Mac the Naw: Blue Ribbon Big Brown
By Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
Gene St. Denis, captain and owner of Blue Ribbon Sport Fishing on Lake Tahoe, caught the largest brown trout measrued at the Nevada Department of Wildlife in 2012, ringing in at 15.9 pounds.
Courtesy of Doug Busey
A panoramic view of Topaz Lake from Doug Busey's vacation.
Photo illustration courtesy of Doug Busey
Hello fellow anglers, a very happy Naw year to you all.
I have been on, and am still on, winter vacation, but I wanted to give you a small update of what's going on in our local area. It's a good time to do some cold weather fishing. There are some hot, and some not so hot spots to go, and one of my favorites is just not accessible.
LAKE TAHOE: I have to tell you. Gene St. Denis, captain and owner of Blue Ribbon Sport Fishing on Lake Tahoe, is on a hot streak. According to Nevada Department of Wildlife, Gene has on record the largest Mackinaw for the year at 28.9 pounds, the largest rainbow at 11.4 pounds and now the largest brown trout at 15.9 pounds. Mind you these are not lake records, just largest recorded fish brought in and weighed at NDOW. That is something to be proud of, and it's all from one boat named PT-109. This is the story in his exact words.
“A Day of Days… Yesterday on Lake Tahoe I hooked into a truly monstrous German brown weighing in at 15.9 pounds and 33 inches long. My son Eric St. Denis netted the magnificent Tahoe brown for me with one big swipe of the net at the back of the PT-109 in howling winds, blowing snow and 15-degree temperatures. We were trolling at 3 mph in 15 feet with a 5.5-inch trophy stick in Tui Chub covered in Pro-Cure Trophy Trout Gel. The big brown inhaled the lure. It's stomach Contents were full of mysis shrimp and baby crawdads. We recorded the catch at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 at Elk Point just south of Zephyr Cove.
Eric and I are still jazzed to say the least, as he fought like a freight train for 30 minutes. The current Lake Tahoe record brown trout is 15.14 pounds, we just missed it. My personal best Tahoe brown ever.”
INDIAN CREEK RES: The paved road from highway 89 is not advised and is unsafe due to excessive snow pack. The dirt road from Diamond Valley Road is slick and muddy, and by the time you read this, frozen and snow covered. Just like the lake itself, which has had 2 to 3 inches of ice on it and is very unstable. I have heard of only one angler crazy enough to attempt to ice fish it. Yes, he is still alive, but told me he crawled off of it like a baby and would never do that again.
TOPAZ LAKE: Opening day was cold as usual. The fishing was good for average pan-sized trout. There were 13 tagged trout worth $100 each, and 12 trout more than 2 pounds brought in the first day. For the week, there was a total of 19 tagged trout brought to the Topaz General Store. The largest trout of the week in the Topaz Lodge derby was 4.6 pounds caught by Brett Kirby from Newman, Calif. In second place, was 4.3 caught by Aaron Wilson from Wellington, Nev. I was not able to make opening day this year, but I have spent some of my vacation time fishing the lake since then. I saw many small fish jumping on the north end. I got one bite. I could not really access the far east side through the park because I did not want to get stuck in the snow. But, I did see many does and a big buck enjoying the peace and quiet.
I talked with Chuck Fields from Topaz Landing Marina. Chuck told me he heard many reports of slow fishing, most likely due to extremely cold weather, making the fish not very active yet. For those who are boat fishing, you need to use the Nevada park ramp. Due to unsafe conditions, Topaz Landing launch has not opened yet. Although, they are open for boat rentals. For more information on the Topaz Lodge derby. Go to topazlodge.com or call 775-266-3338.
CAPLES LAKE: John Voss reported that many anglers are ice fishing at the dam or the spillway area. Anglers reported 6-to 12-inches of ice under a couple feet of snow. They are catching rainbow trout 10-to 15-inches. The Caples Lake General Store is closed for the season, but cabins and lodge rooms are available. For more information call 209-258-8888.
RED LAKE: John Voss also reported 6-to 10-inches of ice on Red lake. A couple friends and I will be venturing up to see how much snow is on top of that this Saturday. Come join us. If you do not have an ice auger, I will loan you mine. There is no special pole or rigging needed. You can put everything you need in a ziplock bag, such as size 8 hooks, pinch weights, and a couple kastmasters or small spoons to jig with. I would advise wearing some good warm and dry winter clothing. Hope to see you there, and I'll have a full ice fishing report in the next article.
Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch send it firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions in our local fishing world call the Naw line at 775-267-9722. Good fishin' and tight lines.
—Gene St. Denis (530-544-6552, www.blueribbonfishing.com) contributed to this report.
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