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South Lake Tahoe: June transition pushing shallow fish deeper

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 19, 2019

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Life is all about adjustments, and that means following the Mackinaw, browns and rainbows into deeper water as they make their June transition at Lake Tahoe.

tahoetoplinedTAHOE TOPLINED — Tom Marbel of Benicia fished with Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing and tied into this really nice rainbow while trolling the shoreline.

Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners said the week was the slowest for numbers he’s had this season, although it was still possible to make a good catch. That showed in Monday’s 12.75-pound brown and Thursday’s bunch of Mackinaw and nicer rainbows. “The rest of the week I had to work hard for the fish. They seem to be leaving the shallows as the water temperature comes up. It was 61 on Sunday, 11 degrees warmer than just 10 days ago,” he said. Boat traffic, a summer surge, is also affecting the bite.


Nielsen said the lake is receiving tremendous runoff, and although the dam is wide open, it is still rising. “There is a lot of debris in the water. If you’re fishing just keep moving to different spots until you find them. If you’re around the crowds, the fish won’t bite,” he said.


Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing on the North Shore also noted the tougher bite when WON reached him around 9 a.m. Sunday. “Today was a little grumpy. They’re short striking real bad. The window is already shut down, you have to get it done first thing in the morning,” he said. The full moon is playing a role, and Self figures the bite will improve day by day as it wanes. On Sunday, he found his fish between 160 and 300 feet.


Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing called the fishing “kind of weird,” as they found a better bite in the afternoons than the usually productive mornings. Unlike the other sources, Gordon said Tahoe Sportfishing boats found shallow fish at 100 feet on the North Shore, and one banner day the Mackinaw average was 6 to 9 pounds.


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