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.

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.






7/15/13 Stampede Reservoir Kokanee


Today we took Andrew and Rohan Volkman of Grand Junction Colorado on a Kokanee trip at Stampede. Today was Rohan’s 15th birthday. We met in Truckee at 5:00 AM and headed to the lake. We went straight across to the island where I had worked a nice school of Kokanee two days prior. It took only a couple minutes to find them and got hooked up. We averaged more than 10 fish per hour for the first hour or so. We were releasing fish and also lost some, it didn’t take long before we had limits of Kokanee in the boat. We also set some crawdad traps as I needed some crawdads for the next days Salmon opener. We dropped two traps and only left them in the water long enough to clean our Kokanee. When we returned, we had close to 40 crawdads.

Our best producer today was a Sep Watermelon Strike Master Dodger and a RMT spinner and the same Dodger with a Uncle Larry’s Tropical Tiger Spinner all tipped with the new Pautzke Shoepeg Can O Corn, pink in color. The most productive depth today was 45 to 60 feet deep in front of the island. What a great day on Stampede! There were about six boats fishing and when we pulled out the water was still like glass and 69 degrees. I have to throw in a plug for the new boat. All I can say is in 17 years of guiding this is the easiest boat to work from I have ever been in. We have had it nine days and fished out of it eight of those.  Someone asked me today, if I could start over with this boat what would I have done different, my response was wish I would have bought one a long time ago, everything else has been perfect!


7/13/13 Lake Tahoe and Stampede Reservoir

tlgsTight Lines Guide Service spent Wednesday 7/10/13 through Friday 7/12/12 on Lake  Tahoe and today Saturday 7/14/13 on Stampede Reservoir.

On Lake Tahoe we spent most of our time on the North Shore.  Thursday was our best day with larger Mackinaw. We found the best bite straight out from Tahoe City. We caught our fish trolling spoons at depths of 180 to 300 feet.

Saturday we worked Stampede Reservoir for Kokanee. Our clients didn’t want to start until 8:00 AM so I went out by myself at 6AM and fished for fun. In no time I had my five Kokanee. I fished behind the island and found fish right on the bottom in 40’ of water. After our clients showed up we fish the launch ramp side of island. There was several big schools of fish in that area. The best producer on Stampede today was a Sep’s Watermelons Strike Master Dodger and a RMT Crystal Watermelon Assassin Spinner and the same Watermelon Strike Master Dodger and a Uncle Larry’s Tropical Tiger Spinner. All our lures were tipped with the new (soon to be released) Pautzke Shoepeg Can O Corn. This is something new that comes in several of your favorite colors.  The average size of our fish toady was 12” with one that was 14”. The water temp at Stampede is running around 68 degrees.

5/6/13 Lake Berryessa

We headed out from Markley Cove a little after 6:00 AM. The water temp was 67 degrees as we went by the houseboats. We headed straight out to the Big Island and focused on Kokanee. We hooked a few fish but they just wouldn’t stick. Finally, we ended up by the Ranch House where we landed a Rainbow. We worked this area and again had hook ups that didn’t stick. We kept working the general area of the Ranch House and the Big Island. Finally we landed some nice Kokanee just south of the Big Island. We decided to head back into the narrows and look for some Kings. We dropped in just short of the dam and it wasn’t long before we had a nice King in the box. About that time the wind came up and the sky started turning black. We could hear thunder and saw a couple flashes of lightening in the distance, that’s when we decided to troll are way in. It wasn’t a red-hot day but all in all is was a good day given the weather. We caught fish on a few different set ups which included Sep’s 3/0 Silver Starlight with a Berkley Gulp Minnow on a 18” leader, Sep’s 3/0 Fruit Bowl Dodger and a White Uncle Larry’s Squid. 4/0 Pink/White Sep’s Dodger and an Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger, Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master with a Glow Hoochie. We also rolled Pautzke Fire Brined Shad and Anchovies. We hooked fish on bait but couldn’t get them to stick. For the Kokanee we used Shoepeg Corn cured in Pink Pautzke Fire Cure. We hooked or caught fish from 2’ to 110” today. Crazy day trying to figure out what they wanted.

Pictured is Michael Vaumgartner from Richmond

4/27/13 Lake Berryessa


We fished Berryessa today for the first time in several months. Launched a Markley Cove at 6:00 AM. I was a little early, so I made a few cast with a P-Line Laser Minnow and hooked a few small Bass on every cast. Once we took off we started trolling just outside the CIFFI Pen’s. Based on some reports the Kings had been in that area last week. We worked our way out to the Dam and continued on for about ¼ mile. We rolled Pautzke Fire Brined Shad and Anchovies, used Sep’s Dodgers and Hoochies without a touch. As we were going past the houseboats earlier we noticed bait boiling around the docks. We decided to go back and see if we could find some Kings in all that bait. We mooched right up next to the houseboats again without a bite. I broke out the P-Line Laser Minnows that were on light spinning rod and the fun began. We lost count of the number of bass we landed. It was crazy. I’m not a bass guy but have to admit it was a blast. We picked up and headed back out to the area of the Dam. Along the way we stopped and checked in with another guide buddy. He had a couple Kings that he caught on a 2/0 Sep’s Silver Starlight and a white Hoochie. We called it a day around noon with one hit on the last troll and a good time with a bunch of bass. All the fish today were safely released after a couple photos.

