Grab the kids and go fish a local lake |

Grab the kids and go fish a local lake

I came from a family with eight kids, and as you can guess, we didn’t have much money to spare. But in my teens we started camping and fishing. Even with the poor equipment we had, we always came back with fish, and we had great stories to tell each other after we returned home.

So that is my goal with this column: To help young ones go fishing with their families and actually catch something. And to create experiences together that they will remember for a lifetime.

I am not an expert fisherman, but I do catch fish, and I have a lot of fun in the process.

My brother, who is a great fisherman, told me some years ago that he only fishes when he can catch something. I have adopted that axiom, and it is a good basis to use for deciding when it is best to go.

We moved here about nine years ago, so I have had plenty of time to explore the local lakes and talk with the local fishermen and guides. I have a boat set up nicely for fishing, but you can catch a lot of fish right from shore.

Many fisherman I have talked to will tell you that the spring is the best time of year to go fishing. I consistently have better success from September through mid November. I have been told that the local fish are spawning this time of year, and as they move closer to shore, they attract other fish that eat their eggs.

You can stand on the dock at Donner Lake right now and see them feeding on the bottom. They are also like the bears in that they feed more now that winter is almost here. I have also caught larger trout this time of year as well.

With all this in mind, I had some suggestions to help you and your kids have a great time and bring home some fish.

First, bring fluids, snacks and a camera and have them dress warm. Folding chairs are nice to have, too. You’ll need some trout fishing poles, of course, size 8 hooks with leaders, 1?4- to 1?2-size egg sinkers for weights (also called slip sinkers) and size 10 snap swivels, lower test weight leader line, the Extra Scent Power Bait (colors or glitter don’t seem to matter), or you can use small trout bait marshmallows or mallows combined with 12-count night crawlers (use 1/3 of a night crawler each time).

Both baits float, and that seems to attract more bites in my opinion. Use about an 18-inch leader and attach the hook. These items can be purchased locally. Power Bait is my first choice.

Also, make sure you are familiar with the California fishing regulations in your area. That information can be found at

When the road is clear of snow, I would recommend going to Jackson Meadows.

The lake is about 40-plus miles from here, but I always catch fish and they are really healthy. If you go during the last four hours of the day, you should catch a lot of trout. I was just there two weeks ago and they were biting on almost every cast. The water is very low, but try near the first boat ramp or directly across the lake. I took two business associates and they had a blast ” one of their best trips ever.

Donner Lake near the boat ramp or any of the public docks should be good, too.

Before winter sets in, why not plan a trip to one of our beautiful local lakes with your kids and enjoy the great outdoors? You will be creating some wonderful memories together and even have some delicious trout to eat as well.

– Rob Cryder is a nine-year Truckee resident and has been a health insurance agent for the past 24 years. He hopes to help others, especially children, catch fish through his column.

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