The largest species of Pacific salmon. Small individuals can be confused with coho salmon, but in Chinook salmon black gums on the lower jaw and spots cover the entire caudal fin.

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Chinook Salmon Fishing

Overview of chinook salmon

The size of the fish can reach 180 cm and weight over 60 kg. American angler call fish “royal salmon.” Very strong and fast fish. Even small individuals strongly resist. There is a dwarf form: males ripen in the river, and participate in spawning in the second year of life, without going out to sea for feeding.

Reproduction habit of chinook salmon

Fish begins to enter rivers in May. Spawns in June-August. In North America, it can spawn in the fall. In the sea, fish walks from 4 to 7 years. As already mentioned, there is a dwarf form of males participating in spawning in the second year of life, which does not go to sea. After spawning, the fish dies. The fish is not afraid of a strong current and pulls out nests right in the pebble bottom, in the middle of a water stream. Juveniles can slide into the sea only in the second year of life.

Chinook salmon fishing techniques

Fish is considered one of the most interesting trophies of the Pacific coast. Due to its size and tenacity, Chinook salmon is a worthy competitor for fly fishing and spinning.

Spinning for chinook salmon

The choice of gear for catching chinook salmon should be taken seriously. When fishing, the fish has maximum resistance. Some anglers are of the opinion that spinning rods should be of a “marine class”. The main requirements for the rod should be allocated sufficient power, but the system is recommended medium-fast or closer to parabolic. This is due to the fact that fish, especially in the first stage of survival, make sharp jerks, and this often leads to loss of gear.


For fishing chinook salmon, tackle equipped with both multiplier and inertialess reels is suitable. The main thing is that they are reliable and can accommodate a large amount of fishing line. The cord or fishing line should be strong enough, not only because of the struggle with a serious opponent, but also the fishing conditions. Where Chinook salmon enter, have a rather complicated terrain with stones and snags, which complicates fishing.

As when catching other salmon, you need to carefully approach the choice of accessories, there can be no compromise when choosing. During fishing, you must have a stock of lures, clockwork rings and other things. You should not save on trifles when catching such a coveted and powerful opponent.

Fly Fishing for chinook salmon

The choice of gear for catching chinook salmon is quite similar to other species of Pacific salmon. But it is worth considering that this is the largest species of salmon in this region. Fly fishing for large chinook salmon is considered not easy. This is due to salmon habitat in rivers with high, often changing water levels and fishing conditions.
For fly fishing, this creates additional incentives in the desire to catch this fish. Lures for catching chinook salmon, as for other Pacific salmon, are used quite large. Do not forget about the frequent changes in the transparency of water and the “cluttered” bottom in rivers where chinook spawns.


When choosing gear you should keep in mind the specific fishing conditions, but knowing all the above circumstances, it is better to use longer rods of high classes. Especially when fishing on large rivers, it is better to use two-handed gear with cords or heads, such as “Skagit” or “Scandi”. The reel should be voluminous, with a lot of backing and a good braking system, in case of forced survival, in difficult conditions.

Chinook salmon fishing bait

Experienced anglers indicate that bait of a bright, “annoying” color is suitable for catching chinook salmon. This rule is suitable for both spinning and fly fishing. The spinners can be either oscillating or rotating, medium and large sizes, for fishing in the stream or at great depths. In addition to traditional metal-colored spinners, baits with coatings of bright colors may well come up. Fly fishing workers use baits made on various media. Most often these are various zonkers, intruders, and leech-style baits.

Chinook salmon fishing place

In the Far East, Chinook salmon is found from the coast of Japan to Anadyr. You can catch Chinook salmon on the Commander Islands. In the river you need to look for fish in different places. Chinook salmon is found both in rapids and in pits. It is especially worth paying attention to places near islands, thickets of grass or in various depressions of the bottom topography.

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