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Trolling at Topaz Lake on a typical winter morning before we went into a drought period. Photo by Elaine QuiliciBy Don Quilici
Topaz Lake, which is located along U.S. 395 at the Nevada-California state line, will open its 2015 fishing season, one half hour before sunrise, on Thursday, Jan. 1.
If the weather is decent, if you don't have a massive hangover, if you like to fish and if you don't have anything else planned, this could be a fun way to start the New Year. Bundle up though because daytime temperatures in the area are not expected break 30 degrees.
Are you interested? Well if you are, here is some miscellaneous information that might entice you to travel there to fish on Jan. 1:
How to get there:
It's simple, just take U.S. 395 south from Carson City for about 40 miles.
Topaz Lake will be that big blue thing on your left side.
Where to fish from shore:
1. Along the beach at the north end of the lake. If in doubt as where to fish, just look for the big crowd of parked vehicles and shore fishermen. You can’t miss them!
2. On the far shore, past the Douglas County campground. Again, look for lots of parked vehicles and shore fishermen. Be advised that you will have to pay a fee to travel across the campground. 3. On the California side, along U.S. 395.
Try anywhere in the rocky area just next to the highway. If you fish on the bottom with bait (Power Bait or worms), you stand a good chance of getting lots of snags in the rocks. I sure do when I fish there!
Boat launching facilities:
Due to low water, the Douglas County Campground is currently closed.
The Topaz Lake Marina is also currently closed. Where to troll from a boat (if you can launch your boat):
1. Along the shoreline on the far side (east) of the lake.
2. Near the rocky point at the Douglas County Campground.
3. At the south end of the lake, where the West Walker River enters the lake.
Note: This area is very shallow, so don’t troll deep or you could snag up your downrigger ball or favorite lure or both.
4. Right down the middle of the lake (my favorite trolling location to try to catch fish and to also avoid snagging my lures on the bottom).
What to fish with from shore:
Almost all shore fishermen will be using different colors of Power Bait, red Salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. If you use Power Bait, try orange, Chartreuse or Captain America. If you use red Salmon eggs, you might want to try them with mini-marshmallows to float them off the bottom.
If you use nightcrawlers, be sneaky and inflate them, to also float them off the bottom. And, also give the nightcrawlers a squirt of liquid fish scent to try to entice the trout to bite. If you are a spincaster, try tossing a lure like a Daredevil, TOR-P-DO, Kastmaster, Super Duper or Thomas Buoyant. If you are a "Fly Guy," try a black Woolly Bugger or try a black Woolly Worm, retrieved slowly along a sandy bottom.
What you'll catch:
If you're super lucky, you can catch a nice rainbow up to about 5 pounds. However, you will most probably catch Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) planter-sized rainbow trout (about 10-13 inches in length) or an occasional larger hold-over rainbow up to about 1-2 pounds. With luck, you might catch a brown trout with a size of 1-2 pounds.
With lots of luck, you could catch a Tiger Trout (a sterile, NDOW cross breed between a brook trout and a brown trout).
You might even catch a black bass, but they are hard to catch. If you're really unlucky, you could end up catching a Carp. They don't count as a game fish, so don’t plan to brag about catching one. If you’re totally unlucky, you will get "skunked." My advice, then, is to head home, pour yourself a drink, jump in your easy chair and watch a New Year’s Day football game on TV.
That way, it won’t be a totally lost day. Special regulations: You will need to have either a Nevada or California fishing license, which are both good anywhere around or on the surface of the lake. If you fish with a Nevada license, you must have a Nevada Trout Stamp.
If you fish with a California license, you must have the new one that is effective Jan. 1, 2015. The lake limit is five trout, 10 Mountain Whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish, of which not more than five may be Black Bass.
The area within a 100 yard radius of the Topaz Marina is closed to fishing. So, don’t fish there! That’s a big “No-No.”
On Opening Weekend, there will be lots of NDOW and California game wardens in uniform or in "civvies." So, don't do something illegal. If you get caught and fined, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. For information: Call either the Topaz Lake Marina at (775) 266-3550 or the Topaz General Store at (775) 266-3337.
Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you where I'll be on New Year's Day. If he grins and says, "Don and Elaine are planning to be at the Quilici cabin near Davis Lake, California on New Year’s Eve and to enjoy a quiet New Year’s Day, away from all of the rowdy crowds,” he will be correct.
— Don Quilici is the Outdoor editor for Carson Now. Don's wife, Elaine, is the Outdoor photographer. They live in Carson City and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source : http://www.carsonnow.org/story/12/30/2014/topaz-lake-open-fishing-new-years-day