Kokanee Fishing Whiskeytown Lake

Kokanee Fishing Whiskeytown Lake

Kokanee Fishing at Whiskeytown Lake

As a proud member of The Trinity Guide team, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring some of Northern California’s most pristine fishing spots. While our expertise usually lies within the realm of fly fishing on the Trinity and Lower Sacramento Rivers, I’ve ventured out to Whiskeytown Lake on numerous occasions to indulge in the thrill of kokanee salmon fishing. In this guide, I aim to share with you the beauty and excitement of kokanee fishing at Whiskeytown Lake, offering tips on locations, the best time to fish, gear, techniques, and more to ensure you have a memorable experience on these waters.

Best Locations on Whiskeytown Lake

Finding the Sweet Spots

Whiskeytown Lake, a reservoir located in Shasta County, is known for its clear, cold waters – ideal for kokanee salmon. Key spots to target these fish include areas around the Whiskeytown Dam, Oak Bottom, and the Coldwater Creek inlet. These spots tend to house cooler and deeper waters where kokanee prefer to dwell, especially during the warmer months.

Best Time to Fish

Seasonal Peaks

Kokanee fishing at Whiskeytown Lake is at its prime from late spring through early fall, peaking in the summer months. Early mornings just after sunrise or later in the evening before sunset are the best times to catch these elusive fish. During this time, kokanee are most active and more likely to bite.

Tackle and Gear

Getting Equipped

  • Light to medium action rods
  • Reels spooled with 8-10 lb test line
  • A variety of kokanee lures, such as spinners and spoons
  • Dodgers to attract kokanee
  • Live bait, including corn or maggots

Techniques for Kokanee Fishing

Mastering the Approach

Trolling is the most effective technique for kokanee fishing at Whiskeytown Lake. It involves moving your boat slowly across the water, dragging lures or baited hooks behind. Kokanee are known to be attracted to the movement and vibration of the dodgers, which replicate the movement of their natural prey. Adjusting the depth of your lines throughout the day is crucial, as kokanee depths can vary significantly depending on water temperature and time of day.

Regulations and Limits

Staying in Compliance

Anglers should be aware of the specific fishing regulations at Whiskeytown Lake, including bag and size limits for kokanee salmon, which can change annually. A valid California fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older. It’s imperative to check the latest regulations issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife before heading out on your fishing adventure.

Boat Rentals and Guided Trips

Exploring with Experts

For those without their own boat or new to kokanee fishing, Whiskeytown Lake offers boat rental services at the marina, including kayaks and motorboats. Additionally, The Trinity Guide is excited to offer specialized guided kokanee fishing trips upon request. Our experienced guides can enhance your fishing experience, showing you the best spots and techniques for catching kokanee.

Fishing Reports

Staying Ahead of the Game

Keeping an eye on the latest fishing reports can be crucial for a successful trip. These reports provide valuable information on water conditions, kokanee locations, and what lures or bait are proving to be most effective.

Nearby Amenities and Accommodations

Comfort and Convenience

Whiskeytown Lake is surrounded by a variety of accommodations, from campgrounds offering a rustic experience to comfortable lodges and hotels. Nearby amenities include tackle shops, where you can stock up on gear and bait, and dining options to enjoy a hearty meal after a day of fishing.

Embarking on a kokanee fishing adventure at Whiskeytown Lake is more than just a chance to catch these vibrant fish; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Northern California. With the right preparation and guidance, such as that provided by The Trinity Guide, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, kokanee fishing at Whiskeytown Lake offers something for everyone. Happy fishing!

Kokanee Fishing Whiskeytown Lake

Additional Resources:

Autistic Camp


Camp Levavi

54 Chester Road
Woodbourne NY 12788 US

Experience a magical summer at Camp Levavi, an Autistic Camp where we empower children of all abilities to enjoy the joys of summer camp. Our individualized programs cater to each child’s unique needs, ensuring progress and full participation in all activities. With a focus on achieving educational and therapeutic goals in the mornings and providing mainstream camp experiences in the afternoons, every child unlocks their full potential. Join us for a summer of fun, adventure, and growth.

Coral Online Canada


Frag Garage

Purchase living coral online in Canada from Frag Garage when you’re looking for a high-quality product at a very affordable cost. We have an exhaustive selection of coral, including SPS, LPS, softies, and coral frag packs, all priced affordably. Speak with one of our aquaculture coral experts by phone at 250-884-5566.