11 year old Landon Maher, of Clovis and his family were fishing with Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters when he caught this beautiful 4.2 pound trophy rainbow. [Photo contributed]
By Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters|Contributed
Man, has Shaver Lake fishing been slower this past several weeks. I don’t know of too many who have found much great success. The reason, the water level of the lake raised about 100 feet up the shore line to about 92% capacity. The lake is now in a planned drop of about 15 feet or to about 86% capacity. Yes, we will have ample water for all recreation including fishing, but it has really messed up the trout fishing for trollers. Every trout I clean is packed with insects that have drifted from the shore as the water rises. It happens every year. I would always recommend that before you plan your fishing trip to check the lake conditions at sierramarinawebcam.com. Good news is the 2nd ramp at Sierra marina is open for your launching convenience.
It may take a week to return to the normal trout bite now that the lake has stopped rising. There are so many quality trout out there. The DF&W plant of mid July last year was in the neighborhood of about 150,000 trout. I do not think we have put much of a dent in that huge plant. Not only are they now yearling trout with good size, but they have survived on natural food causing their meat to be pink in color and very savory. So, bare with the lake in it’s quest to return to normal following 4 years of drought. We need this water even if it presents a few problems in us catching trout. Due to budget problems, DF&W will not be planting any more catchable fish in Shaver this year. The last plant of catchables was the week of April 17th. Normally we can expect a plant shortly following Memorial Day weekend. DF&W had already announced a cutback in plants this year with smaller than normal trout. But, remember there are a lot of leftover trout out there from last year.
Lately, we have been finding 5 to 12 kokanee with some trophy sized trout. This past week we have picked up 4 trophy sized trout to 5.5 pounds. The lake is showing some promise of better fishing.
We continue to use Trout Busters tipped with corn behind Mountain Flashers at 17 to 23 feet deep. Our trips have lower intake, from multiple limits, to one to two limits per trip, but I feel lucky with that count and accept it for a while.
The kokanee bite has improved. Thank goodness for the improved koke bite as the trout bite has been off. The kokanee have increased in size over the past week and are a tad firmer. The female have developed eggs. Of course the spawn will not be until after Labor Day and into the Fall.. We are currently catching kokanee at 33 to 50 feet deep around the island, Black Rock and in front of the Boy Scout Cove. They are spread out and have not shown too many signs of schooling. My best kokanee lures this week were pink Apex lures or Captain Jack’s pink Super Hoochies, tipped with corn, behind a C.J. Dodger. I also had some success with Koke Buster spinners tipped with corn behind Mountain Flashers.
Among the recent trophies caught, 11 year old Landon Maher of Clovis nailed a 4.2 pound trophy trout. Landon was fishing with his parents and brother when he caught the monster on a Trout Buster behind a Mountain Flasher at 22 feet deep. We have been catching trophies from 22 feet to 40 feet deep.
For you shore fishermen, there are some trophy trout hugging the banks near the Edison Campground just off the Taniger picnic area in Edison Camp. Craig McCandless, of Clovis, was using green Power Bait and picked up two trophies to 4 pounds in a short time recently. Other good news is that the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project made another plant of about 800 trophies in late June. Over all the SLTTP have planted about 1,500 trophies this year. The money comes from the annual dinner, which is August 13th and from donations of any amount that are sent to the SLTTP at PO Box 908, Shaver Lake, Ca. 93664. Of course they are tax deductable as the SLTTP donates trips for disadvantaged youth and children with disabilities. We love to see the joy in children’s faces when they catch their first trout at Shaver. Marine craft donations are also appreciated and are tax deductible. Call Bob Bernier at 360-7185, if interested.
I look forward to seeing all of you on the lake.