How to Catch Kokanee From A Kayak

How to Catch Kokanee From A Kayak

While it might not be as productive as fishing from a boat with 5 poles out, one person still can catch an abundant amount of kokanee from a kayak. When kokanee fishing is slow I still prefer fishing from a boat with a group of friends. But when the kokanee fishing is hot, there is nothing more fun than taking the kayak out for a quick kokanee kayak slam down. The challenge of catching kokanee from a kayak really adds to the rewarded feeling later on. Also nothing is more relaxing than coasting through the water on an early summer morning in your kayak.

Perfect for catching kokanne in a kayak

Don't get too flashy

While fishing for kokanee in a kayak you are limited to leader line and flashers. This is because you are going to have to net a kokanee that will be freaking out. Sometimes I will run a small Luhr Jenson dodger, or kokabow. But realistically kokanee will hammer small spoons of the right color and even just a wedding ring. Wedding rings have been around forever and we never used to use all this flashy gear people use today. We would still catch lots of kokanee with just a single wedding ring and some corn. 

Trolling depth Chart

Use some weight to get you down

You are going to want to get to the strike zone. Unless you have a fish finder and a downrigger it will be hard to target kokanee. It is still possible. Using the chart above you can determine the depth you are fishing by weight and speed. From here you will adjust and keep track of where you are fishing. When you catch a fish, move your other pole to this depth. Remember fish will come up for food but won't go down. I find most people when fishing for kokanee are below the fish.

You can use either slip weights to get you down, swivel weights or a downrigger. I have seen some kayaks with downriggers and this would help you catch more kokanee or rainbow trout. But if you follow the chart and lock down your speeds you will have a lot less gear to mess with.

Go super slow and maintain a constant speed.

When I first started kokanee fishing from a kayak I was catching nothing. I knew the fish were there, I thought I was in the zone. Not until a couple trips later while kayaking near some kokanee fishing boats I realized I was going nearly 3x faster than they were. I had to really slow it down. My suggestion is if you really want to target kokanee from a kayak you might want to get something that tells you how fast you are going. We catch kokanee consistently at speeds of 1.3-1.7 MPH

I find it takes some time to practice to paddle as slow as I need to in my kayak. If wind is blowing in the right direction you might be able to even drift as fast as you need to go to troll for kokanee. Be conscious of your speed or invest in motorizing your speed.

Electric trolling for Kokanee

Unless you have a pedal kayak you might want to consider adding a little electric trolling motor. While honestly I do fine paddling, it gets irritating hitting my poles and lines with my paddles all the time. I have started using ice fishing poles so I can paddle around them. An electric motor on your kayak will also allow you to keep a consistent speed. A light battery would also last a long time while kayak fishing since you are using such little power to move your kayak.

Yakattack angler net

Invest in a Net

Kokanee have super soft lips and are easy to lose. At first I was dependent on someone else in another kayak netting my kokanee for me. After a little practice with my net I can confidently do it most of the time. The hardest part was trying to get my net while fighting the fish. I would suggest investing in a net like the YakAttack Leverage Landing Net. You might think you don't need the leverage for a small kokanee but it makes netting a fish one handed a million times easier.

Find a good corn recipe

Just like when fishing from a boat your corn recipe is going to make the biggest difference. I would suggest fresh shoepeg corn with some garlic chopped up in it. Some people like to add a little Smelly jelly. If you do, try different scents for your lake. I will also add pro cure for salmon and prawns to stiffen the corn up and give it a different color like fire corn.

krocodile spoon

Jigging and casting for kokanee

I have heard you can get on top of a group of kokanee and jig for them. I would think this would be super fun in a kayak. We jig for bass and crappie in kayaks all the time and it is by far way more fun than paddling around trolling all day. If you consistently hit kokanee in the same spot it might be worth casting into that spot. We have found when casting for kokanee spoons and spinners work great. If you tip these lures with a piece of worm or a maggot it can really get the fish biting.

If you have the opportunity to target some kokanee from your kayak I am super happy for you. This opportunity is not available for everyone and kokanee don't live in every lake. They are a delicious fish and a prize to target in your kayak. Follow these resources to catch more kokanee from your kayak and drop your tips and tricks down below.

Good luck fishing for kokanee

One of the biggest pieces of advice for kokanee fishing is don’t give up. So many times I’ve gone out excited to catch some kokanee only to get skunked over and over again. While you can do everything right - speed, weight, bait - sometimes all it takes is the luck of having your bait in the right spot at the right time. If you’re fishing from a kayak, at least you’ll have a nice relaxing day on the water even if you don’t catch anything. Just remember, the more often you fish, the more likely you are to eventually catch something.

2 thoughts on “How to Catch Kokanee From A Kayak

  1. avatar Steve says:

    Hey Gabe. I had the same problem kokanee fishing from my paddle kayak. I have a system that somewhat solved that. I start my run a hundred feet or so before my target area. I take 5 paddle strokes and then coast for 5 or so pulls on the line (2 feet +/-). I repeat until I’m 30 or 40 feet back. By then, I should be over my target run. I have a DIY downrigger for the kayak, but I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe next summer.

  2. avatar Dan says:

    DUDE Awesome blog! The depth and speed chart is on point. I have always wondered where my lures are. I am totolly printing this chart out and keeping it on my kayak. Thank you!!

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