3:45 am is awfully early for an alarm.

That being said, if you are lucky, you’ll be rewarded with this:

When our friend Julie, who has previously stayed in our home via AirBNB for Phish shows returned to Tahoe on tour this summer, told me she was coming early to go fishing for mackinaw on the lake, I invited myself along.

If you have as great of company as the amazing conversationalist that my friend is, the alarm and early morning drive to meet your Captains on the banks of the lake in Incline Village isn’t quite so bad.

Captain Brad Bugica spends his days as a full time fishing guide and he was fantastic.  In addition to laughing at us while we reeled in our catches from the depths of 400 feet, Brad regaled us with stories of other customers, memorable catches and the history of the area.

Julie hooks her first mackinaw!

It was so gorgeous and amazing to be out on the lake that early in the morning – it was definitely a first for me!  We had fairly moderate temps and a gorgeous sunrise, aided by some smoky haze from fires happening elsewhere in CA.  There were four clients total including Julie and myself.  We were accompanied by an awesome father/son duo who make it a point to go fishing on almost every vacation they go on!  They recently caught a marlin together off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Our new friend hooked his first ever Mackinaw on our trip as well!

At the end of the day, each group walked away with two fish each though sadly, the one that I managed to hook snuck off my line while I was reeling him in!  As Capt. Brad pointed out, “that’s why they call it fishing, not catching.”  Brad cleans and debones the fish right on the boat for you, if you want him to.  The seagulls immediately knew what was going to happen as he brought out the cutting board and a serious fight for the castoffs ensued!  The next evening, Julie, Buddy and I grilled up an amazing dinner of grilled mackinaw, grilled bread and a huge salad that was unbelievable.

Trying to reel in the one that would eventually escape.

Capt. Brad Bugica is a full time fishing guide on Lake Tahoe as well as in Sacramento, the Feather and Klamath Rivers and the Delta.  He was an excellent guide and the entire experience was stellar.  I highly recommend both his services and those of his company.

Book a trip on Lake Tahoe fishing with Brad for Mackinaw through Sierra Fin Addicts.  

If you are interested in hiring Brad in other areas in Northern Ca or for trout fishing on Lake Tahoe, he can be contacted at Salmon Striper Fishing.  

Fish for everyone!

If you would like to see all the photos from our early morning trip on the lake, you may do so via this link.