Shaver Lake Fishing Report: Trophy sized rainbows and kokanee

Don Munshower shows off his stringer of kokanee he caught last week at Shaver Lake. (Contributed by Dick’s Fishing Charters)

The past two weeks at Shaver Lake have been productive with plenty of fish being caught by so many folks. A little over a week ago, it was trophy sized rainbows mixed with kokanee. This week has been mainly kokanee, which is what most folks are targeting now. My good friends and fellow Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project guys, Dennis Beard and Gary Kent, have been racking the kokanee for weeks. Some weeks are better than others, but the dynamic duo never miss their limits. They are really good fishermen and fish seriously while having a great time. They have also picked up a few trophy trout 27 inches along the way. Other boats are getting 11-to-12-inch kokanee too. It’s been a solid bite most days and well worth the effort to get out on the lake.

I fished with Don Munshower, from the Sunnyside area, this past week. Don has a very nice Boston Whaler that he and his wife Carol use. Trying some new techniques, Don bagged a couple limits of kokanee, taking home a limit for Carol. The odd thing about this trip was that the top water pole that had one of my pink Koke Busters, tipped with corn, behind my purple and silver Mountain flasher, had more action. The downrigger action was slower and the depths varied. I would suggest those of you who do not fish with a downrigger to grab the same combination that Don was using and go out and give it a try. You and I both know that the kokanee will be going down in water column soon. So, get out there and get some action now.

The trout bite is mostly off. One here and one there. I suspect that the next Department of Fish and Wildlife plant will be just before Memorial Day weekend. That plant will be interesting as it should be 2000 two-pound plus trout (not 2000 pounds, but 2,000 big fish). That could be the last plant this year. But, I can tell you my buddy Bob Bernier, the planting chairman of the SLTTP, is planning to sneak in a load of about 1,000 three-pound rainbows in the next couple of weeks. He also will be planting the same amount and size in June. The bank fishermen have reported slower action this past week, but every time I say it is slowing, Jack Benigno and his friend Amy Maciel, both of Visalia, come along, or Kevin Kato, of Shaver Lake, who have the knack of finding big fish from shore. They all have a special individual method they catch big fish with. Kato uses Mouse Tails from Berkley.

The forecast! The kokanee fishing should be good to excellent most days into September. We know the beginning on August can be the most productive for the landlocked sockeye salmon. Trout, well I am afraid that when the DFW big fish plant and the SLTTP’s plant is over, it could men the trout action may be one of the slowest in years. Let’s hope not.

I open my charter season fishing the entire first week of May. I think we will do well. Both ramps are in the water which is quickly on the rise. That isn’t helping the trout action either. As the water quickly rises, it collects the insects and other aqua life and sends it into the water where mostly trout are waiting to feast on the heavy food source. Both marinas are in operation with rentals.  If you are interested in a charter trip with me, contact the Shaver lake Sports at 559-841-3317 for your reservation.

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.