Three 11-pounders at Pyramid Derby
BLUE LAKES AREA, CALIF: Dave Kirby of the Woodfords Station (530-694-2930): Saturday was outstanding and Sunday was real quiet.
CAPLES LAKE, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that it got new snow from the weekend storm, so if you’re going ice fishing up there, be sure to take a snow shovel.
DAVIS LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association reported: Ice tested between 5 and 6 inches thick at Mallard Cove. Colder weather over the weekend did little to degrade that thickness. Jerry Dollard at Dollard’s Sierra Market in Portola said the catch has been more quality than quantity, with ice fishermen averaging about 1 fish per rod, but most of those fish were rainbows between 2 and 3 1/2 pounds. Nightcrawlers fished off the bottom in 8 to 10 feet of water has been working. With varying weather conditions ice thickness and quality can change, so extreme caution is a must when on the ice.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin’s Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): There continues to be ice at the dam, but lots of accessible open water at the north end around Turkey Point and Crystal Point. Use nightcrawlers for best results. There is also open water on the west side past Lunker Point.
FT. CHURCHILL COOLING PONDS (on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area): Elmer Bull of Yerington reported: They are catching quite a few catfish but the bass fishing is still poor.
HINKSON SLOUGH, NEV (on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area): Elmer Bull reported that the trout fishing is still pretty darn good but no bass showing up yet.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Doug Busey of Douglas County reported that the reservoir is ice free. On Sunday there was one float tube on the water and a few shore fishermen.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that a shore fisherman at the dam caught and released a 6-pound cutthroat. That fisherman said that the guy next to him caught and released a rainbow that was even bigger than his cutthroat. The best fishing by shore fishermen was with nightcrawlers.
LAHONTAN RESERVOIR, NEV: Missy at Burke’s Market (Closed on Mondays) at Silver Springs (775-577-2750): No ice is left on the reservoir and the fish are beginning to come to life. Some fishermen have been out but we have had no reports.
NORTH POND (on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area): Elmer Bull reported that fishing is real slow probably due to the cold weather.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Valerie or Linda at Crosby’s Lodge at (775) 476-0400 reported: Our two-weekend derby was a huge success. We had a total of 498 fishermen. The winner ($4,000) was Peter Thompson of Reno with an 11-pound, 15.2 ounce (29.5 inches) Cutthroat. He is a fly fisherman who fishes at the North Nets. Second place ($2,000) was Dan Whitmore with 11-pounds, 12.8 ounces. Third place ($1,000) was Eric Self of Reno with an 11-pounds, 5.6 ounce.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): Chris got a 10.4 pounder in the Crosby derby, he finished in seventh place and won $500. Fishing on Saturday was good but Sunday was real slow and the weather was real cold.
RED LAKE, CALIF: Doug Busey reported that he caught a 2-pound brown on Saturday with a Kastmaster lure being jigged up and down. There still is about 3 feet of ice on the lake. There were a total of 29 ice fishermen out on the ice. One group had a tent with two tables and a barbecue.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): The fishing is off and on right now. Dry Creek continues to produce trout for boats that are drifting, but trolling from 40 to 110 feet down has also been productive.
SMITH AND CHETCO RIVERS: Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Services (800) 355-3113: Steelhead fishing on both the Smith River and Chetco River has been good this past week with much improved fishing conditions due to on and off rain this past week. Anglers can expect chrome bright Steelhead 6-9 pounds on average on the Chetco and 8-12 pounds on the Smith. Big fish hook-ups on the Smith can be in the mid teens to low 20-pound class. Best bets this past week were side drifting a small piece of roe or yarn fly with a Quickie puffball from a drift boat or the bank. Hot colors have been light pink, light orange, hot pink and shrimp pink. Backtrolling Hot Shot Nos. 30, 35 or 40 in various color combos have also produced some nice Steelhead on both systems. Steelhead fishing will continue through March.
LAKE TAHOE – North Shore:
Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters and Tahoe Trophy Trout at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (530-544-6552): Fishing has been good to excellent dependent on the day. We have been trolling at 150-300 feet with silver Herring Dodger flasher blades and live minnows in a “Figure Eight” pattern. I’ve been fishing mostly at Cal-Neva Point and Dollar Point. I’ve been locating the fish by starting shallow and then going deeper. Be patient and you’ll catch fish.
LAKE TAHOE – South Shore: Gene St. Denis: Fishing has been slow to good. I’ve been trolling at Ski Run Shelf at 150-280 feet with silver Herring Dodger flasher blades and live minnows. The jiggers are jigging in water 160 feet deep with Crippled Herring Jigs, tipped with a live minnow. The Macks are running 2-7 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – East Shore: Gene St. Denis: Toplining with Rapala lures has been good to excellent, dependent on the day, for mostly rainbows and some Macks (2-6 pounds) at Deadman’s Point, Logal Shoals and Zephyr Cove. A couple of browns were caught. Shore fishermen at Cave Rock have been having good action for 10-20 inch rainbows with worms, Power Bait or live minnows.
TOPAZ LAKE: Chuck Fields at the Topaz Lake Marina (775) 266-3550 reported: The ice is all gone but we got about an inch of snow last night that should melt quickly today (Monday). The fishing was great over the weekend with almost everyone catching and releasing limits, and then some! The average size was about 1.5 pounds and there were no big fish or any tagged fish caught that I know of. The north shore had about a dozen shore fishermen and they were all catching fish with nightcrawlers. There were about 20 boats out on the water and they were having success with flashers and nightcrawlers. The south end shore fishermen also did very well.
WALKER LAKE, NEV: Gene Phelps of Carson City reported: Fishing again last Friday, twice last week, nary a bump. Almost impossible to cast a lure, moss is blooming like crazy. Hardly anyone fishing at Walker, we saw two boats, no shore fishermen at all.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Mark at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: We got about an inch of snow last night (Sunday), so everything is white, right now. Our trout ice fishing derby was held over the weekend. On Saturday, there were about 300 fishermen. First place was Aaron Hughes with a 19.5 inch trout, second place was Rob Boehmer with a 19.3 and third place was John Cassinelli with a 16.5. On Sunday, there were about 250 fishermen and the three winners were Jess Arron (19.5), Jason Edmann (18.7) and Mike Timbo (18.2).
We still have more than 2 feet of ice.
The fishing has been excellent and there have been a lot of ice fishermen. They are catching lots of Perch and a few trout. The perch are down on the bottom (18-25 feet) and the trout are shallow (about 4-8 feet under the ice). The best place is still by the island in front of the state boat ramp. The biggest Perch have been 11 inches, and the rainbows are running 14-20 inches.
Fish with small Kastmaster lures or small, white-colored, lead-head jigs with a plastic tail, together with a tiny piece of worm, mealworm or cocktail shrimp on the hook. Drop that combination down to the bottom, bring it up about 1-2 turns on the reel handle and slowly jig, up and down.