Salmon Fishing Tips

This page was designed to educate fishermen on salmon and salmon fishing. We provide information and tips that are useful to both notice and veteran fishermen. You’ll be able to start off by learning more about salmon, followed by some of the best salmon fishing tips available. We also provide you with world salmon fishing records and additional resources for you to continue your education on salmon fish. Our goal is to make you better at fishing for salmon and we hope that by the time you finish reading this article you will be on your way to achieving that goal.


About Salmon (Salmo and Oncorhynchus)

Salmon FishingSalmon is a name used for several common fish species of the Salmonidae family. They shouldn’t be confused with trout, which are also members of the Salmonidae family. Salmon can thrive in both freshwater and saltwater. Salmon are anadromous, they hatch from their eggs in freshwater, travel to the ocean as they grow and later return to freshwater in order to spawn. When they return to freshwater to spawn they actually travel back to the exact spot where they hatched from their eggs. They can be found on the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and within the Great Lakes of North America. Salmon are also a big part of the aquaculture industry for farm raised finfish.

Different Types of SalmonThere are two genus for salmon, salmo and oncorhynchus. In the salmo genus there is one species called the Atlantic salmon (salmo salar). In the oncorhynchus genus there is six species, which are called Chinook salmon (oncorhynchus tshawytscha), chum salmon (oncorhynchus keta), coho salmon (oncorhynchus kisutch), pink salmon (oncorhynchus gorbuscha), sockeye salmon (oncorhynchus nerka) and masu salmon (oncorhynchus masou). Salmon are one of the most popular game fish in the world, in additional to being one of the most common fish consumed by humans. Due to the popularity of this fish in North America, some states have salmon stocking programs. These programs are especially prevalent in the Great Lakes.

Salmon Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Okay, if you read the above you should have some basic scientific knowledge of salmon, but let’s face it you came here to learn to catch salmon. Here we’ve put together a set of tips that will help both novice and veteran fishermen.

  • Sharpen Those Hooks – Salmon have a thick jaw that can make setting a hook more difficult. You’ll want to make sure that your hooks are razor sharp when fishing for salmon. We recommend using the Lazor Sharp brand.
  • Overcast for Success – Salmon prefer low lighting conditions, thus making overcast days better than others. In addition to overcast days, dawn and dusk provide optimal light conditions for salmon. You can still catch salmon on bright sunny days but they will be in deeper water and slightly less active.
  • The Best Bait for Salmon – It’s a known fact that one of the best methods for catching salmon with live bait is to use roe (eggs). You can purchase this type of bait or actually harvest and cure your own roe. For artificial lures, we recommend using spinners such as the Mepps Aglia.
  • Learn to Drift Fish – One of the most up and coming methods for fishing for salmon is drift fishing. This is useful for river fishing for salmon, you basically cast your bait upstream and let it drift down over a pool or area where you think salmon are. This produces a more natural bait presentation to salmon.
  • Get the Stamp – To catch and keep salmon in the U.S. you’ll likely need a special stamp or permit along with your fishing license. It’s important to have this to prevent you from getting a large fine. It’s also important because the cost of the stamp/permit is used to fund salmon stocking and conservation programs.

Worldwide Records for Salmon Fishing

Did you catch a monster salmon the other day? Did you think it might be a record catch? With the below information you’ll now know if you’ve broken the IGFA (International Game and Fish Association) all-tackle worldwide record for salmon fishing. It is possible to not break the below records but still break a local state record. You never know, maybe the information you’ll learn in this section will get your name in the list below. Do you think you have what it takes to become a record holder?

Walleye World RecordHendrik Henriksen caught a atlantic salmon (salmo salar) in the Tana River in Norway on January 1st, 1928 that weighed 35.89 kg (79 lbs. 2 oz.)

Walleye World RecordLes Anderson caught a Chinook salmon (oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Kenai River in Alaska, USA on May 17th, 1985 that weighed 44.11 kg (97 lbs. 4 oz.)

Walleye World RecordTodd Johansson caught a chum salmon (oncorhynchus keta) in Edye Pass, BC in Canada on July 11th, 1995 that weighed 15.87 kg (35 lbs. 0 oz.)

Walleye World RecordJerry Lifton caught a coho salmon (oncorhynchus kisutch) in the Salmon River in New York, USA on September 27th, 1989 that weighed 15.08 (33 lbs. 4 oz.)

Walleye World RecordAlexander Minerich caught a pink salmon (oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in Washington, USA on September 30th, 2001 that weighed 6.74 kg (14 lbs. 13 oz.)

Walleye World RecordStan Roach caught a sockeye salmon (oncorhynchus nerka) in the Kenai River, Alaska USA on August 9th, 1987 that weighed 6.88 (15 lbs. 3 oz.)


Additional Resources on Salmon Fishing

Hopefully our goal to make you a better salmon fisherman was achieved with the information you gained from this article. However, you may still want or need to research other sources to improve your fishing skills. That’s why we put together the below resources— they provide additional information on fishing for salmon and they may also help improve your angling skills.