Saltwater Salmon Information
Saltwater Salmon General Information
The king salmon, or chinook, is the largest of the pacific salmon. Their range is from Monterey California to Point Hope Alaska. They are an anadromous species and most pacific coast rivers that provide adequate flows, temperatures and habitat suitable for ascending, spawning, and rearing young sustain king salmon runs. There may be up to three runs per year; spring, summer, and fall.
The average weight for California strains on chinook is around 18-22 pounds with the record fish weighing in at just over 50 pounds. The largest kings come from Alaska where 50 to 60 pound fish are common.
King salmon return to the river of their birth at ages from 2 to 7 years. While out to sea they have been known to migrate across the north Pacific and trips of over 7,000 miles have been recorded. The longest spawning run is the Yukon River, Alaska in which the fish must swim close to 2,000 miles up river. Salmon use a combination of smell, solar navigation, visual clues, and an awareness of length of days, light intensities, and other factors to navigate.
King salmon spawn I beds of course gravel, 1 to 3 inches in diameter. The female digs out a nest, called a redd, with her tail and body. The female then deposits her eggs while the male simultaneously fertilizes them with jets of milt. The eggs then adhere to the bottom of the nest. The eggs are covered with gravel. The female may build more than one redd over several days. Both male and females die within a few days after spawning. The decaying flesh of the dead parents provide food for organism which the fry feed upon after leaving the nest. The fry stay in the nest for 2 to 3 weeks after hatching and may remain in the river system for up to 18 months before heading out to sea.
Trolling with downriggers is usually done by rigging an anchovy 4 to 6 feet behind a flasher, setting the proper depth and moving at 3 to 5 knots. Trolling at depths up to 80 feet can be can be managed, depending on the current, by using a sinker release and a 2 to 3 pound cannonball sinker with a 4' leader rigged with anchovy or sardine. Hootchies and Rotary salmon killers are common devices used in combination with the bait.
Mooching is done with a 2 to 3 foot leader as light a weight as possible to control the line at the desired depth. Usually weights are under one pound. The leader is threaded through the bait, anchovy, sardine, or herring with the hook being set in the head of the bait. A half hitch is tied around the tail of the bait. Best results come from slowly working the bait through the depth range of the salmon. The bait is most often taken during a slow retrieve.
Saltwater Salmon Articles & Reports
Written By: Bill Kremers,
I found out get just how popular fall coastal salmon fishing is the other day when it took me forty-five minutes to launch my boat at Tillamook. After finally getting launched and finding a park space, I headed to famous “Ghost Hole.”...read more ››
Written By: Cal Kellogg,
Salmon, rockfish and lingcod are all providing sport for East Bay saltwater anglers, but over the past few weeks fishing pressure has continued to decline.
Recently an angler trolling along the Marin County coast aboard the New Easy Rider...read more ››
Written By: David Hurley,
Albacore action remains a possibility with Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing planning four trips during the third week of October.
Captain Vince Orsini of the Miss Anita said, “The warm water break is still out around 45...read more ››
Tips & Tactics for Saltwater Salmon
Written By: Cal Kellogg
Just the other day I found myself setting on a deer stand on a ridge high in the Tahoe National Forest. The hunting was great except for...read more ››
Written By: Cal Kellogg
If you take downrigger fishing seriously you should seriously consider making the switch from cable to braid. Braided line will allow you...read more ››
Written By: Headwaters Fishing Team
What I experienced today was akin to courting a girl for months and upon meeting her family - oh my goodness; hot for sister! Big sister...read more ››
Saltwater Salmon Locations
- Am I going to totally miss out on the salmon fishing season??? I don't know if you guys remember but was a California resident but moved to AZ...
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 18:10:19 GMT
- I think we still have a few more days to catch a salmon on the Sac.. Does it close dec 16th?
I would think the pressure is low and some new fish...
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:57:34 GMT
- Good read from Peter Moyle at UC Davis' Watershed Science:
Are Central Valley Steelhead Really Threatened?...
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:48:57 GMT
- so with the Holidays comes a chance for us Fisherman and ladies to get great deals in fishing gear . . Like free shipping and No taxes . I like to...
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 08:36:48 GMT
- So this means by Thursday there will be a slew of fish up top? Am I right?
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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 07:02:43 GMT
Recent Reader's Photo
Species: Saltwater Salmon
My biggest Salmon to date.