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My Kokanee Addiction

Originally published in the 2014 May issue of BC Outdoors magazine

by Todd Martin

Pursuing kokanee is like assembling a puzzle, where every day, the pieces change shape and colour. It can drive you mad, but the rewards for unlocking the daily changes are worth it. Kokanee seem to be a tailor-made fish for the trolling-inclined, family-fishing oriented, angler. They are plentiful, hit lures well and are notoriously tasty. Kokanee are land-locked sockeye salmon, and because of this lineage, are better fighters than similarly-sized rainbow trout. A kokanee bite is not a half-hearted tap-tap. They more often than not will slam your trolled lures with reckless abandon. The kokanee’s bright, silver sides make them a very attractive game fish and their tendency to school up can provide very productive time on the water. Combined, these attributes create the kokanee addiction.

The author's nephew, Parker Sutherland, with an Alouette Lake kokanee
Via Todd Martin

…Kokanee are aggressive, territorial and curious to a fault. They have an instinct to chase or eat things before a rival does it for them, hence why they hit trolled lures so well. The flash and vibration from lures combined with dodgers and willow leafs trolled through a school of kokanee can simply drive them wild. As kokanee race to attack the intruding object, double headers are common…

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