Whiskeytown Kokanee

by Gary Heffley

For those anglers searching for a quantity and quality fishing experience, look to Whiskeytown Lake for the answer. Whiskeytown kokanee are not only being caught in good numbers, but the current average size is exceptional. Usually, in early spring kokanee catches are in the average of 10 inches with a 12 inch fish exceptional. Many kokanee are caught that are so small they don't even pop the release on the downrigger. There is little worry about the kokanee being too small this year, as most are already exceeding the 12 inch range and averaging 14 inches, with some bruisers reaching 16 inches plus. We are talking fall sized fish and bigger right now.

Anglers are finding fish in the 25 to 40 foot range, with pink being a popular base color. Downriggers and good electronics are a must. Some anglers are finding isolated fish being very reactive to trolled presentations, while others are looking for schooling kokes. Guides like Anthony Cox of AC Guide service are securing easy limits and are finding a few trout to add to the box. A recent trip included a full limit with the bag enhanced with a nice 18 plus inch rainbow trout.

With the kokes already exceeding the norm for fall sized fish, I can't wait to see what the size average will be in September and October.  I predict quite a few will reach 20 to 22 inches based on the current growth rate. Enjoy the current great fishing but mark the calendar for a return trip this fall for a shot at some really large and tasty kokanee. Plan and book trips early with local guides for the best opportunities as their calendars will fill up early.

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.