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Mac the Naw: Watch out for ice safety while fishing in Sierra Nevada

Tahoe Daily Tribune
Dec 27,2017

Hello, fellow anglers. I am happy to say the winter solstice has come and gone, meaning, each day now will become one minute longer in day light.

But as we all know, that does not mean it will get any warmer real soon. Down here in Carson Valley, we have experienced an average of 7 to 10 degree mornings.

Most would think that the higher lakes would be frozen and iced over. I received a report from fellow angler Josh Otto last week. As Josh told me, Caples Lake had high winds and was downright cold and had waves blowing across the lake. Josh then ventured to check out Silver Lake up near Kirkwood and maybe get in some ice fishing. The lake was still ice-free at that time.

Upon his return down Highway 88, he stopped at Red Lake. There were people ice skating and ice fishing. The lake at that time had 5 inches of ice on it. Remember that this time early in the season, the lake is still a little unstable and the ice farther out in the lake is much thinner.

Josh said he ice fished for awhile and caught five small brown trout. He was jigging a silver kastmaster lure.

With the weather inversion we have had between Carson Valley and the higher lakes in our area, we actually get lower temperatures down in the Valley with more freezing temperatures.

A word to the wise. Many of our local ponds in the Valley have some ice covering them. I recommend staying off of them for your own safety. We are planning an ice fishing get together at Red Lake around the second week of January. Everyone is invited to come join and learn the art and fun of ice fishing. Many come to just watch and enjoy the scenery. How many people can say, they have walked on water? We can.

As we venture to the higher country, remember that some of our road ways may not see the sun until the spring time. This can make for very slippery roads. Take a little extra time to get to your destination.

For instance, the paved road into Indian Creek Reservoir has many areas of ice and snow covering many areas of the road up to the airport.

Slow down and enjoy the day. You will catch just as many fish if you get there a few minutes later.

On Jan. 1, I will see all who dare the frigid temperatures at Topaz Lake on opening day. I found out that I was truly blessed when a co-worker asked me to change schedules with him for that day, That works for me.

I will have a special report for Topaz Lake next week. It seems Santa has given Topaz Lake a present this year.

If you have a photo of your catch, send it to and if you have a question or report about our local fishing area, call the Naw line at 267-9722.

Good fishin' tight lines and a Merry Fishmas to all.

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