Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee still going strong!

Whiskeytown Reservoir - Whiskeytown, CA (Shasta County)

Kokanee Salmon
Happy Kokanee fishermen from the Humboldt coast enjoying easy limits and some beautiful weather while fishing with Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.
Photo Credit: Jeff Goodwin Guide Service

by Jeff Goodwin

Well its been three months since Whiskeytown Lake started to produce easy limits of Kokanee salmon on every trip. Nothing has changed and anyone who has fished Whiskeytown Lake this summer knows just how good the fishing has been. I've booked and fished more trips on Whisjeytown Lake this year than I ever would have imagined just a few short years ago. This lake was definitely off the map, but all that has changed. There are some lakes in California that have bigger Kokanee, but I'm not sure any other lake in this state has a Kokanee fishery that compares to Whiskeytown. The numbers of fat, healthy Kokanee in Whiskeytown is simply staggering.

This year, Whiskeytown boat launch parking lots have trucks/trailers parked in them every morning of the week. The Kokanee tackle section at Sportsmans Warehouse gets stripped weekly, and poor Neil is having a hard time keeping up stock. All of the attention Whiskeytown is getting this year has to have had a positive impact on our local economy, and I think its great! I have genuinely enjoyed watching this fishery take off this season. I've been meeting more local anglers, and some from out of the area as well because of the excellent Kokanee fishing. Everyone has been a pleasure to fish around and the vibe on the lake is very good each and every day.

As a guide, I would imagine most everyone who reads these reports, or people that see me on the water, would think that I would likely keep all of my information that leads to my success a secret. Thats just not the case, and I would encourage anyone who needs some help to give me a call. I don't mind sharing what I know and am always willing to help anyone who asks for it. This is a very good year to break into the Kokanee fishing game and I encourage everyone who's interested to get out there and get dialed in before the Kokanee spawn in the fall.

Here are a few keys to my success on Whiskeytown Lake:

1). Keep your boat speed between 1.1 and 1.5 mph.
2). USE YOUR ELECTRONICS and pay attention to where you are marking fish.
3). Set your downriggers in 40-60' feet of the lake to start and drop down as necessary to find biters.
4). Keep a variety of baits out until you find what the Kokanee want that day. Pink and orange works well!
5). Always run shoe peg Pro-Cure scented corn on all your baits unless it kills their action. I like to use Bloody Tuna, Garlic, and the Kokanee Special gel scents.

Following the above guidelines will help you have the best chance for success on Whiskeytown Lake this year and should keep everyone in the boat smiling! Good luck to you all and I look forward to seeing you out on the Whiskeytown Kokanee grounds!

Photos- Submitted by the author. Pic #1, A hand tied Kokanee fly can be a lot of fun to make, and catching Kokanee with a fly you tied can be very rewarding as well! Pic #2 Happy Kokanee fishermen from the Humboldt coast enjoying easy limits and some beautiful weather while fishing with Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide.  He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also guides the Sacramento River and Feather River during certain times of the year. Jeff can also be found on the California coast chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead each year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff has to offer, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.  You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.

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