[Featured photo contributed] Even though Shaver Lake has had unusually slow action for most of the season, kokanee experts like Earl Taniguchi, of Fowler, have come through with a limit per most trips of nice kokanee. Taniguchi caught this limit of fat kokanee this past week at Shaver.
By Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters | Contributed
I am going to quit using the phrase, “hit or miss.” It is now, “one day chicken, the next day feathers,” – that best describes fishing here at Shaver Lake. One day you can limit and the next day, well who knows, it may be a single fish.
Many of my fellow trollers are telling me they have been skunked more than once this past summer. I have experience that too, as for the first time in my 10 years of guiding, I too have had a day or two of being skunked. As a guide, I hate it. How can I go from cleaning about 1,500 mixed fish last year to a third of that this year? And this year’s estimate includes plenty of fish from an excellent spring charter season. Since mid-May, things gradually slowed down to where a fish or two was possible.
But, let’s look at some guys who are what I call “experts” in catching kokanee. I say kokanee as the trout bite has been off since the lake rose. Guys like Earl Taniguchi of Fowler and Dick Gomez of Shaver Lake come to my immediate mind. Taniguchi uses pink or orange Terry Walton spinners with a tip of corn behind Terry Walton dodgers. He also fluctuates his trolling speed between catches. Taniguchi arrives at the crack of dawn, often using a flashlight to see the depth meter on his downriggers. He fishes all morning, catching one here and one there, but it will add up to five kokanee most of the time. It’s not a fluke that Taniguchi has this success as he eats and sleeps kokanee.
For Gomez, the former owner of Young’s Sporting Goods in Shaver, it is a different approach to kokanee fishing that brings him success. Gomez uses ball flashers on his downrigger balls. On his kokanee rod he has a simple red bug tipped with corn. No dodger or spinner in front of the bug. After putting his downrigger ball down with six-foot flashers extending back, he attaches his leader to the downrigger harness and extends the bug back about a foot behind the end of the downrigger ball. I have used his method this year and have had some good days using his style of kokanee fishing. So, I have used two examples of successful kokanee fishing that may be of help to you on your next trip.
Without a trout bite for the first time in all my charter fishing years, I am somewhat lost as I normally rely on 1/3 kokes and 2/3 trout to finish limits for groups. I am a meat fisherman, but It is not happening this year. Why? I really can’t answer that question as it is my true belief that the trout bite dropped in mid-May due to an increase of water and the lake rising to near capacity.
The rising water collected insects, worms and other potential food and deposited it into the lake. The trout feasted on it and no longer looked at our tackle. Well, the water has dropped 15 feet this past two weeks and I can not see an improvement. I do believe that September may bring us some good trout. Of course no DF&W plant of catchables since April does not help.
I recommend that you continue to fish Shaver with the optimistic thought that the trout will bite. The kokanee are going into pre-spawn conditions and should show some improvement up to spawning time. Last September was a killer time for large pre-spawn kokanee. Cooler weather is upon us and the bite could really change for the good.
Hang in there and go for the chicken. I look forward to seeing you out on the lake.