By George, this angler will be missed |

By George, this angler will be missed

Avid anglers George Raymond Ness Jr., left, and his grandson Geary Ness share a light moment.
Special to The R-C |

Hello fellow anglers. Christmas is right around the corner, soon followed by New Year’s Day.

Time seems to get away from us throughout the year, but when Christmas comes, we all start to think about family and friends we have had over the years. We get cards from people we have not heard from in years, but in some way, receiving them has been a very important part of our lives.

I would like to share a short story with you about a person who has been a part of my life and how it has shaped many friendships in my life. As many anglers know, I have fished Indian Creek Reservoir for 20 years or more. Steve Lightfoot has been my fishing partner for all of those years. We have met many fellow anglers on our adventures and our two favorite have been Jessie and George. These two would tell us stories of their fishing adventures, and in their stories were the greatest fishing tips we have ever received.

Later on in life, I met Deanna Lucier (Steve’s stepdaughter), who in turn introduced me to her son, Jonathan Guy, who Steve and I would take fishing with us to Indian Creek Reservoir and Red Lake. At age 5, Jonathan had mastered the art of ice fishing, He would catch five fish before Steve or I could catch one.

At that time, Deanna was not an avid angler, yet our friendships grew over the years and later we were introduced to Geary Ness, Deanna’s new boyfriend and avid fellow angler. A year-and-a-half ago, Geary and Deanna were married and I was introduced to Geary’s grandfather George … the same George I met at Indian Creek Reservoir 15 or more years earlier. We did a lot of catching up on many family camping/fishing trips and barbecues. But there is never enough time to completely catch up with life and the times you share with people.

I am sorry to say that on Dec. 14, Minden resident George Raymond Ness Jr. passed away. I had the privilege to know George, to be his friend, to learn from him with his lifetime of experience and to listen to the best guitar-picking angler I have ever heard. Thank you for being a part of my life. To George’s family, I am proud to be counted as one of your friends. To all fellow anglers who read this, make sure you tell that person that has made a difference in your life. It is important to know we make a difference.

Now that winter is officially here on Monday, let’s check out our local fishing report:

LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw action has been good. The average fish has been 2-8 pounds with a few in the 9-15 pound range. The best areas have been Sugar Pine Point and the Tahoe Shelf near Tahoe City. Anglers have been using flashers and a live minnow or an occasional U20 silver/white Flatfish in 120 to 180 feet of water. Later, as the sun rises, I recommend you move to deeper water down to 280 feet. The top lining has been fair. Eric St. Denis caught a 5-pound rainbow on a Rapala off Deadman’s Point. There was also a report of a 5-pound brown caught at Skunk Harbor. For more information or to book a charter on Lake Tahoe, call Blue Ribbon Charters at 530-544-6552.

CAPLES LAKE: The resort is open for winter and the snow has piled up. The last report was at 3-5 feet. Due to the snowy conditions, I have not had any reports of the ice condition. Most of the snow blows off of the lake, but that still means when we ice fish in January, we bring a bigger shovel to get to the ice. For more information, call Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

RED LAKE: A fellow angler told me there was about 2-4 feet of snow around the lake, though they did not check the ice condition. I personally will wait until January to try ice fishing. Finally, I am going to be able to use my new snow shoes that I bought two years ago.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: When I fished the lake last week, I literally walked three-quarters of the way around the lake. I tried spinners, spoons and Powerbait. Only in the last hour of fishing did I start to catch some nice rainbows. Most were caught on a rainbow pattern Thomas Buoyant spoon and a couple on rainbow Powerbait. I spoke to a few other anglers that did not have any luck and left after three hours. Persistence does pay off. But I would like to address people who use the lake for skeet shooting. While I was there, I picked up 85 shotgun shells and 16 spent 38 special casings from the shore of the lake. This is right where most anglers drive down to fish and launch their boats.

I also noticed that out in the lake as far as I could see, it looked like little orange land mines on the bottom of the lake. While hunting is allowed at Indian Creek Reservoir, leaving your garbage is not. In fact, it is a violation of California Fish and Wildlife Code 5652, which makes it illegal to deposit rubbish, garbage, litter, etc. within 150 of state waters and may be punishable by fine and or possible incarceration. The shells are gone, but we have to live with looking at orange saucers in the lake. I do not know why anyone would fire a pistol across an open lake. The game warden has been notified about this incident. Also, if you decide to fish the lake remember that the paved road is not plowed and the dirt road off Diamond Valley can be muddy and slippery. 

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake will open on Jan. 1. That means the start of the Topaz Lodge fishing derby, so I will be on the lake the first week of January searching for the $100 tagged fish. As of now, Topaz Marina will not be open. The Douglas County campground and boat ramp will be open, but I have not received any information on the lake level. I will have a special Topaz Lake report on Dec. 30 with all updated information. Call Topaz Lodge at 266-3338 for information on lodging or the fishing derby.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch send it to and If you have any questions or local information, call the Naw line at 267-9722.

Good fishin’ and tight lines.