Washington’s American Lake Kokanee On The Bite

By Duane Inglin | 08/15/2013

This time of year everybody is thinking Puget Sound salmon. We have early fall salmon entering our rivers already, we have summer steelhead in as well and some guys are still doing a lot of trout fishing. Meanwhile, a productive fishery that is somewhat overlooked is American Lake’s kokanee.


There’s a fair number of quality kokanee available right now and best of all the pressure is light. What I’ve seen the last few weeks is 6-10 boats targeting these fish. You might see a half dozen during the week and up to 15 boats on the weekend, but it’s a big lake and there’s lots of room.


The later part of the season here there seems to spur fewer big ones, but there’s still a respectable amount of 10-14 inch fish with a few to 15. However, there has been some big ones caught this year. We’ve seen them to 21 inches. The consistent size seems to be about 14 inches. This has just been an average season compared to previous years.


The early fishery didn’t materialize, but now that it’s late in summer the fishery is turning on. The fish are active, they are fat and aggressive. It’s a great time to head out and target them. It will fish through September. I’ve found most of my fish to come on hoochie spinners and mini hoochie Spin N Glo’s tipped with natural and yellow Pautzke corn.


Last time I fished American was a few days ago and we found kokanee in 80 feet of water, roughly 30-35 feet down. You want to stay in water that’s 65-80 foot deep for the most part.


On the other hand, I’ve been doing most of my fishing in the vicinity of Silcox Island, preferably on the east end where the water is only about 50 feet deep, but that’s ok. You’ll still find them 30 feet down. I’m also locating some fish on the north part of the lake, trolling back and forth between North Park to the north part of Silcox Island.