Busy 4th of July slows fishing at Shaver Lake

Davis Watanabe, of Oakhurst, helps his 8-year-old son Blaze hold this 4-pound trophy rainbow for this picture. Blaze caught these magnificent rainbow while fishing with Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters. (Contributed photo)

By Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters

It was a longer 4th of July week than I recall. Hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors chose Shaver Lake as their 4th of July retreat this past week. The 4th, which was actually on a Tuesday, began on the the previous Saturday and basically lasted into the next weekend.

A boon for Shaver business, but rough water from high-speed boats and other watercrafts and a tremendous increase in overall activity slowed the fish bite at Shaver. Overall, for a two-week period, we did manage an average of two limits a trip and some nice fish. We continue to pick up a large kokanee or more each trip. Throw in two trophy trout that we caught, it was not all that bad. Now that we are settling down and the lake is finally leveling off, I think good days for fishing are going to reappear.

I expect the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to make another plant in a few weeks. The trophy trout have started to bite and the kokanee are staying solid. That makes me optimistic for good action the rest of the summer. The Watanabe men, from Oakhurst, were recent examples of catching some large fish. Blaze Watanabe, 8, caught a nice four-pound trophy and shortly after his uncle D.J. Watanabe, picked up a beautiful 17 ½-inch kokanee, The group also picked up a nice stringer of fish. The kokanee are in great shape and are not showing signs of entering their pre-spawning mode. Many are found in 20 to 30 feet of water, which means those of you who do not have downriggers can still get to them. We are finding The Point, Island, Black Rock and the front of Scout Cove as good locations to fish. I am finding the early morning bite to be good for about two hours. It then tapers off for a spell and then a quick bite reappears about 9:30 a.m. Trout Busters, tipped with a crawler at the end and corn on the inside hook, behind a weighted Mountain Flasher, are my go to tackle on the side poles. I am able to get down to 23 feet deep with this set up and find both trout and kokanee. Fact is, some of our biggest kokanee caught on my boat have been on this set up. On the downriggers, I am using pink or ruby red Koke Busters, tipped with corn, behind a C.J. Dodger. You can find this tackle right here at Valley Rod & Gun in Clovis.

The big Shaver Lake fireworks display was huge. A truly great show over the beautiful water of Shaver Lake and all free to those who attend. This year we had some nice beach areas and shaded areas around the lake. The Shaver Lake Visitor Center presents this wonderful experience and acquires the funding from its great fund raising dinners held in March at the Shaver Lake Community Center. Speaking of that location, our Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project fundraising dinner will be August 12 at the community center. It is sold out as usual, but the good news is about $37,000 will be made from the dinner that will purchase more trophy trout.

I hope to see you on the lake this summer. Many of the Clovis Roundup readers are showing up here and saying hi! If I can be of any assistance to you or help with a question, please contact me by text at 559-281-6948 or e-mail dickchip@netptc.net.

Also, feel free to send me the results of your trip and I will try to use in this report. Until next time, best of luck in your fishing experience to Shaver.