The warm weather has begun the kokanee craze here on the west side of Washington State. Each year, early season kokanee are some of the most fun and easy fish to catch on our local lakes. They stay high in the water column, and targeting them can be done without downriggers. To me watching a top lined rod double over is absolutely awesome. This trip was a great example of it. I was testing the recently acquired trolling motor (works like a dream) and running two top lined rods off the side of the boat and one on the down rigger at about 6ft. Essentially targeting the top 10ft of water early on in the morning.
For me my weapons of choice are Dick Nite Spoons Kokanee Dodgers and Rocky Mountain Tackle Signature dodgers paired up with different spinner rigs. 18-24" leaders from the dodgers tipped with AN Sporting (Herring, Krill, or Tuna) scented shoe peg corn. These rigs are fished on the Velocity International Elite and Ninja series Kokanee rods. My absolute favorites. Paired up with a Warrior Velocity reel loaded with 10lb line and we are good to go.
Early season, target the jumpers. With set backs of up to 100ft+ troll your gear through the surface schools to draw strikes. We found the majority of our strikes to come after making a move to a school of jumpers then swinging the gear into them. Trolling speeds varied some but generally 1.2-1.5 worked best. These fish are already very healthy, and I cannot wait to see how they look in a months time. Surface temps were around 53-54 degrees, go time! Couldn't have asked for a better day to be on the water with my dad.