Kokanee winter fishing does not exist in rives and streams. Besides being filled with only young Sockeye Salmon that are just a few ounces in weight, there are no adults as they’ve moved into the ocean. You’ll also find most places have strict fishing bans for much of the year.


The only place where you have a chance at catching Sockeye in the winter is ocean fishing. However Sockeye Salmon have a large distribution and can be hard to find at this time of year. Seeking them out specifically can be next to impossible.


Having said that, in early winter you can still find them close to the shores of the United States and Canada from lower British Columbia down to northern California. Your best bet for finding them is researching where the local bait fish winter.


Sockeye and other Pacific Salmon focus on schooling bait fish rather than seeking out individual fish. Herring and anchovies are the top school bait fish sought by Sockeye.

Lures for Ocean Fishing

Simply the best lure to use for winter fishing in the ocean is the Hootchies.

Check out this video for great tip for rigging the hootchie.

Winterizing Your Gear

A lot of novice anglers spend a lot of money on their gear figuring out that in order to have the best chance at landing lots of large fish they must have good gear. Good gear is important and will last you a long time if it’s taken care of. Unfortunately too many novice anglers forget this aspect of fishing and make costly mistakes.

  • Reels need to be greased and stored properly
  • Rods also need to be cleaned and stored properly
  • And don’t forget about those lures. All metals lures will rust if they’re not stored properly.

Too many anglers have found much of their gear destroyed because they were left in damp conditions over the winter.


Most anglers clean their gear before putting away for the winter. However you should clean your gear after every use, especially in saltwater conditions. And like regular maintenance on a car, clean and grease the reel after a few months.


High quality reels will only last a lifetime if they’re cared for.

We recommend the Penn rod and reel cleaner before lubricating… It’s is well worth the investment for your gear.

Ocean Climate

The ocean is governed by different temperature patterns than freshwater. Rivers and streams are governed by continental climates while the ocean is governed on a planetary scale with water moving from the equator to the poles along particular pathways.


The world wide flow of ocean currents is known as the Great Ocean Conveyer Belt, or Great Ocean Conveyer for short.