View Full Version : Life moves on, but did the Fish?

11-29-2016, 03:38 PM
Just joined the FishSniffer forums and here is my 1st post.

Little bit of a story to start. Then some questions.

Moved to El Dorado County in May '15, sold my boat (Gregor 18') before I left Arizona and spent the next year looking for my perfect ride. Got real serious at the '16 boat show in Sac. Placed an order and to make a long story short, spent three + months waiting for a boat that when it did show up, was completely wrong from what I ordered. Back to hunting for a boat, bammmm, found the perfect ride and closed the deal on July 3rd.

Took it out for the July 4th weekend at Tahoe (what a cluster, never do that again, too many people). Couple times to Union valley before the end of July, but got blanked everytime (Trout and Kokanee setups), into the shop for a thorough service, back in my hand end of Aug. All ready for Fall fishing, Bammmm, daughter got sick 1st week of Sept, spent the next 2 months getting her back to speed.

So, now for some questions.
1) Did I miss the fall fishing spectacular?
2) How late into the winter are folks fishing at Union Valley, IceHouse, Lake Tahoe.
3) My first 3 times out, not a strike while trolling Cowbells w/Worm, Dodger w/wedding ring and corn, Dodger w/Apex Pink Kok killer. Any guidance on setup would be very helpful (I have 4 Scotty electric downriggers installed, operational and ready).
4) Fish Electronics, with the boat came an older Lowrance model from 2007, the default settings have shown 0 fish, but I can see my downrigger ball as it falls ? I think the transducer is hosed. I'm looking at the new Lowrance HDS 9 Gen3 with the TotalScan package. Any good advice, alternative opinions?

Thanks for the inputs in advance.

11-29-2016, 07:32 PM
Welcome aboard, PacNav.

Not too familiar with trout or koke fishing but I do know Koke's ain't easy. Went to Pardee a couple times this year and got skunked. I think it was a good koke year for some but kinda poor for others (that's what my buddy tells me anyway).

Are you into salmon, sturgeon or striper fishing?

Plenty of opportunity year round here!

11-29-2016, 08:05 PM
pacnav, come over to pyramid in nv and you'll catch some fish, be sure to check the weather before you come.
we have a pmid fest the 2nd weekend of april, a lot of sniffers there, fishing is good and the potluck dinner on
Saturday evening is worth the trip. if you can make it over before then let me know, I can let you use some
gear for pmid since its barbless. just send me a pm and I can meet you somewhere and give you some tips
where to fish.
be safe

Captain Compassion
11-29-2016, 09:46 PM
Welcome aboard sir. This time of year the best bet for trout are those lakes in the Sierra foothills. Comanche, Amador, Pardee, etc. Higher mountain lakes such as UVR will freeze soon. Tahoe never freezes and you can get fish all year. But have to know the ways of the lake. You would do well to do a couple of guided trips to get the hang of things. A good group guide this lake. As Okie said. Pyramid, a little further for you, is a world class fishery. There is no other like it. Again. Welcome Aboard.


11-29-2016, 11:54 PM
heard Melones was good and My question to you is
they have waters for a Boat In Arizona>> I thought it was all sand and dune buggies????
good luck fishing in California . the place where we get water and no fish or loose the water for the fish .

11-30-2016, 04:10 AM
heard Melones was good.

It sure has not been good for me lately. We did pretty well with deep trolling in the hot weather, but now that the lake has turned over, have not caught a decent sized trout (3lb +) in the last 4 trips (most recent was yesterday.... 2 spotted bass, a 10" rainbow, and a large crappie).

I think the big trout are up in the river channels and coves, not so much in the main lake.

11-30-2016, 08:44 AM
If you are willing to catch planter trout then this time of year can be very good. Read some of the reports about Comanche and try there. I fish Collins a lot and trout fishing from now until May is usually pretty good but Collins is a long ways away from you. I just mention it because it is a foothill lake that gets a lot of fish planted as does Comanche along with a couple of other lakes. I am not a kokanee guy but I think you will have to wait until next spring for that fishery. As far as the higher elevation lakes go I have never tried those in the winter and they don't get nearly as many plants as the lower elevation lakes. I rarely use dodgers or flashers and still get a lot of fish. I troll Rapala type plugs or spoons way more than anything else and do OK on trout. Others on here really like the Speedy Shiner and from their success rate I would say you really need to give those a try.

