The best method for fishing salmon is with live bait, especially with roe or fish egg sacks. You could also use artificial salmon eggs. The time that you put in is also one key factor in salmon fishing success. Don’t give up too easily.

All about salmon fishing

Salmon fishing is for everyone, no matter the age, gender, or background. You don’t require a certain level of expertise to catch Salmon and usually learn swiftly. Before moving on to fishing gear, fishing methods for Salmon, it would be better to know a little bit about these fascinating creatures.


Salmon belongs to the Salmonidae family that contains ray-finned fish such as trout, whitefish, char, etc. Salmon has many types like Coho, chinook, sockeye, etc. Although they are also present in non-native environments like in South American Patagonia or North American great lakes originally, salmons are native to the Pacific Ocean and North Atlantic tributaries.

Interesting Facts

They are anadromous and highly migratory. Mature Salmon lay eggs in freshwater. The hatchlings grow up in freshwater and swim to the ocean and spend their life there until they have to reproduce. For spawning, the adults migrate back to the freshwater. Usually, salmons die right after spawning.

Salmons is considered a very healthy food choice as its orange meat is packed with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acid, and protein.

Aquaculture salmon is getting very popular due to the increased demand of people.

Salmons eat a variety of stuff, such as. Plankton, insects, invertebrates, small fish, etc.

How to catch Salmon for beginners

A beginner can seek help from a guide for a better presentation of catching the Salmon. The most essential factor, as a beginner, is to be fully prepared with the right tools and equipment for salmon fishing.

Even if you have some knowledge in the basics of fishing there is still a lot more to learn beyond casting a fishing line. It can be very helpful to learn about the most effective salmon fishing methods there is. The method that you should be using will depend on what kind of salmon you are aiming for.

The easiest way to fish salmon is from land, that is because you won’t need to bring a lot of equipment with you. So if you are just starting this is perfect for you. But the most common way that anglers catch salmon is from a boat, that will allow you to get out deeper where the big salmons are.

Different salmon fishing techniques

Drift Fishing

This fishing technique is mostly used where there are a strong water current and a higher concentration salmon. You will simply cast your line upstream from a stable spot and allowing your bait to drift down over an area where you think salmon are. When your line starts to drift you will slowly reel it in and cast again.

This technique works great because it has a natural presentation of the moving bait to the target area. There are also a few other types of drift fishing, such as mooching, jigging, and fly fishing.


For this technique, you will fish from a moving boat. Types of trolling include motor mooching, diver trolling, and downrigger trolling. 

Fish With Live Bait

One of the best methods for catching salmons is live baits, especially with roe or fish egg sacks. Its easiest to buy these from your local fishing store, but you could make your own at home by harvesting them, mix your cure, and construct egg sacks by your self.

You can also buy artificial salmon eggs and tie them into a group near your hook if you want to go the plastic route. Some fishermen even say that artificial eggs work even better for some reason. Just pick some eggs that have bright and strong colors, like red, pink, or orange.

Different Salmons

For beginners, the first step is to know the difference between the Salmon species and which type is that you are targeting. It is a critical task to be able to identify the salmon species correctly. Several species of Salmon include Coho, Chinook, Atlantic, and Sockeye.


The tastiest of all salmons have golden and bright eyes. The eyes are bigger than any other salmon type. They have white gums and mouth.


The color of the inside of the chinook mouth and gums is black. They have small spots on the back (upper and lower half).


The gill cover has big round spots.


They also have black mouths just like chinook but the gums are white. They have round spots on the upper half of the tail.

Use Sharp Hooks

Salmons are known to have a seriously thick and tough jawline, so if your hooks aren’t sharp enough catching a salmon can be very difficult. You don’t want to lose a big salmon when you finally get the bite after you have been fishing for hours in end.

Get familiar with tools, lures, and their habits

The hooks should be sharp. Salmon has thick jawline, so a dull theme will lower the chances of catching Salmon.

Be sure to be familiar with different fishing techniques and tools. The output of salmon fishing depends on the location of fishing, and each method differs in its effectiveness under other circumstances. A beginner can try the art of plunking or practice some drift fishing. The angler should be able to cast lures using rods and lines accurately; otherwise, the caster might end up missing good opportunities and may even lose the baits and lures.

You should be familiar with different baits and lures. Not every fish is interested in the same type of lures and baits. Choose a lure, understand it, utilize it, and cast it with confidence.

Salmon prefer low lighting conditions. Adding a flash will lure them to the hook in deeper and darker waters. Another useful tip is to use red lines. Red is the first color to dissipate underwater, making it invisible.

