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South Lake Tahoe: Mackinaw biting, kokanee show at Tahoe

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 03, 2019

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Summer has truly set in at Tahoe and there’s a lot of traffic on the lake, but the Mackinaw keep on chewing and small kokanee are starting to show.

“We’re busy now and the fishing’s been pretty good. We’re sending boats up to the North Shore and pulling limits of Mackinaw lake trout, and also picking at kokanee on the South Shore,” Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing said.


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LAKE TO LAKE — Lee Coulam came out from Flaming Gorge, of all places, to fish brown trout with Capt. Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners and he scored this 33-inch, 12.75-pound fish while fishing Lake Tahoe.

The lakers are coming from the bottom in 120 to 200 feet, with the occasional foray into the deep at 300. Gordon said one key is to keep on travelling until you find biting fish. “The limits aren’t easy, you have to keep looking,” he said.


The kokanee are up shallow in open water, about 20 to 40 feet, and so far are on the smaller side, about 10 to 12 inches. Boats that chase them are getting 2 to 3 per rod, but not limits yet.


On the North Shore, Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing said on Sunday that he had some 2- to 8-pound Mackinaw onboard. “It was a late bite for nice fish, we’re doing pretty well. I got all mine in shallow, 140 to 160 feet, but if you find a school of shrimp in the deep you can get them. Fishing’s really good,” he said.


Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners was out of town much of the week, only fishing Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a pick on Mackinaw but Sunday was better, with fish up to 9 pounds as well as a better rainbow. He said he talked with a boater who had caught some better, 13-inch kokanee at 20 to 35 feet. “Try nickel flashers with anything pink or orange with corn on it, and target Mackinaw however you like, jigging, drifting or trolling,” he said.


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