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It's time for Whiskeytown Kokanee salmon!

By Jeff Goodwin
05/03/16 -- After a long, wet winter of bass fishing, I had to hang up the bass rods yesterday for a trip to Whiskeytown Lake for some spring Kokanee fishing. I fished it a few weeks ago out of the AC Guide Service "green machine", but thought I'd take out a friend who had never been Kokanee fishing and see how the fishery is holding up. Monday morning at about 7:00 am, I launched at the Whiskey Creek boat launch. Captain Anthony Cox, of AC Guide Service, (408) 891-0983, had tied me up some of his deadly Spin-N-Glo Kokanee baits (ask for orange & pink), so I tied them on to my down rigger rods and began my troll out of the Whiskey Creek launch area. I set my trolling speed to 1.4 mph, and was letting out lines to 25' deep as I explained to my passenger what the bite was going to look like on the rods. Not so much as a minute into my tutorial, Chuck excitedly asked if that was a fish, and pointed to my starboard rod. I looked over and saw the rod bouncing up and down and yelled, "fish on!".

Man fishing on a lake, courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
Chuck Steen of Palo Cedro, Ca. fights a wild Whiskeytown Kokanee salmon!

Chuck picked up the rod, popped the down rigger release, and had his first Kokanee in the net within minutes of launching the boat. As we continued our troll out towards the 299 bridge, we continued to catch numerous Kokanee and had a near limit before getting to the bridge. We had a limit so early that the decision was made to release fish short of our limit and continue fishing. We pinched the barbs on our Spin-N-Glo rigs (recommended for catch and release) and caught over 30 more fish before noon. All Kokanee were caught between 25-35 feet at 1.2-1.4 mph. The #1 dodger is a silver "wild thing" Crystal Basin dodger with an AC Guide Service Spin-N-Glo rig in orange or pink. Shoe peg corn soaked in Pro-Cure garlic or Kokanee Special scent is a must!

Kokanee on a cutting board, by Jeff Goodwin
Yesterdays limits of Kokanee salmon on the cutting board.

The limit for Kokanee salmon on Whiskeytown lake is 5 fish per person with 10 in. possession. The average size of the Kokanee right now is fat 12+". Kokanee salmon are a premier food fish and are considered by many to be the best tasting fish on the planet. Right now, myself and Captain Anthony Cox are offering fully guided Kokanee salmon trips on Whiskeytown Lake for $150.00 pp. This is a very low price for a day on the water, but we are passing on our savings in gas, bait, and gear for this fishery to our clients. My 24' Willie jet boat is set up with the finest trolling gear in the industry and AC's 23' jet boat is covered for comfort when in the hot sun. Both boats are very family safe and friendly. We are willing to do a shore lunch and even a swim break to cool off in the heat of the day.

Lady in Red holding up a limit of Kokanee salmon, by Jeff Goodwin
Kathy Cox with a stringer of Whiskeytown Kokanee she caught on a recent trip!

This is a great way to spend a day with the family, or a great way to get in some serious fishing with your fishing buddies! We are here to handle the fishing side of any event you choose to put together on Whiskeytown lake! Family picnic/camping trips, company picnics, bachelor/bachelorette outings, corporate client trips, business meetings on the water, you name it! We will help make your event one you and your party won't soon forget. Call me, or AC Guide Service to set up your trip today!

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide and owner of Shasta Bass Baits where he manufactures and sells custom made bass baits. 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 spends many days of the year fishing on the Klamath River chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff offers or to check out his Shasta Bass Baits, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service or Shasta Bass Baits at Facebook, Instagram, or feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905

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