BY DAVE HURLEY
SHAVER LAKE – The Kokanee Power Team Tournament at Shaver Lake is around 6 weeks away on September 11, but there are many anglers who wished it was yesterday as kokanee over 20 inches have been landed.
The boat pressure is building as the lake is a respite from the triple-digit temperatures in the valley, but trollers getting on the water early are being rewarded with quality trout and kokanee. Bass Lake has also been inundated with recreational boaters, but the kokanee are starting to wake up, and the early-morning trout trolling remains consistent.
Dick Nichols, Shaver’s retired guide emeritus, said, “Earl Taniguchi of Fowler and his fishing buddy, Roger Keir of Fresno, have been trolling Shaver in the past two weeks with decent success. On Friday, they found quality kokanee at several locations on the lake at depths from 45 to 57 feet deep with Terry Walton’s Sierra Gold Spinners and Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Radical Glow Tubes tipped with scented corn be- hind a dodger.
They had no problems in boating two limits of large kokes, Taniguchi said, ”Kokanee fishing picked up this week. The fish are large and in very good shape. Other regular trollers also reported a couple limits per boat. With the warmer weather, it’s time the kokanee take a dive to get into their comfy zone. Kokanee thrive in 52-degree water and that’s about where they are. On my last trip out, we marked kokanee as deep as 80 feet, but some like it cooler. Trout fishing has been tampered down, but easy multiple limits can be found. The four trophies we caught the past few weeks have been located from 28 to 35 feet in depth.”
Bryan McGinty of Killer Bee’s Guide Service is not guiding on the lake, but he is having a blast landing kokanee to 17.5 inches. He said, “It was another killer day as we got on them quick and early, landing a triple before we could get out the fourth rod. We scored limits before 8:00 a.m. with pearl Wiggle Hoochies tipped with Northwest Bait and Scent’s tuna, garlic, herring, or craw/anise combos behind either Jeff Geizler’s or Dino Heib’s custom- painted dodgers at 50 to 55 feet.
Shaver guide Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service put in the largest kokanee recorded this season at 20 inches.
At Bass Lake, Mike Beighey of Bass Lake Guide Service said, “After a few days of slower ac- tion, the trout are back on track at depths from 8 to 28 feet from the Sheriff’s Tower to the Forks. Limits are possible, but you have to be out early and in the right spot as the bite starts at 5:30 and ends by 9:00 a.m. We are scoring with pink or orange Dick’s Mountain Tubes or Trout Busters tipped with maggots and a salmon egg behind a blue Mountain Dodger. The kokanee are still MIA.”
The Tahoe Region lakes of Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, and Stampede Reservoir continue to provide a valid reason to make the trek up Highways 80 or 50.
Meanwhile, out of North Lake Tahoe, Chris Ditter of Sierra Sport Fishing has been consistently returning with limits of mackinaw, saying, “We are picking up 20-plus Mackinaw within two hours, and our second morning trip is producing larger fish. The Mackinaw are very aggressive since the water temperature has reached 58 degrees, and we are scoring with spoons in the morning before switching over to live bait with a Tahoe Flasher on our second trip. The fish are found anywhere from 25 to 200 feet, but the larger fish in the 7/8-pound range that we found earlier in the year at 300 to 400 feet have moved out when the shrimp left the depths.
Over at at South Lake Tahoe, Captain Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sport Fishing said, “We are averaging 3- to 4-fish per rod on every trip, and we are encouraging catch and release because you will finish too fast if you don’t release some fish. The bite has been anywhere on the east or south side at depths from 140 to 160 feet on the shelves with live bait under a flasher. The weather has been very nice with minimal wind over the weekend, reaching 80 degrees. A few kokanee are starting to show up, but I still think we are a few weeks out on the kokanee.”
Stampede continues to be ‘on fire’ for kokanee limits, and Captain Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service has been finding quick limits of kokanee at depths from 20 to 30 feet with Paulina Peak’s Flutter Bugs or watermelon UV hoochies behind a Peak Performer dodger. Captain James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service is also loading up on Stampede’s kokanee, and he said, “It slowed a bit on Saturday morning, but we still landed 7 limits or 35 kokanee with most in the 14- to 16-inch range. The fish are found from the surface to 55 feet, and we also see them deeper. We have been able to get out four rods this week, and the Paulina Peak’s UV watermelon, straight pink, or lemonade hoochies continue to produce.”
There is some controversy about feeding the white pelicans that follow the boats at Stampede while cleaning fish as the pelicans have been picking up hooked fish just under the surface on the line. One pelican ended up with a length of line and a flasher in its bill this week.
At Donner Lake, Rainsbarger continue to find the opportunity for big Mackinaw pulling large plugs, and he said, “We released an 8- and a 13-pound mackinaw on a trip this week, and we also broke one off that was a huge fish, chomping through 12-pound Seagar Invisizx which I think is the best fluorocarbon line. The big ones are biting, but we are having a more difficult time finding the smaller grade of Mackinaw.”