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Salmon Fishing Tips

Gear & Tackle

Incredibly fast and powerful, salmon are highly prized gamefish. Of the three species, Chinook are king, ranging on an average from 5-25 pounds, although 60+ pound fish have been taken in Alaska. Tackle depends on the area you fish, as well as presentation. For the most part, long (7' to 10') heavy action rods are the rule. Fly gear, levelwind and spinning reels all have their place. Line in the 10# to 30# test performs well.

Lures & Presentation

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0Fly fishing aside, salmon are pursued while wading, bank fishing, downrigging or drifting. Jigs, inline spinners, spoons and bait rigs are most common wading, drifting and bank fishing. J-plugs, flutter spoons and crankbaits are popular downrigger lures. Where you fish, as well as geographic location, which dictates the size of the fish, will largely affect your tackle.

How to Locate

Salmon can be found running upstream in coastal and great lakes tributaries in spring and fall. They will often hold in the shelter of midstream rocks and snags, or on the upstream ends of deep pools on outside river bends. The majority of lake and reservoir fish tend to school up and roam wide areas of deep water, although they do concentrate beneath dams in springtime. Wind blown shelves, shallow in early season and deeper in fall, attract feeding salmon, as do sharp, inside turns in drop off structure.

Courtesy of Berkley

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