Shaver Lake Fishing Report: Picking up limits left to right

Josh Turner Sr. took his three sons out with Dick Nichols for a mid-day fishing trip prior to his son Josh Jr. (center) deploying with his Marine infantry division. The Turner men brought home three limits of kokanee for their efforts. (Contributed by Dick’s Fishing Charters)

Shaver Lake is definitely the place to be to find some excellent fishing and cooler weather. It is just simply gorgeous! Following a great Fourth of July holiday with some of the most spectacular fireworks from our island over the lake, things have settled down a tad.

After the holiday and through the weekend, fishing was lethargic, the water was murky, and the surface unsettled. By Monday it was back to work and Shaver regained its great fishing. Lots of families have trekked to Shaver for vacations, several have gone out fishing with me. It is this time of the year I love the most: families, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa, taking the kids fishing.

I love that more families are taking the opportunity to let the kids get hooked on fishing. It’s the reason that I have stayed 14 years as a guide. Just watching a youngster catch fish makes me feel younger, even if I turned 73 last Sunday. Oh my, where has the time gone. But I have many cherished memories of being with young anglers on the boat. This past week, two of those youngsters who fished with me a decade ago, are graduating from college. Can you believe it?

On July 16, I fished with Dave and Steve Aguirre of Clovis. It was a very significant day as they easily caught their limits while tossing several fish. I could see the gleam in Dave Aguirre’s eyes as he watched his son Steve, reel in fish after fish. I love seeing that. Oh and another major thing that day, Diane and I celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary. She was a catch and she still is. Love that woman.

Getting back to Shaver Lake, my only complaint, is the skiers who feel that buzzing a slow fishing boat is great fun. Think about the people in those boats who are hanging on for their life as the boat rocks back and forth. Give us a break, skiers, please!

Now, my fishing report. The kokanee bite is red hot. Even those without down riggers can get to the kokanee by using tools like my weighted Mountain Flashers. When I fished with the Aguirre’s, we went out 120 feet behind the boat with Trout Busters tipped with scented corn behind a weighted Mountain Flasher and found our lure and bait right at the depth to catch quality kokanee. I would say about 24 feet down. That’s only three to five feet less than we were down with the down riggers. Dave Aguirre was amazed how many hookups he got on the side poles with the tackle I mentioned.

So, what is happening this week at Shaver? Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (DF&W) just planted another load of catchable size trout. You can find them between Sierra Marina and the Point. 10 to 20 feet down, using crawlers on a Trout Buster behind a Mountain Flasher should give you the edge. As for our most reverend kokanee, we are getting 20 plus hookups and multiple limits each day. To my surprise, depth remains fairly shallow. When Dave Aguirre fished with me, we were down to 27 to 31 feet deep. Today, we are not far off that mark even with the surface water temperatures at 68 degrees. We are fishing the triangle from Shaver Marina to the Point and the island.

I have talked to several anglers like Jared and Manny Romero from Clovis, who continue to pound the kokes. They are fishing the same area where we were. Great father and son team. They said that they found much success with three limits of kokanee down 35 feet using an assortment of tackle. That yellow boat of the Romero’s is a good one to follow.

My recommendation this week, is why not spend some time trolling the freshly planted trout areas and make a run at the triangle for some kokanee. Don’t forget, almost 2,000 trophy sized trout were planted by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project over the past few months. There are a bunch still out there.

For kokanee, I have used my orange Mountain Hoochies, tipped with scented corn, behind a Mountain Dodger in purple and silver. But, I also added Apex lures in orange to my selection. They have been consistent and we are having great success. The forecast, great kokanee fishing will remain, but the kokes will go into a pre-spawn mode in mid August and you will find them hunkered down about 80 to 100 feet deep. that’s why this is such a great time to troll for them as they are not very deep. The trout will be one here and one there, two weeks after this past week’s plant. But, September, in Stevenson Bay, is traditionally an excellent trout time. The trout school up near the inlets thinking of spawning. Actually they won’t but you will find them schooled there.

I plan to fish into early October due to the great trout bite. Much of our charter dates are gone but a few days remain in later July and mid August. Of course the September dates are wide open.

Contact the Shaver Lake Sports at 841-2740 for your reservation. Until next time get on the lake and catch the great tasting sockeye salmon we call kokanee.

Dick Nichols
Dick Nichols has been with us since the beginning. With decades of experience, he writes and provide insights about the Shaver Lake fishing game.