3550.

For the really good news: As many have read in past articles, the Nevada Department of Wildlife has planted more than 15,000 pounds of trout over the last couple of months. Last week, the Topaz Lodge planted the tagged fish for this year. Each tagged fish is worth $100 cash when you bring it to the general store. This year you may be surprised at the size of the tagged fish you might catch. They may be 10 ounces or they may be 10 pounds. Yes, the Topaz Lodge has planted up to 10-pound fish this year. For more information on the Topaz Lake fishing derby, call 775-266-3338. Where else can you get paid to fish?

Hope to see you on the waters or ice soon. Remember that, as of Jan. 1, California anglers need to renew their fishing license. Nevada fishing licenses are valid until Feb. 28. As a note; either license is valid on Topaz Lake. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to If you have a question in our local fishing area, call the Naw line at 775-267-9722. Have a safe and a Happy naw year. Good Fishin’ and tight lines.

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