The 6 Best Kokanee Lures in 2021

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall Multipurpose Spinning Lure: Mack's Lure 09196 Wedding Ring
“Make the most of your time in the water with Mack’s Lure Wedding Ring. It’s not only great for kokanee fishing, it guarantees success even in deep, murky water – making it a reliable fishing partner even for trout, perch, and bluegill fishing.”

Best Action Double-Hook Setup: Mack’s Cha Cha Kokanee
“Don’t take any chances when going kokanee fishing. Aim for a sure catch with Mack’s Cha Cha Kokanee lure. It has one of the best hookup sets you’ll see out there and has just the right snag which is ideal for kokanee.”

Best Popper Option: Brad’s Super Plug
“If you’re looking for something more suitable for cast-and-retrieve fishing, Brad’s Super Plug is the ideal choice. Its unique interior design allows better vibration, attracting more fish, and increasing your chances of success.”

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When you go fishing for kokanee, it’s important to use the right lures.

The wrong lure choice could get their attention but not trigger a bite, or worse – scare off all the kokanee.

You can irritate kokanee into a bite, but you’ve got to be aware of their skittishness as well.

The best lures are brightly colored and make a lot of noise while not resembling any fish that prey on kokanee. Strong action at low speed is vital to triggering bites.

Here we will give you six of the best lures on the market for kokanee fishing and explain their best features.

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Customer reviews
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Products tested
Product Name
Best Action Double-Hook Setup
Best Popper Option
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Mack's Lure 09196 Wedding Ring Orange Gold Orange, 8
Mack's Lure 60006 Cha Cha Kokanee
Brad's Super Bait Cut Plug and Mini Cut Plug - 4-Inch, Double Pack, Black Jack
Our grade
Our Rating 90/100
Our Rating 89/100
Our Rating 87/100
Feature 1
Ready to tie on and fish out of the package
No-gap double hook setup
Holographic paints and holes for vibration
Feature 2
Noisy action and flash plate to get attention
Glow bead and reflective patterns
Moves more water due to the shape of the lure
Best Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Mack's Lure 09196 Wedding Ring Orange Gold Orange, 8
Our grade
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
Ready to tie on and fish out of the package
Feature 2
Noisy action and flash plate to get attention
Buy Now Button
Best Action Double-Hook Setup
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Mack's Lure 60006 Cha Cha Kokanee
Our grade
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
No-gap double hook setup
Feature 2
Glow bead and reflective patterns
Buy Now Button
Best Popper Option
Product Name
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Brad's Super Bait Cut Plug and Mini Cut Plug - 4-Inch, Double Pack, Black Jack
Our grade
Our Rating 87/100
Feature 1
Holographic paints and holes for vibration
Feature 2
Moves more water due to the shape of the lure
Buy Now Button

The 6 Best Kokanee Lures in 2021

1. Mack’s Lure 09196 Wedding Ring

Best Overall Multipurpose Spinning Lure

Mack's Lure 09196 Wedding Ring Orange Gold Orange, 8
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KEY FEATURES

  • Wedding ring spinner
  • Ready to tie on and fish out of the package
  • Single weighted hook
  • Noisy action and flash plate to get attention

The Mack's Lure 09196 Wedding Ring is a great lure for trolling the lakes that kokanee lives in. It will trigger strikes from kokanee, trout, perch, even sometimes bluegill. This lure is great for casual fishermen trolling for anything that will bite.

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Attractiveness

The lure comes with glow-beads that will show up well in deep or murky water. Its flash plate has reflective materials that help attract fish. The beads and wedding ring spinner make plenty of noise that will irritate the kokanee, and this lure shouldn’t appear threatening to them. 

Hook Setup

The lure only features a single J-hook. While this isn’t ideal for hookups, the lure should get enough consistent bites that it makes up for it. Kokanee has soft mouths, so with any hooks, it may tear out when setting the hook.

