Shaver Lake fishing report

The Graham family from the Clovis foothills fished with Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters this past week and came home with their limits of trout and kokanee. Pictured left to right are Robyn, Zach, Dylan and Jeff. (Contributed photo)

We opened our 2017 charter season on May 19 and fished three consecutive days. I was very happy with the results, collecting 48 mixed fish. Everyone limited! That’s all a guide can ask for – to provide his guests with the best experience you can and a limit each.

I love my job making people happy. Sadly, it does not always occur. I can say with experience that Shaver Lake is a good body of water to fish right now. The kokanee are bigger than I have seen in a few years – nice plump fish with gorgeous pink meat.

We have been finding them at several levels – 15 to 30 feet have been working for us, but I am marking fish in several columns and down to 84 feet in front of the island. No, I have not ventured down that far this year, but I do believe you can find success there. Could be trophy trout too. My fish finder is set for larger fish and is showing several locations for big fish. We have been fishing Road #2 point to the Sierra Marina this past week with good results. We have also fished the Island, Black Rock, in front of the Boy Scout Cove and of course The Point.

There is an abundance of fish in front of the Island. On day one we trolled back and forth from The Point to the Island collecting 17 mixed fish with two kokanee at 16.5 inches. The next day we went to The Point and then crossed in a northeast direction to the Road #2 point. As we crossed the Road #2 point, we connected with two 16-inch kokes at 15 feet deep. That’s shallow for kokanee. The water temperature had been 54 to 56 degrees all three days but has since come up with summer like weather. You have to really layer out there and don’t forget the sunscreen. I got a little burn on my ears and also determined that I have developed a bald spot on the back of my head. Darn, didn’t think of sunscreen there, but the results is painful. Shaver was about 25 degrees cooler than Fresno at 77 degrees, but cooled down over the Memorial Day weekend to the high 60s and low 70s.

On one of my trips, The Graham family from the foothills above Clovis joined me. Dad, Jeff and the boys Dylan and Zach fished while mom, Robyn, drove the boat. It was a slow start that ended with a bang with 10 fish being caught in one hour. The family ended up catching 17 and
releasing all but their three limits. Two 16 inch kokes were hung late morning at Road #2 point. What a family, I loved spending the morning with them and watching two young boys catch their first fish.

Memorial Day weekend produced about the same results over four days on the water. We continue to fish our side poles at about 20 feet deep. I think you will find the average trout stays in about that level of water. Sure you’ll find them deeper and shallow, but that seems to be Shaver Lake’s favorite level. I use my weighted Mountain Flasher, which I designed to use with monofilament line. You can go from just below the surface to about 22 feet deep. At 100 feet behind the boat results in an approximate 20-foot depth. We are fishing there now and also are hooking kokanee as many are 15 to 30 feet deep. I am not trying to push them, I am simply saying that if you do not have a down rigger, there is an alternate from clumsy lead core line. I also have used nothing but trout Busters tipped with crawler on the back hook and corn on the inside hook. On my downriggers we are using Koke busters in pink or orange, tipped with corn, behind Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodgers. By the way, the Captain is getting better each day following a lengthy hospital stay. He is a fighter, tough as nails. I expect him back at the store in the near

Shore anglers are doing pretty good at Road One and near Road #2 point. Near the dam is also a popular location. Trout dough bait or crawlers seems to work best. News from the shore, my grandson, Josh McCandless, who works at Sierra Marina witnessed a “huge rainbow” caught from the shore at Tunnel Creek. Josh said the fish appeared to be in excess of 12 pounds. I am pretty sure it is one of the trout SCE planted about five years ago. There are many still out there.

The water is on the rise with both ramps now in the water making easy launching. With the daily rise of water, insects are collected from shore and are welcomed by the lakes trout population. While cleaning trout I have found them to be packed with insects from the lake’s shoreline. It might cause a slow down with the trout but not kokanee. I hope to see you on the lake this summer. Our boat is easy to find after my friend Bob Bernier pasted “Dick’s Fishing Charters” decals on the sides of the boat. If you need any information regarding the lake or fishing, contact me at or text me at 559-281-6948. Have a great time out there.