Early Season at Odell Lake
Now I remember why I told myself not to fish at 4700 feet until July….. It’s cold, windy and unpredictable. The fish were scattered all over the water column. We caught fish anywhere from 10 feet to 120 feet deep. We struggled the first two days, but ended up finding some active schools of kokanee on the middle of the lake between Princess Creek and Roosevelt Point, also known as the entrance to Serenity Bay. Normally this time of year everyone is jigging, however, because of the warmer winter and no snow, you are going to have to dust off your trolling gear in order to catch the kokanee.
The fish are running 10 – 13 inches and we are already catching next years fish, which are running 6 – 8 inches. We normally don’t pick up next years fish until August or September. This leads me to believe that Odell Lake is going to have another epic fishery in 2016. The fish were hitting everything from Pink and Orange Super Mysis Bugs to Pink, Orange and Chartreuse Spin N Glo’s. The color changed frequently and the secret was finding the fish and staying on them.
We used Arrow Flash Dodger and the color did not matter. We also used the Mack’s Lure DD Dodger to catch the kokanee on the surface, this worked very well. One of the drawbacks to fishing early season, besides the weather, is the Mackinaw are really active and have a tendency to attack your kokanee gear. We ended up landing one small Mackinaw on a Super Mysis Bug and lost a whole set up to a large Mackinaw.
Even with the wind, rain, thunder and lightening, we ended up catching 105 kokanee. Even though I am a more fair weather kokanee fishing guy, it was still worth the time and effort to put fish in the boat.
All three groups we took out on guided trips had a great time and learned a few tricks. Plus, they took some kokanee home to put in the freezer or smoker. I will keep you updated as the fish drop into a thermal cline. I am still expecting an epic fishery at Odell Lake this year, with fish reaching 16 inches by August.
Fish On Jeremy Jahn