The Troller's Connection Tips Page

For Fishermen---By Fishermen

If you have any fishing tips that you would like to share with other readers, send them to The Troller's Connection, and we will incorporate them into this page. If you would like, we will include your E-Mail address so that other readers may drop you a line.

Matt's Kokanee Tips

Matt sent us these kokanee fishing tips. I will leave them here for reference.

the troller

The Key to Catching Kokanee...

The key to catching kokanee (blue back, silvers etc.) is speed, depth control and flexibility. For speed control, I use a Luhr Jensen trolling speedometer. These units are the most accurate and least expensive ways to control your speed. They cost about $40 at most sporting goods stores and they last forever. All lures and flashers work correctly at a specific speed range. Anytime you are out of that range, youre just dragging dead metal around the lake. Every wake, wave set, wind gust or direction change immediately changes your speed. The quicker you can return your speed to the range your lure is working, the more time you are spending with your rigging actually attracting fish. For kokanee, when you are using flashers and a wedding ring, a speed of 1.0 knots to 1.2 knots seems to be the range that works the best but dont be afraid to go as fast as 1.5 knots or as slow as 0.8 knots if that is what it takes to generate some strikes. Day to day, hour to hour, what speed the fish want can change, so you have to be ready to change with them. If you go for 30 minutes without a strike, change your speed, check your bait, make sure youre not dragging weeds and maybe change colors of wedding ring.

Setting the hook

Kokanee have very soft mouths. If your hook is sharp there is no need to set the hook. The speed of the boat is usually enough to set the hook. Most hooks you buy are actually surprisingly dull. A sharp hook will dig into your fingernail if you just touch the nail with the point of the hook. Most store bought hooks wont do that and require sharpening. A hook you just finished sharpening will dull with use so Im constantly touching up my hooks, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day depending on how many fish hit. I carry a small box of assorted replacement hooks in my tackle box because hooks do wear out and need to be replaced. I do not use size 8, 10, 12 etc. hooks on my rigging. I use size 6 and size 4 single hooks, they seem to catch more kokanee. If trebles are used, I use sizes 8 or 10. I keep some glow hooks in this size in my tackle box and it only takes a minute or two to change out a hook and leader on a wedding ring. Monofilament line wears out and degrades in the sunlight. I replace all my leaders at least 2 or 3 times a season. If the kokanee are up in the 14 or larger size, I replace my leaders sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Kokanee this size have teeth big enough to fray your leader in the first inch or so above the hook. I run my fingers over that section of line every couple of fish and as soon as I feel any roughness to the line, I change it. Its better than the frustration of reeling in just a piece of leader after a hit.

Depth control

If you do not have a downrigger, there are several ways to control your depth, but all of them require accurate speed control also. Note, my first downrigger was an old window sash weight I put a release on and used clothes line rope with a loop tied in the line every 5. I had a bolt that stuck out inside the boat that I hooked the loop on and by counting how many loops I had out, I knew somewhat what my depth was. I didnt have a reel or anything, I just hand lined the thing up and down. I have 2 reels (a Penn 309 and a Penn 330 GTI) set up with 10 colors of 27 lb. test leaded line. I have 65 of 14 lb. test FireLine between the leaded line and my ball bearing swivel that I hook the flasher set up to. Each color of leaded line is 30 so you know the amount of line you have out at any time and the lead core line sinks as a specific rate determined by speed. Over the years, I have learned that at 1.0 knots of speed, pulling a 5 bladed Jack Lloyd flasher set, with all the leader out and enough leaded line out so it just touches the water, the flashers are running at about 6 8 deep. For each of the next 3 colors of leaded line you go down about 5 per color. With 4 to 6 colors of lead out, your lure goes down 6 7 per color. I know that with 7 colors and leader out, at 1.0 knot Ill tag bottom between 48 and 52 down. With 10 colors out, the lure is running 70 to 75 down. If you go slower, there is less drag on the line and the rigging, so your depth increases, going faster increases the drag so the depth decreases. Another way to control your depth is to attach a 2 or 3 ounce lead weight ahead of your flashers. When you let out your line, you do it by counting pulls. With one thumb on your line, use the other hand to pull the line from the reel to the first eyelet on your pole. Each time you do this is a pull. Id start with about 30 to 35 pulls and increase it by 5 every 10 minutes or so until you either get a strike or you hit the bottom. With a bit of trial and error and a good memory (or a notebook), it doesnt take too long to figure out how many pulls it takes to get to a certain depth.

