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Author Topic: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008  (Read 12716 times)

Rodney

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Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« on: March 14, 2008, 08:24:16 PM »

A few days ago my friend Nikolai finished his defence for his Master thesis, and as expected he phoned me up last night to see if a fishing trip is doable before he leaves to Europe next week. Knowing that rain was expected all day and how hydrophobic I am, I reluctantly agreed to take him out for a few hours of fishing at Kawkawa Lake. Nikolai is still quite new to fishing. I've previously taken him out rainbow trout fishing at Buntzen Lake and pink salmon fishing in the Tidal Fraser River with some success, so his expectation has been big whenever we get a chance to go out.

The target species is kokanee. These freshwater sockeye salmon, which have been landlocked for who knows how long, are pretty to stare at and tasty out of the oven. It is a precious fishery that is perfect for the entire family to participate in the Fraser Valley from late winter to early summer. Because the amount of food is significantly lower in a lake than in the ocean, kokanee do not grow very big compared to their saltwater cousins. 10 to 13 inches is the typical length for a kokanee in Kawkawa Lake this time of the year. As food becomes more available when the lake warms up, they will fatten up and gain a couple more inches by August.

Trout and landlocked coho are also common residents of Kawkawa Lake. Identifying a kokanee can be done easily. Their eyes are noticeably large compared to their head and their shiny body lacks spots like other salmon species. When looked from the side under the sun.



The choice of weapon today was red dyed krill. Nothing too fancy as we were looking for consistent success due to time limitation. A sliding weight with a short 4lb test leader and a size 6 hook was used to rig these little crustaceans up.



Upon our arrival, we were greeted by dozens of rising fish on a very glassy lake. We were also the first boat on the water. It was a welcoming sight. We hurried out to the spot where I was having some success last week. After a brief instruction, Nikolai sent his bait down to the bottom and waited for that first tug. The silent anticipation was rather exciting.

An hour went by and the rod tip staring game continued with no rewards. Nikolai placed the rod down on the boat and his eyes began wandering away. I said, "Keep your eyes on the rod tip, any minute now." ;D Those eyes came back to the rod tip, for a few minutes, before being lured away by the nearby snowy mountains. He is after all, an avid back country skier. As we chatted away, I suddenly spotted a quick tug on his rod tip at the corner of my eyes. Instinct kicked in instantly, I grabbed his rod without a verbal warning and set the hook. "Here's your fish", said I when I handed the dancing rod to him. ;D A lively kokanee surfaced seconds later. :)





The bite was on! Kokanee often travel in schools, so when one fish is caught, another can be expected immediately. Once Nikolai's fish was taken care of, my focus quickly came back to my rod. Before he was able to finish baiting, I was already hauling in my first. ;D





These actions in the boat replayed themselves over and over again for the rest of our trip. The bites were on more often than off and we were able to keep our daily quotas of four fish as well as releasing many more.



All of the fish were the same size and according to Nick, they are all three year old fish. Once awhile, a four year old fish could be encountered and its different personality can instantly be felt on the line. Today I had one of these bigger, older fish, which I actually thought was a bull trout for a few seconds when it was first connected. I also found a coho salmon, which was good as I wanted to show Nikolai how different it looks to a kokanee.



The outing ended at 2:30pm as planned. The timing could not be better as the rain had held off the entire time until when we were packing up. It was a good way to send a friend off to Europe with a few fish tales to tell. :D





The kokanee fishing at Kawkawa Lake should be good for the rest of March. A boat is required and you can either fly, lure or bait fish for them. Good luck to those who are planning to head out this weekend. :)

Colorado Grinner

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 09:08:01 PM »

Nice work Rodney.Great report!

Its good to know theres still good lake fishing close to home. :)
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Fish Assassin

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 09:20:01 PM »

Yum, sockeyes/kokanees. When's dinner ?
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summersteel

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 09:32:10 PM »

wow great report Rob,I used to catch those fish in Kelowna, they were delicious. I never heard of anyone useing your teqnique though.
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Rodney

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 09:44:19 PM »

Yum, sockeyes/kokanees. When's dinner ?

