Tips for Catching the Big One

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Rainbow Trout

Use small lures when toplining and inshore fishing.  The best months for fishing are in September through November and in May.  Rainbows are frequently planted throughout the summer.

Color graphic of a Rainbow Trout.


Brown Trout

Use nightcrawlers or lures.  Early summer and just before dusk is the best time to fish.  Try the west end of Lake Tahoe, shallow areas along piers, and rocky bottoms.

Color graphic of a Brown Trout.



Brook Trout

Use small lures or worms.  Dry flies also work well.  The best fishing is in early summer.  These fish are most commonly found in higher elevation lakes and streams.

Color graphic of a Brook Trout.



Cutthroat Trout

Try a topline troll with night crawlers or shore fish with salmon eggs or worms.  Spring and summer are the best seasons to fish.  Cutthroat do not compete well against other species.  Few are caught.

Color graphic of a Cutthroat Trout.



Mackinaw Trout

Deepline troll at least 80 feet with large flashers.  Drift fishing with live minnows or night crawlers also works.  Jigging with flashy lures can be effective. Mackinaw are caught year round.

Color graphic of a Mackinaw Trout.



Kokanee Salmon

Try topline trolling with a Wes lane Rig or clusters of worms on size 4, 6, or 8 hooks.  Early spring and late summer provides the best fishing.  Most fish are found in the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe with a few taken off of the Cave Rock area.  It is highly unlikely you will catch them from shore.

Color graphic of a Kokanee Salmon.




Contact the Forest Service at:

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 543-2600 (voice)
(530) 543-0956 (TTY)


Direct specific fishing regulation questions to: