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Opening day doesn’t disappoint

by Doug Busey Mac The Naw
Topaz Lake had a mist on it on New Year's Day.
Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers

As we welcomed in 2021, many anglers descended on Topaz Lake to bring in the new year. I and fellow angler Tom Blotter were amongst  the many. At 6 a.m., Tom and I were on the lake waiting for the official start time. There was an eerie fog type mist lingering over the lake. It was a cool 18 degrees, and the winds were calm. Our first line went into the water at 6:33 a.m. The first strike came at 7 a.m.  

We started on the southwest side and ventured around the lake trolling Rapalas. We saw many fellow anglers we had not seen since last year. Some may have noticed us as my fishing partner announced us on a bullhorn as we approached, wishing all a happy new year. 



On the north end, I counted 60 vehicles lining the shore, enjoying the day with friends and family. On the east side, the shore was lined with campers, tents and trailers. Many shore anglers were catching fish using various colors of Powerbait, with a few using nightcrawlers. 

Boaters were doing fair with Rapalas or flashers and a worm.  On the water, I counted about 45 boats. The Douglas County Campground is open for reservation camping as well as primitive camping. 



The boat ramp is open with restrictions. The water level is low, the dock is as far down as it will go. I highly recommend using the west side of the ramp for larger vessels. On the east side of the ramp, the pavement ends and has a slight drop off. 

Both sides are safe to use, just take your time. There was congestion on the water about 2-3 p.m. with everyone taking out about the same time. But from our view, all anglers had brought their patience. 

Most we spoke to had success on opening day.  I did not see any large fish caught that day. I did hear a rumor of a 4-pounder caught, but have not seen any pictures yet. On our trip we caught and released a couple dozen rainbows from pan sized to 17 inches long.  Now, all we need is some rain and snow to boost up our water supply to fill up the lake. 

On another note, did you know you can buy an annual pass from Douglas County Park and Recreation Department? The pass is good for the calendar year and will grant you day use into the park and to use the boat launch. For more information, contact the Douglas County Parks Department in Gardnerville. 

For those anglers that are venturing up to the higher lakes to do some ice fishing, Red Lake was frozen and many anglers have ventured out. 

I have not received information on how thick the ice is at this time. Caples lake had about 4-6 inches last week. 

Always use caution on all frozen bodies of water. The farther out you venture, the thinner the ice will be. I recommend fishing with a partner or a group, and always tell someone where you are going and when you should return. 

I always overdress for the occasion and layer down as needed. I am planning a trip to Caples or Red lake in a couple weeks to do some ice fishing. I will give all a heads up, for anyone who would like to join us to learn about ice fishing, or just come out to watch. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to sports@recordcourier.com. Hope to see you on the waters soon. Good fishin’ and tight lines.