Be Persistent

A good rule that many fishermen go by is that you have to put the time in. you can’t just go out fishing and expect to get the biggest salmon the first day. Sure, if you are an experienced fisherman it will go much faster to get any bites, but you are still going to have to be persistent.

Safety is the priority

Safety precautions are a must. It includes proper clothes, necessary equipment such as flashlights, utensils, a tent if necessary, raincoat, sunblock, first aid kit, etc. As a beginner, you have no idea when you will be able to catch the Salmon. Fishing is a game of patience. It could take hours. The conditions are also ever-changing. The beginner should take all the necessary measures.

Gears for salmon fishing

Anglers implement different tools and techniques for salmon fishing. The most common gear items are rods, lines, weights, lures and baits, bobbers, floats, and reels. The rods depend on the technique being utilized. Their weight class can vary. They can be short and stiff to long and extra heavy. Lines are also an essential component of the fishing gear. Depending on the desired action, a bar with suitable strength is installed on the rod.

For example, drift fishing is mostly done using an 8 ½ – 9-foot rod. The line’s weight depends on the intended salmon species. It can vary from 10 – 25 lb. If you wish to cast spoons and spinner, heavy and long spinning rod with a 12lb line will work. A suitable rod and bar with a bobber will do the magic in small or medium rivers for float fishing.

Depending on the location of fishing, you can fish Salmon by trolling as well. Especially in large water bodies as the Salmon are spread over a vast area in larger bodies, trolling using a boat does the deed. The lures and baits are set at the desired depth using divers or downriggers.

Salmon locations

Salmon can be fished in both freshwater and saltwater. During a hot day, Salmon can be found in deeper underwater. During the spawning season, salmon fishing can be felt in estuaries while migrating back to freshwater. Small Salmon can be found swimming near shorelines. An excellent place to look for Salmon in the water is where the birds are feeding. Salmon are mostly hunting there. One good time and location for fishing salmon is one hour before or after the low tide.

Best time of day to fish Salmon

Salmon do not bite all day long. Anglers can get lucky with a catch at any time, but there are few peaks and optimal salmon fishing times during a day. The factors that most affect their availability are temperature and weather.

If the climate is too hot, there is a low chance to fish for Salmon. During such a time, they are mostly in the colder regions of the water: deep underwater. Therefore, it is less likely to fish for Salmon when the temperature is hot. During bright sunny days, Salmon has greater visibility, so not an optimal time for catching them. The peak time for catching Salmon is during dusk, dawn, or overcast. As Salmon prefer lower lighting, overcast provides the best scenario for fishing them. During dusk and light, the environment is a bit cooler, so the Salmon swim to the surface to feed.

If you have limited time for salmon fishing, make sure that you fish early in the morning. Salmon will often bite more readily in cooler water. If the river is low and clear, ten daws, fishing is also time worth fishing in.

What season of the year?

The success rate of salmon fishing varies in different seasons, during similar times of the day. For example, during spring, the upper layer of water warms quicker than the deeper areas. Salmon can be found swimming in shallower waters.

During spring, Salmon waits for the warm winds to blow and the surface to warm up. The best time to catch Salmon during spring is late afternoon. During summer, seeing salmon mid-day is not a good option. They are in deep underwater to cool off. Primetime is early morning or early evening, as the day becomes darker. During the fall, late afternoon is the best time to catch salmons.

Salmon lures

Using the proper lure increases the chance of catching a fish. Few lures used for Salmon are:


spinners are shaped like a fish, and metal blades on the spinners spin when moved in the water. These lures give out a powerful vibration while spinning, which attracts the Salmon and lures it in.


plugs are made of rigid plastic and are painted to resemble a fish, mostly herring. Wobbling plug and cut plug is a useful version of plugs. Wobbling plug has two parts, while the cut plug is used in downrigging.


Flashers are rectangular shaped and long. They are made of plastic or straight metal. They attract the Salmon visually and by vibrating. It is mostly used with lures that do not move in the water. To a salmon, they look like an adult salmon going for prey. So the salmons gather around, ending up taking your bait.


Hoochies come in variable shapes, colors, and sizes. They are made of plastic and have tentacles at the bottom side. These are meant to resemble a squid. The brightly colored hoochies, looking like a snack, baits the Salmon in.

Spin fishing or fly fishing

Spin fishing is said to be more comfortable than fly-fishing. There are certain kinds of resistance lures that can only be used with spin rods. However, fly-fishing provides the option for using all variety of baits and lures that imitates what the fish feeds on, such as insect imitations, which spin fishing fails to do so. Fly fishing is done on moving waters and still waters, whereas spin fishing is done mainly on still waters and rivers. Fly-fishing has a stealthier presentation and can work in close quarters. Spin fishing can be done at all depths.

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