How to Salmon Fish in Canada

How to Salmon Fish in CanadaWhile you can try many ways to catch salmon in Canada, trolling with the use of a downrigger and spoon lure is the most effective method. Read on to learn more about this exciting technique.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Downrigger
  • Trolling rod and reel
  • Trolling spoon
Step 1
Whether you fish for salmon in Vancouver or Toronto, these top line predators are always looking for an easy meal, and trolling a spoon to mimic the action of a wounded baitfish is just the ticket. Start by letting the spoon out 20 to 30 feet behind the boat.
Step 2
Once the spoon is at the proper distance behind the boat, attach the line to the release on the downrigger. Take the line and twist it several times to form a loop in the line. While holding the loop in one hand, open the downrigger release with the other hand and place the loop of line inside.
Step 3
Upon placing the line loop in the downrigger release, make sure the reel is in free spool with the clicker in the "On" position as this will keep the reel from overrunning when the downrigger begins to go down.
Step 4
Lower the downrigger to the desired depth, which can be anywhere from 20 feet to 120 feet depending on water conditions. Salmon prefer to reside and feed in 50-degree water, so it is critical to place your downrigger at a depth where the salmon will see the attached lure.
Step 5
Once the downrigger is set at the proper depth, tighten the drag on the trolling reel and crank up the slack in the line till the rod is doubled over in the rod holder. When a fish strikes the spoon, the line is freed from the release and the rod snaps straight up due to the release in tension. Grab the rod, reel any remaining slack in the line and hang on, as salmon can make line-screaming runs of up to 100 yards.

Tips & Warnings

Adjust the amount of line dragging the spoon behind the boat as this will change the action of the lure. A shorter distance will make the spoon dance wildly, while a farther distance will cause a more subtle action.
Watch your electronic depth finder at all times to make sure you do not drag your downrigger on the bottom, or you can loose valuable tackle to unseen snags.

Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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