Best Techniques



Casting is popular for salmon, however, you may be somewhat limited compared to other species of fish.  For most salmon, your best option to catch them while casting is to do it when they move into the harbors, rivers and streams to spawn.  For most areas, this will be the fall, but in some places, the spawning runs occur in the summer.  You can cast a variety of lures that will work.  Spoons, spinners, crankbaits and soft plastics are the most popular lures for fishing this way.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is one of the most popular ways to target salmon once they enter the rivers to spawn.  There are lot of flies to use, but some of the better flies to use are egg patterns.  The run timing can be different based on the location and the weather.  To learn more, take a look at our rivers page and you will get some great tips for catching salmon during their spawning runs.

Still Fishing

This is probably the most popular way to fish for salmon.  Anglers will stay in one spot and cast spawn sac out in productive looking areas.  You can have the bait sit on the bottom, which is popular in rivers, streams and on the harbors of the Great Lakes.  You cal also let it drift downstream while river fishing to cover more water.  You would still be staying in one spot, but your bait won’t be.  Using spawn sac is the most consistent way to get bit by salmon once they enter the harbors and rivers to spawn.


Trolling is the most popular open water technique for salmon fishing.  From the Great Lakes to some of the other big lakes that have salmon, you will find big boats trolling for salmon from spring through fall.  Most anglers will hire a fishing charter to go salmon fishing, but there are plenty of anglers that troll with their own boats.  Crankbaits, cut plug herring and the dodger and fly are some of the best baits to use while trolling for salmon.