11-30-2016, 08:55 AM
Wow, thanks for all the response and welcomes.

Yes, Az has both a great Bass scene and more importantly a decent Trout scene in the White Mountains (border of Az and New mexico), about a 4 hour drive from the Phx area. Couple of Fly fishing hot spots as well (ie: Lee's Ferry about a 6 hour drive).

I've heard of Pyramid being a spectacular lake. That's a weekend trip for sure. Is it good in the winter as well? When I get there I will look you up Okie.

Any recommended guides for Tahoe? Being only 1hr from it, it's hard not to want to learn the lake.

Pardee/Almanor is an easy one to hit up from where I am. What's the setup?

Yes, I love Salmon and Crab as well, that's one of the reasons it took so long for me to get my boat. I wanted a ride that I could take out of Fort Bragg or Bodega Bay as well as the Sacramento River and the Sierra Lakes. Got that in spades now. Any insight into area's and gear would be very valued and appreciated.

11-30-2016, 08:59 AM
With the speedy shiner, you just troll the lure without a flasher/dodger? Top liner or downrigger or both depending on the fish depth? Colors?

11-30-2016, 10:19 AM
If you go back and read some of Koke machines posts on fishing Comanche he explains exactly how he does it. I will get something wrong here working from memory (very poor memory) he does not add flashers. He has a swivel and a 5'+- leader to the Speedy Shiner. I think he will sometimes run them off of the downrigger or add a weight of some kind but I think right now he is just top lining them. Top lining is what I do 90% of the time this time of year. I own downriggers but rarely take them and when I do I usually don't go below 10' unless I am targeting landlocked salmon. I am getting off of the subject some here but yesterday on Collins I landed my 5 fish in about 2 hours on Rapalas while top lining. After you have read a few reports from members here you will figure out how some of the more successful guys target their preferred fish. You might just spend some time reading reports on the trout forums no matter how old the reports are. There are some very good fishermen on here and you can learn a lot about almost any fishery by reading some old reports. I will read a report from someone then go to their profile and read their other started threads to see how they did on other trips. Lots of info here.

Just a note Robbie is running those at over 3 mph and from what I get told by guys at the lakes they think that is WAY too fast so they will not do that. I can tell you that I never go less than 2.5 mph with Rapalas. I get told all of the time that I need to slow down. Oh well.

11-30-2016, 12:20 PM
Gene St Dennis is a good Tahoe guide. Mark Wiza used to do, on your boat sessions which were great, but not sure if he's still doing any.

Tahoe has a big learning curve and can be a pain, but it's a great fishery once you get up to speed.

Union Valley is plowed to the dam ramp all winter and is a good option for Mack's and some holdover rainbows. I've seen ice on it in the arms, but have fished it every month of the year. Power minnow trolled behind a dodger near bottom will pick up smaller Mack's all year. 20+# fish in there too, just fewer and farther between.

Too many options. Pick one that works for you and go for it.

Captain Compassion
11-30-2016, 05:14 PM
Here are two very guide services. Use them both because each has a little different philosophy so you will learn different things. Tell the guide that you have your own boat and are new to the area and intend to fish this lake often.



As for Pyramid fishing, at least from the shore, Is better in the cold months. The big boys will set on the bottom than bust the shore. One of my best shore fishing days I had the temp was 9 below zero.


Koke Machine83
11-30-2016, 07:10 PM
Robbie (Koke Machine) Here!!! As for the Speedy Shiners!!! Two ways to run them... (1) Off the Downrigger: No weight 4' leader with a good crane swivel (Line Twist). (2) Surface: I just add 1/4 oz Bullet Weight in front of the Crane Swivel. You can add heavier weight when the fish drop deeper. As for Speed: Yes, 3.0 to 3.5 GPS... Turn the clicker On and keep the drag a little bit loose, so when they hit that lure at 3.0+ You don't break anything... Trust me, those trout have no problem slamming those lures.. Hope This Helps... If you have any Questions, Just PM me!!! Good Luck on your next adventure!!!

Robbie (Koke Machine)...

12-01-2016, 02:33 PM
Thanks, guy's all good feedback. Will let you know results after my next trip. Weather permitting, likely will hit Pardee