2. Mack’s Cha Cha Kokanee

Best Action Double-Hook Setup

Mack's Lure 60006 Cha Cha Kokanee
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KEY FEATURES

  • A beveled bead that holds scents well
  • Squid head causes side-to-side action
  • Glow bead and reflective patterns
  • No-gap double hook setup

Mack’s Cha Cha Kokanee Lure comes in white and pink, which are great colors for kokanee fishing. The hook setup is ideal for kokanee since it makes them hard to miss. The Cha-Cha is a great lure for anglers wanting to target kokanee and trout while trolling at low speeds.

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Attractiveness

The colors and reflective patterns on the lure are targeted towards kokanee and will show well in deeper water. It has skirts that add to the vibration and visual movement of the lure. Its squid head causes drastic side-to-side action to help entice strikes as well. The tapered bead holds any added scents for longer periods, which can help with attracting fish from farther away.

Hook Setup

Featuring two hooks without a gap between them gives this lure the advantage of missing fewer strikes. The hooks are also more curved than standard J-hooks, meaning they will get into the corner of the fish’s mouth more often and snag them softer which is great for kokanee.

3. Brad’s Super Plug

Best Popper Option

Brad's Super Bait Cut Plug and Mini Cut Plug - 4-Inch, Double Pack, Black Jack
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KEY FEATURES

  • Holographic paints and holes for vibration
  • Moves more water due to the shape of the lure
  • Doesn’t come with hooks or scents included
  • Needs preparation to be ready to use
  • Cast and retrieve the lure

Brad’s Super Plug works great for cast-and-retrieve fishermen. The flat shape on the front pushes up water and causes more sound to go out. Poppers also offer a different action through the water, chugging through it instead of darting, and changing up a presentation is important for keying in on the best one for bites. 

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Attractiveness

The super plug comes in plenty of different colors for you to try out. It also features a split interior and bored-out holes to create more vibration in the water. The shape chugs through the water pushing it and making noise that will attract fish.

Best Uses

The only real downside to this lure is that it doesn’t come with hooks attached. This can be a good thing since you can choose what to attach. In most cases, a pair of super-sharp treble hooks will work best.

4. Pro-Troll Kokanee Killer Fishing Lure

Best Premium Electronic Lure

Pro-Troll Kokanee Killer Fishing Lure, 1-Inch, Holographic Pink
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KEY FEATURES

  • E-chip that mimics fish’s electrical impulses
  • Extra flashy paints
  • Side-to-side action at low speed
  • Fish eyes and double hooks
  • Ready to use with an attached leader

All creatures give off electric impulses when their heartbeats or nervous system reacts. The chip inside this lure mimics the impulses of other small fish, making it seem like a real fish to anything around. Pro-Troll Kokanee Killer Fishing Lure works best for fishermen who want to try out some new technology while they are trolling around a lake. 

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Attractiveness

The big difference-maker on this lure is the electronic chip inside of it. It gives off an electronic impulse that mimics other fish, helping attract more fish and seem more realistic.

It also has 3-D eyes to increase its realistic looks and feel. The lure has UV reflective paints that reflect light and flash even at depth and has a strong side-to-side action at slow trolling speeds.

Hook Setup 

Spacer beads help keep the dual-hook setup steady in the water and keep them from interfering with the action. Having two hooks helps with hookup consistency and also helps keep them from tearing through the mouths of the kokanee.

5. Mack’s Lure 60553 Flash Lite

Best Noisy Leader

Mack's Lure 60553 Flash Lite,Silver Chartreuse
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KEY FEATURES

  • 4 sets of noisy fan blades
  • Super flashy for attractiveness
  • Pairs with any lure
  • Ready to use out of the packaging, with a wire leader to prevent fraying from teeth

While lures work well for enticing strikes, you can never be too prepared. Using a leader string with fan blades and flashers creates a lot of vibration and flashes in the water, helping attract fish. Mack's Lure Flash Lite is a great choice for any fishermen trolling to pair up with their lure of choice.

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Attractiveness

As it’s pulled through the water, the blades spin and vibrate. Each of the blades is also covered in holographic colors, making them continually flash. Their blades might entice a strike, but the lures on the end will be the most likely target for any fish.

How to Use It

You’ll want to tie this leader in between your line and the lure you choose to use. It’s quite common to use leaders like this because of how effective they are and how much irritation they cause the kokanee.