Ten minutes ago. ;D

shawn_john

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 10:47:44 PM »

Nice looking Fish there Rodney , i hope to get out there soon  :D
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Fish Assassin

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 11:34:36 PM »

Yum, sockeyes/kokanees. When's dinner ?

Ten minutes ago. ;D



It was that good eh ?  ;D
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flatlander

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 11:28:44 AM »

Thanks Rod for the great report!

I'm planning to take the kids kokanee fishing for the first time this year.  Is the technique to anchor and hold at the same spot or are you drifting?  Is the bait suspended or fishing right on bottom?

Cheers!
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Rodney

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 02:58:53 PM »

We anchor and fish.

The whole purpose of the sliding weight rig that we use is to get the bait down to the depth where the fish are sometimes. On a sunny day, most of the fish will stay at the 30 to 40ft+ depth range. There are two ways that we fish this rig. One is to drop it directly straight down until it reaches the bottom. The line is then brought in a couple of winds on the spinning reel so the weight is lifted off the bottom slightly. In the case, the bait is most likely sitting on the bottom and floating up slightly at times. Yesterday most of our bites took place as soon as the weight reached the bottom. The advantage of this method is you can send the rig down fast and precisely if you know exactly where the fish are. The disadvantage is while the bait is going down, there is a lot of loose line coming off the spinning reel so if fish decide to take the bait on the way down, you would not be able to notice.

The other method that we use at times is casting the rig about 30 to 40 ft out and let it sink down to the bottom. The advantage of this method is that the line will be tight the entire time as the rig sinks down toward you. If a fish decides to take the bait while it is sinking, then you will definitely notice it. The disadvantage is that unless you can cast the exact distance as your fishing depth, then you'll end up stripping line or retrieving line to find the precise fishing depth after awhile.

The bites are not as noticeable as when a trout bites at times. Sometimes it is a light vibration on the rod tip, sometimes the line simply goes slack as the fish swims up the water column with the bait in its mouth. We use spinning rods that are rated 2 to 4/6lb test with a rather thin tip. The size of the sliding weight is between 1/8 to 1/4oz.

Don't forget to have a box of chronies and micro-leeches of course. If the fish all decide to be near the surface, then trolling or float fishing with flies (if you do not flyfish) may just be the way to go.

Good luck and we might see you and the kids out there during spring break!

flatlander

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 03:48:04 PM »

Thanks Rod for the detailed info.  Much appreciated.

cheers!
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Steelhawk

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2008, 03:09:20 PM »

Rodney, do you have to bring our own boat or there are for rental? If so, what is the rate like? Are there boat launch there if we bring own boat? Also, what is the best time of the year for them, as you say they may fatten up more by August? Won't it be better to get them later? Thanks.  By the way, what is the best way to eat Kokanee. Look like yours must be a great recipe to leave only the bones.  ;D  Are Kokanees good for sushi or sashimi (thin slicing) like their salt water cousin? They sure look silvery bright like an ocean fish. Where do one buy good krill. They look so good after dye, they can be used for Cap coho, I think.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 03:18:02 PM by Steelhawk »
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FlyFishin Magician

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2008, 03:46:01 PM »

Nice!  Here's a question if you don't mind.  Would it be practical to fish from a float tube or v-boat, or is the lake just too big?  I imagine the fish may move around.  But on lakes I'm familiar with, there are certain spots that hold fish.
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4x4

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2008, 03:57:29 PM »

Nice!  Here's a question if you don't mind.  Would it be practical to fish from a float tube or v-boat, or is the lake just too big?  I imagine the fish may move around.  But on lakes I'm familiar with, there are certain spots that hold fish.

Fishing from a tube or V boat is fine on that lake. We fished from 8:30-5:00 yesterday in our tube and Fish Cat.
You have to find the fish but they are easy to see and there are lots so it's not to hard to fin to them.

No boats to rent on the lake.

Rodney, how did you cook your fish?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 07:05:28 PM by 4x4 »
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jetboatjim

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2008, 03:58:17 PM »

float tube or small craft is no problem there. its a med/small lake.
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Beast

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Re: Kawkawa Lake March 14th, 2008
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2008, 05:34:11 PM »

was wondering if a 19' inboard is to big for that lake iv never been there ???
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