More boat fishermen are heading to the lake and finding success. The kokanee bite returned and perhaps better than that, big schools of kokanee are showing on our depth finders. The kokanee are fairly small now, 11 to 12 inches, but within a month they will grow an inch. The fascinating thing now is that anyone in a boat has a shot at them as they are 10 to 20 feet deep.
One fisherman I spoke to used one of my weighted Mountain Flashers with a Trout Buster at 100 feet back and picked up two limits of kokanee and a trophy trout. The Mountain Flasher on mono filament line will take your lure down 20 feet at 100 feet back.
Other great news is Department of Fish and Wildlife planted trophy sized trout 4 to 7 pounds. They have been reported regularly in the Sierra Marina area, both by boat and shore. A friend of mine and a second individual recently went fishing at Shaver, collecting four limits of kokanee and a 27-inch, 7 pound rainbow. He reported his depth as 10 to 17 feet deep. He and everyone I know were fishing the dam to road two point, with hoochies, tipped with scented corn behind a dodger.
Other trollers like Jared Romero and his dad, Manuel, both of Clovis, picked up a couple limits of kokanee and a 4.12 pound , very beautiful rainbow. The Romero’s were using orange Trout Busters behind a dodger at 10 feet deep. Jared also brought another rainbow about the same size to the net and lost it. I do not think this was a DFW planted trout. The tail is too perfect and the colors pristine. It was most likely a trout that was planted by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project a few years ago. Speaking of the SLTTP trophy trout plant, SLTTP planting chairman Bob Bernier is holding off his normal April plant to perhaps the May 1 due to low water and uneasy access for the plant truck to the lake. You must remember Bob does not like to plant where other folks go. He is one sly fish planter. The second plant will be in June.
Bank fishermen like Jack Benigno of Visalia and his friend Amy Maciel, also of Visalia, are at it again catching good size fish from the shore. They use a special bait and set up from most others, but does it ever work.
SCE has informed me that the lake will be at 51 percent capacity by May 1. But, it’s not enough water level for my marina, Shaver Marina, to move into its cove. Therefore, I will open my season working out of the Sierra Marina for a while thanks to the kind gesture of Sheldon Sandstom, owner of Sierra Marina. Sheldon expects his marina to be in operation by Easter. Great news: those of you who are interested in renting a boat and fishing within that 10 to 20 feet deep can. I highly recommend it!
Following the May 1 51 percent capacity level, the lake will take a steady move upwards eventually hitting the top shore line this year. Right now, the Sierra ramp is out of the water, but the Sierra auxiliary ramp is good to go. The forecast, great kokanee fishing with the idea of releasing the smaller kokanee. The big trout should still be in the area, but this year normal catchable size trout plant by DFW will be slim to none. There are thousands of small brown and golden trout from DFW’s recent plant. Please be kind with them too. DFW hatchery at Friant works hard to provide us with trout. Ron, the manager is a quality guy and goes overboard to accommodate us. The problem is that he has to share fish with other bodies of water north of us due to the moccasin Creek hatchery being floods out. I know they have a plan of 2,000, 2-pound trout in the near future, but I do not know when.