6. Goture Fishing Jigs

Best Kokanee Lure for Retrieving

Goture Fishing Jigs - Freshwater Saltwater Fishing Lures Bass Lures Lead Fishing Spoons Jigging Lures 2.12 oz (Pack of 3)
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KEY FEATURES

  • 3-D eyeball and reflective holographic paints
  • Great for casting and retrieving
  • Treble hook on the bottom with assist hook

Not every angler has the ability or wants to troll around the lake. A great lure for anglers wanting to cast and retrieve for kokanee are the Goture Fishing Jigs. Its hook setup works great for kokanee and other soft-mouthed fish, as the treble will snag on a strike and the assist hook helps mouth hookups near the front of the lure.

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Attractiveness

Coming in a variety of bright reflective colors allows fishermen to choose the colors that are working that day. The 3D eye and flipping motion of the lure lends to it looking realistic to fish. Getting a smaller size will help keep the lure from looking threatening to kokanee, and a lure like this gives options to fishermen from land or boat without the need to troll for action. 

Hook Setup

The treble on the end of the lure works great for snagging fish on a strike. Keep in mind that trebles will foul-hook fish much more commonly, so they could be a tougher fight and need more play to successfully land. The assist hook connects to the ring where the leader does to prevent awkward line strains and helps with hooking fish that strike at the front of the lure.


Locating Kokanee 

Kokanee is a schooling fish that will travel around the lake and through the water column. Their location can change day by day, so you can’t rely on where they were the day before. Using a fish finder is the easiest way to locate them since once you drive over the school you’ll have found them.

Look for areas with currents or points coming off the mainland, since kokanee’s usual food sources get pushed to these areas. When figuring out their depth, either use downriggers or a variety of weights to hit different depths of water. 

Types of Lures for Kokanee Fishing 

Most kokanee lures aren’t designed to imitate prey fish, they are made to piss them off. Kokanee is very territorial and will chase and strike at any unnatural objects in the area. It’s important to remember that kokanee is prey for larger trout and other fish though, so if the lure looks like a threat they will run away.

Lures will usually use one of two actions, either side-to-side dodging or running straight through the water. Flash plates, reflective patterns, and vibrations are very important to get a kokanee’s attention and irritate it into striking the lure. Bright colors like chartreuse, pink, and bright orange work well.


Questions & Answers

How Are Kokanee Different Than Other Salmon?

Kokanee is a land-locked sockeye salmon. They don’t travel to or from the ocean, but once they reach maturity between 3-5 years old they will spawn and die. They spend their entire lives in lakes, and are very sensitive to temperature changes, preferring water between 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are also hardly predatory fish, feeding on zooplankton using their gill rakers to filter them from the water just like a sockeye. On occasion, kokanee will feed on small plants, freshwater shrimp, or insects. This is one of the reasons the lures used for them don’t imitate prey but are meant to irritate them instead.

The only physical difference between sockeye and kokanee is that kokanee is usually smaller. Kokanee only began to exist in the last few hundred years when sockeye became landlocked due to drought and flooding events.

What is the Best Trolling Speed for Kokanee?

Kokanee requires a slower trolling speed than rainbow trout. You’ll want to cruise between 0.8 and 1.8 miles per hour. You’ll need to experiment a lot with your presentation to get it just right.

In most cases, kokanee will follow your lures for quite a long time, until they think they are getting away or they get irritated enough to bite. Try to put a lot of S-shaped curves into your motion to help with lure action, and even try bringing them up and down a few times to help entice a bite.

What Tackle Should I Use for Kokanee Salmon?

The best option for kokanee is a light tackle setup. Using medium-slow action rods and lighter line and leader allows you to play the fish more while they are aggressively fighting on the hook. It helps with fish tearing their mouths and getting off of the hook.

Light gear would include small spinning reels or bait casters, like a Penn Pursuit III 2500 or an Okuma Cerros. Use a light line, five to ten pounds for monofilament, or up to twenty pounds for braided lines.

You might also want to consider using a teasing leader while trolling. They come with spinning and flashing blades that will help attract and irritate the kokanee.