Shaver Lake Fishing Report

Wayne Snell, of Clovis, hooked into this 10-pound cutthroat trout on Oct. 10, 2018 at Pyramid Lake (Nevada). Snell was fishing with friends Dick Nichols and Keith Matsumura. Matsumura caught a 14.8-pounder a few years back. The trio have fished Pyramid Lake together for the past 20 years. Nichols has fished there for 36 years. CONTRIBUTED BY DICK’S FISHING CHARTERS

Clovis Roundup editor Daniel Leon and I felt that the Shaver report should continue through the winter, so here we are – and what a good report I have. Second-year kokanee are biting consistently and are looking like mature salmon as they enter their third year in January.

Most fishermen with downriggers are getting them, but so are trollers who are using weighted lines, like lead core line or very simply, weighted Mountain Flashers. The kokanee are really good to eat, but remember: safely return the small ones to the water because they are your last kokanee for a year or two after the 2019 season.

If you recall, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife did not plant any fingerling kokanee this year, meaning in two years there won’t be any kokanee.

Back to the present conditions, the lake is about 80 percent full and at 64 degrees. It is prime trout time near the inlets at Stevenson Creek, Tunnel Creek and Boy Scout Cove. Most of the trout are in the top 20 feet of water. Heck, the kokes are only down from the surface to 45 feet deep.

The kokanee continue to hang out near the Point, the Island, Scout Cove and in front of Shaver Marina. My hoochies have been solid in those areas most of the season. The Mountain Hoochies in pink, orange or white tipped with scented corn behind a Mountain Dodger have been the ticket for success.

You can find Mountain Hoochies at Ken’s Market or Shaver Lake Sports in Shaver or the new Turner’s Outdoorsman in Fresno. This week, my fellow guides and friends, Todd Witwer and Tom Oliviera, took friends on their respective boats and picked up limits of kokanee for everyone. Oliviera’s boat was fishing the point at 36 to 45 feet down with a hoochie and Witwer was fishing the Boy Scout Cove at 36 feet deep for his success, also with hoochies.

Getting away from Shaver a moment, my good friends Wayne Snell, of Clovis, and Keith Matsumura, of the Sunnyside area, joined me for a fun trip to Pyramid Lake (Nevada) the first of October. We really did well catching our slot limits each day.

I picked up a seven-pounder and Wayne a 10-pounder. This is an outstanding lake for street fighting fish like the cutthroats. We use U20 Flatfish behind a Mountain Dodger on the downriggers and the same Flatfish behind a Mountain Flasher on the side poles.

If you have never tried Pyramid Lake, you’re missing out on one of the finest trophy cutthroat lakes anywhere. If you want to learn more about the lake, accommodations and guides, text me at 559-281-6948 or email me at dickchip@netptc.net and I will try to help. I have been fishing there for 36 years.

Back to Shaver. Here is what I think you can expect: decent to good kokanee fishing to mid-November, good trout bite to maybe December, and of course a trophy or two a week for the lake.

If you find some success at Shaver or elsewhere, send me a picture and a caption and we will do our best to feature it in the valley’s No. 1 community newspaper, the Clovis Roundup. See you in two weeks.

Dick Nichols
Dick Nichols has been with us since the beginning. With decades of experience, he writes and provide insights about the Shaver Lake fishing game.