Boating and Fishing
Among the most popular warm-weather activities on the waters of Lake Tahoe are fishing and pleasure boating. Many visitors also enjoy taking small human-powered watercraft out near the shore (or farther out for the stronger paddlers).
To rent a pontoon boat for a nice cruise around the lake, make a reservation at the Tahoe Keys Marina (2435 Venice Dr., South Lake Tahoe, 530/541-2155, www.tahoemarina.com) either with the Tahoe Keys rental company or with the Ski Run outfit. Each of these also offers a wide array of kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats. Ski Run even rents some truly weird apparatus, and for a small fee you can try an hour on a hydrobike or a water trike. Zephyr Cove also has a fleet of “beach craft” running to kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and funky pedal kayaks.
Want to go fishing, but don’t know where the good holes are or have tackle and the initiative to go out on your own? Several companies offer charter trips on Lake Tahoe for anglers looking to score Mackinaw lake trout, rainbow and brown trout, or kokanee salmon. Operating out of the Ski Run Marina (900 Ski Run Blvd.), Tahoe Sport Fishing (800/696-7797, www.tahoesportfishing.com, $85–135) offers half-day and full-day fishing trips tailored to suit all styles of lake fishing. Choose from among six fishing boats, all of which have heated cabins and modest bathroom facilities. Your trip will include all the trimmings: bait and tackle, cleaning and bagging services, cold beer and soda on board, and a choice of morning or afternoon half-day trips.
Mickey’s Big Mack Charters (800/877-1462, www.mickeysbigmack.com, $65–85) operates out of the Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay. The 43-foot fishing boat goes out twice daily, once for an early-morning trip and again for a late-afternoon cruise that includes spectacular sunset views. The cabin and restroom on board add to the comforts of your trip as you fish for Mackinaw, rainbows, and browns.
Down at Zephyr Cove, book a fishing trip with O’Malley’s Fishing Charters (775/588-4102, $110). The cozy 22-foot boat guarantees an intimate angling experience. You can fish summer or winter with O’Malley’s.
Do you prefer fly-fishing to lake fishing? With the proliferation of rivers and streams surrounding Lake Tahoe, it’s easy to find a good place to cast. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters (2705 Hwy. 50, South Lake Tahoe, 877/541-8208, http://tahoeflyfishing.com, $110–300) can take you on an expert guided fly-fishing or spin fishing trip on one of the smaller lakes, Walker Rivers, Carson Rivers, Truckee and Little Truckee Rivers, or the Pleasant Valley Fly Fishing Preserve.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition