Shaver Lake Fishing Report

Beth Porkorny took her dad, John, of Clovis, out for his soon-to-be 91st birthday with Dick Nichols and went home with their limits of mostly kokanee. They caught one more kokanee to finish out their limits after this photo was taken. It was one of Nichols’ last charter trips. (Photo courtesy of Dick’s Fishing Charters)

A couple items to report here: first, the fishing at Shaver Lake over the past three weeks has been mostly good. We continued to bag kokanee limits with some trout thrown in on most days, but there were days of all kokes and no trout and days of mostly trout and some kokanee. Not certain why we experienced up-and-down trout days, but thank goodness for a decent kokanee bite. I think you will find kokanee most of this month near rock or structured areas. Traditionally, The Point has always been a good producer as the kokanee go into pre-spawn mode and hunker down in those rock and structured areas. Deep depths have been the norm over the years. But, guess what? We have been getting them at 37 feet and the best locations have been in front of both marinas. I have been going to my Koke Busters, tipped with corn, two feet back from a Dick’s Ball Troll but also had success with orange and clear Apex lures behind a Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodger. The side poles at 21 feet using a Trout Buster tipped with crawler and corn behind a Mountain Flasher. The Island and Black Rock areas in front of Scout Cove have also been productive. Speaking of Captain Jack, he is doing well in his mending and asked me to pass on his appreciation for all of his supporters and fishing friends. He will be back on the lake next year doing what he does best, kokanee fishing!

I am really proud of my fishing clients and friends on the last four trips. They hung it out to the end to finish their limits. We sometimes had to change areas to find the final fish. Chris Hall and Tim Brock, both from Auberry, Stan and Scott Jananian, from Fresno, 90-year-old John Porkorny and his daughter Beth from Clovis and Jim and Debby Dixon, of Shaver Lake, all collected their limits due to patience. Patience can be the best bait for fish. With the full moon during the last week, the bite has been more mid morning. In fact, the Porkornys got their last fish at 11 a.m. So, keep moving and try to remember how long it has been since the fish may have fed. During a full moon, they feed at around 3 a.m. to about 7 a.m., then come back at 10 a.m. for the next meal. At least that is what I have found.

Courtney Sorensen, of Clovis, caught this nice pre-spawn 17.5-inch kokanee on a recent trip with Dick Nichols. She and her friends collected limits of mostly kokanee. This koke is in apricot color which is still good eating. The fish will shortly turn red just prior to spawning. (Photo courtesy of Dick’s Fishing Charters)

So, keep shooting for the kokes. They will go from apricot color to deep red soon. When they arrive to deep red, they are not normally good to eat, but good to catch. The trout traditionally move near inlets during the fall. I have found Stevenson Bay to be a hot spot in the fall. So far, it has been hit or miss, but there are fish in there.

Second part of this report is to announce my retirement after 11 years as Shaver’s fishing guide. At least seven of those years were as the only charter service. The need for other guides to join in was evident the last five years as I fished day in and day out trying to satisfy the needs of clients. I am recommending my friend and fellow guide Todd Wittwer, of as my replacement for my fishing friends. Todd can be reached at 559-288-8100. He is a 19-year veteran guide who last year moved over from Bass Lake where he operated his guide service for years. For me, I will spend the rest of my life traveling with my bride of 51 years, Diane. We are in the process of purchasing a travel trailer. We expect to move into our new home here in the spring. I will also continue to make tackle for my sporting goods outlets, like Valley Rod and Gun, Herb Bauer’s and Fresno Ag Hardware. Of course, I will be on the lake regularly with my Shaver buddies and do some fishing at Edison and Florence Lakes. I fish four to five trips during the winter at Pyramid Lake (Nevada) for cutthroat trout – a great experience.

I would still like to hear from you and offer any help I can for your visit to Shaver. You can contact me at, or text at 559-281-6948. I hope to see you all on the lake for years to come.