Trolling for Kokanee Salmon with Blue Mesa Fishing Guide Service
If you Fish Blue Mesa Reservoir at the interval that most fishing guides, after a 70 day run, you are tired of trolling for Kokanee Salmon. The only good news is that at Blue Mesa Reservoir in Gunnison Colorado - trolling works! It's one of the most effective and user friendly ways to murder kokanee salmon, and still relax and enjoy a day on the lake without driving yourself, and the people around you crazy. Our saying is live it, love it and suck it up because trolling for kokanee salmon is the most consistent way to put limits in the box.
Trolling is a Fishing Technique that becomes an art form- when the bite is happening. Confirmation, repetition then domination. These three ideas can put a lot of fish in your boat consistently. Follow along with me as we analyze these three concepts.
So, before we can visit CONFIRMATION, You have to start fishing somewhere... the easiest place to start is to ask someone filleting fish at the filet station, or the employees at the marina. The people working at the Marinas see a lot of action and hear a lot of fish stories. Their information is almost always only a day old or off 5 feet- but it's a start! While you're at the marina get a color or lure type and get to a location with the best reports and try something.
You also can check our Fishing Report or any of the other fishing report websites on the lake to get the most reliable- up to the minute information- try to email a Blue Mesa Reservoir Fishing Guide as well.
So, you cannot move forward without Confirmation. Confirmation is a bite or a Kokanee Salmon landed. The latter can come in many forms. If your rod bumps, with no hook up, you might be out of bait, fishing where small fish swim, or are fishing with a lure with the wrong action. Turn around and repeat, but change something slightly. You might slow down, which will drop your lure down and away from small fish, or impart different action on your lure to make the fish strike harder. Tweak and fine tune your presentation until the bump turns into a hook up- this is CONFIRMATION. If you have no confirmation you will have to change something larger. This can be things such as angle of approach, lure color and action, scent on bait and speed. We will elaborate further on these topics lower in the article.
When Confirmation turns into a hook up- REPEAT! Now, turn around and repeat exactly what you did, and where you did it BEFORE you hooked up, landed the fish, and let your line out with a fresh bait on. Remember that trolling doesn't mean keep moving down the lake until you catch a fish. The further you go away from your last fish, the further you have to turn around back towards better fishing!!!!!!!!!! Repeat the presentation and location and DOMINATE the bait for as long as the pattern allows. This can be 5 minutes to 2 hours of incredible fishing. Never leave good fishing until the bite dies- then try a variation or new location. The fish tend to move down after a good slaying to get away from fishing lines, lures and downriggers. Only move if no response is given after changing it up.
After a few productive sessions, you can start to get intuitive about kokanee salmon fishing. If you keep precise records, this CAN help you get a jump on the pattern. This can be in the form of depth, lure style, presentation style and approach.
Quick Recap: If you get a Salmon to confirm your presentation and you hook up, mark the location, line out or down, and speed- (1.5 is always a safe start)! Repeat this until something changes, but always be ready to make tweaks. Dominate the school and the bite, not paying attention to other boats and what they are doing- stay focused. Continue trolling for kokanee salmon against all odds. You will not catch kokanee salmon every day, but continue to troll until you've lost your mind, then commit the experience to memory. This builds confidence in your presentation, and your spot. Many of our patterns can and will repeat every year. We chart this and bank on it. But, like all fishing we also expect variation. Some year’s plain white corn does the heavy lifting and other years we use scent. This brings us to the next topic: Scent
There are some great scent stories out there and we’ve heard, seen and tried them all. Surprisingly enough, they all work at some point. There is herring scent, kokanee special, whiskey, shrimp and crawfish. They all can work and it’s best to have a few different scents and sometimes colored corn as well. I like to experiment by trolling as many lines I can have legally and vary the scents throughout the spread. Find a scent that works best for you and use it- kokanee special always works, but plain white corn can be just as effective.
About the Spread! You should utilize as many legal lines as you can when fishing for kokanee salmon. When the bite is hot, you will have only two lines out with the best producing lures. Don’t think about changing all the lines over to what is working because that is a curse- the fish Gods will make you pay! We like to start with 6 rods. We use two down riggers stacked with 2 baits per side and two lead core rods. It is so important to have downriggers and lead core. There will be many days that the fish will only bite one or the other. I have made the mistake of buying downriggers and getting rid of the labor intensive lead core rods- this was one the single most negative things I’ve done to decrease my catch rate. I have also headr guys come out and say they used to catch more fish with lead core and not use them again. Lead core imparts great action on lures, and keeps them far from the boat. Downriggers get your baits down deep fast, but also impart different action on lures depending on how close you are to the ball. This is a huge topic in itself and will be elaborated in a future article. The conclusion is that you must use a combination of downriggers and lead core rods to catch the more fish.