Keep safety in mind when boating
Hello fellow anglers, we are all sad to hear of the tragedy at Topaz lake a couple weeks ago. I was fishing that day at Topaz with a friend. As we witnessed the combine efforts of many agencies that responded to the accident.
I would like to take some time to remind all boaters and fellow anglers a few simple rules to abide by and to remember while on the water. This time of year, the water temperature at Topaz Lake has been averaging 39.5 to 41.2 degrees. At that temperature hypothermia can set in quickly which restricts muscle movement and breathing becomes extremely hard. I speak from experience, I fell from my boat at Topaz lake about 20 years ago while trying to pull start an outboard engine that had stalled. You only have a minute or two to respond. Not many people want to wear one of those ugly orange life jackets. But, there are alternatives. I have a wearable CO2 charged inflatable that I can wear around my waist. My fishing partner has an inflatable that he wears around his shoulders. They are manageable and can be inflated by a simple pull of a cord. They are some available that are automatically activated when they come in contact with water. They range in price from $50 to $125, a well worth and advised investment. I hope you never have to use it.
I would advise a boating class for all boaters, recreational or sport anglers. It is important that every time you go out that you remind everyone on board to know where the safety equipment is located on your vessel. And if they would like to wear a life jacket. To know that you have a fire extinguisher, a horn or an air can, or a throwable cushion on board if needed. I also put a rescue bag on board my boat a couple years ago. It is a tethered line attached to your boat with a 50 foot rope attached to a throwable floatation device. Always keep an eye out for other boaters to be able to help in case of an emergency. NDOW has an online boaters safety course for less then $30. The class educates and may lower your boat insurance. As a note, it is required for all Nevada boaters born after January 1, 1983, to complete a boaters safety course before operating a vessel powered by a motor more that 15 horse power on interstate waters. Be safe and educate yourself, so we can all come home from our adventures.
CAPLES LAKE: The lake has about 18 inches of ice with a lot of snow to shovel off. Victor Babbitt from the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported the fishing is slow, but the fish have been larger. They landed a couple nice mackinaws while jigging and good sized rainbow with night crawlers.
RED LAKE: The lake has about 20 inches of ice under a few feet of snow. The fishing has been good for the average 10- to 14-inch cutthroat trout. Small Kastmasters or Thomas Bouyant spoons are my favorite jig to use. But a half a night crawler works very well right off the bottom. For more information or if you would like to book a guide, see the guys at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters in Lake Tahoe.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake has come up a little. The fishing has picked up for 12- to 16- inch rainbow trout. Salmon peach or green Powerbait has been productive. An inflated night crawler has also been working. Remember that this lake can catch you off guard with an occasional 2- to 8-pound rainbow or cutthroat trout. Make sure to set your drag a little loose and not loose a pole.
TOPAZ LAKE: The trolling action has been slow. Last week I spoke to many anglers as we trolled by with only few fair catches. Blades and a worm has been the most productive with Rapalas coming in second. The shore anglers have been more productive for the larger trout. Tom Blotter from Minden sent me a picture of a 20 inch tagged rainbow he caught last Tuesday. I did not get a weight on it, but guessing around 3.5 to 4 pounds and worth $100 at the Topaz general store. It is a toss up between Powerbait or night crawlers. But I do advise that you have a lot of patience. The report is that between 4 groups of anglers , it took a couple hours to get a bite. But for Tom, it was well worth the wait.
TOPAZ DERBY REPORT: Second week, Steve Neilsen took first place with an 8.9 pound 26-inch rainbow. Second place was Jason Young with a 7.11 pound 24-inch rainbow. Third week, Nathan Bennett with a 6.14 pound rainbow. Second place was Gary Neison with a 5.13 pound rainbow. So far they have had 90 tagged trout brought in to the general store since Jan. 1. For more information on the Topaz Lodge fishing derby, call the Topaz lodge at 775-266-3338.
Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a photo of your catch, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin’ and tight lines.