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Thread: 2019 Dworshak Reservoir Kokanee Report

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Dropped lines in the water nearer Dicks and headed towards Elk. Immediately got hits and fish, but then couldn't repeat. Kept moving up towards Elks, same thing, hit an area, get a few, then nothing. To give you an idea what we were seeing on the sonar, here's what we saw 200 yards offshore right off.

    Attachment 9715

    While I like to say, don't leave fish to find fish, I don't always follow that myself :^) So headed up across from Dent ramp. Immediately caught a few, then drudgery. So trolled up to the bridge catching the odd fish while my bored kid fell asleep. Caught a few at the bridge, made a last pass around the south side pier and here's a screenshot of that piece of water:

    Attachment 9716

    The two of us got 42 after 5 plus hours of dragging lines. Nice fish, but I think the weather change had em off their normal bit. Was a thunderstormy night the night before and windy broken clouds all day yesterday.

    Rick
    42 fish in 5 hrs is an "off bite". We would take that every day. Need to get up there soon. Is there any reason to fish down by the dam or should we put in by Dent?

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokaneecowboy View Post
    What kind of depth finder are you using? I can see the Lowrance and Elite on your screen shot but can't tell what model it is from there.

    Thanks
    That's an Elite 9Ti. I got it for several reasons - one, I wanted better sonar performance and had never used CHIRP. For those that don't know, CHIRP combines frequencies and rotates through them to make a display with more information. Well, learned my lesson fast, CHIRP doesn't give you any better information with Kokanee, so I always use the lowest freq which gives the widest (and shallowest) cone. Second, I next want to add a networked bow mounted trolling motor so I can set its path and work my lines. My Honda kicker is nice, but is both off center mounted and takes a lot of tending. A small wind change and I am out making circles. I got the Ti so I could connect all and run from an iPad in the stern. I bought the Lowrance as a factory refurb. Had to send it back since it had some misbehaviors. Other than coming back set to run in russian, it has amazed me with its sonar quality.

    Sorry, more than you asked.

    Rick
    Last edited by ricks; 07-03-2019 at 04:12 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  3. #103
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    Jul 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkchaser View Post
    42 fish in 5 hrs is an "off bite". We would take that every day. Need to get up there soon. Is there any reason to fish down by the dam or should we put in by Dent?
    I measure bite by what happened to ME recently. I fished a few days ago and stayed busy the whole time reeling in fish. This trip was half as busy and I ran around looking for reasons why. I have very seldom had as good a fishery as this years Dworshak kokanee. This is wonderful. It is all relative. Many lakes with warmer waters the fishermen there would sneer at our 12-14 inch fish. For us, heaven. I am dazzled by the clouds of fish on the sonar!

    I didn't even look around at the dam or Merrys Bay. I plopped the boat in and cruised up to Elk at around 35MPH. If I didn't have a boat that made the trip faster than trailering up to Dent, I would definitely trailer up and put in. From Dent, 10 minute cruise and in the fish. The boat I run is an old ski boat that I swapped out the 3.0L 4 banger for a 4.3L V6. I basically rebuilt the whole thing to go kokanee or bass fishing. Hardly enough room in it for three people who get along reasonably well..... but it does cruise well in smooth waters under 50 MPH.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    That's an Elite 9Ti. I got it for several reasons - one, I wanted better sonar performance and had never used CHIRP. For those that don't know, CHIRP combines frequencies and rotates through them to make a display with more information. Well, learned my lesson fast, CHIRP doesn't give you any better information with Kokanee, so I always use the lowest freq which gives the widest (and shallowest) cone. Second, I next want to add a networked bow mounted trolling motor so I can set its path and work my lines. My Honda kicker is nice, but is both off center mounted and takes a lot of tending. A small wind change and I am out making circles. I got the Ti so I could connect all and run from an iPad in the stern. I bought the Lowrance as a factory refurb. Had to send it back since it had some misbehaviors. Other than coming back set to run in russian, it has amazed me with its sonar quality.

    Sorry, more than you asked.

    Rick
    Man that looks way better than what I get on my Lawrence Elite 5 HDI, I wonder if Iíve got my sensitivity turned down too far. What frequency are you using?

