Fish at Topaz Lake on Opening Day and you could win $1,000 |

Fish at Topaz Lake on Opening Day and you could win $1,000

Don Quilici

Topaz Lake, located along U.S. 395 on the Nevada-California Stateline, will open for the 2007 fishing season, one hour before sunrise on Monday, Jan. 1.

If you like to fish, and don’t have anything else planned for Jan. 1, this could be a fun way to start the new year (weather permitting!). Plus, as an added bonus, if you are lucky and catch a tagged rainbow trout, you could instantly win, up to $1,000 in cash! Yep, $1,000.

Here’s some info for you:


Take U.S. 395 south from the Carson City area for about 40 miles until you reach the lake. You can’t miss it! It will be on your left hand side!


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From shore: Your best bet is usually along the beach on the north end or along U.S. 395.

From a boat (Dependent on the weather): Troll along the shoreline on the far side of the lake or near the rocky point by the Douglas County Campground or go right down the middle of the lake.


Bait fishermen usually use Power Bait, red Salmon eggs or nightcrawlers on the bottom.

Spincasters should try small lures such as Daredevils, TOR-P-DO’s, Kastmasters, Super Duper, Panther/Martin, etc.

Fly guys should use small flies such as Hares’ Ears, Prince Nymph, Stone Flies or Woolly Buggers.


Troll with silver flasher blades plus nightcrawlers or with flashers plus lures such as a No. 5 black/silver or black/gold Countdown Rapala or an orange-colored Broken-Back Rapala.


Mostly rainbow trout, in the 10-13 inch class, with an occasional larger fish, up to about 4-pounds (Not counting the special-sized tagged fish).

And you could catch an occasional brown trout with an average size of about 1-2 pounds.

There could still be a few Tiger Trout (a hybrid crossbreed between a male Eastern brook trout and a female German brown trout) remaining in the lake. If you catch one, it will be a rare catch.


The lake limit is five trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish, of which not more than five may be black bass.

Realistically, all you should normally expect to catch is trout. But, you could catch other species such as Bass or Carp.

Be advised that the area within a 100-yard radius of the Topaz Marina is closed to all fishing. Stay out of that forbidden area!


If you catch a fish with a small tag inserted by its Dorsal Fin, run, don’t walk to the nearby Topaz General Store. You are a winner! You will have caught a prize fish that could be worth a lot of money!

A large number of tagged rainbow trout have been planted in the lake by the Topaz Lodge.

Those fish are worth $50 to $1,000 for the lucky angler. Wow, not too shabby for having fun fishing on Opening Day!

That money can buy a lot of lures to replace all of the ones that you have lost this year.

If you do catch one of those $1,000 fish, just remember who was the person who suggested that you fish at Topaz Lake: Your newest and bestest pal: Me! Be generous!

Some of those tagged, planter rainbows are in the 6-10 pound class. That’s correct, planters up to 10 pounds. Holy Moly!

And, if you should catch a tagged fish from a previous year, it is also worth money to you.


The Topaz Marina will host its annual Opening Day fishing derby with very simple rules:

You must pre-register at the Marina before going fishing. You can pre-register at the Marina beginning Dec. 29. The entry fee is $5. The biggest fish takes the entire pot! In past years, that pot has ranged all the way up to $650.


Either a Nevada or a California fishing license is good anywhere along the shoreline or out on the water at the lake.

If you fish with a Nevada license, you need a Nevada Trout Stamp.

If you fish on the California side with a California license, you must wear it where it is readily visible above the waist.

Be advised that on the Opening Weekend, there will be lots of Nevada and California game wardens present. So, don’t do something stupid or illegal, or it will cost you embarrassment and money.


Call Chuck or Linda Fields at the Topaz Marina at (775) 266-3550 or the Topaz Store at (775) 266-3337.


Before I forget, I would like to wish each and everyone of you a Happy New Year.

If you have to travel on New Years, please travel safe and sober!

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you if I fish at Topaz Lake on the Opening Day

If he grins and says, “Nope, Don does not fish on that day because it is way too crowded with other fishermen,” he could be a close friend.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.