Last spring, one of the things that worked real well for me was taking the blade off the spinner and running just the beads. I don’t know why, but it seemed to work. Another thing which worked equally well were glow beads in pink and green.
Painted blades in glow colors also seemed to stimulate the bite, much more than the traditional blades in chrome and brass. My buddy Kokonuts recently turned me on to some spinners that have been working well for him at Lake Merwin up in Washington this spring and I intend to give them a wet run this weekend at Green Peter. These blades have green and pink tinted metal and are made by Joel’s Jigs. They are nothing really special, but as you know, what impresses us, does not necessarily impress the fish. But having drawn on many years’ experience, I am thinking that these spinners with the mini glow beads will prove to be as effective on Green Peter as they are on Merwin.
One thing that can be learned from all of this is that fish, especially kokanee tend to make up their own minds as to what works and what doesn’t! If it works now and not ten minutes from now, it is back to the drawing board. I did not come up with the idea of just running the beads and not the blades and beads together. It was some other guy messing around trying to stimulate the bite. I am a student of the fish and one thing a student does is learn and learn some more and once you are done learning, it is time to learn some more.
I try almost everything that crosses my mind or I hear in conversation with the exception of banning bananas from my boat… When I hear someone talking about fishing for steelhead, Coho or chinook, I pay attention. Many of the tricks that work for koknee’s closed mouth cousins works well when fishing for kokanee. Much of the knowledge is already out there, we just have to pay attention and put it to use in similar situations.
When fishing in the spring, try fishing the shallows off of points. Pay especial attention to areas that extend out a ways. This is where fish will start gathering every spring prior to the plankton bloom. They will feed on small insects and micro-organisms that hatch out in the shallows which are the first areas of our lakes to warm in the sun. I have real good luck long lining spinners in these areas. Small is better this time of year and it seems that the fish are not as inclined to chase fast moving tackle. Keep the speed down in the .8 to 1.2 Mph speed range and you should do fairly well.
Horizontal jigging can be extremely effective if you locate fish. Just drift along and cast towards the shore then jig back towards the boat. I prefer small spoons such as the Kastmaster and similar lures with a touch of scent.
The scents that I prefer this time of the year are ocean scents such as Krill, Tuna, Shrimp etc… These work especially well, early on! When using scents, don’t get carried away, limit the amount that you apply and always wash your hands prior to handling your bait or terminal tackle. If you are one of those guys or gals that have a hard time catching fish, invest in some of the latex gloves put out for the purpose of handling bait. Your scent may be what is killing the bite!
If you are interested in giving some of Joel’s Jigs a try, Great American Tackle located in Clackamas OR has a nice supply as well as a whole lot of my other go-to kokanee tackle such as R&K. Be sure to tell Gary that Kent sent you!
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