Shaver Lake Fishing Report

Vern Vanderpoel of Clovis displays his string of beautiful trophy sized trout that he and his father, Jay, caught recently caught at Shaver Lake. The rainbows ranged from 2 to 5 pounds. (Contributed Photo)

By Dick Nichols, Contributed
Dick’s Fishing Charters

Not much is happening at Shaver Lake lately. The water level is dropping due to the anticipation of a heavy run off from near record snow. The weather has provided some obstructions too lately.

But, I can tell you that bank fishermen are catching some nice trout between windows of recent storms. Bank fishing had been primarily good near the Point, but recently Jay and Vern VanderPoel, of Clovis, found a new location where the trophies roamed the bank. The father and son team launched their fishing boat at the Sierra auxiliary ramp mid morning and embarked on a day of trolling. They flat lined a Rapala from the launch toward Stevenson Creek catching only one trout – a very nice 2-pounder. When they reached Stevenson Creek, they pulled to shore and beached their boat. While fishing with PowerBait from the bank at Stevenson, the guys bagged five more bows from 2-5 pounds. A good day of fishing.

The VanderPoel’s fishing trip showed me two things. One, the trophy sized trout that have been planted over the past year have scattered about the lake in search of food near the shores. Secondly, the VanderPoels are experienced anglers and changed their fishing plan, successfully I might add.

Trollers that have launched smaller boats at Shaver have had some success too. I had reports of five to eight fish being caught at various locations on the lake. In the mix were three trout to one kokanee. I think most are concentrating on meat fishing, meaning that they were looking for anything that will bite. I do that too, but, I think that if trollers were to use bright colored lures or spinners, tipped with shoepeg corn at various levels they will find some kokanee – mostly to 14 inches. There is no question that there are some very large trout out there, but the kokanee are there too. Perhaps using a pole toward the top rigged for trout and a pole deeper for kokanee would produce more fish. But, it is too premature to evaluate Shaver’s current fishing as the low water level and access to launching makes things difficult.

I have chosen to fish my winter lake of 35 years at Pyramid Lake, Nevada one more time with my buddies Lee Gates of Shaver and Bob Bernier of Fresno, before opening my season in mid May. By that time, I think the water will be back on the rise and ample water to launch. More importantly, the marina I work out of should be secured at shore and ready to receive my clients. I can’t wait. No one gets more barn sour than I during the winter.

Southern California Edison, who owns Shaver Lake, has intelligently put the consideration for safety above early fishing. They know that the snowpack in the High Sierras is near record and more snow has fallen above the lake since they made their decision.

According to their plans, Shaver will drop to about 35 percent capacity by the end of April and then begin rising through the month of May to about 67 percent. After that, the lake will be maxed out by late summer. So, be patient and wait for the good months approaching.

Try bank fishing, or from a small boat launched with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Or, try lakes like Pine Flat which have been kicking out some nice fish. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be making two plants this year. One will be after school is out to give the school aged anglers a chance to experience a big fish. The other depends on plant chairman Bob Bernier. He will access the lake’s condition before planting the Eastern Oregon trophies. But, remember there are a bunch from last year out there. DF&W will also be planting 8-10,000 pounds of catchable sized trout throughout the season.

I can always be reached at for any of your needs. I look forward to a wonderful fishing season and seeing you all on the lake.