Mac the Naw: Some lakes still have ice |

Mac the Naw: Some lakes still have ice

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
Rodney Tschetter, from left, Brandon Jones and Doug Busey are shown during a recent trip to Caples lake.
Courtesy of Doug Busey |

Hello fellow anglers; I took last week off and went fishing. Some days I forget that we are still in January. Although I enjoyed fishing without my overalls on, it scares me to think what summer will have in store for our local lakes and rivers. Lake Tahoe is just above its natural rim and still going lower. Lahontan Reservoir in Nevada looks as big as Indian Creek res In Alpine County. The flow in the Walker River is not enough to put a trickle in Topaz Lake. We need to do a rain dance or say a lot of prayers that we get some snowpack in our Sierra soon. I talked with Dave from the Caples Lake Resort. They received 3-4 inches of snow last Saturday and most of that has dissipated. Let us check out our local fishing report and I will share my fishing adventures with you.

LAKE TAHOE: Top lining has been hit and miss for anglers using Rapala’s and Trophy Stik lures. This time last year the bite was very good for browns and rainbows. Although it has been slow, a few anglers have reported 6- to 13-pound mackinaws top lining. Deep lining has been good for most anglers. Best action has been reported at the Tahoe Shelf or Cal/Neva areas. They have been trolling in 150 to 250 feet of water with blades or a dodger followed with a live minnow. Most macs have been in the 3- to 6-pound class, with a few in the 7- to 16-pound class. For more information call Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters at 530-544-6552.

CAPLES LAKE: Last Monday some friends joined me for a nice day of ice fishing. The lake had 10 to 12 inches of ice on it with no snow on top, which means it was very slick. In the morning the lake would crack and pop which made it very uncomfortable for some anglers. I fished with Rodney Tschetter, his friend Brandon Jones, and Renee Heinichen, which some know as Mrs. Naw. We fished with night crawlers and Kastmaster lures. After about four hours of fishing we caught two small mackinaws, a small rainbow, and a nice 3.4-pound rainbow trout. Not a great day of fishing, but a good day with friends. Special note, you will see some people working on the dam. They are replacing some defective parts on the gates. So do not be alarmed if you see divers in the water. They are doing the work now so they will not having to drain any of the lake this spring. The resort is open for cabins and lodging rentals. For more information, call the Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888. With the small amount of snow they received last week, the lake is not a sheet of ice like it has been.

RED LAKE: Last week the lake had 12 inches of ice on it. The fishing has been a little slow for anglers. Most were using small spoons or Kastmaster lures to jig with, while some used half of a night crawler. The average size has been 8-13 inches. Some ice fishing advice: If you are not getting any bites in one hole, drill another one. The best areas to fish are from just before the turn in the dam to around the turn only 15 to 30 feet from shore. No need to go out in the middle.

INDIAN CREEK RES: Last Wednesday I ventured out with Renee to find 3 to 4 inches of ice still on the lake. The scary thing was three anglers were out ice fishing and about 75 feet away from them was partially open water. They chucked at us when we did not join them. I have a rule, I will not venture out on any lake that does not have at least 8 inches of ice on it. And with stories I have heard from past anglers, I will not ice fish on Indian Creek. Give it a couple weeks and it will thaw for us all to enjoy.

TOPAZ LAKE: On the first week there were 11 tagged trout and 13 trout that were over 2 pounds brought into the Topaz General Store. The biggest trout for the first week was 4.5 pounds caught by Steve Gilbert from Minden, Nev. The second biggest for the week was 3.8 pounds caught by John Hayes from Smith Valley, Nev. There have been reports of many anglers with limits of small rainbow trout. The biggest issue was the boat-launching situation. Topaz Landing Marina was and is still closed due to low water in the lake. Only small boats could launch at the Nevada boat launch. I ventured up with friends Geary and Deanne Ness last Friday. We fished for two hours on the California shore, then moved to the north shore by the park area and fished for another two to three hours. We threw everything we had in our tackle boxes from bait to lures and did not receive one bite the whole day. We drove over to the boat launch to see that it was closed and the water level was only up on the ramp by 10 feet. What an strange feeling to not see any boats on the lake and only a few other shore anglers the whole day. I talked to Chuck Fields at the Topaz Marina and he told me that the water level had actually gone down since opening day and that this was the first year he has not been able to at least put in rental boats in more than 20 years. Again, here comes that praying for rain part. For more information on the Topaz Lodge Derby, call 775-266-3338.

PYRAMID LAKE: Geary Ness and I ventured out for a long day of fishing last week. We arrived at 8 a.m. and did not even put the cold weather gear in the boat. We trolled from Windless Bay to Sutcliffe area and caught and released one Cutthroat just shy of the slot limit and had a couple long-distance releases. We had our best luck on joined frog pattern or rainbow Kwik fish lures. We fished in 90 to 125 feet of water with our lures in the 70-foot range. I recommend launching at Pelican Point, just north of Sutcliffe. A Nevada licence is not required, but a tribal permit is. They are available at the Sutcliffe store for $9, boat launch is also $9.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to If you have a question or report in our local fishing world call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. See you on the water — or the ice. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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