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Old 03-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #1
moknots
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Default Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

Silver Bullets started a good thread on slow speed options for Apex lures that generated quite a few loosely connected ideas about options for slower speed options of many kinds. I'd love to hear more opinions about what the "right speed" is.

Dave Eichler, formerly with Macks Tackle, told me he loves to troll at .5, but sometimes does better at .25 mph (!!), and often brought in good stringers from Lake Chelan when the faster trollers got skunked. He used Mack's Flashlite mylar flashers instead of dodgers (ruling out bugs and hoochies), and loves his wedding rings with Smile Blades instead of spinner blades, becuase that's the best slow slow speed combination in his mind.

Jared Johnson of Rocky Mountain Tackle told me his normal troll speed (hoochies and spoons, and his RMT dodgers) at Flaming Gorge is 1.6-1.8, and slow means 1.2-1.4.

I keep hearing 1.4 to 2.0 for Apex and clones, which makes sense to me because I can't get 'em to do much at 1.0 to 1.2.

The most frequent speed I hear for teardrop style dodgers (RMT, Shasta Slingblade, and others) is 1.2-1.8.

I have really good luck with 0000 oval (Vance's, Wordens) dodgers at .8-1.0, and 000's on up to 1.7 (incedently the speed I caught my largest one at).

Other popular notions are that the best speed varies by lake, time of year, water temperature, size of fish and the mood of the little rascals. As for me, I am most confident starting with hoochies and spinners at 1.0 and working my way up or down until I get hit, because frankly, I can't keep all that other stuff straight, and the fish don't always agree with what's in the playbook!

So what's your take on speed? What works for you most consistantly?


Last edited by moknots; 03-23-2008 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

My tackle box has gear that is designed to work between 1.2 &1.7 mph. My boat speed is usually 1.2 or 1.5 mph but I seldom troll in a straight line so my lure speed is always changing. I also believe in fishing lures on both rods that need the same approximant speed to optimize my efficiency.

I believe that smaller kokanee will not hit a fast moving lure. So if you’re after larger fish you should speed it up a bit. A few friends of mine were fishing last year for browns and caught 5 kokanee between 17” & 18” with plugs trolling at 2.5 mph. I was targeting kokanee so I fished the lake slower and caught fish between 13” & 18”.

I believe your speed should be set by the optimum performance of your lure and if you want to speed up or slow down, you my need to change to a different lure.

Good luck ET
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

There are different ways that tell you how fast you go. I had a wheel on my fish finder. Some times it would work sometimes not I don't think it was very good. Lure Jenson has a device that works well. I now have a fishfinder that has a GPS on it. I will try it out tuesday. I think it is the best way to tell how fast you are moving unless there is a current. What do you use to tell how fast you are going?
I have done well wind drifting and I know I was moving fast. I think you have to very your speed untill you find what is working best on that day. You may need to change your speed depending on what time it is. I going to keep a log on how fast I'm going and maybe get some results on what works best on what I'm useing. That could be the most imporant thing.
Good luck Larry
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

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Originally Posted by Salmonslayer2 View Post
What do you use to tell how fast you are going? Larry
Strictly GPS. I don't think the "water wheel" style speed indicators are very accurate. The Luhr Jensen speed indicator is better, but still subject to surface current induced errors.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

I have read Jared Johnson & Gary Mirales both troll faster than most, and figured it was because their dodgers are designed for faster speeds for the lakes they fish. I've also read that 50% of all kokanee are caught at a speed of 1.2 mph. Don't know how true that is, but at that speed I have brought home alot of fish over the years. Keep in mind you need to allways vary your speed to get their attention. Every lake is different and you have to make room for adjustment .. Let the kokanee tell you what they want. When trolling in s-turns, if the inside rod get's hit more, slow down your speed or speed up if it's the outside rod that is getting the fish. Change your gear accordingly. Also, as stated before, speed has alot to do with what lure your running. I think it is allways a good idea to look at your presentation in the water along side the boat and adjust your speed for the best action of the dodger & lure. Another thing to consider is how much sway back you're willing to put up with common to the lead your dragging, and whether a gang troll is attached to it or not. Faster speeds will change your depth because of the drag of your gear... angle of your wire, and you need to compensate for this.