Kokanee catch rate

Some days, if you get 20% of your strikes into the boat, you are doing good. Kokanee fishing can be frustrating if you let it get to you. On a recent Saturday, we had over 90 strikes, about 60 actually hooked up for a while and we got 23 into the boat. We lost about 20 within 10 of the boat. That is pretty typical of kokanee fishing. If you caught them at 2:1, you were doing good. When I get a strike, if the fish is not immediately on, I keep the line out for another 2 minutes or so before I check the bait. A lot of times, a fish will hit and stay on during that next minute or so. If a fish hits and is on immediately pick up the rod and start reeling. Once your start reeling, if the fish starts fighting hard, slow down your reeling. If the fish eases up on the fight, reel a little faster, but DO NOT EVER quit reeling once youve started. Some times it feels like the fish got off when in actuality it is swimming with the rig instead of fighting the rig. If you quit reeling, the fish absolutely, every single time will get off.

Matt's Corn Scent Recipe

I take about a half of a teaspoon of red trout powerbait and put it in the blender with about cup of hot water. Add about 1 tablespoon of red food coloring and if you have it, some blue-back roe. Puree the mixture until it is all liquid, then pour that over a can of white corn that you have transferred into a Tupperware container. Stir it, then put the lid on and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, dump it into a colander and rinse it very well, pour this onto a paper towel and carefully roll it around some to remove the excess water. Put it back into the Tupperware and keep it cold. This mix seems to last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator and it was the only thing we could catch fish on this weekend. I had very good luck with it last year (358 blue back) and Im hoping it keeps working this year.


Thanks to Matt for this recipe. If you have any reports or hot tips, send them in!

Shane sent us this tip. Thanks, Shane!

Hi, my name is Shane and I have a tip that did not appear on your tip screen. And here it is.

If it is trout, pike, walleye or even sturgeon you are after you may consider this. Use a Rapala and cast it as far away as you can. Then let it sit on the water and without reeling it in too much, jerk it about every 5 seconds. This is proven most successful when in 6-8 feet of water and on a sea-weed bed.

I admit this is not a 100% thing, although it does seem most often. If nothing else works, it's good to try something like this.

Fish Scent Formula

The following formula was found in an old book on the herbal use of plants in the outdoors. With it, you can mix your own fish attracting scent.

The mixture includes lovage, fennel seed, cumin seed, coriander seed, and anise seed. Mix them together thoroughly in equal parts. Take seven teaspoons full of the seed mix to a cup of hot water, cover, and let it just simmer for one hour. Strain the fluid, and bottle it to use when the liquid is cool.

Make Your Own "Smelly Gelly"

I have successfully used the following mixture for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. You can use any scent you like.

Buy a small bottle of Vaseline jelly and a fish oil attractant such as shrimp or herring oil. Anise oil should also work, but I have not tested it yet. Remove about 20% of the vaseline from the jar and discard it. On the stove, place the OPENED jar of vaseline in a pot filled only an inch or so full of water. Simmer the water to melt the vaseline. Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly to mix the scent into the vaseline. A little scent goes a long way, so don't overdo it! Let the jelly mixture cool, and then replace the cap. As long as you don't add too much scent, the mixture will return to a jelly-like state. Smear a thin amount on your lures, and hang on. Wipe the mix off your lures before putting them back in your box. This keeps about a year before getting rancid.

Line Twist Removal

Ever notice how fishing line can get twisted even when using good swivels? and are you tired of the need to frequently change your line because it's twisted tighter that your 3rd grade teacher's hair? There is a way to remove it quickly and easily!

If you are in a boat, take off all terminal tackle, including your swivel. With the boat going at a steady pace, start to feed the line out behind the boat until all the twisted line is let out. This may be about half the spool. Leave the line out for a couple of minutes, then start to reel the line back in. When reeling in, have the boat slow to about 10 knots. If you are going too fast, then too much tension is placed on the line. Too slow a speed results in the line being packed too loosely, and a fish or snag can pull the line deep within the spool, resulting in a breakoff.

Doing this occasionally can keep your line straight and your fishing more enjoyable. Keep a tight grip on the rod as the pull exerted as you scoot down the lake can pull the rod out of your hands!

On the bank of a river, if you are in a place where the current flows swiftly along the shore, you can let the line out there. The current does the same job, and will remove the twist. This doesn't work as quickly as the boat method, but in a pinch it has saved the day for me!

If you have any Hot Tips, we would welcome your input. E-mail us Here!

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