Jigging for Kokanee – [The Ultimate Guide]
Whilst most anglers will tell you that trolling is the go to method for catching kokanee more and more are turning to jigging for kokanee and seeing great results especially in the early season.
Kokanee are natural schooling fish and when on the troll you will of course get a hook up if you troll over a large group of them.
But why only sweep past them dragging lures?
Targeting kokanee with jigging lures allows you to repeated get you lures right into the school, this often results in you hitting your limited in just a couple of hours.
Jigging for Kokanee
Jigging for kokanee involves dropping your jig down into a school of kok's. Using the rod tip, jig your lure with a small rhythmic action. The slower you can get the jig to fall the better.
Too fast a jigging action and you'll just end up foul hooking them.
More often than not you will get a bite as the jigging spoon falls. Kok's are notoriously soft biters and you need to pay close attention to your line and rod tip to try and identify when a kokanee has hit your jig.
This is why you need a jigging rod with a fast action. Better sensitivity and more feedback down through the rod blank and into the handle.
Your regular kokanee trolling rod will be a little too stiff even though they are pretty light when compared to regular trolling rods.
Trolling can be hit and miss, jigging is a lot more laser targeted.
Of course it does require the use of a fish finder to really home in on them in terms of location but also exact depth.
Once you know the depth you can then tweak your kokanee salmon jigging setup to use the correct weight of jigs.
I tend to always use braided fishing line as the main line on a setup like this paired with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Braid has very little stretch and that is what you want especially if you are jigging at very deep depths.
A leader is crucial as braid is far too visible and kokanee salmon spook very easily.
The choice between fluoro or mono is not that important as the leader will be six feet or less. Six feet of mono will not have that much stretch in it so it's nothing to worry about.
Kokanee Jigging Lures
1. Buzz Bombs
Buzz Bombs can be considered the all time best Kokanee Jigging Lures. The are an absolute stable in any jiggers tackle box and are responsible for thousands of Kok's caught on a jig lure.
The have a straight through design so you can switch out the trebles for single hooks of you wish but I tend to prefer the treble hooks.
There is also a bumber included to help protect your knot from the inside of the lure.
2. P-Line Laser Minnow
Next to the Buzz Bomb above the Laser Minnow from P-line is almost as popular as a kokanee lure when jigging.
They have a very life like appearance stamped onto the exterior of the jig and come in a pretty decent range of very bright colors.
They generally come equiped with treble hooks so it's just a matter of tying on to your leader and drop away.
3. Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring
A pretty similar design to the Laser Minnow above the Crippled Herring come as a single hook only jig. They do have a split ring on them to make swapping out for trebles a bit easier.
A bit limited on the range of colors but the are a very solid performer.
4. Gibb's Minnow
The Gibb's Minnow jigging lure is a little bit more slender than the flutter spoons listed above so they can ted to fall a little bit quicker for the equivalent weight.
This is really good if you are fishing quite deep. They have a simple patterned effect on the outside.
5. Bomber Slabs
If you are fishing in very deep waters then you need a spoon that has a good bit of weight built into it already.
Bomber slabs sink really quickly due to there weight and larger beefier blade body.
6. P-Line UV Kokanator
The Kokanator is like the Laser Minnow above on steroids. They are extremely bright and in darker waters the can practically out fish almost any other lure.
Kokanee Jigging Rods
What kind of rod makes for the best kokanee jigging rod ?
The best kokanee jigging rods is a casting rod with a light power rating and a fast action.
The action should always be fast the power on the other hand is where a lot of anglers will disagree.
If you are doing some shallow water jigging with lighter jigs in the 1/4 ounce range the a light or even an ultralight rod power would be best.
However if you are dropping down to 50 feet or more using much heaver jigs in the 3/4 to 1 ounce range then you will need a rod with a lot more backbone like a light or medium/light casting rod.
At the deeper depths a casting setup using a baitcaster reel is much less work than using a spinning outfit.
Spinning rod and reels are fine in shallow water but letting lots of line down vertically is a pain.
A casting rod and reel is also much easier on the arm over the course of a long day.
Flick the button, thumb the spool down to your desired depth and then turn the handle to lock the spool, no messing around with bail arms.
For deeper work you can reuse your trolling reels especially if they have a line counter on them, but these types of jigging setups for kokanee are reserved for deeper work using large jigs.