Denis Peirce: Local bite warming up with temps |

Denis Peirce: Local bite warming up with temps

Denis Peirce
Fishing Column

Spring has arrived, and things are changing rapidly. Many of the lakes between 5,000 and 6,000 feet are now becoming accessible.

Last Saturday, the ice on Davis Lake looked very thin and by midday Sunday, 90 percent of the lake was ice free. At the upper end of the lake there was thin ice in a few of the coves as of Monday morning.

Even with the unsettled weather expected this week, Davis Lake is open.

I think the recent good fishing in the few areas of open water was due to a concentration of the few feeding fish in a limited space. Now that the whole lake is available at a temperature somewhere in the 30s, I expect the fishing to be slow until it warms up into the mid 40s.

In the Truckee area, Stampede Reservoir has been open since the middle of last week. The lake level is very low. Consequently, there is a lot of mud on the lower launch ramp, requiring four-wheel drive to get your boat in and out of the water. There is still snow on the ground in the shady areas. Hopefully, as the lake level rises with the higher elevation snowmelt, ramp conditions will improve.

The water surface temps are already up to the mid 40s at the warmest time of the day. The locals have been targeting mackinaw at first light in the morning and then switching over to try for kokanee later in the morning. The kokanee bite is tough with the cold water, but a few fish measuring to 13 inches have been landed. This size in early April bodes well for the upcoming season.

Donner Lake has not warmed much since last week’s report. Keith Kerrigan ( has been out frequently but has yet to pick up a mackinaw above the 20-pound mark ” although Keith relayed a story of a 30-plus-pounder coming to a jig this past week.

Kerrigan has been seeing large fish working the surface at the break of dawn. These are out over the depths of the lake, leading him to speculate that they are mackinaw. There are browns in the lake, but they are less likely to be out over 200 feet of water.

” Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union, the Sierra Sun’s sister paper in Grass Valley. He may be reached at

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