Salmon Fishing Guide

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/26/2006 | Fishing and Boating

If you're fishing for salmon on the banks of a coastal river, then the best time is the time of the year when the salmon re-enter the estuaries in a bid to swim up-river and spawn their eggs. Hordes of mature, fat, reddish-pink salmon will be found crowding the streams in a thick current moving against the flow of the water.

There are basically three techniques of catching salmon in this kind of situation plunking, flipping and casting. In plunking, you use seasoned salmon eggs for bait on the bottom and do still fishing. You can either use a spin-n-glo at the end of the leader, or you can put the eggs on the hook, or you can use both in conjunction. The hook size will, of course, vary with the expected size of the target catch. Experience says that the best colors for the spin-n-glo are orange and a yellowish-green.

When plunking for salmon, it's best not to cast too long. Salmon tend to swim near the banks, so a cast of thirty feet or more for a normal-width flow of water is probably too long. Keep it between twelve and twenty feet for the best results. Locate a fast moving section of the stream and move upstream from it until you reach a slower, more placid section. These are the best places for salmon.

Plunking is a relaxing way to fish, since you aren't required to flip or cast continuously. It becomes even more relaxing if you set a rod holder firmly into the river bank, and fix the rod into it. A warning bell attached to the tip of the rod further increases the relaxation factor!

In casting, you use your choice of spoons, lures, spinners, roe or plugs and cast out to the desired length. Then you slowly reel it back till you can feel a bite. In this method, the bite is usually felt hard enough to make it unnecessary to use any further warning system in the shape of bells or whistles. Use a rod of about nine feet or more for the best results. Rod, line and reel should be chosen to be somewhat stronger than in plunking, because casting involves more wear and tear to your equipment.

For those who are not averse to a bit more activity with the promise of better yields, flipping may prove to be more productive. You normally use a lure enhanced with red, pink, orange or greenish-yellow attractors. Flipping is done is faster streams than you'd use for plunking or casting.

You cast the line upstream at a forty-five degree angle to your position, and let the lure bounce its way down the flow of the water. You don't use the reel at all in this kind of fishing, but the line must never lose its tension. To do this, you need to sweep your do slowly in an arc along the downstream path of the bait. It's important to keep the line down to the lure as straight as possible. When the lure completes its journey along the arc, pull it out with a little jerky movement towards the bank. This will ensure that any salmon interested in your lure does get hooked before you finally pull the line in.

The key to this type of high-yield fishing is the constant tension that you keep on the line. Keep pulling the lure in towards the bank by slight degrees to achieve this. You should have a few buckets full by dinnertime.