6/21/16 Stampede

Mia, Tyler, and Annika Howell and proud father and grandfather fished Stampede Reservoir today for 13 fat Kokanee to 16″.  Had the opportunity for boat limits but, as many know, these feisty fish are sometimes a challenge getting into the net.  We marked and caught fish everwhere we fished but did best staying close to boat ramp.  We watched as boat after boat launched and drove right over the school of fish that we were fishing on to go searching out a school in their favorite spots.  Well, this year is different from normal years.  The Kokanee are hanging out where they should have been a month ago and are not eager to move.


Double glow Rocky Mountain Tackle pink plankton was top getter behind a pink-n-purple 4.25″RMT dodger with ProCure’s Kokanee Special flavored shoe peg corn.  Also caught em on orange RGT’s and small Dick Nite spoons.  Caught em 20′-45′ down but 25′ was best depth.

It was a beautiful day today at Stampede, maybe hitting the high 7o’s while those in the valley were sweltering in 100 degree heat.

Get outta the heat and into some great Kokanee action with Tight Lines Guide Service by calling toll free 888-975-0990 or book online at


Stampede Kokanee

6/13/16 Stampede Kokanee

Today started off very foggy to where I used the radar to see so I would not run into the other boats out on the lake today.  During the foggy morning, the Kokanee bite came very quickly and we had a nice 14″ Kokanee before I was able to get all the rods fishing.  Within the first half hour, we boated 3 Kokanee and lost 2 others.  Then I made a bonehead decision and wanted to check out the area that was hot last week.  The rule is, don’t leave fish to go find fish.  Wasted a half an hour going to check the area out as we did not get a bite or see very many Kokanee.  We returned to where we first started catching fish and soon boated 2 more fat Kokanee where we saw another boater who said he heard my report over the weekend and wanted to try his luck.  I asked him what he was using and he said hoochies.  Guess he did not listen to the whole report because the hot bait has not been hoochies.

We covered the area in front of Jay’s cove pretty well and continued to catch fish.  We were up to 8 Kokanee by the time the fog burnt off, then the bite really slowed down.  My client asked me how long are we gonna stay fishing.  I answered saying “till you can talk me into going home”. lol  He said another half hour and he’s good.  Well, I guess the fish did not hear that because the next half hour we boated 4 more fish, released 2 or the smaller ones and put on ice 2 nice fat 14″ Kokanee.  Reeled in all the rods, cleaned the fish, and we were off the water by 11am.  Right about the time forcasted for the winds to really pick up.

Top set-up was 4.25″ Rocky Mountain Tackle dodgers in Pink-n-Purple trailing a small Dick Nite spoon with ProCure Kokanee Special shoe peg corn

Trolling speed between 1.0-1.2 gps speed

Target depth was between 30-40′ deep

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Mixed Bag Today at Stampede Reservoir

6/1/16  Mixed bag today at Stampede Reservoir

Today started of very foggy and chilly at Stampede Reservoir.  Okay, it was cold!!  We started off todays scouting mission by trolling to all the usual hangouts but marked very few schools.  Just a Kokanee here and there.  It was slow and by 9am, the fog had burned off and we had 3 Kokanee in the box.  One of them being a nice, fat 16 incher!!!  We also lost a few fish.  We then ventured out towards the dam to see if we could entice a Mackinaw to strike.  Wasn’t long before we had a double hook up.  Thought at first that the fish was snagged on the other line but soon they separated and we knew we had a double hook up.  Both fish fought hard but one, by the way it was fighting, had to be a nice Mackinaw.  We netted the smaller of the 2 fish to see that it was a beautiful hold over 18″ Rainbow Trout.  And not long after that netted a nice 6 to 7 pound Stampede Reservoir Mackinaw.  Now that we had 3 species of fish in the box, we decided to head back towards the launch ramp because the wind was starting to howl.  We caught 2 more Kokanee and another hold over Rainbow on the way back.  By now, there were white caps and it was getting rough.  The wind was blowing perpendicular to the launch ramp and trailering the boat was gonna be a chore so we decided to head in with 8 fish.  Just a little short of 2 limits.

Top set up today was a teardrop Goldstar glow in the dark dodger in pink splatter pattern trailing an Orange Radical Glow Tube with Pro Cure Garlic scent

Trolling speed was 1.5 gps speed

Target depth was between 15′ to 60′

To book a trip with Tight Lines Guide Service call Capt. James Netzel at 888-975-0990 or book online at

Mixed bag at Stampede Reservoir

Mixed bag at Stampede Reservoir


Stampede Kokanee

June 6th 2016 The Stampede Kokanee bite has busted wide open!!!!

