If you’re looking to catch more salmon during your next fishing trip, you’ll need to go in with a plan. Here are some easy and effective salmon fishing tips to help you have a successful outing the next time you hit the water.
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website.
Learn more about our Amazon affiliate program
How to Catch Salmon
Try out each of these methods to enhance your salmon fishing experience.
Get the Right Gear
Choose your gear wisely before you even start thinking of how to catch chinook salmon. Salmon is a big fish, so you’ll need to use larger bait than for smaller species.
You also want to go with a lighter line – you need enough strength to fight and land a salmon, but not so much that it will break or tangle when fighting such a heavy fish. Finally, you’ll need a good fishing reel. It should be easy to cast with in both left-handed and right-handed configurations.
Ideally, it will also have an anti-reverse function; if your line gets tangled while casting, then an anti-reverse reel may help avoid backing off too far by accident.
Have Sharp Hooks
If you want to keep your salmon fishing tips easy, then start with sharp hooks. With a good hook, your fish will be hooked with ease while making sure that they can catch more bait.
Then, when you pull them in, it will also be easier to get them off of your line. When hooks are dull, however, salmon tend to swim right off. So, don’t forget to check on those sharpening sessions.
Know the Best Time to Fish for Salmon
When you want to know how to catch king salmon, it will be crucial to understand the best time to go fishing. The best time to fish for salmon is in the early morning or late evening when salmon are either resting along streams or actively chasing after baitfish.
Since most people aren’t a fan of waking up super early, fishing during these times will make it easier to catch your limit before sunrise.
We would also suggest fishing later in the afternoon when there’s less wind because you won’t have to worry about fishing with your hands instead of a rod.
Find the Best Spots for Salmon
One of the most important salmon fishing tips is locating the best spots for catching the fish. A good place to start is by thinking about where you’ve had success catching salmon in past years.
There’s no sense in fishing somewhere you don’t think will yield results. Look at a topographical map of your river, paying attention to areas that would make for good spawning grounds, deep pools, shallow pools with gravel bottoms, rapids, and other structures.
The major goal here isn’t only finding an ideal spot but also one that gives you easy access, so consider building a camp on a piece of property near your favorite fishing hole.
During salmon season, there are plenty of fishing spots that are extremely crowded. The success rate at these fishing spots goes down as more fishermen arrive on the scene.
You can avoid crowds by going early in the morning or later in the afternoon during peak hours. In addition, try changing up your location every time if possible. It might feel a little tedious, but it’s worth it!
Safety is another factor that we cannot afford to ignore in our list of salmon fishing tips. If you’re heading out to fish on an inflatable pontoon boat, don’t forget a life jacket or even your fishing jacket!
If you’re going out in smaller watercraft, it should be obvious, but it’s not uncommon for anglers to fall overboard.
If you aren’t wearing a personal flotation device, like a life jacket or an inflatable PFD vest, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your fishing license for at least three years. So be safe when on boats or smaller watercraft such as good kayaks; that means remembering your personal flotation device!
Where Do You Store Your Catches?
When you’re fishing for salmon, you’ll have to decide where to keep your catch before bringing it home. Many fishers choose to store their fish in a chest freezer; others prefer to keep them in a live well on board their boat.
Whichever method you choose, make sure that it’s properly ventilated, has plenty of ice or aeration, and is big enough for your fish.
If possible, avoid storing your catches onshore since they can easily be attacked by bears or other animals looking for food. Don’t leave your catch out if rain is forecasted as even well-sealed storage containers will likely get damaged by water.
How Do You Stop Them from Escaping?
One of many challenging things about fly fishing is actually catching a fish. No matter how good you are, salmon will always escape your line when you don’t want them to.
When they leap out of the water, they get such a long jump that it can be very difficult to get enough line tension so that they don’t disappear back into their hole. But there’s one way to make sure you give yourself every chance: cast as close as possible.
If you land your fly close to where the fish are sitting in shallow water, it makes it impossible for them to turn round once you have hooked them without an enormous fight. That means less stress on both your part and theirs.
What Baits Should I Use?
There are several different types of salmon fishing bait options to choose from, including grubs, spinners, plugs, twisters, and spoons.
The best type of bait for any situation depends on your location, how active your fish are, how long you’re willing to wait for a bite, and what type of salmon fishing technique and rod setup you’ve got.
If you want to catch fish in specific areas where salmon tend to hang out or if you want them to strike as soon as possible once they hit your line, use a longer lure with more weight on it that will help get it down deeper quickly.
If there’s no current or wind blowing in one direction (which can move topwater lures around), use a smaller lure with less weight that is designed specifically for that area. When you want to know how to catch spawning salmon, start by finding the right bait.
We’ve all heard it—fishing for salmon is one of Americans’ favorite pastimes. There are plenty of great reasons to get out on a boat, cast a line, and reel in a fish or two.
It helps you de-stress, improves your connection with nature, teaches you how to be patient and rewards that patience with delicious food.
So, whether you live near a body of water or not, the salmon fishing tips discussed above will significantly enhance your success.
I found it helpful when you mentioned that it is a good idea to pick your gear wisely when you are fishing for salmon. This summer, my brother and I are wanting to go fishing and we are hoping to catch some large salmon. It might be a good idea for us to find a fishing lodge that we can stay at because they will probably have gear that we can rent.