If anglers tell you Oregon’s Wallowa Lake is on fire for kokanee right now---you can tell ‘em why it happened. It’s partly because those sharpshooters who design baits at Mack’s Lure over in Wenatchee, Washington have been playing with matches again!
That’s stretching things a bit, of course, but it’s a cinch Wallowa Lake really is red hot for record size kokanee. So is one of the fish-catching lures that the folks at Mack’s have come up with
Wan Teece, of Enterprise, Oregon, shows her favorite kokanee lure. It's a Mack's Lure Wedding Ring Double Whammy Kokanee Pro. The lure is the one she used to catch a record kokanee from Oregon's Lake Wallowa. Her 8.23-pound kokanee stood briefly as the all time United States weight record for these good eating landlocked sockeye salmon.
If you read my last column you’re aware that Wan Teece, of Enterprise, Oregon recently set a new USA record for kokanee with a beauty that weighed 8.23-pounds. Now that record has already been shattered by an angler named Bob Both, of Lostine, Oregon. Bob’s new record sized fish weighed 8.85-pounds. Both of these fish---and if you’re a kokanee angler you better read this close and careful---were caught on Mack’s Lure Wedding Ring Double Whammy Kokanee Pro lures.
In my last column I promised to detail how Wan and her husband Jack go about fishing the lure that her whopping big kokanee was caught on. I’m going to keep that promise in this column. In my next one I’ll also provide the details on how Bob Both caught the whopper that shattered Wan’s short lived record.
Right now let’s talk about Wan. She isn’t what you could call a gal with years of fishing experience. She is a native of Thailand. She and Jack were married three years ago and she’s been fishing with her husband for the past two years.
But while Wan isn’t long on experience at Wallowa Lake, her husband is. “I’ve been fishing Wallowa Lake for the past 30 years,” Jack says. “I moved to Enterprise, Oregon in 1978. I was with the Enterprise Fire Department for 28 years.”
Jack says there’s no big mystery involved in the way he and his record-holding wife go about their kokanee fishing. He’ll also tell you that they’ve been catching more fish since they started using the Mack’s Lure Double Whammy Kokanee Pro.
Lures like this are record setters. The Double Whammy Kokanee Pro shown here is identical to one Wan Teece used to take her record size kokanee. Now another angler has shattered the record Wan set at Wallowa Lake. He used the same type Mack's Lure to do it. That's two U.S.A. records in a row for the same Mack's Lure bait.
“The one thing we always try to do while we’re trolling,” Teece says, “is to have our boat move just fast enough to get the metal blades of the spinner we use ahead of our lure turning.”
The set up Teece uses is to attach the leader that comes on a Double Whammy Kokanee Pro to the end of a multiple bladed metal spinner. He normally uses a 2-ounce lead weight to get lures down where he wants them to be.
“We often run our lures 40 to 50-yards behind the boat,” Jack says. “If we need to get down deeper, we may let out even more line. I also often change the direction our boat is going. When I turn the boat our lures run at different depths.”
Talk to Jack Teece and it doesn’t take long to find that he and his wife work at their fishing. As I mentioned in my previous column, the two usually fish at least once a week. Once they’re on the water they stay there for from six to eight hours. “Wan packs a wonderful lunch,” Jack says with a chuckle, “and she loves to fish just as much as I do.”
As said in my last column, Wan tipped the hooks of her Double Whammy with white maggots. Her rod was in a rod holder when the record kokanee she was to catch grabbed her bait. “She picked up her rod,” Jack says, “and said it felt like a good one. There wasn’t any half hour fight involved. She pretty much brought it right in.”
It was well she did. Jack said his wife had been trolling with 25-pound test monofilament. However, the 48-inch leader that the Double Whammy Kokanee Pro was built on tested only 8-pounds. “The big kokanee broke the 8-pound leader,” Jack says, “but we already had it in the boat before that happened.”
It figures Oregon’s Wallowa Lake is going to get a good bit more attention than it has in the past. The lake produced a state record 7-pound, 8-ounce kokanee in February and followed that up with Wan’s record breaker on March 24 and now Both’s record setter on May 8.
That’s bound to get the attention of kokanee anglers all over the place. Jack tells me he is already seeing more anglers there than he has in the past. “This quiet little lake is probably going to get pretty busy,” he says.
I expect taking a crack at those Wallowa Lake kokanee might be a darn good idea. But there’s something else of equal importance and that’s to make sure you’ve got a selection of Mack’s Wedding Ring Double Whammy Kokanee Pros in your tackle box when you do.
You can bet that’s what the lady who briefly held the record for the largest kokanee ever caught in the U.S.A. will be doing!