Mackinaw and Kokanee Fishing
Mackinaw (also called lake trout) and Kokanee are often found in the same lakes, so we thought it best to keep them together. Oftentimes, when you're out for a big Mack, you'll usually also get the chance to catch a few Kokes. Gary has been Mackinaw fishing and Kokanee fishing on some of Oregon's best lakes, read on and start planning your own trip for big macks and kokes!
Get the Kokanee fishing techniques and Lake Trout fishing tips here—to help you get the biggest fish you can on your next trip!
It’s hard to find a pairing that goes better together than a Big Mac and a large Coke. But for my money, I’ll take my big macks and large kokes from a Cascade mountain lake. Odell Lake, Crescent and Cultus are some of the coldest, deepest lakes in Oregon, which makes them good habitat for a big char we call lake trout or mackinaw. Odell and Crescent, with good populations of kokanee (a landlocked sockeye salmon) produce the biggest fish. Cultus Lake has no kokanee and the macks run smaller, but here an angler can catch more, running from 17 inches up to 20 pounds.
If you call yourself a kokanee fisherman, you might think you know what a big fish looks like. 18 inches, maybe 20 inches, tops, You might say that is about as big as they get. You might have a hard time imagining Jerry Logosz’s seven-pound fish that set the new Oregon state record last July at Wallowa Lake.
A light breeze riffled the glassy surface as we pulled away from the dock. We watched the depth finder and Dana pointed the bow toward the eastern end of Oregon’s Odell Lake. It was a rare day in the Cascades, warm for this early in the morning. Today we would be fishing deep, down to 140 feet, hoping to connect with a big mackinaw.