The Fish Sniffer - Top Liners Nail Mackinaw Trout
Top Liners Nail Mackinaw Trout

Written By: Danny Lloyd, January 25, 2014
Species: Mackinaw
Location: Lake Tahoe,

"Lake Tahoe's surface level is almost 5 feet down and barely has water flowing at the Tahoe City Dam also known as Fanny Bridge," reported Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters.

"Lack of water is a major issue right now, with this being the third year of a drought, no new feed will be provided to the lake this winter, spring, or summer,” said St. Denis. “The fish are going to be the ones most affected.”

“Without the annual explosion on invertebrates and algae, kokanee salmon and crawdads will not happen in the lake this spring, barring a massive influx of moisture," added St. Denis about the real struggle we are having with a lack of weather and storms state wide.

On a recent trip St. Denis took a few clients from Auburn out for some early morning top lining action. They fished the south shore sand flats in 20 to 45 feet of water. They used 5-7 inch stick baits covered in Pro-Cure Trophy Trout Gel and set them anywhere from 150 feet to 500 feet behind the boat. They managed some very nice mackinaw to 12 pounds.

Mickey Daniels of Mickey's Big Mack Charters reported that limits of mackinaw have been pretty easy to come by with fish running 3-6 pounds. They continue fishing shallow early morning, then move deep as the sun comes out using minnows trolled behind flashers.

Tahoe Sportfishing reported that Captain Bobby ended up with a mackinaw weighing 16.2 and measuring 36.5 inches long during a trolling adventure on the lake on Saturday, January 11. A

With the water levels so low, Sand Harbor and El Dorado boat launches will remain closed. Both the Lake Forrest Ramp and Cave Rock Ramp remain open, but remember they're only open from 6am-4pm daily.

Also with the start of a new year, you are required to get your boat inspected as your 2013 seal/inspection approval is now expired. Check out for details.

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