Spring Kokanee Magic

Joel's Jigs

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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Kent Cannon


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About Kent Cannon

My passion is fishing and hunting as well as traveling throughout the Northwest and writing about those adventures. I was separated from my job a few years ago due to the still ongoing economic downturn. I had spent years working, focusing on things that really were not near and dear to my heart all the while scrambling and climbing to what I perceived as the top. I of course did not realize what I was doing, because I was caught up in the moment, focusing on what I thought was the American dream. Crashing and pushing ever forward like a Lemming headed for a cliff, oblivious the world around me. I was more than a little bitter over loosing my job; it was a good job as far as jobs go and I was making a lot of money so I could live according to the manner in which I wanted to be accustomed. In the process of trying to find another job in an unfavorable economic climate I found something that I had left behind many years ago. I found me! That is how and why I started this website, looking for myself and sharing things that I found along the way. Even though I am older now, suffering a little from arthritis and my hair is now somewhat graying I still have fire in my belly for the next adventure. The more that I seek out my next adventure, the more excited I become!

One Response to Spring Kokanee Magic

  1. Joel Eckhart says:

    Thanks for the review Kent. They are simple but effective. Richard has really pounded the kokanee with them. I now have a Facebook page that has a bunch of jigs for steelhead, salmon, and walleye along with the Wiggle Butts for kokanee. Have fun at Green Peter. I hear it is your first time out this season, better shake the dust off : ) Give the shrimp and corn a try that I gave to Richard. Nitrile gloves are a must with this stuff, it is very potent.

    Joel’s Jigs

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