Kokanee salmon in Shasta Lake?

Shasta Lake - Shasta Lake, CA (Shasta County)

Brown Trout
Hunters first brown trout and it was a great one for him to wrangle to the net all by himself! Good job young man!
Photo Credit: JG Fishing Team

by Jeff Goodwin

I fished Shasta Lake yesterday and had a slower day than the past few days this week.  The Lake is 106' feet down and water temps are currently 50-51 degrees.  The rainbow and brown trout fishing is hit and miss, but thats normal for this time of the year.  We're averaging 6-7 trout daily with a few in the 3-5 lb range each day.  Trolling optimizer spoons or Brad's Kokanee Cut plugs have been my go-to presentations this winter.  Most of the trout I'm catching are between 10'-20' deep.  We're marking a lot of trout down deeper, but as always they are really tough biters.  One point of interest should be that we are catching a few 10" inch Kokanee salmon in the McCloud Arm in the top 10' feet of the water column. Its been since the late 70's that there were populations of Kokanee in Shasta Lake so it would seem that the planted Kokanee from the last two years are taking hold in the lake to some degree. We haven't targeted them specifically so its still early for a real idea of what we're looking at as far as size and numbers in the lake.  They do look very healthy though and theres no reason why we shouldn't see some 15-16", or bigger, Kokanee caught this summer.  

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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