Last edited by SilverBullets; 03-23-2008 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

Hey moknots great question. After getting addicted to kokanee fishing 5 years ago I have tried to get this question solved myself. After reading several articles by California kokanee expert Phil Johnson I decided to coppy his advice of trolling .9 to 1.2 mph. Over the years have caught quite a few kokanee in this 1 mph range. After haveing said that last week at Merwin I trolled this speed on top and only had 2 on so at the end of the day I finally did a little detective work. What really suprised me is that at 1 mph the wedding rings would turn very eradically. It took 1.2 mph to gety them to spin the way they should. My theory at the moment is the fish are a little slugish in this 48 degree water so I want to keep my speed slow so I came home and ordered a bunch of Macks smile blades in assorted colors. Dont know if this will help but it is the theory of the day. I do have a tackle box full of stuff designed to run 1.3 to 1.7 mph but just havent caught much on it. Call me crazy but seems at Merwin the boats trolling a little slower than most seem to hook up more. Newest theory is those fish are just lazy!
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

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. My theory at the moment is the fish are a little slugish in this 48 degree water so I want to keep my speed slow so I came home and ordered a bunch of Macks smile blades in assorted colors. Dont know if this will help but it is the theory of the day. I do have a tackle box full of stuff designed to run 1.3 to 1.7 mph but just havent caught much on it. Call me crazy but seems at Merwin the boats trolling a little slower than most seem to hook up more. Newest theory is those fish are just lazy!
Sounds like the right approach to me, but I've always been a little slow! My most productive spinner all of last season was a green beaded spinner with a silver smile blade. Second among spinning lures was a flame and chartruse spin-n-glow with white wings. Both do great at pretty slow speeds. Last year early in the season I saw one boat doing really well wind drifting in a very light breeze -- sometime they were nearly stopped. Their ford fenders were wallowing instead of spinning, and they were using corn tipped wedding rings, holding their rods and setting the hook hard.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

My best speed is 1.2 mph. That is mostly due to the fact that I troll 90% at this speed. I use s turns to get different speeds. I have experimented with going faster...up to 1.8 mph...but have not had much success at that speed. Part of the problem, is I often fish standard dodgers and at that speed the roll. This season I plan to try faster speeds and fish sling blade type dodger and apex's. I have had some good days wind drifting with apex's. It was likely because my trolling speed was faster than I usually go and I was acturally running the apex at it's correct speed. When I fist fished for kokanee I rowed not trolled with a motor. I was using cow bell flashers and a wedding ring. To get deep I would let the gear drop while not rowing, then get on the sticks to get up to speed. I caught fish then while barely moving.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

1.2-1.6 with lot's of s turns too. Mostly a wedding ring dodger guy on downriggers!
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

At 1.2 mph, how long would it take you to to troll to FG?

In 89 days trolling speed won't matter to me cause somebody else will be running the boat.

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

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1.2-1.6 with lot's of s turns too. Mostly a wedding ring dodger guy on downriggers!
Same here.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

Flashers-.8 mph on the GPS. I do this in calm water or very slight breeze.
Dodgers-1.2-1.5 mph. Usually wind trolling later in the day.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

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Originally Posted by FallRiverGuy View Post
When I fist fished for kokanee I rowed not trolled with a motor. I was using cow bell flashers and a wedding ring. To get deep I would let the gear drop while not rowing, then get on the sticks to get up to speed. I caught fish then while barely moving.
I rigged my cedar strip canoe to row, and plan in using it with oars to fish some really shallow water where I think my boat has put big schools of fish holding over a spring off the bite. Planning to fish with very light or no weight and a dodger. I have high hopes for the yo yo effect of row, stop, row.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

The colder the slower. .9 - 1.7. You'll want to fish in the mornings and afternoons 90 degrees to the path of the Sun, Or so the light is on one side of the flasher - lure or bait. (More direct sun on your flasher more flash and more fish) Noonish I don't suppose it matters, other than maybe go a bit deeper than the fish so the flash is seen from above, because it only makes sense if the flasher dogers is above them at noon they wont see the flash....

As mentioned a wavy troll is better than a straight one. I start at 1.3 and go from there! They seem to me to like water in the mid to low 50 deg range.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Kokanee Trolling Speed -- your best speeds?

SPEED KILLS !!!

In 88 days trolling speed won't matter to me cause somebody else will be running the boat.
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