  5. #105
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    Jul 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazcougg View Post
    Man that looks way better than what I get on my Lawrence Elite 5 HDI, I wonder if Iíve got my sensitivity turned down too far. What frequency are you using?
    I've played with the different frequencies and never got better results than straight 83kHz. Here's a little better shot, I have sensitivity set to auto. I do play with that manually a lot, got the best results on auto that day. I set depth to 100 ft. I don't really care what is below a 100 foot when I am going for kokes. Still tells me where bottom is, in this case 109 ft. And the solid line at 26 foot is my downrigger ball. Kokanee give good arch returns since they have such a massive air bladder along their spine. That arch shows best at 83kHz as well. You will usually see less of an arch when using 200 kHz and no arch at all with down imaging, just a dot. I don't bother with down or side scan with kokanee.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    I've played with the different frequencies and never got better results than straight 83kHz. Here's a little better shot, I have sensitivity set to auto. I do play with that manually a lot, got the best results on auto that day. I set depth to 100 ft. I don't really care what is below a 100 foot when I am going for kokes. Still tells me where bottom is, in this case 109 ft. And the solid line at 26 foot is my downrigger ball. Kokanee give good arch returns since they have such a massive air bladder along their spine. That arch shows best at 83kHz as well. You will usually see less of an arch when using 200 kHz and no arch at all with down imaging, just a dot. I don't bother with down or side scan with kokanee.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	9717
    Thanks for the info, Iíll have to take a look at my settings when I get home, I usually set my depth range to 60í. Iím real curious now what frequency Iíve been running. I think I still need to mess with me sensitivity settings some more.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkchaser View Post
    Thanks cougg. I'll put this info to good use next time out.
    Iíll be up there this weekend, 16í hewescraft, aluminum with blue pinstriping, no top. Wave me down if your out and want to chat. I plan to fish the elk river and dent bridge areas.

  8. #108
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    Jul 2013
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    Default On my way in the morning.

    I have heard from other locals that Magnus Bay is the hot spot, however, I am going to scope out Elk creek and Dent before I trudge up there. I'll report back, good or bad, manana.

    Rick
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  9. #109
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    38

    Default Magnus Bay

    Went up to Magnus from Dent. Fishing from about 9 to 4. Between the 3 of us we boated 2 & lost about the same amount. Never did mark any big schools. We were fishing long lines with 3 oz. out 59 to 69. I started out with sling blades but they kept getting tangled so switched to pop gear. Guess I have to figure out why they keep getting tangled.

  10. #110
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    I stuck with the plan and stayed right around the point at the west side of Elk Creek. There were loads of fish on the finder, especially on each side of the ridges. We tried a little of everything, downriggers with ford fenders was best. Long lines with 2 oz and bright shiny trolls were OK. For the first time I was playing with a sidewinder side planer board. Pretty neat when it works, PITA when it screws up. Major PITA when it wanders and twists up in other lines. I'm still thinking it is a great way to run lines out 40 or 50 feet from the boat. I'm going to keep working one to see if I can master working it.

    Most of the fish came on the fenders set at 26 ft. Also did well at 40-50 ft at times. Caught 26, almost all in the 14 inch range. Today was my son's 19th and he wanted to wakeboard. So we spent a couple hours at that. 26 in 4ish hours, did OK. Fish are still there. The cooler weather has em feeding and growing. This is about the most awesome fishery I have ever imagined. And they haven't stocked Dworshak with any kokanee in 30 years, all self sustaining.

    Rick
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  11. #111

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    Had a great few days on Dworshak. Some days limits came fast, other days slower. Mostly around 12" with a few 13". S turns and speed changes especially when they were off the bite. Yesterday marked lots of fish at Elk Creek but bite didn't start til sun broke thru clouds. Fished traditional but had to experiment to find what consistently worked. Great year!

