Shaver Lake Fishing Report

By Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters

This 6-year-old angler from Fresno and his 4-year-old brother were fishing with guide Dick Nichols. The young siblings caught two limits, including this 17.3-inch kokanee. (Photo courtesy of Dick’s Fishing Charters)

Shaver Lake has been kicking out multiple limits of mixed fish again since Memorial Day weekend.

But during the weekend, it was less than two limits a day. Heavy boat traffic was one of the culprits to the slow down but the main reason is the quick rising levels of the lake. While cleaning the recent Department of Fish and Wildlife plants, I am finding an abundance of insects in the fish intestines. Rising water means heavy insect collection from the shores. The trout are feasting on them. The lake should be at capacity in a few weeks and I would expect about a month from now the trout bite to improve. But still it is a fair bite with about six trout to four kokes the norm in a two-limit stringer.

This year’s kokanee are much larger than in the past few years. A 6-year-old Fresno boy picked up a nice 17.3-inch kokanee with me this week. He and his 4-year-old brother accounted for two nice limits of mixed fish while mom and dad watched. Yes, 4-year-old anglers can and do catch
fish. They just need a tad bit of help.

The kokanee bite is off and on this past week. But, two to six kokes a trip is quite possible. This week’s kokes on our boat went from 13 inches to the 17.3 my young friend caught. But, there were several 15 to 17 inchers also. You have to watch for the second-year kokanee. They seem to
school and get on a bite. Although the second-year fish are larger than normal, they should be released without bringing them into the boat. They are are bread and butter for next year.

Not many trophy trout have come in, but 5-year-old Gabriel Campos of Clovis got a nice 2.5 pounder this past week and weighed it in at Shaver Lake Sports. If you get some nice fish, take them to Shaver Lake Sports for a picture and possible mention in the Roundup. Speaking of trophy trout, the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout project made its second plant of trophies from three to seven pounds this past week. I hope you have better luck in finding them than we and others have had. They just don’t seem to be showing up, but again they too are probably feasting on the rising lake’s insect population.

For you bank fishermen, I would use trout dough bait or crawlers and fish the mouth of Dorabella Cove from the Edison Campground. There have been some nice trophy trout coming out of there.

My fishing locations this past have been The Point, the Island, Black Rock and inside Boy Scout Cove. The kokanee are all over the place when it comes to depth – 20 to 34 feet down has been the norm for me. They are spread all over the lake and moving from day to day. We picked up 30
fish in three days in Boy Scout Cove over the weekend and then on the Monday had to move out into the main channel to catch a couple limits. The trout bite is fair to good most of the time with 11 to 14 inch planters the norm. There are a few small browns in the mix .

We have found most trout at 20 feet down using Trout Busters tipped with crawler and corn behind weighted Mountain Flashers. My downriggers have had Koke Busters in pink, tipped with corn, behind Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodgers. Again, the kokanee are spread about the lake and most can be found at 20 to 34 feet down.

My forecast for fishing Shaver: Better days are coming when the lake levels to capacity, which isn’t going to be long. I think the koke action will get hot in mid July when the pre-spawn kokanee go down in column and start schooling.

I look forward to seeing you on the lake and wish you the best out there. Contact me at for any questions you may have about fishing in Shaver Lake.