Chinook salmon is an apt example of a king-size fish. It is the largest of all the Pacific Salmon and is known as the king of the rivers. King, Spring, chrome, or Blackmouth, name it any, but when it comes to Chinook salmon fishing, you are going on for a legit ride. You can fish for them from the bank of the river. Or roam around the water body on a boat to catch one. In both cases, the experience will be equally thrilling. These fishes are huge and can grow almost as big as a human.
And if such a giant fish is known as the most delicious, the commercial aspect of catching it goes up and beyond several folds. They will be well in demand, and due to their size and delicious meat, fish lovers will be all ready to pay a good amount. So, all in all, fishing Chinook Salmon is always a profitable venture.
It’s the King-Size Gamefish Every Angler Loves
Chinook salmon is a proper gamefish and known for its hard fighting ability. They will grow at a very high pace and have a shorter life span compared to many gamefishes. They live just about four years and start spawning within the 2.5-3.5 years range. Chinook salmon lives most of its life in freshwater.
Juvenile chinook salmon only get to the Pacific when it’s no more a juvenile and needs to grow further, and right before its spawning period, it gets back to the freshwater to spawn.
Spawning Period of Chinook Salmon
August to early November is the best period for Chinook Salmon to spawn, and right after they are done spawning, they just die. It takes no more than two weeks for all the adults to die. They will spawn only in pure water, well-oxygenated. And the best period to catch some big-size chinook salmon is right from August till September.
But if you are not willing to wait till the spawning period, start fishing for it from the middle of the year, from May onwards till November. The success in angling chinook is high at this period too.
Prepare Your Rod for Angling the King
- You will need an 8-10 feet medium action rod, and we prefer a braided fishing line for chinook salmon fishing. Just about 55-60 pounds of braided line, that’s it. A medium baitcasting reel works just the perfect way to catch the king of the river.
- Take your rod and insert the braided fishing line end through all the rings of it. Start from the tip and end right at the bottom guide.
- Now, when it’s a bait caster reel, the mechanism is simple. There will be two rails, a big one and a comparatively smaller one placed parallelly, and on top of those rails, there will be a clip type of component, with a gap inside which moves from left to right and right to left when you spool your fishing line.
- Take the fishing line end through the gap of that clip, then take it downwards beneath the spool.
- Make sure the lever is down when you are lining the spool. Bring up the line above the spool, basically wrapping the beneath of the spool, and make sure you brought it up through the gap of that specific clip on the rails.
- Now tie the line on the spool through a basic slip knot. Make sure to trim off the excess line.
- Push the lever up and start rotating the reel handle to wind up the braided line on the reel spool. Your rod and reel are ready, and time to work on the rig.
Preparing the Rig and Tying It Down to the Mainline
You will need a long dangling fishing line from the rod tip to tie the prepared rig. So, cut the line from the fishing line spool accordingly.
- The first step to prepare the rig is to tie a dropper line, about 10-12 inches, with a slider tube and snap clip. The dropper line will dangle from the mainline due to the added weight and slide on the mainline.
- Insert the mainline through the slider tube holes and add two beads so that they can collide and make some noise to attract the king salmon.
- You will need a separator line to attach the mainline to the flasher and then the leader line. This separator line will have weight, quite a few, on both ends.
- On one end of the separator line, tie the mainline. You have the swivel to tie it. Use your favorite knot. We like the improved clinch knot.
- On the other end of the separator line, you have the weights, again, then a clip connected with the swivel to add the flasher.
- Take your flasher and clip it up on the separator line with the snap clip.
- For chinook salmon fishing or any large fish angling, you will need a 4-5 leader.
- On one end of the leader, clip on the snap clip and add some weight. The other end is for tying the hook.
- Just clip the snap clip on the leader line in the flasher hole, and your entire rig is almost ready. On both sides of the flasher, you have enough weight.
- For chinook salmon, we prefer using artificial lures. Just tie a spinner with a sturdy treble hook with your preferred knot.
Back to The Dropper Line
- The final step is to add the weight to the dropper. You could have done it earlier, but the weight might have hampered tying the separator and leader to the mainline. When you are using spinners, make sure not to add too much weight to the dropper. Keep it light.
- Create a loop knot by tying an easy basic knot on the end of the dangling dropper line and add the weight to that loop. And your fishing rod is ready for angling chinook salmon.
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If you are not using spinners but a simple fishing hook, then use shrimp as bait. Fish eggs and tuna also work great to lure the Blackmouth. Depending on what bait is available and which trick works the best for you, enjoy your chinook salmon fishing experience.