The Shaver Lake fishing report and Catch of the Day

9 year old Sarah McIntyre, from Clovis, was fishing with her dad Fred and brother Trevor when she caught this nice 5 pounder. They were fishing with Dick Nichols on a charter trip. [Photo contributed by Dick Nichols]

By Dick Nichols | Dick’s Fishing Charters

My last report to you all was that fishing is slow. Well guess what? It is not any better, perhaps worse!

I have been fishing for most of the summer with high hopes for improvement. Sometimes we have a good day but on others, I wish I had slept in or gone to a Grizzlies’ game. We have caught some nice trophy trout over the last two weeks, six to be exact, but where are their little-brother trout? They are nowhere to be found.

Last time I told you I knew the reason why, and I still believe in that theory. The rising water (thank you Lord!) brought the insect population on the shore into the lake and has been the main food source for trout. They don’t even look at our tackle. So, what do we do in the meantime? Target kokanee!

The kokanee have been elusive most of the time moving every day. But some fairly consistent areas have been near the Sierra Marina, The Point and The Island. Depths of 23-50 feet have found some kokes. I have been using pink tackle for two weeks or more. Apex and my Koke Busters have been my best lures while tipped with corn. I am also using pink Koke Busters on my side poles at 23-25 feet deep and catching as many on them as the downriggers. Unknown why the gap between 23 and 50 feet is, but that is where they have been.

One group of kokanee fishermen hit an area I mentioned above for nine kokes, but I think for the most part, it is not an everyday experience. The fact is 2-5 kokanee may be the average day, with possibilities of less!

We need the trout bite back! But catchable trout have only been planted in Shaver once this year in April. Why? I have been told budget restraints coupled with three straight drought years. Please don’t get on DF&W’s case. Those guys bust their fannies to produce catchable trout and plant fingerling kokanee each year. Mother Nature dealt them a bad hand over the past few years. It will take some time to regroup, but they will and Shaver will return as the top producing lake in the Central Region.

Another recommendation for kokanee fishing is to try jigging. Want to know more about jigging? Contact Captain Jack Yandell at 970-1130 or drop by his shop and see him. The captain picked up a limit on a recent jigging trip with a friend.
Bank fishing now is a day of sunbathing with a pole in your hand, perhaps a cool one in your other hand. I would recommend looking at alternative lakes such as Huntington, Courtright, Portal Forebay, or Florence Lakes for some decent fishing. Shaver is just not producing for fishermen on the bank.

I have been told that SCE will be lowering the water level about 15 feet soon. That could ignite a trout bite. Until then, give the kokanee a try and again think about going to a Grizzlies’ game for an outdoor trip.

I hope to see you on the lake.