How to Catch a King Salmon

How to Catch a King Salmon
The majestic and powerful king salmon live along the Pacific Ocean and spawn in freshwater. Their sheer size and weight make catching one a thrill and challenge for any fisherman. King salmon can weigh more than 100 pounds and swim nearly 100 feet below the surface. Using properly weighted lures is key, as well as understanding the salmon-spawning period and why they're in freshwater to begin with. Catching saltwater salmon requires different methods than on the river.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

River Fishing

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heavy fishing rod Salmon roe Spinning or vibrating lures Sonar Downrigger Boat
  • Heavy fishing rod
  • Salmon roe
  • Spinning or vibrating lures
  • Sonar
  • Downrigger
  • Boat
Step 1
The peak of the salmon run in Alaska's rivers is from early June to the end of July. You also can find king salmon along the Pacific Ocean.
Step 2
Use a heavy-angler fishing pole specifically designed for catching large fish. King salmon are heavy and without a proper pole, you'll lose a catch before getting it on the boat.
Step 3
Find flashing or vibrating lures and combine with salmon roe. Spawning salmon only venture into freshwater to breed and don't actually bite. Fishermen have different ideas on why king salmon go after bait at all. One theory is they put the lure and eggs in their mouths to move it. Another is they're acting aggressively because they are spawning. Whatever the reason, the lures should incorporate salmon eggs.
Step 4
Keep your line in the current and just off the bottom of the riverbed. Start with a slow current to ensure visibility. A downrigger can help sink your line to appropriate depths to find king salmon.

Ocean Fishing

Step 1
Use a sonar-fish locator to fish in the ocean. Stop your boat and drop in weight lines with glowing lures and salmon roe or herring.
Step 2
Position your boat over a school of salmon and drop weighted lines and bait in the water.
Step 3
Troll for salmon by allowing your lines to slowly troll behind your boat. Keep your lines weighted to avoid getting tangled.

Tips & Warnings

 
An experienced king salmon fishing guide can show you the best locations and techniques for a catch.
 
Check local ordinances regarding bait. Salmon eggs are illegal on some rivers. Contact a local Department of Fish and Game for a list of fees and regulations.
 
Check local ordinances regarding bait. Salmon eggs are illegal on some rivers.
 
Contact a local Department of Fish and Game for a list of fees and regulations.

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