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Getting hooked on Kohanee
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With the end to my summer break rapidly approaching; my fishing time will definitely have to be scaled back.

This summer was different than summers past, I did more kokanee fishing than I’ve ever done before and learned a lot about fishing a completely different species. Kokanee fishing can be extremely easy at times and extremely boring at times. My 10 year old son seemed to remind me of the latter every time he saw that I was getting our small aluminum boat ready. He pretty much got burned out after about 5 trips. He continued to go out fishing with us; he just brought more electronics to keep him entertained between bites. I on the other hand, like the kick back style and have developed a semi addiction towards smoked trout and kokanee. Having a freezer full of kokanee was becoming problematic so I purchased a small electric smoker and my problem was solved. I no longer have any fish left in the freezer. I never realized we had such good kokanee fishing so close to us and definitely didn’t think they tasted as good as they do. Lately, I’ve been entertaining the idea of selling my bass boat and purchasing a multi species boat. Hopefully it’s just a phase!  


Fishing for bass has been good as numbers can be caught on reaction baits such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits. For bigger fish anglers are fishing wake baits, top water frogs, spooks, and flipping jigs along banks that are closest to deep water. There are a lot of bluegills up shallow making them easy to catch on small live worms. Catfishing is also good for anglers using chicken livers or anchovies. The best areas right now for catfish seem to be wherever you can find a little slack water located near moving water.  

New Melones Lake

Good limits of Kokanee are being caught right now by anglers trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep. Trollers are focusing on submerged island tops and points while trolling lures that are either pink or red. Pink Hootchies are the favorite bait among anglers trolling for Kokanee right now. Bass fishing has slowed a bit as a lot of the shallow fish have now moved deep, anglers are targeting main lake points while drop shotting or cranking deep divers. There is a top water bite in the early morning hours and as the sun starts to go down. A lot of big catfish are being caught right now during the night; anglers are using anchovies, mackerel, sardines, or a ball of nightcrawlers.   

Lake Don Pedro

Kokanee, trout, and king salmon are all biting for anglers trolling a variety of different depths. For trout anglers are trolling from 25’ to 50’ deep. For salmon anglers are trolling between 35’ and 50’ deep. For kokanee anglers are trolling between 65’ and 70’ deep.

Bass fishing is good right now for those using small plastics worms in on a jig or darter head along rocky points. Shad or crawdad patterned crankbaits are also working well while bounced off the rocks throughout the lake. There is also a good top water bite early or late in the day.  

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is good for anglers fishing at night or during the early morning hours. Anglers are anchoring and fishing with power bait down to thirty five feet. Bass fishing is good right now for anglers fishing the many island tops found throughout the lake. Most of them are using drop shotted worms or shaky heads.  Catfishing is also good right now at night while fishing a variety of different catfish baits on the bottom around rocky areas.

Lake Pardee

Fishing for trout and kokanee right now is fair for anglers trolling. Anglers trolling for trout are finding them between 25’ and 35’ deep. Anglers trolling for kokanee are finding them from 75’ to 100’ deep. Bass fishing is fair for anglers right now fishing around the islands and large submerged rocks with small jigs or worms.

Fishing Tip

During the summer months a lot of anglers get off the water as soon as the sun goes down. From my experience that hour before or after the sun goes down can yield some of the best catches. Next time you’re out, try and start a little earlier or plan on staying a little later.