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Early for Lake Tahoe Macks

By Chuck Giles
06/27/16 -- It is usually good news when my friend Captain Bryan Roccucci (Big Daddy’s Guide Service) calls me. This time was no exception. He had clients booked for Saturday and Sunday on Lake Tahoe for mackinaw and wanted to check out some areas on Friday. Did I want to go with him? Ohhh, Okay!

I have to admit this was the earliest I had to swing out of bed in quite some time. However, the sunrise on Lake Tahoe makes up for those missed. We launched on the north end at Forest Lake. This is a very nice facility and one of the United States Coast Guard stations around the shore is also here.
Lake Tahoe, courtesy of Big Daddy's guide service
Sun rises over the Sierras, photos courtesy of Big Daddy's Guide Service
There was a slight chop on the water early and after about a fifteen minute voyage we arrived at our destination in the vicinity of Carnelian Bay. Big Daddy, as do most professional anglers, has a knack for knowing what the fish want and how deep to put the bait in front of their face. He dropped our spoons down to 200 feet and we were on our way. About 20 minutes later one of the rods popped off the release and it was fish on!
Lake Tahoe, courtesy of Big daddy's guide service
A little chop on the water doesn't stop the bite

The average mackinaw on Lake Tahoe runs three to five pounds. Our first fish was no exception. It gave a surprisingly decent fight in spite of the depth from which it hit. We had our first lake trout on board. We decided early on to keep a couple for table fare. After unhooking, emptying the net and putting the fish in the cooler, we were back on course.

«Two average Mackinaw from Lake Tahoe

To make a beautiful long story short, I will tell you we boated all five fish we hooked then decided to check out another area where Roccucci had some luck in the past. Normally, you have to be on the water when the sun comes up since most of the time these macks are early risers.

After about three hours, the bite slows considerably. This alternate location to which we headed has been more productive later in the morning. Unfortunately, this was not the case today. We were off the water by noon after filleting out three of our fish.

Lake Tahoe is very deceiving. Once on the water, a look around gives the illusion it is a short ride to the other side. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As we headed over to the second location on the west side of the lake, I was expecting about a ten minute ride. With the fairly heavy chop which had picked up considerably, this was more of a 30-40 minute bumpy cruise. Nonetheless, not much spoils a day of fishing on one of the most scenic bodies of water in the nation. There was actually snow on the peaks surrounding us and we had fish in the boat. Who’s complaining?

On my way home, it started sinking in that I had just had one of those trips that I will remember for a lifetime. When Roccucci reads this, I want to let him know I am available Monday through Sunday any time he needs a companion for a “scouting trip.”

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german brown trout in Modoc creek.
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