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Nevada Freshwater

Pyramid Lake’s big cuts blast off!

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 07, 2018

SUTCLIFFE,  Nev. — It was the week of giant cutthroat at Nevada’s Pyramid Lake, as the heaviest fish of the young season was caught, a massive 23-pound, 2-ounce fish, and Joe Mendes of Eagle Eye Charter and his clients notched the guide’s personal best single outing on Sunday with 7 fish over 10 pounds.

Matt Smeltzer caught the 23-pound, 2-ounce behemoth at Hell’s Kitchen from a boat while using a P-Line Bleeding Frog, then weighed it in at Crosby’s Lodge, where he smiled brightly for a photo with his fish.


biggestyetmattBIGGEST YET — Matt Smeltzer caught the heaviest cutthroat of the new Pyramid Lake season last week, a fine 23-pound, 2-ounce giant from a boat at Hell’s Kitchen. He used a P-Line Bleeding Frog lure. His fish stood at the forefront of a terrific big fish week.


Mendes was ecstatic with his outstanding day of catching 7 fish over 10 pounds in a single outing. “Today was epic and all the records were broken. The fish count was 40. We had a super good week, with way over 120 fish,” he said.


“I can’t believe what happened today,” Mendes said. “He caught a 15 pounder, two 12s, two 11s, and two 10s on what was a heck of a day for his Pyramid first-timer clients Charlie Rogers, Robert Clegg, and Jaden and Noah Gravatt of Loomis, California. It followed Mendes’ excellent Friday trip, which included a 15 and an 11.


Mendes and his clients used Firetiger Apex trolling lures and #1 FlatFish at 25 to 30 feet and caught their fish between Pelican and Warriors. He was at a loss to explain what happened between this week and last, when the fishing was dismal. “If I knew the answer I would write a book about Pyramid Lake cutthroat fishing. I feel like playing the lottery,” he said.


An additional two big fish were weighed in at Crosby’s, a 16-pound, 9-ounce beauty caught by Tony Major from a boat at Pelican, and a 14-pound, 9-ounce cutt’ roped from a boat by Jason Kepke at Anderson Bay.


Shore anglers are beginning to see more fish in the shallows. To this point they’ve had to work hard for their fish. A report from Pyramid Fly Co. recommends shore casters work beaches that have access to deep water or steeper drop-offs. They also note the lake is beginning to turn over and suggest stripping beetles or boobies with buggers or streamers in white, black and olive or indicator fishing with a balanced leech.


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