If you love fishing and you’re in the Tahoe area you are most likely asking yourself, “How do I fish this lake? What kind of fish are in this lake? Where do I start, it’s huge!” Even after a successful day of fishing while chartering Lake Tahoe I still have clients ask me how they can fish Lake Tahoe from shore. So I figured… how about we do an article about it!
The unfortunate news is that fishing Tahoe from shore can be a difficult task if you start in the wrong place. With 72 miles of shoreline finding where to fish from shore can be an impossible task. To get started let’s talk about where to fish Lake Tahoe from shore and when.
Summer fishing from shore is typically a waiting game. If you’re patient it can be very rewarding. Camping around the lake often presents some opportunities to hook a fish. The campgrounds around Emerald Bay and DL Bliss State Park have major potential from shore. The best way to find an area near these campgrounds is to look at the color of the water and determine where the depth changes and drops off. If you are able to find an area that presents a drop-off close to shore you will increase your odds if you can get your bait in that area. Usually, these areas are rocky. Bring extra tackle and let your bait soak as long as you can. Fish will often cruise throughout these areas and push towards the shallower waters. Shallow is not to be confused with anything less than 30 feet. If you can’t present your bait in water deeper than 30 feet you are in the wrong area. During the summer most fish are in deeper water. Fish deep and patiently if you plan on going this route during the summer.
Summer also gives anglers the chance to fish near and in the inlets of Lake Tahoe. Although this time of year is a great opportunity to fish these waters you must be wary of the regulations. All waters leading into Lake Tahoe are open from July 1st through September 30th. When closed anglers must not fish within 300 feet of these rivers or creeks. Be sure to check your regulations before you begin fishing. Without getting completely off-topic the 3 majors inlets of Tahoe are very fishy. These tributaries are located in South Lake Tahoe and fishing the lake near these outlets greatly increases your odds of catching. Making your way up these tributaries offers some fishing experiences that take me back to the roots of learning how to fish. The areas of the main lake where these rivers flow in offer a good chance of catching decent fish during the summer.
When it comes to bait and tackle on the shores of Lake Tahoe you might find yourself surprised by the simplicity. Your average spinning rod combo will do just fine when it comes to gear. Make sure you have 6 to 8-pound fluorocarbon tied on and you’ll be headed in the right direction. The easiest and most effective way to shorefish Tahoe is the Carolina rig with either a live minnow or a worm. We offer live minnows at Mile High’s bait shop located in South Lake Tahoe. For those that don’t know how to tie a Carolina rig here is a little tutorial. From rod tip to hook, first, you will have an egg weight (1/2oz to 3/4oz) and then a swivel. From the swivel, you want a leader that is about 15 inches to 2 ft and then the hook. When it comes to minnows your best chance of fishing them live is to hook them in the back. You will want to place your hook perpendicularly directly behind the dorsal fin. Make sure not to go too low into the body of the fish. It’s about a 1/16 of an inch deep and the minnow should keep on swimming. For the worm, things are fairly simple. Use a worm blower to inflate the worm so it will float off the bottom. I prefer to also use a worm threader to completely hide the base of the hook. When fishing Cave Rock a ball of Powerbait on a Carolina Rig can also be productive because the fish in that area are planted. If you have a second-rod stamp you can also throw a Kastmaster to try and increase the chance of catching a fish from shore. It is less productive than using bait, but it keeps you busy, and when you get a bite and feel it the excitement is unmatchable.