Today started off slow as we were on the lookout for schools.  Marking a few Stampede Kokanee here and there and catching a few we continued to search in all our usual areas.  Was getting disappointed because I had 5 clients on board and after 2 hours searching, we only had a couple Kokanee.  Lost a few too.  Started searching in some other areas and found a massive 300 yard long school.  Ran through the school for 2 hours back and forth only catching a few.  The rule is you don’t leave fish to go find fish so we stuck it out.  Then around 10am, it was like the dinner bell rang.  Doubles, triples, even a quad hookup.  By 1pm, we caught 20 quality Kokanee to almost 16″.  Most of them being in the 13-14″ range but fat like footballs.  After 5  clients caught their limits and knowing that I was gonna be filleting fish for a while, we decided not to go for my limit.  All the usual baits were not working very well which was very odd, but I was given a tip from another angler from a previous trip to try Vance’s Sockeye Slammer of which I have never used at Stampede.  For all those that believe guides know everything, for todays trip, I learned a thing or two.  A big thanks to Richie Hight for the hot tip.  Although his location to find em was wrong! lol  It sure did pay off.  With all the information I give out, it sure is nice to get something in return.

Top presentations were Rocky Mountain Tackle 4.25″ dodgers trailing a small Dick Nite spoon with ProCure Garlic scented white shoepeg corn.

Trolling speed was 1.2 gps speed

Depth was 30′ to bouncing the bottom in 50′ of water or less

13327606_10155568026957228_401798487036707820_n 13406735_10155568025977228_8494776323925157368_nCapt. James Netzel

Tight Lines Guide Service


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5/16/14 Stampede Kokanee Fishing

Today we head to Stampede Kokanee Fishing. We launched at 6:00 AM and headed towards the Island. We dropped two lines down to 30’ and one top line. Within a couple minutes we had fish on. By 8:15 AM we had 14 Kokanee up to 13” and one Rainbow in the box and lost another eight or so. The best depth today was 26’ to 35’, we did get a few on the top line as well. Sep’s Watermelon Dodger and a RMT Assassin spinner tipped with pink Pautzke Fire Corn was the hot set up today. Launching wasn’t a problem. They have cleaned up the ramp and it helped a lot. You will still be launching in the mud but it’s better than it was last week. I was able to launch without four-wheel drive today.

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3/21/14 Stampede Reservoir Kokanee

We launched at 7:00 AM (a little later than planned) and headed straight across from the ramp and started targeting Mackinaw. We fished for Mack’s for a couple hours without a touch. We noticed Kokanee breaking on the surface all morning, I threw out a top line with a dodger and spinner. It wasn’t long before we hooked two Kokanee landing one.  As we got close to the island I marked some nice schools of Kokanee at 30 to 50 feet deep. We rigged up two Kokanee rods and dropped one to 25’ and the other to 50’. Both rods hooked up. We ended up fishing this school for a half hour or so and putting a nice bunch of Kokanee in the box.  We found another nice school off the point by the dam. We caught our Kokanee on Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master Dodgers and a pink Uncle Larry’s spinner. As far as corn, we didn’t have any! I had stripped my boat so they could use it in a show last week and forgot to put any back in. I did have some Berkley Power Grubs so I cut them in chunks and used that as corn. The Kokanee we caught on the surface were only about 10” and the deeper ones were up to 12”. That’s small but it’s early. The surface temp on Stampede today was 43 degrees.  Launching is no problem; unfortunately there is no snow anywhere around the lake.


8/8/13 Stampede Reservoir Kokanee

tlgsToday, we had a family of six with young children. They requested we start at 7 AM rather than the normal start time of 5:30. We headed straight over to the island where we have been fishing previously. We dropped in and within a few minutes we landed a double. We continued to work that area, landing a Kokanee every now and then. Everything was different again today, the fish yesterday were at 35 feet, today they were down at 55 feet. The Kokanee average 13 inches they were fat and in good shape. We threw everything in the boat at them, the lure of choice was Sep’s Gold  Starlight Dodger behind Shark Chrome Cannonballs.

