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.






7/23/13 Stampede Reservoir Report


We launched at 5:00 AM and headed straight over to the island where we have been doing well on Kokanee. The first thing I noticed was the water temperature has gone up from last week. Today. it was running around 71 deg on the surface. The other thing I found different today, was the fish were more scattered and looking at the Lowrance HDS 12 I could see that they were much shallower as well. We’ve been getting most of our fish between 35 to 60′. Today they seemed to all be 30 to 35″.  We dropped in the standard gear we have been using which is a Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master and RMT Assassin Spinner on one side and the same Strike Master with a Uncle Larry’s Tropical Tiger on the other all tipped with Pautzke Fire Cured Shoepeg corn. We must have hooked 20 fish at 30 feet deep and only landed about 5 of them. For some reason the fish were not hooking up very good today. As the morning went on I finally found a school of fish stacked on the bottom in 55’ of water. We spun circles over that school and continued to hook and land fish at 54’ deep in 55’ of water. Earlier in the morning we landed a bonus holdover Rainbow.  We had limits Kokanee and one Rainbow filleted, bagged and on ice before 10:00 AM.

Top Photo from Left to Right Darren, Shirley and John Lew from Montebello CA.










Shirley Lew with her holdover Rainbow


Stampede Kokanee are HOT!

20130718_stampede The Kokanee bite at Stampede continues to be outstanding. For the third time in five days the Kokanee bite was nothing short of perfect. We launched at 5:30 AM and headed straight over to the Island. With two rods in the water we had our fifteen Kokanee in the box and lost another 8 or 10 by 8:00 AM. The fish have been going crazy over the Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master and a RMT Assassin Spinner with Pautzke corn. Today, we used our own mixture of corn which is Shoepeg Corn cured with Pautzke Fire Cure. The Berkley 6 pound XL on Abu Garcia 4600 reels have been getting a work out at Stampede. The fish haven’t been big but they are nice fish. They are fish is running 12 to 13 inches with a 14 inch every now and then. The best depths have been 35 to 40 feet at first light and dropping to 50 to 60 feet as the sun comes up.

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.

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.

3/18/13 Stampede Reservoir

IMG_31191Today, we made our first trip to Stampede, the news traveled fast that it was open. The road was clear with only a couple patches of snow. The ramp was in good shape other than a little ice but nothing a 4×4 couldn’t handle. We launched about 6:30 AM and headed straight across from the ramp and started fishing the same are we hooked all the nice Mack’s last year.  We made a couple quick passes before quickly switching over to Rapala’s and targeting browns. We gave this a couple hours without and hits. The lake was like glass. We switched back to Pro Troll Sting Fish and worked our way back into 60’ of water. At 10:00 with still no fish in the box I was getting concerned that it was going to be one of those days. About then, we got a little breeze and a ripple on the water and that’s all it took. Before we knew it we had 5 Mack’s in the box. The biggest was 10lb.The other weighed in at 9.5 lb, 9 lb, 5 lb and one that went about 2 to 3 pounds. All these fish were caught on a size 15 Pro Troll Sting Fish fishing the bottom in 60’ of water. Three of these fish were stuffed with 6” Kokanee. The water temp started out around 37 however we found 42-degree water in the shallows behind the island.

Stampede Continues to Produce

We left the ramp just before sun up and headed back to the area that has been producing for us. We put three StingFish in at depths of 15, 20 and 25 feet. We trolled for a couple hours without any action. The ice was starting to appear in areas again this morning, Im was glad I re-spooled my reels with 17 lb. P-Line CXX as we made our way through small areas of ice. Just after 8:00 AM two rods released from the downriggers. I knew we must have hit bottom because we had moved into some shallower water. It didnt take long to discover to my surprise we had a double. I was in disbelief when we landed a 14 and 13 lb. Mackinaw. Both fish were released after some quick photos. About 30 minutes later we landed another Mack that went around 4 pounds which was also released. We spent the next hour or so working the same area but the bite was off. At 11:00 AM sharp the famous Stampede wind came up to the point it was miserable. We decided to call it a day. The water temp is running around 37 degrees.

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