Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon. They don't grow as big as their sea run counterparts and are similar in size to brook trout. One of my goals for the fishing season was to catch a kokanee that qualifies for a CT trophy award. In CT, the kokanee must be at least 17" to qualify for a catch and release award.
The kokanee fishing is challenging. Firstly, it is a niche fishery which requires specialized equipment. For the kayak angler, leadcore with dodgers or flashers is a must. Shoe peg corn is also necessary.
After hooking into one, the loss rate is high because the kokes have very soft mouths and I've seen the hook clear straight through the mouth, so a gentle rod tip is valuable as well.
Further, you must troll very slow at about 1 mph for the kokes to hit.
With all the nuances, you must specifically target kokes and they are rarely caught as bycatch.
I had a productive morning and caught 3 kokanee. Each salmon was 14". I used a wedding ring spinner behind a flasher.
I like East Twin a little more than West Hill because it is much bigger, which leads to longer trolls and the ability to cover a larger territory. However, I travelled a long way before I could find the kokes. They were in 30' and some as deep as 40'. I marked trout higher in the thermocline at 20'.
The kokanee I caught were similar in size to last year and didn't appear to be turning yet. Kokes have a three year life cycle and all of the fish I caught were third year salmon that will begin to turn red in about a month.
I will be returning on September 9 for one more shot at a big fish before the fish begin to turn and stop feeding.