Lake Tahoe Fishing Info
Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine lake that runs for 22 miles. It is 12 miles wide and covers an area of 191.6 square miles with a shoreline of 72 miles. The lake has the distinction of being the third deepest lake in North America and the tenth deepest lake in the world.
This large freshwater lake lies snugly sandwiched between the borders of California and Nevada State, United States. It is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This belt is famous for its beaches.
The lake has a surface elevation of 1,897 miles. The closest city to the lake is Tahoe City. It is located 200 miles northeast of San Francisco and only 58 miles from Reno.
The lake was discovered only in the year 1844 by John C Fremont who saw it from atop the Red Lake Peak. This beautiful giant pool of indigo blue was christened as Tahoe by a journalist, Henry Degroot who called it this meaning “Big water”. Nevada’s casino city is full of jingling casinos and lies very close to the lake.
The most prominent fish here is the Mackinaw or the Lake trout. They are found at any depth but mostly around the steep sandy continental shelves which are 120 to 300 meters in height from the lake bed.
The other fishes are
- Lahontan Cutthroat trout
- Sockeye salmon
- Lake trout
- Rainbow trout
- Brown trout
- Golden shiner
- Mountain whalefish
The best way to fish in the lake is to use small lures and fish by top lining and inshore fishing. Anglers who are interested in catching trout may venture out in the lake in night crawlers.
Any angler sixteen years and above would require to sport a California or a Nevada Sports fishing license. Fishing in the surrounding lake areas which falls into the other state’s territory, would require a license from their local authorities. Live bait is limited and chumming is strictly not allowed.
Licenses can be obtained via
- From the Nevada Department of Wildlife Offices and
- From authorized license agents.
Licenses can be bought as an annual, one-day license or a one-day one-group license. A point to remember is that no cash would be accepted by the Department. Only Check, Money Order, debit and credit cards are accepted.
The best season to set out on the lake is from March to May and from September to November. Mackinaws are prized catches and they swim in shallow waters in peak summers. Sight fishing is allowed near the shoreline. It is recommended that anglers and tourists dress up in layers. Goggles, hat and sunscreen with high SPF content are mandatory. You can get sunburnt even on a cloudy day in Tahoe!
The weather however is quite unpredictable. It snows sometimes in peak winters. The sun shines for approximately 274 days in a year. There are a lot of resort facilities and other activities lined up on the banks. The best time to catch trout is early summer and just before dusk. The western end of the lake is where the water is shallow and there are pier and rocky bottom forming a natural habitat for the fishes.