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Kokanee Salmon

Some fish are targeted because they are great fighters, some because they are big, but the Kokanee Salmon are targeted for a different reason: Taste. These are some of the finest eating fish in the area. It is a consumptive fishery that also serves as a food base for the Chinook Salmon. These aggressive little fish have been a staple of North Idaho Fishing for a long time.

A Kokanee is a land locked Sockeye salmon. They have a 4 year life cycle and are self sustaining in Coeur d’Alene Lake. Current sizes are from 9 to 12 inches with fish in the 14 inch range expected by fall.

An attractor such as a Jack Lloyd or a Hildebrandt is the first step in catching blueback. A spinner such as Captain Bob’s or a Wedding Ring baited with either white corn or maggotts is the best way to finish off the trolling setup. Depth is probably the biggest variable in catching these fish. Leaded line or keel weights are two popular ways to get to the required depth. The spring will find the fish near the surface and as the summer moves along they tend to drop. By Fall we are usually fishing 25 to 35 feet deep.

These are the general patterns that the fish follow, but they often surprise us. If you would like some up to the minute fishing information, check out the Fins Fishing Report.

Quick Facts on Kokanee Salmon

Average Size = 9 to 14 inches
Lake Limit = 6 Total, combined
Kokanee and Chinook
Common Lures = Jack-Lloyd and Wedding Ring,
Needlefish, Captain Bob’s Kokanee Spinner