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Lake: Blue Mesa Reservoir
Fish: Kokanee

Trolling speed for Kokanee?

Post By: JohnnyW      Posted: 7/6/2019 2:10:15 PM     Points: 840    
We are headed down to Blue Mesa in a couple weeks to chase after Kokes and maybe some Lakers as well. I'd like to get some folks opinion on what the general trolling speed range would be for Kokanee at this time of year? Last year we went up to Wolford and did not really do that well, I thought we might have been going a little too fast as this boat does not have a trolling motor, it's hard to keep it under 2 mph w/o constantly taking it in and out of gear which is a pain. Would a drift sock maybe be useful in order to slow down?
 Reply by: Eyefishing      Posted: 7/6/2019 3:01:45 PM     Points: 2136    
I like trolling about 1.3 to about 1.7. for kokes Iíve used a 5 gallon bucket with the center hole cut out to slow down before or the sock would work.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: 7/6/2019 4:35:38 PM     Points: 8260    
Amish has really good drift socks . . . .
very well made.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 7/6/2019 5:29:14 PM     Points: 6858    
If you are going too fast, you will not catch 'em. Use a drift sock or bucket is a good solution. Or get a trolling plate, or a different propeller. It would be silly to keep going in and out of gear, because you would rarely be at the proper speed, and you will never know what depth your lures are running as well. And also very expensive to repair/replace your lower unit!
 Reply by: JohnnyW      Posted: 7/13/2019 3:30:25 PM     Points: 840    
Thanks for the advice, I picked up a couple Bass Pro 30" drift socks, gonna hang them off bow on each side and that should slow us down enough hopefully. I read some posts about Perch being in the lake now, do you guys think Lakers are feeding on Perch or do they just live at such disparate depths they don't come in contact?
 Reply by: spawnbags      Posted: 7/14/2019 4:31:12 AM     Points: 1    
Their bellies are full of them
 Reply by: NerkaNerd      Posted: 7/16/2019 3:51:52 PM     Points: 648    
Speed for kokanee fishing is a fascinating question. I've never had a trolling motor that worked well until this year. In the three prior years fishing for kokanee in Blue Mesa I had a boat that cruised just as you describe - slightly above but rarely below 2 mph. I've caught kokanee at 2 mph and at speeds as high as 2.42 mph. I don't find that I catch more kokanee now that I'm able to slow my boat to as low as .5 mph. I've tried the "1.2 to 1.7" speed idea but all I typically catch are small trout. HOWEVER, for me it's a time of day thing - in the 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. zone I catch mostly large kokanee males at 2mph using mostly spinners behind dodgers. My theory is that the larger prespawn fish more aggressively hit spinners in certain lighting and feeding conditions.

Since I've only been able to troll at lower speeds this season, I don't have a lot of experience with the lower trolling speeds. I know my best speeds on blue mesa for larger kokanee still seem to be no lower than 1.84-1.96, though.

So that's my experience for what it's worth. I'm still relatively new to the kokanee fishing scene, so it's possible as I keep experimenting with lower speeds in different conditions I'll discover my averages for catching fish go up.
 Reply by: Kokanee Bro      Posted: 7/16/2019 6:59:43 PM     Points: 239    
NerkaNerd, out of curiosity, how long do you tie your leaders when trolling that fast?
 Reply by: DALEHUNTER      Posted: 7/17/2019 7:31:17 AM     Points: 11    
Why not just go there and try it for yourself, figure it out from there.
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: 7/17/2019 8:38:18 AM     Points: 1871    
Reports are that the water level is stabilizing and the Kokanee fishing should be more consistent soon.
 Reply by: Dakota Dude      Posted: 7/17/2019 9:06:52 AM     Points: 2320    
Definitely, use the drift sock and make sure it's centered on the boat. Otherwise, you'll fight it the entire time.

 Reply by: TimKnizek      Posted: 7/17/2019 10:17:47 PM     Points: 0    
I made a drift sock out of a bucket, with a 7" hole cut in the bottom, tied off the back of my boat with baler twine. got me from 2.6mph to 1.3-1.7, depending on how deep my downriggers are and wind.
 Reply by: JohnnyW      Posted: 7/22/2019 6:25:14 PM     Points: 840    
The drift socks definitely helped get us into the right speed range, we caught a few on our own but overall it was very slow trolling for a bight every 45 minutes or so. Those are some tasty fish no doubt, but certainly one of my least favorite ways to fish if there is such a thing, lol.

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