  12. #112
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    Mar 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokaneecowboy View Post
    We (3 boys and myself)made it out Saturday and did OK. We launched about 7:30am in a line of boats at Freeman crk. We headed up to the mouth of Elk Creek and started there. This was my first time out with new-to-me down riggers, so it took me a bit to get everything out. We stayed in the 20-30 ft depth range with two down riggers and two long lines. We started off with a couple small ones then more larger fish over the next couple hours. We fished up until about 2pm and started Bass fishing for about two hours until I got tired of fighting the waves from all the boat traffic. We caught fish on the everything. I had pop gear on the long lines with 1oz of weight and sling blades with one pink hoochie and one wedding ring spinner on the down riggers. The long lines did the best but we soon discovered that the releases on the down riggers were to heavy and would not release when a kokanee took the bait. We would reel in the down rigger rods to check them and find a tired looking fish on the end. Not sure how long we had been dragging them. We ended up with 12 for the morning. When we were close to leaving we headed south along the west side of the reservoir and continued to catch fish including several around 14 inches that were our biggest fish of the day. Our dominate colors were pink and florescent orange. We were just using plain shoepeg corn on the front hook of our double hooks.

    We noticed the faster trolling speeds as well since we tended to get more strikes when we were going faster.
    I just started using "new to me" downriggers too. My brother talked me into getting Chamberlain releases, they are $20 a piece, pretty spendy, but they popped every time we had a fish strike. They work much better than the conventional pinch and pad releases.

  13. #113

    Default Dworshak Stocked

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    I stuck with the plan and stayed right around the point at the west side of Elk Creek. There were loads of fish on the finder, especially on each side of the ridges. We tried a little of everything, downriggers with ford fenders was best. Long lines with 2 oz and bright shiny trolls were OK. For the first time I was playing with a sidewinder side planer board. Pretty neat when it works, PITA when it screws up. Major PITA when it wanders and twists up in other lines. I'm still thinking it is a great way to run lines out 40 or 50 feet from the boat. I'm going to keep working one to see if I can master working it.

    Most of the fish came on the fenders set at 26 ft. Also did well at 40-50 ft at times. Caught 26, almost all in the 14 inch range. Today was my son's 19th and he wanted to wakeboard. So we spent a couple hours at that. 26 in 4ish hours, did OK. Fish are still there. The cooler weather has em feeding and growing. This is about the most awesome fishery I have ever imagined. And they haven't stocked Dworshak with any kokanee in 30 years, all self sustaining.

    Rick
    Just an fyi that Dworshak has been stocked w/ Kokes during years after large losses over the dam. At least some and perhaps all have come from Deadwood Res. Been there talking to the biologists when they were trapping for Dworshak. It was the only way to save/sustain kokes at Dworshak after massive losses. The Idaho Fish & Game has done a super job sustaining and enhancing a challenging fishery due to huge water fluctuations. Even at that if Dworshak was kept at full pool most of the year, as originally planned, the fish would be muck larger and that without supplemental fertilization.
    Last edited by icelander; 07-18-2019 at 09:11 AM.

  14. #114
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    Jul 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by icelander View Post
    Just an fyi that Dworshak has been stocked w/ Kokes during years after large losses over the dam. At least some and perhaps all have come from Deadwood Res. Been there talking to the biologists when they were trapping for Dworshak. It was the only way to save/sustain kokes at Dworshak after massive losses. The Idaho Fish & Game has done a super job sustaining and enhancing a challenging fishery due to huge water fluctuations. Even at that if Dworshak was kept at full pool most of the year, as originally planned, the fish would be muck larger and that without supplemental fertilization.
    Yah. I talked to the Dworshak biologist yesterday. He said last time was late 90's, exactly as you stated. They started a new targeted fertilizer program. They've been studying which planktons they can target that improves kokanee. They have to be pretty careful, made a lot of mistakes over the years. I called him just to let them know how appreciative I was of their efforts and how awesome the fishery is this year.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  15. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Yah. I talked to the Dworshak biologist yesterday. He said last time was late 90's, exactly as you stated. They started a new targeted fertilizer program. They've been studying which planktons they can target that improves kokanee. They have to be pretty careful, made a lot of mistakes over the years. I called him just to let them know how appreciative I was of their efforts and how awesome the fishery is this year.
    Right on Ricks.

  16. #116

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    Bout that time for the pre spawn migration up the reservoir. Anyone care to divulge their luck the last couple days or how far up you gotta go to get into good numbers now?

  17. #117
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    Jun 2017
    Location
    Moscow, Idaho
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    8

    Default Onemorecast...

    Thanks for the tip. I will check out the Chamberlain releases.

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