Vertical Jigging for Kokanee
During this time of year, kokanee start schooling together and make their run up river to spawn. An effective strategy for catching schooling, pre-spawn kokanee, is to identify large schools and then vertical jig that area. This can result in numerous fish being caught! A boat equipped with a depth finder is a great way to identify these schools as well as determine the depth. If you don’t have a graph, you can also troll until you catch a fish and then jig once a fish is landed. Counter reels are a great way to make sure your depth is perfect, where the fish are schooling. Lighter jigs (3/8 and ½ ounces) can be used earlier in the morning when they are in shallower water and heavier jigs (3/4 and 1 ounce) should be utilized as they go deeper during the day. Kokanee tend to bite as the jig drops in the water so make sure to put tension on the line, in-between each movement, and pause to see if a fish is there. There is no need to be extremely aggressive with the jigging movement and it is best to simply lift and lower the rod a few feet. A wide variety of colors work, from more florescent colors (red, pink orange, chartreuse, etc.) to mute colors (silver, white, etc.). It is most important to be jigging at the correct depth and to identify schooling fish. Jigs can be fished by themselves or with corn to entice a bite. Expect to cover a lot of water and a great fight!