8/7/13 Stampede Kokanee Continue to Bite


After a couple days at Lake Tahoe we moved camp over to Stampede. Today’s trip started off completely different that the last time we were on Stampede which was just last week. Dark clouds blanketed us as we left the ramp. We started off at the regular spot which is just off the island. I had to look twice when I glanced at the Lowrance. There were fish stacked like I haven’t seen on Stampede in a long time. We dropped a Sep’s Strike Master with a RMT Assassin spinner on one side and the same dodger with an Uncle Larry’s Tropical Tiger on the other. Both were tipped with Pautzke Fire Cured Shoepeg corn behind Chrome Shark Cannonballs. We made two passes without a touch. Finally, on the next pass we hooked up and lost it before we good get a look at it. This was the case for the next four hook ups. We finally boated a couple of nice Kokanee. After those couple of fish the bite started getting slower. I switched things around to try to get these fish to hit anything. The screen was still loaded. Every boat that went by made a comment about how slow it was. Finally, I found the combination they wanted. A Sep’s Gold Starlight dodger with an Uncle Larry’s Pink UV Spinner with the same corn, started to produce several fish. It was never a red hot bite, we ended up doing well with just a couple short of limits. I believe the low pressure system that was over us had to have something to do with today’s bite. After dropping off our clients I picked up my wife, Tresa and went to look at some other spots just in case I needed them for tomorrows trip. We were behind the island when I marked a bunch of fish in 40 feet of water sitting right on the bottom. We dropped in a Pink and Silver Fish Flash with the Uncle Larry’s Pink Spinner and within a couple minutes we had two fish on that set up and another on the Sep’s Gold Starlight with the same spinner.

The Maxwell Family (Left to Right) Mark, Luke, Will and Sam or San Carlos CA with a few of the Kokanee they caught today.

8/5/13 Lake Tahoe Kokanee and Mackinaw

We spent today targeting Lake Tahoe Kokanee on the South Shore. We launched at Cave Rock at 6:00 AM. We were marking fish between 80 and 100 feet on our Lowrance HDS 12. We dropped a Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master with a RMT Assassin Spinner tipped with Shoepeg corn cured with Pautzke Fire Cure. We were hooked up within a few minutes. After a short fight we lost that one along with the next 7 or 8 fish. About that time we hooked and landed a nice Mack on the same Kokanee gear.  Finally, we started sticking the Kokanee. On our way back we stopped off by Cave Rock and fished for Lake Tahoe Mackinaw.  We ended the day with limits of Lake Tahoe Kokanee and two Mackinaw. I lost count of how many Kokanee we lost but it was a bunch. The Kokanee today averaged 14″ however. one of the ones we lost at the boat was a good 17″ fish.

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Stampede Reservoir Kokanee the Week of 7/29/13

LindseyWe spent the first part of this week at Stampede chasing Kokanee. We had to return home to get some maintenance done on our truck before taking off again. The Kokanee bite continues to be good in the same areas as the last few weeks, in front and on the side of the island and straight out from the ramp. We also found some fish in Jay’s Cove. The size of the fish continues to be averaging 13” with a few in the 14” range. Once again, I have seen a couple 16” fish, which I personally haven’t caught. The guys getting the larger fish are jigging which we haven’t done yet. I’m not sure why but it seems some people are struggling getting numbers of fish.

I spent some time at the ramp on Tuesday showing some guys what I was using and trying to help them put more fish in their boat. This is a quick recap of what has been working for me. We are using Sep’s Side Kicks in Watermelon with a RMT Assassin spinner in Pink and Purple or an Uncle Larry’s Tropical Tiger spinner. One thing I have noticed it that “Glow” seems to be working better than non-glow. I’ve been putting a little white glow tape on the backside of my Side Kick. I am also using two different corns. The first is some new corn Pautzke has that they will call Shoepeg Can-O-Corn. This is not available in stores yet, but it will be soon. The other and probably my favorite, I make up myself. I got this idea from John at Uncle Larry’s Lures a couple years ago and added a few things of my own. It consists of Shoepeg corn cured overnight in Pautzke’s Fire Cure and then I add a little Garlic oil and sometimes a small amount of Vanilla. I have been piling the corn on the double hooks, sometimes up to three or four pieces.  All this is pulled behind 10 pound Shark Cannonball weights (chrome). This is all tied together with Berkley 6 pound XL. This is by no means the only thing that’s producing fish at Stampede but it has been working well for me.

I was asked yesterday why do I like fishing for these 13” fish. First, they’re excellent table fare and second, families come to the Tahoe/Truckee area on vacation and want to take their kids fishing. Kokanee fishing provides non-stop action that the kids love. They are not waiting for an hour between bites. The Stampede action has been producing around 10 fish per hour. Hopefully, these same kids will remember the fun they had and become avid anglers. This week we had an 85 year old in the boat that had as much fun as the 6 year olds.

This is the Lindsey family from Texas with a few of the 20 Kokanee they took on Monday. We lost as many as we landed.