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  • Writer's picturealexosen

How to Fish for Kokanee Salmon on Bullards Bar

Updated: May 18, 2022

Welcome to Catch Happy weekly fishing adventures and education. Our goal is to help more people enjoy amazing experiences outdoors. You can find top-notch Napa fishing guides, gear kits, and follow our weekly fishing expeditions at

Alex and I (Austin) planned a trip to Bullards Bar reservoir to target Kokanee Salmon. It's a very beautiful lake with sandy banks and picturesque mountains surrounding the gorgeous emerald water. It’s an amazing fishery to go catch Kokanee because of the amount of fish in that lake. It’s not like other lakes where the limit is 5 Kokanee per person, Bullards Bar limit is 10 per person. Many Napa fishing guides would gladly guide this lake because of the abundance of fish and the nature beauty of the area. It’s worth the 2.5 hour drive every time.

For our equipment on this trip we’ve used scotty downriggers to get down and target those Kokanee at certain depths in the water column. We used Okuma 8ft SST Kokanee rods with Okuma line counter reels. Our reels were spooled up with 8lb Pline. Behind all that for our terminal tackle we used Double D dodgers and Paulina Peak dodgers paired up with various spinnes, Hoochies, and Flutterbugs. Everything was working for us that day. We tipped the hooks with Pautzke Fire cure corn with various scents.

When we got to the lake and started fishing, It was game on right away with a single, double, and triple hook ups. Everything we threw at them was working. Anything in orange was working all day and in various depths. There were three of us fishing and we ended the day with 26 Kokanee and lost just as many. We were 4 short from a 3 man limit. What a day! We highly recommend Bullards Bar to anyone, but you’ll need a boat with downriggers to hit the Kokanee honey pot as this fish are deep dwellers, typically 20-60ft down.

Join us to learn how to become more successful in targeting this species and let's have some fun doing it. This week's video is full of exciting catches, misses, and step-by-step instructions on how to fish for and land more Kokanee Salmon. Do you want to learn how to fish for Kokanee Salmon firsthand? Book a trip with one of our awesome Napa fishing guides.


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