Fishing Report: 8/05/22

Eastern Region

With an unusually hot summer with little to no precipitation, streams and reservoirs in our area are very low.  As we talked about last week, anglers need to change not only when they fish, but where they fish.  At one point I mentioned the thermocline in a lake. 

A thermocline is the demarcation of the colder, denser water from the warmer, lighter water higher up in the water column.  The thermocline exists where the water temperature changes by three to six degrees in a matter of just a few feet. 

In both South Fork and Wild Horse reservoirs, this normally occurs between 15 and 20 feet below the surface of the lake.  Obviously, the shallower edges of the lakes are lacking the thermocline.

Below the thermocline, the water is denser, has less oxygen and little sunlight reaches it.  Directly above it, the water is less dense, has more oxygen and food.  However, closer to the surface as the water temperature warms into the high 60’s and 70’s, it loses its ability to hold as much oxygen. 

Right above the thermocline is the sweet spot where the water is still cool enough to hold oxygen yet high enough in the water column to get oxygen mixed into it from the surface wave action.

Another benefit to the thermocline is that as insects die and sink through the water column, the denser water below the thermocline actually stops them from sinking.   A virtual Vegas style buffet for trout. 

Guess where the trout hang out?  You got it, just above the thermocline.  The water is cooler than the surface, has more oxygen than the deeper water and there is easy food for the picking.  So where should you fish in a lake during the heat of the summer?  Right again.  Just above the thermocline. 

Boaters and float tubers can access this depth by straight lining their presentation vertically keeping a tight line to detect strikes.  Boaters may also use downriggers to get their lures down to the correct depth while trolling.  It is difficult to troll at this depth without the downriggers.

 Shore anglers should find shoreline where the bottom drops off quickly so they can cast out into 15 to 20 feet of water.  Depending on how quickly the shoreline drops off, it may be only 15 or 20 feet from shore or it may be 50 or more feet.  The north end of both South Fork and Wildhorse have steeper shorelines and these areas are easier for shore anglers to target the correct depth.

REports for fishing hot spots

For the fishing reports of individual Eastern Region Hot Spots head to our new fishing report database below.

WesterN Region

We are in full summer mode which means stocking has slowed at many of the community ponds until water temperatures come down some. The Sparks Marina would be one of the few exceptions to this. Even though we’re not out planting, there’s still fish to be caught. Baily Pond and the Verdi Mill Ponds both have excellent populations of easy to catch panfish. Green sunfish and Bluegill can be caught all day long on just about anything you can fit in their mouth. Small baits under a bobber are nearly always productive for the small warmwater species   

View all Western Region hot spots

For the fishing reports of all Western Region Hot Spots head to our new fishing report database below.


Lake Mohave

Lots of fish were caught here over the weekend. High heat and windy afternoons brought out the stripers and black bass. Anglers found trout in the mornings and later in the afternoon. Rainbow trout are hitting worms and PowerBait below Willow Beach in coves with vegetation. The water is staying cold enough for them near the bottom. Black bass are hanging along drop-offs with vegetation. Anchovies have been catching 1- to 3-pound stripers and catfish in the areas of Willow Beach and Telephone Cove in the south. 

All other fishing hot spots

For the fishing reports of all Southern Region Hot Spots head to our new fishing report database below.


For information about NDOW educational fishing programs and classes, visit . Fishing licenses can be purchased online at

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