They must have improved the ramp since I lived out there. There was a dropoff of a couple of feet when the water was low in winter and early spring. There was no way that a boat the size of yours could have gotten in and out.
Donner is a beautiful lake for sure. I always had trouble getting the macks to hit anything there. I could see them come up off the bottom to look a plug or a flasher only to turn away and go back down. Always did better at Stampede and Tahoe.
Can you tell me what they were hitting? I used spoons, flatfish, and Lymans and only got a few macks over the years. Some years there were a lot of kokanee in August, but most years they were small.
The boat ramp is a pleasure to use. Poured concrete, nice drop to launch, and padded docks are a treat compared to Pyramid.
I'm catching them on the bottom between 140-200'. I like 150-160' the best. I pick a flat spot so I can aggressively keep the lures 3' or less off the bottom. If I don't pull up someone's old tackle or a tree limb every now and then, I am not doing my job.
Lyman's I like very much, but at the these depths the wood cracks because of the pressure, so I use Yakima U20 Flatfish in the Sherbet Rainbow color, and troll 1.5mph
This interestingly enough is my top producer on Pyramid as well.
The best bite is March-May. After that it's Kokanee. Then I am back at Pyramid October 1 until the next year.
If only you could have seen that ramp back in the day! I remember shoveling snow to get down to it and having my friend bust an axle when we pulled the boat over the broken end of the ramp. We had to change the axle on the spot since no tow truck service would go down there. That was when there used to be big browns in Donner and overcast winter days were the best time to get them. Now that I'm old, I have trouble even imagining the things we did with boats when I was younger.
I never trolled that deep for macks at Donner. That may have been my problem. Most of the ones we did get were near the surface in early spring. We got them trolling for browns.
The thing I remember about Donner and Stampede macks was that they tasted good. The ones from Tahoe tasted like crap to me. They feed on mysis shrimp in Tahoe. The other two lakes did not have mysis and the macks feed mostly on chubs and kokanee.