Northern CA Freshwater

South Lake Tahoe: Tahoe kokanee, Mackinaw bite keeps getting better

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 12, 2019

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Late summer has offered excellent fishing at Lake Tahoe for weeks, and there’s no end in sight to the fast action for both kokanee and Mackinaw.

“It’s been just phenomenal fishing,” Zack Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing said. “There’s been a little wind in the afternoon here and there, but it hasn’t slowed the bite. Saturday I had 8 guys and the wind was 20 mph and we still got their 40 kokanee.”

collectionoffishCOLLECTION OF FISH — Peggy Chechitini and crew fished with Mike Nielson of Tahoe Topliners and landed this fine collection of plump Mackinaw and a few kokanee in a quick morning flurry at Lake Tahoe. PHOTO MIKE NIELSEN

Gordon said it’s an angler’s choice bite, you can target what you like, but he’s preferred to focus on the kokanee while they’re still bright silver. “We’ll see how long it lasts,” he said. “Right now the bite is good throughout the day. It’s supposed to get a little colder and I have a feeling the salmon will start to get up the streams, but Saturday there was just one that showed signs of turning. If you stay out deep the quality is perfect.”

Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners agreed with the general assessment of good times, saying it’s been continual solid fishing for he and his clients. On Sunday morning, he landed Mackinaw limits in just over an hour of fishing.

“We got them from 2 to 6 pounds and came on in. They are across the south shore anywhere from 90 to 150 feet,” he said. “The kokanee are 60 to 90 feet by Camp Richardson, and the fish I’m finding are still clean. Some of the fish tighter to shore are a little more colored up, but the fish in the open water are clean and bright.”

Nielsen said he’s also been getting into a few rainbows up to 6 pounds, and it’s a good sign for times to come. “I’m anticipating a good rainbow bite,” he said. “I’ll start looking in another couple of weeks. The next few days should be in the high 60s. We’re starting to feel a chill and it was 38 when I left the dock on Sunday. That caught us by surprise.”

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