Check out a federal lands pass |

Check out a federal lands pass

Hello fellow anglers. The holidays are over and we have great things to look forward to.

It is only 93 days until the California fishing season, 43 days until Daylight Saving Time begins, and now that we are past the winter solstice, each day will be lighter one minute longer until June 30.

Those are just a few things to get excited about. Another reason to get excited? Let me show you how to save money next time you go fishing or camping or hiking.

I am talking about the National Parks and Federal Lands Pass. The annual pass is available for $80 a year for anyone 61 years of age and younger and is valid for one year from date of purchase. For those 62 years or older, the price is $10 for a lifetime “Golden Pass.” The pass is free for citizens who have a permanent disability, regardless of age. The passes are available for citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The passes are accepted by Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. Depending on which pass you qualify for, it will give you access to and use in anyone of these participants. Some may be discounted while others will give free access.

For more information you can call 888-ASK-USGS or go online to http//, or stop by your local BLM or U.S. Forest Service Office. Now lets see what’s going on in our local fishing area.

CAPLES LAKE: As of last week the Kirkwood ski area has received over 200 inches of snow on the highest peaks. Which means that ice anglers are going to dig a couple feet of snow before reaching two feet of ice to drill through. Many anglers have been out last week fishing the dam or the spillway area. Small spoons, Kastmaster lures have had the best action, while night crawlers or freshwater shrimp are still catching fish. The best action has been within 15 to 50 feet from the shore. For more information call Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

RED LAKE: The action has been hot and cold. Gold Kastmasters or rainbow Thomas Buoyant spoons have been good. While night crawlers, Powerbait or shrimp have been producing rainbows and cutthroat. Last report was 18 inches of ice with a foot or two of snow.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake still has a thin layer of ice covering 75 percent of the lake. The north end of the lake has open shoreline from the unimproved launch area across the dam and on the west side of the lake. With all this open water and thin ice, there were a few individuals that were out on the ice by the campground area, just 50 feet away from open water. If you need to ice fish, please go to the higher lakes. I fished for a few hours with various colors of spoons with no hits — using Powerbait casting just to the edge of the ice. I missed a couple fish, but all in all a great day to be out. As I walked across the dam I spoke to a fellow angler that had the same luck as I did. As we were talking I noticed his line taking off behind him, I told him, ‘You have a bite.’ Unfortunately the fish swam under a rock and got snagged. But to both of us, the day was great … to catch a fish is just a bonus.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake has come up a little. I fished last week with my friend, Tom Blotter, and we trolled Rapalas in various places of the lake. After it was three for Tom to my one hit, I changed to a vampire pattern Rapala and started to catch fish. We long-lined and used lead line, we caught fish using both techniques. When the day was done I think the score was: Tom with nine fish and Doug five. We released all fish except two, which I kept for supper. Last Wednesday, Renee and I ventured out to troll Rapalas. I could not even get my line halfway back on our first troll and had a very nice fish. Unfortunately, I had a long distance release. We fished for another three hours without a hit. I talked to a couple anglers that had caught two fish between the four of them.

The winner of the Topaz Lodge Fishing Derby last week was Carin Ford from Sierraville, Calif. with a 5.3 pound rainbow. Second-place was Ronnie Knox from Sierraville with a 3.7 pound rainbow. There were 39 fish weighed in two pounds and larger. For more information call Topaz Lodge at 775-266-3338.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a question or a report in our local fishing area. Call the Naw line at 775-267-9722. If you have a picture of your catch, send it to Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin’ and tight lines.