A Winter Morning Adventure to catch a Lake Tahoe Mackinaw
Lake Tahoe, NV – December 29, 2022 – Being on a boat in Lake Tahoe is most often a reference for summer fun in most conversations. However the text came through from a friend yesterday saying “The winds look good for a great Mackinaw fishing trip in Lake Tahoe tomorrow. you in?” Never one to turn away from a new adventure (enneagram 7) I quickly answered yes and secured my one day residential fishing license. Then proceed to set my alarm early an d pack my winter gear as the we had planned a 6am fishing trip to beat any type of weather and my friend suggested that early morning on the lake is a great time to catch fish.
Light snow was falling as we crested Spooner summit and as we neared Cave Rock on the East shore of Lake Tahoe, we wondered if the dock would be open with this snow and the approaching storms. as we pulled into the parking area, we were excited to see that we were the first tire tracks of the morning and even happier when the stationed Ranger flicked on his outside lights to let us know he would be out for his inspection soon. We soon started transferring gear and finalizing winter gear prep as the boat was being prepared for docking and the wind and weather cover was being snapped into place over the cab of the boat.
Winter Morning on Lake Tahoe
As we started to pull away from the dock, I am thinking how I have never once thought that I would be on a boat in Lake Tahoe in the dead of winter and in the dark. My fishing buddy who fishes the lake often had already programmed his Garmin fishing equipment and the we were moving towards Edgewood region of the South Lake Tahoe shore line to troll along the lake shore for Mackinaw and lake trout. As with any fishing trip we set out a bait trap and then almost immediately had engine troubles, but a quick fix and we were soon lines in on our morning fishing trip. The lake was shielded from the sun by the thick morning clouds that hung on the mountain ridges above the lake, snow was falling but the lake was calm.
Soon after the boat started its programmed course one of our rods that was dragging he bottom of the lake sprung into action. “Fish On” Bryan would say and I stepped forward toe retrieve my rod from the holder at the end of the boat. A small tug of the pole and I instantly knew I had a fish and it felt like a nice size as it fought against the tug at my line.
According to the real counter the line was out approximately 200 feet and Bryan reminded me to keep it steady and that there was no rush to get the fish to the boat. ” Let him fight you a bit, Don’t give him slack but don’t rush in retrieving your line, enjoy this!” The entire process went smoothly, and I chuckled at how tired my arms got int he entire process. soon the White flash of his belly flashed of the boat some 50 feet away and Bryan readied the net to bring this fish on board. It was an Mackinaw ! A nice size fish that weighed 3.5lbs and was fat with minnow and crawdads recently eaten in the lake. How exciting. a few quick pictures and back to fishing it was.
The joy of the moment brought life to the conversations in the boat as we continued our journey for more fish. However the next item on the day would be a lure getting snagged on something in the lake and immediately breaking free of the line. After rigging out another line our luck would turn dry and the winds picked up as the winter storm that is promising atmospheric river of moisture began to blow in over the Western Shorelines. Bryan, aware of the rookie he had on board suggested we head back to cave rock and fish see if the winds were better closer to the rocks.
Cave Rock was much smoother and we fished for another hour before the winds would blow in here as well. That was our sign to call this adventure closed and we played it safe and got off the water in Lake Tahoe as the winds had already started to show white caps on the shoreline.
For a first time Fishing on Lake Tahoe, I sure had a good time. Fishing in winter was a cool experience and gives you a neat perspective of the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. Falling snow was a cool experience and I am certain the wind was made tolerable by my friend set-up. I look forward to going out again with Bryan and trying my luck at Mackinaw or what ever wants to bite my line in the future. Never to late to try a new adventure!