Salmon Fishing Tips and Techniques

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that prevent the risk of heart disease. Both natural and farmed species are way better compared to the meat sources for our body. We can buy salmon from the market or catch ourselves. Many people prefer the second one because fishing is a relaxing and rewarding activity. Different methods are used to catch fish from freshwater and saltwater. We are presenting those salmon fishing techniques along with the tips in this article. These details will definitely be beneficial for beginners.

Drift Fishing for Salmon

It refers to catching fish using drift nets. The nets stay vertically in a particular water depth without falling to the bottom. Anglers tie one rope on each side of the net. They add some floats to the upper rope and some weight to the other one. This process keeps the net hanging in a certain area. Then, it’s time to attach the fish bait. Natural living baits, dead baits, jigs, artificial flies work great for salmon.

Fishermen can add other fish’s baits too. As the watercraft move with the wind or water current, the lures attract tons of fish. For maximum benefits, experts suggest choosing a location that is full of the targeted specimen. Overall, it is simple, effortless, yet effective. It allows people to hunt salmon any time of the year.

Salmon Fishing
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It is similar to drift fishing. You have to cast the lures along with a weight from either a boat or the bank. The weight will keep your bait spinning in place. If you put it along the salmon’s migration paths, they will notice it instantly. As soon as they take the bait, you will be notified. Then, all you have to do is reel in the fishing line. The most effective lures are winged bobbers, spoon, sardine, and kwikfish. An 8 to 10 feet long durable rod paired with a 50 lbs monofilament line can be an excellent gear combination for salmon. Make sure to tie swivels and a few beads at the end. Complete the setup by adding a 5 feet long 50 lbs monofilament leader to another side of the swivel.

Float Fishing

It is one of the best freshwater fish hunting techniques, especially in calm and slow-moving water. However, it may not be suitable for big catches. Long rods and spectra lines are the most popular kit in this criteria. They float quite easily without stretching. You will also need sliding floats, swivels, spinning or bait-casting ­reels, loads, leaders, and beads. Set the bobber depending on the depth you want to fish from. Every time you cast the line, the bait and hook will go downward. On the other hand, the bobber will be swimming at the surface. It will also indicate when a salmon takes the lure. Don’t start reeling in unless the bobber sinks into the water. Feel free to apply the technique from a still canoe, a dock, or shore. Cast the bait into spots with salmon’s food supplies, weeds, and lilies.


A moving boat is mandatory here. You have to collect one or more lines too. We recommend 20-25 pound lines for the optimum output. Other items are weights, divers, three-way swivels, and adequate baits. Tie the baits to one end of the lines. The other side should be tied to the stern of the boat. Use weights to guide the baits at your desired depth. Lower depths are ideal for salmons. As the boats start to move, the salmon will notice the bait. Vary the boat’s speed as per need. In this way, one can get tons of salmon and other fish. You can also use a still boat and fish from a fixed spot, but the success rate will be comparatively lower. Trolling is suitable for saltwater too.


It involves the use of jigs, which is one kind of fishing lure. They contain lead sinkers and soft creature-like frames to catch the attention of specimens. Once you release them into the water, they produce jerky, vertical motions. Although all jigs can give a decent performance, we have some favorites. Buzz Bomb fisher and twitched jig never let us down. Be sure of buying a strong spinning reel. Such a reel lets the bait flutter while moving. If you don’t have spinning units, go for level winds. After casting, let the hook float close to the bottom. Wait for several seconds until a salmon hits it. You can use them alone or tip them with live baits.

Fly Fishing for Salmon

Fly fishing is used for almost all most wanted species. It is traditional rod-reel fishing except that anglers use some artificial flies instead of the living baits and other lures. These fake flies look and act exactly like real insects. The fish can’t understand the differences and easily fall for them. Dolly Llama Flies, woolly bugger, Spey flies, hex nymph, and Ally’s Shrimp seem to be the best choices. Stoat’s tail, snakes, crusher flies, hairwing flies also get nice feedback from salmon hunters. You can catch tons of salmon with them just after heavy rain or storms. If a large number of insects falls into the water due to rainfall, fish bites more regularly. Shallow water fishers should wait for chinook or coho salmon and set the flies right in front of them. This trick barely fails.


It is a versatile scheme to get salmons from both seawater and freshwater. You don’t need much equipment. Bring a baitcasting fishing rod. It should not be shorter than 5 feet. Most baitcasting rods consist of glass, bamboo, and metal elements. Therefore, their weight varies from each other. Pick one based on your comfort. Match it with a reel having 100 to 150 foot long line capacity. Attach your hook and baits at the end of the line. Remember, bait-casting is a little bit tricky, and it requires practice to be skilled. So, don’t lose hope if you fail in the first few trials.


People all over the world can get fish by gigging. It is banned in many countries but approved by the rest. Salmon gigging is mainly done on the Pacific coast. There is no need to bring lots of gears. A sharp multi-pronged spear and a small boat are enough for daylight missions. If you choose the nighttime, don’t forget to bring a bright lantern or flashlight to see the salmon. When you see a fish, stab it using your spear. Try to catch all the fish you attacked because injured fish suffer a lot after escaping.

Now that you became familiar with the methods, it’s time to focus on the following fishing tips.

Best Fishing Time

Not all months provide the greatest fishing opportunities. When it comes to salmon, anglers prioritize May to September days due to the high bites possibilities. However, the effectiveness may not be the same for all salmon species. For example, plenty of King Salmon can be found in May. If you want silvers, pick the November days.

Best Time of Day

There are some particular periods of the day where the salmon becomes more likely to bite. It happens during a comfortable water temperature. Contrarily, no matter which baits you are using, you can’t get a single catch due to frigid water. According to the professionals, early morning is the least favorable time. Late morning to early Afternoon seems promising and early evening is the best during summer, fall, and spring hours.

Best Places to Find

An angler should know the habitats of his prey. Just  like the other spices, salmons like to live close to their foods, such as capelin, sand lance, polychaete worms, and so on. In spring, they typically rest in underwater covers, upstream depressions, and obstructions.

Best Places to Find Salmon Fish
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Overhanging trees make a shady place that salmon like to stay before migration. If you notice any water turbulence in these spots, you may get a big fish there. Salmon also chill in well-oxygenated water. Therefore, don’t miss places with oxygen-generating plants. Try to take the help of an experienced guide, who can help you to locate the fish.

Best Salmon Fishing Baits

Salmon eggs and sand shrimp can be the ideal bait for chinook species. They love fishing jigs, spinners, plugs, spoons, plastic baits, surface fishing lures, worms, blade lures too. Some anglers are now shifting to cut baits. It is nothing but a fish’s strip. Lure color plays an important role in catching the salmon’s eye. Most bright-colored items except the red are perfect for shallow water fishing. They can spot the lure with ease. Deepwater fishing can be a success with blue, magenta, green shades.

Best Gear Arrangements

It actually depends on the fishing technique, destination, and seasonal change. Generally, 8.5 to 11 ft. long are for float fishing. Longer rods may not be appropriate for anything else except float fishing or bottom bouncing. Use sharp hooks to go through salmon’s tough jawline. Circular-shaped hooks do not let the fish flee. If you are more into deep water sessions, use red lines. The color looks transparent under deep water, thus best for fishing.

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