They say that patience is the essence when it comes to fishing in Lake Tahoe, so you must be prepared to spend time in order to catch some of the finest Big Macs available, and we aren’t talking about McDonald’s either as Tahoe is home to some of the largest Mackinaw lake trout you will find in the United States.
For those visiting the area for the first time, we have some key places of interest that you will want to fish from along with some hot tips straight off the fishing experts on what you need to do in order to become much more successful on getting that bite, and the ultimate catch that comes with it. So without any delay let’s get stuck in to some of the places you want to visit on Lake Tahoe.
Just by Highway 88 you will find Caples Lake which runs South of Lake Tahoe, which is known perhaps for its amazing backdrops and breath-taking scenery than its fish. However, the secret to this lake likes in the fish that is produced from it and Caples Lake offer some of the biggest fish you will see. You can fish for Mackinaw, Brown, Brook and Rainbow in this area, and we certainly advise taking advantage of a boat if you can. Otherwise a kayak will do the trick.
However, Caples is deep from side to side of the river so you can sit on the bank and enjoy the same success as you would if you were further out.
If you head up the other end of the lake you will come to Donner Lake which isn’t too far from downtown Truckee which is another hotspot for fishing. Donner Lake is one of the more active lakes in the area and offers everything that Caples does, including Kokanee. Over the last few decades it hasn’t been unknown that fishermen have caught Mackinaw that weigh in at an incredible 30 pounds, and as the river is steep and deep from side to side you can catch some trout right from the bank or from the public piers that are available.
The only drawback is that Donner Lake is In a valley so be careful if the wind is particularly aggressive when you go out on a boat or a kayak as it could make for an interesting day out!
Mackinaw Trout which are also known as lake trout are the most popular type of fish in the Lake Tahoe area, and some of them have grown to be in excess of 30 pounds over the last several decades. Catching them requires a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge on the local area and the equipment you are going to be using in order to net such a big fish.
Deepline troll at least 8- feet with large flashers is the key, and Macs are caught all year round so you don’t have to venture to Lake Tahoe at any preferred season in order to cast your nets. Drift fishing with live minnows or night crawlers is the other effective way of bagging your prize catch, or jigging with flashy lures can sometimes be the key in getting a Mackinaw to bite.
Generally these two fish will require different bait and a slightly different angle to get the catch. The brown trout is caught effectively by using night crawlers or lures and the prime time to get them is during the early part of the Summer season before dusk. Shallow areas are the key place to spot these, so rocky bottoms and piers are a prime place to set yourself up.
In terms of Brook trout then you want to use smaller lures or worms as your form of fishing bait as these will be perfect. If you don’t have them hand then you can also use dry flies. Again, Early Summer is the best time to catch Brook trout but you will find them in a different temperature of water compared to the brown trout so their natural habitat will be in higher elevation lakes.
The other trout that is popular in the lakes of Tahoe is the Rainbow trout which are present later in the year, and are usually fished for in the Fall. However, aside from September through to November you can also catch them in May if you are lucky. In order to bait them you will need small lures, which will get you the bite you need in order to get the catch you have been waiting for.
If you are fishing down the North end of Lake Tahoe then you will bump into a completely different type of fish which is landlocked. The Kokanee is a Salmon that is best fished for during early springtime through to the late Summer period. You will need to venture out into the lake in order to catch these types of fish because they are rarely seen or caught from a shoreline position. Topline trolling with clusters of worms on size 4, 6 or 8 hooks is usually the best bait method to use if you want a successful fishing excursion to net yourself some Kokanee Samon.
If you head to Lake Tahoe and manage to catch one of these then you need to give yourself a pat on the back as these are extremely rare and you will only find them in the high elevation lakes, in remote areas. The Golden Trout is scarce to say the least but if you do venture high up Lake Tahoe in the Springtime and early Summer then be sure to take with you some small worms on light trippets or colourful lures.
This will increase your chances or catching a trout that us rarely seen or heard of.