Whiskeytown kokanee awaits

Whiskeytown Reservoir - Whiskeytown, CA (Shasta County)

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon, photos by Jeff Goodwin

by Jeff Goodwin
4-30-2017
Website

After chasing Striped bass in the Feather River last week, it was time once again to test the Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon bite.  We got a late start and had a chance to talk to a few anglers coming in after a very windy morning out on the lake.  The reports were said to be slow fishing, but I expected a slow bite with so much wind.  We started on out and dropped our lines just short of the 299 bridge.  The winds were blowing the boat sideways and I figured we'd be in for a rough morning.  It's common to encounter a windy lake early in the day, but often times it settles down by late morning.  Today was no real exception and the winds died down about 11:00.

We landed our first Kokanee 10 minutes after we started out troll just short of the 299 bridge with a Dick Nite UV dodger and an orange fly with a Spin-N-Glo leading the way.  Fishing inside the Whiskey Creek arm has been slow, but there are a few fish in and about the area for those who put in a little time there.  As I expected, the bay outside of the 299 bridge over deep water was once again the most productive area for us.  We ran into a short bite, but it was a good one and we caught a king salmon, a 20" rainbow trout, and numerous Kokanee for about an hour before things slowed down.  That could be in part due to the fact we left the area looking for more fish.

In short, we had the best results fishing the 10-15 foot line using orange baits tied with shoe peg corn behind orange/chrome UV dodgers.  Boat speed was 1.1-1.5 mph although keeping the speed down in the winds was a challenge.  I find it's easier to control the boat speed in windy conditions by facing the boat into the wind.  By far, our best action was in front of Brandy Creek in deep water.  With water temps still in the 56-57 degree range, there will be some slower days before these Kokanee turn on and everyone will be catching lots of fish every day.  This fishery will last 5 months or more and looks to be another stellar year for Kokanee salmon fishing on Whiskeytown Lake.


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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