When you think about kokanee fishing, you think about getting out of the city limits driving for a couple hours and hitting the great outdoors. When you look at American Lake, which is just south of Tacoma Washington, it is what I would call the greatest urban fisheries around for kokanee. The main reason for traveling such a distance to fish for kokanee was because of a TV show that I was lucky enough to be involved in with Cody Herman and Day One Outdoors. At first, the TV show was supposed to be Cody and myself fishing against each other on a local Lake, where we would show why I caught more kokanee than Cody. I was very confused about this concept and ask Cody, “Why would you want to do a TV show where the local Kokanee expert has a total advantage on the person he is fishing against?” If you don’t know Cody he is one of the most humble, down to earth individuals around who simply told me, “You learn from what goes right and wrong and I want the public to learn how to have a great adventure with the successes and failures of each episode of my show.” With this concept in mind I told Cody if you ever want to show a failure in the Bass, Salmon, Steelhead, Walleye, or Sturgeon fisheries I’m your guy.
Bill Herzog and Duane Inglin from Northwest Wild Country radio show on Saturday mornings from 6 AM – 8 AM on Comcast Sportsnet NW, IHEARTRADIO, and Sports Radio KJR, were at the Portland Sportsman show. Bill and Duane got wind of this show and talked Cody into having me travel to Washington and fish Lake Chelan against them. Now I’m the outsider fishing against the home group, I wasn’t too worried about fishing this lake because I knew a few people who fish it all the time. I figured I could pull a few favors and get some inside information about the lake. One of my biggest resources I had for this fishery was Bob Loomis from Mack’s Lures who has fished this lake since he was a kid, so with this ace of spades in my back pocket I was more than happy to take on the challenge.
After months of smack talk from Bill Herzog and Duane Inglin on the radio and months of me looking over lake maps, talking to fishing guides and hours of research, they changed the location to American Lake. American Lake is a completely different fishery with tons of zooplankton and a very shallow lake right in the heart of Urban Washington I had to make a few quick phone calls and completely change my game plan. Chelan is a sterol Lake with the only food source for kokanee being Mysis Shrimp, the water clarity is 60 feet, so even though the water is cold the kokanee are very deep, you need a long setback for your downriggers. American Lake is a Shallow Lake with tons of food sources for kokanee and about 12 feet of water clarity, this kind of lake is really what I’m used to fishing here in Oregon so I wasn’t too worried about not being able to produce fish for the show.
My wife, Debbie and I drove up to Gig Harbor, Washington which was the home base for Cody Herman and his Television show. After getting settled in we went over the plan for the weekend with Cody which included meeting Bill and Duane at Sportsco in Tacoma at the crack of dawn so we could do the live radio show in Seattle. The Saturday morning Radio show was a blast and I was so impressed with the North West Wild Country crew, they were upbeat and made the experience something I will remember for a long time.
After the radio show the plan was to fish American Lake with Cody and my wife to get some footage and film some tech tips. Sunday, was the big event with my wife and I fishing against Duane and Bill. Side note Bill Herzog has fished that lake for over 40 years so I knew he would have a ton of secret spots and could probably fish the lake in his sleep.
Saturday afternoon, we hit the lake. When we got to the boat launch, I looked out on the lake and I was wondering where to go, what to use, how to use it, what depth, what speed, what color, what scent, what lure action, what dodger, and about fifty other things. As soon as we had the boat on the water and I turned on my New Garmin GPSMAP 1040XS (thank you Garmin!), which had the lake mapped out, I started to feel right at home. I wanted to attack this lake like I would a kokanee Derby, so I headed for the north side of the Island which is the deepest part of the lake, got my gear in the water and started kokanee fishing. We had a great evening of fishing which included us losing a ton of fish because we were trying to film them jumping out of the water and keeping them on the line way longer than I would normally. I will tell you there is a natural bottle neck in the lake on the North East end, which when I saw it on my Garmin Unit we got a triple. We ended the day with 9 in the boat and around 16 back into the lake, but I was super impressed with the size of these kokanee. 16 X 4 ½ X 2 ½ = a super big kokanee and I started to realize why Bill and Duane wanted to change locations for the show.
Sunday morning came super fast, we started fishing at about 6 AM and both boats limited out by 11 AM. Cody had shot all the footage including underwater with the Go Pro and aerial shots with his drone, this will be a super exciting and educational show. What I learned about the lake is even though I never got a “HOT” bite is seemed Pink was the hot color with an Arrow Flash dodger… a must. We used Pro-Cure Kokanee Killer Korn Magic, Garlic Slam-ola, water soluble Garlic Fish Oil Plus and a dash of water soluble Bloody Tuna in the mix of corn catching most of the fish for me and my crew.
Bill had a couple of secret spots to fish down by the VA hospital, of course he didn’t share those until we were done and off the lake. My boat spent most of the time fishing the edges and keeping my boat in about 90’ of water. We spent the morning fishing in about 30’ of water as the sun came up we dropped our gear to about 50’ and started catching more fish that had some good size to them. We used a 25’ set back both days. Even though pink was the hot lure color, they did not want pink corn. I always bring colored corn based on the lake tendency, but they did not want it this time. All the fish we caught were 15” – 16” and over 2 LBS.
The show is scheduled to air on June 13th 2014 on Comcast Sportsnet for more information please visit www.dayoneoutdoors.com
Also make sure you tune into NorthWest Wild country on Saturday Mornings 6 AM – 8 AM or check out the replay on the NW Wild Country OnDemand Podcast.
Also thanks for all the support that I’ve received from Cody Herman, my fans, friends, sponsors, and my wife Debbie without all of you, none of this would be possible lot’s of new stuff coming from KokaneeKidFishing.com this year so make sure you check back soon, and often.
Fish On Jeremy Jahn