Shaver Lake Fishing Report: Slow fishing at Shaver, but the future looks good

A photo from May 2019: Frank Hoffman of Fresno treated his brother Don, from Ohio, to a fishing trip with Dick Nichols on his opening charter day, May 1st. The brothers picked up their 10, allowed Dick to catch his dinner and released another 15 fish. What a great way to open a charter season. (Contributed by Dick’s Fishing Charters)

A couple of weeks with only a day of rain and yet very few anglers are making the trek to Shaver. Of the one or two boats out a day, you get mixed results.

Two of my best winter informants, Arnold Sybesma of Visalia and Ronnie Mauck of Porterville, fished this past week and came up empty handed. Hard to believe good fishermen like Arnold and Ronnie could get skunked, but they did.

I really don’t know why the slow down is occurring, but apparently it is. The word is out that we could have a drought like winter. Gosh, I hope not. But, one drought winter does not hurt us this summer.

For one thing, I don’t think Southern California Edison (SCE) would lower the lake in late winter and early spring like last year. That means we could get an earlier than normal start this spring.

Last year, I could not start until early May due to the water being down and my marina unable to enter the cove we moor in. Then, mid to late May was all kinds of bad weather, including snow. I pulled my boat out ten days and cancelled or rescheduled trips.

It also means that the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DF&W) may start their stocking of the lake earlier. There are a lot of DF&W trout being planted this year. Of course, we all know there will be little, if any, third-year kokanee.

I always cheer for family fishing trips. I guess it is because from the moment I was potty trained, my dad, mom and I fished the rivers above Porterville and Three Rivers. My son and I fished regularly until he died in an auto accident at the age of 22.

I missed that partnership of family fishing and really love taking families fishing each year. It’s the families that keep me in the boat for my 15th year and approaching 74th birthday.

Three of my grandsons have drove the boat on charter trips over the years, but that is pretty much in the past as they are getting ready to graduate from college or are serving in Korea in the U.S. Army. So, it’s the families that keep me going and I love it.

This year I have decided to let two young anglers, 12 years old and under, go free with two adults. It’s my way of showing my appreciation for parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, to allow me to fish with their young folks.

Hopefully, they get hooked on fishing and enjoy it for a lifetime, eventually with their children. I think I am seeing more of these trips, dads and moms with their sons and daughters. So let’s try to get the kids or grandkids out this year. Whether on the shore or in a rented boat.

Our 15th season begins in May, reservations can be made through Shaver Lake Sports, at (559) 841-2740. My wife, Diane, has cut my charter fishing days down to Monday through Friday.

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.