Lucky winners to fish at Lake Tahoe for Mackinaw trout

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If you like to fish for trout and if you would like to have the rare chance to fish at Lake Tahoe from a large boat for Mackinaw (Lake) trout, then mark the date of Feb. 19 on your calendar.

Then, after you mark your calendar, plan to attend the monthly meeting of the Ormsby Sportsmen's Association (OSA) on that evening.

The meeting will be held at the Carson Nugget Convention Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

More importantly, if you go to the meeting and if you do not already belong to OSA, take some extra money with you, so you can join that fine sportsmen's organization.

The annual dues for OSA are $5 for an adult or $2 for a youngster, under the age of 16. That's correct, that is not a misprint. The annual dues are only $5 if you are adult and only $2 if you are a youngster.

Not too shabby in this day and age.

If you are a dues-paying member of OSA and if you attend that meeting, you will receive a very special treat on the night of Feb. 19.

Your ticket will be placed in a bowl, together with the tickets of all the other members present at the meeting. You must be present to participate in a special drawing.

President Norm Budden will draw a total of 10 tickets from the bowl.

Those lucky 10 winners will be treated to a free, Mackinaw fishing trip with Mickey Daniels of Mickey's Big Mack Charters (800-877-1462) of Carnelian Bay at North Lake Tahoe.

A free fishing trip at Lake Tahoe!

And, to help sweeten the pot, the officers and members of the OSA Board of Directors are not eligible to participate in that special drawing.

It will be for only those paid-up members who are present.

That special fishing trip, sponsored by OSA, will be on Mickey's 43' long, 26' wide, twin diesel, enclosed-cabin, sport fishing boat, "The Big Mack II."

Mickey is widely recognized as the premier sport fishing guide at all of Lake Tahoe. He normally fishes, every day of the year that the wind does not blow, in the deep water in front of the Carnelian Bay-King's Beach area of North Lake Tahoe.

If you are one of those lucky persons who are drawn to go on that special fishing trip, you will be trolling 250-550 feet deep and using large, Herring Dodger, silver-colored, flasher blades with either live minnows or pearl colored Apex lures.

The lake limit is five trout of which not more than two may be Mackinaw.

You will normally catch only Macks while fishing with Mickey, but occasionally, an angler will also pick up a rainbow trout or even a Kokanee salmon. The Macks will usually run 3-5 pounds with an occasional one up to about 10 pounds.

If you are super lucky, you could even be the fishermen or fisher woman who catches one of those huge 15 pound or larger Macks. The lake record is 37 pounds. Most impressively, of the five Mackinaw caught at Lake Tahoe that have weighed 30 pounds or more, two of the five have been caught by Mick! Not too shabby!

As a matter of interest, the largest Mackinaw trout that I have ever caught at Lake Tahoe was while fishing with Mick a number of years ago. That Mack weighed in at 15 pounds and was caught at a depth of 550 feet! True story!

Any rainbows you catch will usually be in about the 1-3 pound range and any Kokanee will be even smaller, about 10-14 inches in length.

Any Mackinaw that you catch and do not want to keep, will be tagged and released unharmed by Mick. He has been catching, tagging and releasing fish for years at Tahoe will impressive results. His tagged fish have been caught by many other fishermen, all over the lake. One tagged Mackinaw has been caught and released a total of a record four times! Four times! A number of others have been caught three times.

The fish that you catch and decide to keep will be cleaned and placed in a plastic bag on your return to the dock, so you can enjoy them at a later date for a tasty dinner.

Mick provides all of the fishing rods, reels, flashers, lures and bait.

The only thing that you need to provide is a valid Nevada or California fishing license.

If you already possess a Nevada fishing license, you will also need a Nevada Trout Stamp.

If you do not have a fishing license, Mick can sell you a California, two-day, fishing permit for $11.05.

Note: California does not have a one-day permit.

The only bad news of going as one of the 10 persons on that fishing trip will be the requirement to get up at "Oh Dark Thirty" that day. Mickey normally leaves the dock at Carnelian Bay about one hour BEFORE sunrise. That is darn early! Especially if you have to get up and drive from Carson City to Carnelian Bay.

As someone who has made that drive many, many times, I can tell you that it is a 50-minute drive to the boat dock. And, if you are one of those persons (like me!) who like to eat breakfast before going fishing, then you have to get up even earlier.

If for example, I have to meet Mick at 5 a.m., I get up at 2 a.m. That's correct: 2 a.m. That gives me the time I need to get up, get cleaned up and dressed, have breakfast and then make the 50-minute drive to the dock.

But let me also tell you that I really begin to get tired and sleepy about mid-day. I normally return home in mid-afternoon and take a well-deserved, short nap.

Finally, if you are one of the lucky 10 fishermen, be sure to take plenty of warm clothes and hot coffee with you. You'll need them at this time of the year! And make sure that the warm clothing includes such important things as thermal underwear, wool gloves, wool cap and heavy sweaters and coats. You will need all of them at that early hour of the morning. Especially if there is any hint of a wind blowing. Tahoe at 6,200 feet can be brutally cold in the early morning hours, so go prepared.

Mark that date on your calendar, attend the meeting, join OSA and who knows, your ticket could be drawn from that bowl.

That would make you a lucky winner and you'll be part of a memorable fishing trip at North Lake Tahoe.

Heck, the price is right.

How can you go wrong!

Put it on your calendar: February 19 at the Carson Nugget at 7:30 p.m.

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you how long Mickey Daniels has been a sport fishing guide at Lake Tahoe.

If he grins, quickly takes your money and says, "Mick has been guiding at Tahoe for more than 35 years," he has probably fished with him, you lose this bet and desperately need a new pigeon for your bets.


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