Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe

Big One in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe offers plenty of exceptional scenery making it worth Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe the fishing trip price just to see the dawn as it tints the Sierras in lovely gold.

Fishing is not very productive here since the lake tends to be too pure and clear for supporting a large population worth of fish. 5e drow names

It does shelter some decent Mackinaw or lake trout averaging four pounds but running as high as 20. More plentiful Kokanee can average between 12 in. and 15 in. in length. Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe

You will also find rainbow trout and brown trout here, averaging around a lb a piece with small planters being most common and three or four pound spawners being taken off shoreline areas and reek mouths.

Party boats generally leave out of Kings Beach, Tahoe City, Homewood and also South Lake Tahoe. There are guided trips which end to be the best way for you to learn about the lake. If you have to go out on your own, stick to the reef areas off of Tahoe City.

Fishing for Mackinaw

Lake trout, also known as Mackinaw or Macs are typically caught using plugs that are being trolled using downriggers, lead core or wire lines from ledges that are 100 to 300 feet in depth in Lake Tahoe. This is a fairly high tech method of catching lake trout, and so it is generally a good idea for you to try a party boat. When you troll on your own, you may end up losing a lot of wire line and terminal gear as a result of nasty ledges. If you absolutely have to, choose a windless day and jig heavy spoons.

Depth finders as well as cross bearings are going to help you locate and then return to the more productive spots. Three trolling runs or drifts at each of the locations is generally plenty, and move if you are not catching fish. If you do catch a fish, then try that same ledge again. These Mackinaw generally tend to bunch up along with big fish in groups of two or three or even four to create spawning pods. Small Mackinaw will typically school. The trolling direction is something that can be quite critical, so make sure that you are circling the spot and trying again to turn luck in your favor if you need to.

Jig fishing and bait fishing are going to peak

in the winter and the spring out of Tahoe City, especially in the water between 50 feet and 150 feet in depth. Most fishermen will use a medium weight cast with 200 yards worth of 12 or 20 lb test. Lighter tackle is lightly not going to move the bigger Mackinaw up off of the lake bottom.

Heavy spoons are more than capable of taking fish, as well as cod jigs. Drop lures down to the bottom, reel them up about a foot and them pump them with a three or four foot slow action. Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe

Locals are catching Mackinaw using minnows, especially in the shallows between Stateline and Tahoe City along the North shore, as well as along South Tahoe’s sandy bottom. You are going to want to catch your own, which is something that you can do along shallow and rocky areas using a wire mesh trap for minnows along with a can of dog foot that has holes punched in it so that the smell can escape. Make sure that you are only using local minnows because all other minnows are illegal here.


Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe
Fishing the Big One in Lake Tahoe

Boat Fishing: Brown and Rainbow Trout

In the spring season and the fall, if you stay close to the pier lines or the shore and you troll as fast as you possibly can, then you can probably take up a nice haul of trout.

You should be using a spoon or a between 3 and 4 inch minnow plug with a brown trout finish or a rainbow trout finish using between 4 lb and 6 lb test line. In areas where extremely steep banks are present, you may need to scratch the rock in shore using the tip of your rod.

The reason for this is the extremely steep nature of the Tahoe shore which occasionally drops off to more than 200 feet, and trout know that the food is in the shallower waters.

Because the lake is relatively sterile, the best place for fishing is generally going to be near the streams where food is washed into the lake, and the shallows where the algae is present and broadening the food chain significantly. Make sure to check out the regulations as some streams have a setback of 200 yards until they are opened up again in the summer.

Plugs for shallow running and heavy spoons

tend to be best indicated for spring and fall seasons when it is possible to troll or to anchor off of the mouths of the streams, casting your lures there. Bait fishing tends to be more productive in the winter months and the summer months which is when the deep running plugs and the depth finders help make it possible to find the trout that you seek.

Experts tend to agree that fishing in Lake Tahoe is always going to be better before the sun hits the water rather than after, as well as on days that are naturally cloudy or overcast. During the spring, pollen tends to be concentrated on the surface as a result of the winds, and the rainbows are generally feeding just below these pollen rafts.

Great Spots:

 Try checking out Tahoe City, Sand Point Recreation Area, Dollar Point and the Emerald Bay entrance.


Most people are in agreement that the best place for Kokanee fishing in Tahoe is off of South Tahoe, especially along the beaches. When you are here, the bait is going to work best over the sandy bottoms, and trollers are generally fishing at between 50 feet and 75 feet using flashers with corn, worms, spoons and wedding-ring style rigs. The results and the methods are going to change based on the wind and the weather, so it is important for you to speak to someone at a local tackle shop to gain more information.

Locals tend to claim better Kokanee results when they visit Stampede, Donner Lake and Boca Reservoirs, as well as some lakes such as Bullards Bar, New Melones and Comanche. Some people feel that Tahoe Kokanee fishing is only going to improve as the clarity of the water declines as a result of algae growth which is responsible for broadening the base of the food chain in the area.

You should try the mouth of the Emerald Bay, near the feeder creeks and the inlet for the river as well as over the sand bottom which is just a bit offshore from the beach when you reach South Tahoe. It might be a good idea for you to begin with a guided fishing day that is booked through a fishing guide in the local area.

Shore Fishing in Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Tributaries tend to open up later than the normal stream trout opener for California so make sure that you are checking out local regulations for the stream that you are interested in.

All of the tributaries are going to have closed areas of 200 yards at their mouths in order to protect the spawning browns and rainbows, which occurs between October 1 and June 30. Locals tend to fish with baits, including minnows, crayfish tails and night crawlers, and they may also use lures like small copper spinners, black spoons, silver spoons and streamer flies. You should be fishing as close as possible to these setback lines from the fall to the spring. Locals tend to catch big spawners during the first week after opening and then again just before closing in the fall.

Smaller streams, lake chains and tiny brooks that feed the lakes are capable of being outstanding during the month of July. Try to use a cautious upstream approach using a tiny spinner on smaller test line.

The morning following a big storm, you should fish on the downwind side of the lake using crayfish finished plugs, crayfish tails and copper spoons. Cast just barely offshore in about two feet to five feet worth of water.


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