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Thread: Ice fishing for kokanee?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Eastern Oregon
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    Default Ice fishing for kokanee?

    Winter and ice fishing isn't that far away now here in the hills of eastern Oregon and my question is; what works for kokanee through the ice?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eden, Utah
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    507

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    My experience has proven that nothing other than your regular ice flies used for trout and panfish work just fine. Kokanee are schooling fish but that doesn't mean you troll around the lake drilling several hundred holes. Just set up over deep water and wait for them to come to you. When they come through, your fish finder screen will light up with solid color. The bite is usually furious and you don't have time to bait your hook. Just get it back in the water and they'll usually bite the bare jig head. Start by using red/white/pink plastic tube bodies. 1" crappie tubes are just about the right size but smaller is better.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Eastern Oregon
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    Default

    Thanks for the hints. I've pretty much got the lake scoped out as to where I've found 'em during the summer so they probably won't be that far away during winter. I don't yet have a had held fish finder so that's getting added to my Xmas list.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eden, Utah
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    507

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    I just borrow the one from my boat. I can map prime locations and underwater structure on the internal GPS and then connect the unit to a portable battery and spare transducer and I'm ready for the hardwater. Might be a cheaper and better option than what you're considdering?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Eastern Oregon
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    26

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    Unfortunately the one in my boat is an older model and to take it and the transducer off would be a major pain, not to mention getting it and a battery into the backpack. I'll be snowmobiling to and from the lake on a small sled so space is going to be limited. By the time I get a space blanket, first aid gear, lures, bait, sinkers, collapsible pole and snacks stuffed into the backpack and ice drill strapped on the sled, it gets a bit crowded.

    A buddy showed me his portable finder and if I'm a good enough boy that my wife buys me one, it'll have to be strapped around my neck!

  6. #6

    Default

    Don't forget that kokanee are often right under the ice, even over 100' or more depth. The tiniest, lightest gear you can find will often take many fish when this happens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    26

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    The light gear is the way I do almost all fishing anyway, 4-6 lb test line, light poles with small reels and barbless hooks. Lures that have barbed hooks I flatten into barbless. I like to give the fish a sporting chance. Since I started fishing like that I catch way more than I used to with heavier gear.

  8. #8

    Default

    We fish with jigs, & glow hooks baited with corn or maggots or swedish pimples or small flutter spoons. Sometimes we suspend the bait 1 - 3 feet below a spoon that has the hooks removed - acts as a flasher - as we jig up and down. I turn my boat depthfinder into a portable with an extra transducer mounted to a pvc t and a small gel cell battery. I can fit it all into a six pack cooler (along with the corn and maggots). I use a bolt and a wing nut to attach the df to the top of the cooler when I'm fishing, everything (except the transudcer/T) fits inside the cooler for transport/storage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eden, Utah
    Posts
    507

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    What's the biggest koke you guys have pulled through the ice? I already provided my pics. The lake I ice fish doesn't grow big fish so I'd like to try a different lake this season that's even closer to home.
    Maybe we should have a friendly contest this year, no money, no prizes, only King Of The Ice bragging rights?

    Maybe a plaque "KING OF THE ICE HOLES"
    Last edited by SmokeOnTheWater; 10-17-2012 at 10:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1

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    I know of a very few lakes in New England that have these salmon. All report difficulty (at best) in catching these small salmon. A fish of 17-18 inches is considered huge. I have heard of a very few fish being caught on like a single corn kernel. Never heard reports of any taken using artificials however. To my knowledge, they are plankton eaters.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eden, Utah
    Posts
    507

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    Hi there Morkal

    You ought to try the hard deck for kokes. It can be hot & furious action when the schools move through. Don't forget they're a bit territorial in nature too. I think that's why they bite all year long on the trolling presentations we all give them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

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    I know this thread is a couple months old but I guess Ill revive it by asking paul s if he made it to the lake??? How did you do??? What worked and what didn't??? The reason I ask is because I have been trying to target them at a lake on the western part of the state.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Eastern Oregon
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    26

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    I haven't made it to Olive Lake yet, I just finally got my snowmobile off the trailer and ready for winter now that we have enough snow to ride on. I'll head there one of these fine days as the lake is probably starting to freeze over. Hopefully by the time I get there, the ice will be solid enough to walk and ride on. Snowmobiling is the only way to reach the lake in winter, about a 15+ mile one way trip.

    I've got some jigs in assorted colors tied up and ready to go, the backpack is full and I'm trying to figure out how to tie the ice drill on the sled. I'll be getting with some friends after the first of the year and plan a trip to check out the ice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

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    I have been trying to target them at Lake of the Woods here in southern oregon. It isn't a deep lake but they tend to hang out in the deeper section in better weather. So far as I know the ice isn't thick enough yet but soon it will be. I wish you luck... it sounds like a good trip with a snowmobile.

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