Pictured is Steve Mothersell

4/26/13 Lake Tahoe Mack’s

We launched at Cave Rock State Park to accommodate our group of six that were staying at Zephyr Cove. We were launched, paperwork done and ready to fish just after 6:00 AM. We discussed starting on the East shore for rainbows and browns or head straight to the deep water and try to load up on Mack’s. Everyone was in agreement to go for the Mack’s. After little boat ride we dropped our spoons down to a bunch of schooled fish that were 260 to 300 feet deep.  We started off with a double. These first two fish came on White Glow Spoon’s 5’ off the bottom. From that point on we continued to land fish using the white spoons and Sep’s Glow Pro Secrets. We also lost couple along the way. These guys didn’t want to keep any fish so everything was released today.  After everyone had their share of reeling these fish in from 300’ we decided to hit the shallow water and troll our way back to Cave Rock. I would guess the average fish today was around 3 pounds with a couple that went 5 to 6 pounds. During the time we were on the lake today it was like glass and the water temperature was running 42 to 43 degrees.

Pictured is George Branco from Lodi

Lake Tahoe Report for the Week of 4/15/13

We are done with Sport Shows and now its time to fish! We were on Lake Tahoe a couple days this week. We experienced the normal steady Mackinaw bite off Cal Neva Point. We caught Mackinaw each day in 250 to 300 feet of water on Spoons. The average size was 2 to 5 pounds.  #3 Green Needlefish and Sep’s Glow Green Secrets seemed to be the best lure for us this week, covered with Pautzke Krill.
We also spent some time on the Nevada side of Cal Neva point, Dollar Point and a little time down south. We caught Mackinaw in all three of these locations pulling Rapala’s. We landed a couple nice rainbows off Dollar Point as well. Not big but very nice bright fish.


Photos is from Saturday 4/20/13

Left to right Esperanza Ross and Brian Flaherty of Sacramento



3/29/13 Stampede Reservoir

We met our Michael and Chase Barnes of Reno at the Stampede Ramp at 6:30. We decided to make a couple runs up the Little Truckee arm see if we could find a Brown. The fog was like pea soup, I was thankful I had the Lowrance 4G Radar on the boat. Within 10 minutes we landed a nice rainbow, I haven’t seen many rainbows like this come out of Stampede in a few years. That was the good news. After a couple hours of top lining Rapala’s with only one other hit we decided to switch over to slow trolling for Mack’s. We fished hard with everything I had in the boat. I talked with a couple other guys on the water and they hadn’t had a touch. We let out a top line with a Sep’s Watermelon Dodger and an Uncle Larry’s Bloody Tiger tipped with Pink Pautzke Fire Corn after seeing some Kokanee on the surface. It wasn’t long before we landed and released a couple 10” Kokanee. Finally, we hooked a Mack on the Pro Troll Sting Fish. At the same time, Paul Kneeland called on the radio and said he was hooked up as well. Chase landed a 13 ½ pound Mack. We went a about an hour before Michael landed a 4 ½ pound Mack. Stampede wasn’t a wide-open bite today but we did manage a couple nice fish.

Working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife

Today Ed Fisk and Myself took Kasie Barnes out on Bullard’s Bar. Kasie is the Coldwater Specialist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Kasie e-mailed me a couple days ago asking if I knew where we could get a few Kokanee this time of the year for a project she was getting ready to start. My boat was sealed for Lake Tahoe so I called fellow Guide and friend Ed Fisk of Fish Tales Guide Service. I knew Ed had just caught a few Kokanee at Bullard’s Bar. Knowing the size of Kokanee at Bullard’s were going to be small I check with Kasie regarding the size. All she needed was Kokanee regardless of size. We Launched at Dark Day a little after 7:00 AM and spent our time on the water in the same area. We caught fish from the surface down to 40+ feet. It seemed like the best producer was a Sep’s Goldstar Dodger with a Pink Uncle Larry’s spinner. We put 9 in the box and lost at least 15 more. Keeping these little guys on the hook was a challenge. My thanks to Ed for helping us out with this project today. Attached is a little video explaining what this was all about. Click on this link to view the video Bullard’s Bar Kokanee