Tips for Salmon Fishing

Tips for Salmon FishingFish for salmon in either saltwater or freshwater environments; both venues hold their unique challenges not only because of the varying water conditions, but also because of their roles in the salmon's life cycle. Tips for salmon fishing are plentiful from fishing tour operators who specialize in salmon-fishing trips in Alaska or the Great Lakes region. Canadian and even Russian waters are other locales where salmon fishing has become a great recreational activity. Since some of the species have become landlocked while others are still migrating, salmon is a species of fish that offers plentiful challenges to even the most experienced anglers. (Pictured: Atlantic salmon catch on the Miramichi river, New Brunswick, Canada)


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod (rated at 20 lb.)
  • Saltwater/freshwater tackle
  • Fly-fishing tackle (optional)
  • Lures (plugs or jigs)
  • Bait (salmon eggs, plastic worms and shrimp)
  • Waders (optional)
Step 1
Identify the target salmon species. Catch Atlantic salmon during their annual runs to their streams of initial hatching. This permits fishing for them in either the saltwater of the ocean or the freshwater of the rivers through which they travel. Fish for Pacific salmon only prior to or during the initial phases of their spawning runs; these fish die shortly after spawning, and waiting too long to catch them nets you little more than partially emaciated fish.
Step 2
Match fishing tackle to the target salmon species. Capitalize on salmons' carnivorous feeding habits and use plugs and jigs as lures when fishing in saltwater. They mimic smaller bait fish, and due to their plentiful coloring they are sure to catch the attention of a salmon in murkier waters. Bait, such as plastic worms or even salmon eggs, works better for fish in rivers; cast your bait upstream---as opposed to across the stream---to mimic the natural wriggling motion of a worm or other food item flowing with the stream's natural current.
Step 3
Match your approach to low water conditions. Fishing in shallow waters might sound like it is easy, but remember that the fish not only see you coming, they also notice the sudden drop of bait or a lure. Use the current of the water and introduce a smaller---rather than larger---lure. Subtlety works best in shallow water conditions. If your lures are ignored by the fish, one of the most often-heard tips for salmon fishing is the presentation of a small shrimp as bait. Another option is fly fishing, which has the potential to yield quite nice results in low water levels.
Step 4
Match your approach to high water conditions. Fishing in deep water allows for more options than shallow water fishing. Target the banks of the river, if the water has a strong current. Fish naturally gravitate to these areas of fast-moving waters. Bait your hook with bright-colored, sparkly bait if the waters are rich in sediments. This attracts the salmon to your hook and should net you some bites. Lures are a good idea for deep water without a fast current. Wade into the stream---if it is safe for you to do so---and maximize your potential of catching salmon by fishing either bank or the middle.
Step 5
Bring the right fishing rod. Prepare for the somewhat heavier salmon by using an 8.5-foot rod that allows for casting as well as other methods of fishing. Pick a rod that has a 20-lb. rating and can withstand medium to heavy action.

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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