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  1. #9
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    Even down in the lower elevations itís possible to catch kokes on top in the early season. Melones kicked out quite a few for us last spring pulling a wedding ring spinner with a 1/4oz weight

    Recommend trying the new superbraid leadcores. Much smaller diameter and consequently deeper depths with less line out. Iíve been using the Suffix for a couple of years now, and at 1.2 -1.5 trolling speeds Iím getting 6í+ per color




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #8
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    Use the braided downrigger line instead of the steel cable and you wont get that annoying hum. I hated that hum as well. Someone told me about braided and I'll never use downriggers without it now. I have cheap hand crank downriggers. Not sure how braided works on the better electric downriggers. I will also not fish the hand crank downriggers without the shuttle hawks. Then dont have to crank up and down every time. Its great.

    I also use leadcore or topline early in the year but much prefer the downrigger whenever possible because I lose less fish. Sometimes when they are shallow you will catch them on topline or leadline 4-1 or more compared to the downrigger. If I have to go more than 4-5 colors I'm just going to use the downriggers. More line out and more weight, especially when small fish, always means more lost fish for me.

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  4. #7
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    I hate the "Hum" of the D/R wire and use banana weights from 1/2 oz. all the way to big 3 oz. weights for
    later in the season, to catch my kokanee.

    A line counter reel helps but counting the reel passes with the 1.8 speed of the boat in shallow to deeper water
    with just a weight on and 100 feet of line out will "Teach" you at what depth the different weights get down to.

    Early season for me is a 1-2 oz. weight with 100-150 foot of line out.

    Ten pound Braid main line with a six pound leader will usually bring any size Kokanee to the boat with a good
    rod and reel with a smooth drag, unless you are in Utah.

    Tight lines.

  5. #6
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    Quote Originally Posted by MKE View Post
    No they are not necessary. I absolutely hammer the kokanee in Tahoe from a kayak using lead core on one rig and a top line with the other rig.
    on you lead core rig, how deep do you normally go?

  6. #5
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherWilliams View Post
    Pretty tough to attach a downrigger to a float tube. :D
    Sounds like the makings of a bet....

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  8. #4
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrong2 View Post
    I agree they arenít necessary, but they are often easier than the alternative. Kokanee are temperature sensitive and tend to suspend at a uniform depth. In the early season they can be up shallow and itís relatively easy to get down 25-35í to them. As things heat up youíre often fishing 70-100í.

    You can get down 80í with lots of leadcore, trolling weights, divers etc., but the gear gets so heavy itís hard to manage and not very sporting. Thatís not to say itís not effective, some old school leadcore guys are deadly (I wouldnít bet against MKE no matter how fantasy a rig I had). Another way to tackle them is to jig spoons. Later in the season they tend to school up tighter, closer to structure and you can mark them and catch them that way. Several lakes up in Oregon with big numbers of small fish produce better jigging than trolling. Only downside is you donít cover much water that way, so if fish are scattered itís kind of a needle in a haystack thing.

    For colder waters like Tahoe, Stampede and Donner you can get some fish shallower year round. All kinds of options if you need to.

    With all that said, downriggers donít need to be expensive and are easy to use once you get used to them. In my poor college days Iíd make a downrigger out of Dacron line, a 3# weight and a release clip. Tie a loop every 10 feet. Attach the line to the release clip, drop down 5 loops, hook the loop on a cleat and youíre trolling at 50í. It was honestly a pain in the ass, but it worked. For $100 you can find a decent used downrigger rigged and ready to go.

    Just a matter of choice. Thatís my story anyway.

    Good luck.
    Pretty tough to attach a downrigger to a float tube. :D

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  10. #3
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    I agree they arenít necessary, but they are often easier than the alternative. Kokanee are temperature sensitive and tend to suspend at a uniform depth. In the early season they can be up shallow and itís relatively easy to get down 25-35í to them. As things heat up youíre often fishing 70-100í.

    You can get down 80í with lots of leadcore, trolling weights, divers etc., but the gear gets so heavy itís hard to manage and not very sporting. Thatís not to say itís not effective, some old school leadcore guys are deadly (I wouldnít bet against MKE no matter how fantasy a rig I had). Another way to tackle them is to jig spoons. Later in the season they tend to school up tighter, closer to structure and you can mark them and catch them that way. Several lakes up in Oregon with big numbers of small fish produce better jigging than trolling. Only downside is you donít cover much water that way, so if fish are scattered itís kind of a needle in a haystack thing.

    For colder waters like Tahoe, Stampede and Donner you can get some fish shallower year round. All kinds of options if you need to.

    With all that said, downriggers donít need to be expensive and are easy to use once you get used to them. In my poor college days Iíd make a downrigger out of Dacron line, a 3# weight and a release clip. Tie a loop every 10 feet. Attach the line to the release clip, drop down 5 loops, hook the loop on a cleat and youíre trolling at 50í. It was honestly a pain in the ass, but it worked. For $100 you can find a decent used downrigger rigged and ready to go.

    Just a matter of choice. Thatís my story anyway.

    Good luck.

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  12. #2
    Senior Member MKE's Avatar
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    Re: Total Kokanee Newb here...

    No they are not necessary. I absolutely hammer the kokanee in Tahoe from a kayak using lead core on one rig and a top line with the other rig.

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  14. #1
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    Total Kokanee Newb here...

    I dislike using downriggers. Are they absolutely necessary for Koke fishing? Please advise...

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