Salmon Bait and Lures
Finding the Best Salmon Bait
Salmon are unique fish. Born in freshwater, salmon eventually move to the ocean to feed and develop before returning to freshwater to spawn. Most salmon spend six months to three years in freshwater as parr and smolt, feeding on insects, plankton and other invertebrates. As mature fish, their diet changes to squid, shrimp, eel and other fish during their one to five years in the ocean. Folklore always held most salmon return to their birthplace to spawn, and modern research shows this is, in fact, true. After spawning, all Pacific salmon die, but some Atlantic salmon survive and will spawn two or three more times in their life.
Sport fisherman target 5 main types of Pacific and each has more than one name. King, or Chinook, salmon is the largest species and is prized for its great flavor. Sockeye salmon is also called red salmon because of the striking color change the fish undergoes when it spawns. Coho or silver salmon has a similar taste to King salmon and spawning males develop a pink color with hooked jaws. Chum salmon is a small fish often called dog salmon after the dog-like appearance of its teeth. The most common and smallest of all salmon is the pink salmon, commonly referred to as the humpback or humpie salmon, owing to the lump on the back of spawning males.
Several Ways to Catch a Salmon
Salmon find their spawning grounds based largely on smell. Any effective salmon bait should be appealing to both the fish’s sense of sight and smell. Wigglers, spinners, jigs, spoons and egg clusters are all commonly used to catch salmon. The UV Salmon Pork Strip offers life-life action and is UV impregnated to remain colorful in deeper water where larger salmon and trout are commonly found. Uncle Josh’s selection of baits, lures and tackle has just what you need to hook a huge salmon.
In keeping with the large variety of salmon and their interesting lifecycle, there are several ways to catch salmon. Catching salmon in freshwater can be accomplished by drifting, plunking, bobbing or trolling. Bobbing and trolling are simple techniques used to catch other fish and work well to catch salmon. When bobbing, be sure to cast into still or slow-moving water and periodically eliminate any belly in the line. Drift fishing works best in streams with faster currents. Cast your line at a about a 45° angle from the shore and let it drift downstream, bouncing along the bottom. When your line has drifted far enough to form a new 45° angle, reel it in and cast again, but a bit further away from shore. Work the river all the way from the close shore to the far bank before moving down stream and repeating. For slower water, plunking is an easy way to catch salmon. Cast into a migration path, holding area, inside curve or somewhere with a weak current or cover for the fish and do not move your bait until you feel a bite. It is best to let a fish hit your line at least three times before setting the hook when plunking.