How to Catch Kokanee
Use of Corn and Scents
Most serious kokanee fisherman know that nothing works as well for kokanee as White Shoe Peg Corn. Shoe Peg Corn is a specialty strain of gourmet white corn grown in the Midwest in very limited quantities. It is not only white (a definite kokanee preference) but it is a firm, crisp, kernel that holds onto a hook well. The kernels are long and slender and very uniform. Depending on rain and irrigation, the seasonal yield of shoe peg corn can really vary. In some years it's in very short supply. No bait seems to work as well as shoe peg corn, and for this reason the serious kokanee fishermen should stock up on it while it's available. Green Giant packages it in 15-ounce cans, but it is available in other brands too. When you find it purchase a good supply. Once you run out you may not be able to locate any until the following season. Only take out enough corn to last you a few weeks. The rest can be placed in a glass jar in its own juice and frozen until you need more.
The kernels of corn should be mounted on the hook so that the open end of the
kernel points away from the hook and leader (see photo). The perfect placement
of the kernels takes practice, and it does improve the bite. There are thousands of
kernels of corn in a 15-ounce can, so it is very inexpensive bait to use. Practice
rigging your lures at home so you can have it mastered by time you're on the water.
Most fishermen will use just one kernel of corn on each hook but sometimes two
on one or the other hook can be effective as an alternate.
Fish scents can also help. Many experts will not be without it. The four most common scents used for kokanee are Herring Oil, Shrimp/Prawn oil, Fresh Water Shrimp Oil and Squid Oil. ProCure makes all of these scents and is well proven with kokanee. Some fishermen mix these scents with anise oil to get a combination scent. To scent your corn drain off the corn's liquid and put some corn in a small plastic bag like a ziplock. Add the scent and mix the corn around to get it exposed to all the scent. Be careful not to contaminate one scent with others.
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