12 C
Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Best Salmon Lures: Reel in a Catch

Welcome, fellow anglers! If you’re seeking the ultimate thrill in freshwater fishing, look no further than unlocking the secret of catching the best salmon using top lures.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with an in-depth understanding of salmon behavior, reveal tried-and-true techniques for lure fishing, and help you pick out the finest gear to elevate your success on your next adventure.

So tighten your lines and grab a comfortable seat as we embark on this exciting journey toward reeling in some magnificent catches together.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding salmon behavior and feeding patterns is crucial in choosing the right lure for catching them.
  • Best salmon lures include spinners, jigs, plugs, and flies – each with specific techniques and considerations to increase chances of success.
  • Versatile and effective lures recommended by professional guides include the Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoon, Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Glow, Pro-Troll ProChip Flasher, Hotspot Flasher, Acme Kastmaster Lure and Rapala Salmon Lures.
  • Using a combination of lures can help increase your chances of landing trophy-sized salmon while fishing off-grid living environments.

Understanding Salmon And Their Behavior

Salmon are fascinating creatures with an intricate life cycle and specific habitat preferences, making them challenging but exciting targets for fishermen.

Life Cycle And Habitat Of Salmon

Salmon, a highly sought-after game fish, have a fascinating life cycle that takes them through various habitats during their lifespan. Beginning as eggs incubated in freshwater streams and rivers, they hatch into small fry who spend their early days hiding from predators amidst rocks and vegetation.

As they grow into juveniles, or smolts, salmon undergo physiological changes to prepare for the transition to saltwater living.

Along their migration path to complete this stage of their life cycle, salmon face numerous challenges including fluctuating temperatures and water conditions. Once reaching their oceanic feeding grounds teeming with food sources such as small baitfish and crustaceans, salmon will spend several years maturing before embarking on an epic homeward journey back to where it all began – their original spawning grounds.

Feeding Patterns Of Salmon

Understanding the feeding patterns of salmon is crucial in choosing the right lures to use when fishing. Salmon are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat almost anything that comes into their path, whether it’s insects, small crustaceans or fish.

During their early stages as fry or smolt, salmon feed on zooplankton and aquatic insects. As they grow bigger and transition to saltwater environments, they switch to a diet of larger prey like herring and other small fish.

When returning to freshwater for spawning, adult salmon often stop feeding entirely but will still strike at lures out of aggression or territorial behavior.

Types Of Lures For Catching Salmon

Discover the top lures used by professional guides to catch salmon, including spinners, jigs, plugs, flies, and more! Read on to learn which ones are best for matching the hatch and attracting fish in different water depths and temperatures.


Spinners are a popular choice for catching salmon because they mimic the movement of prey fish. They consist of a spinning blade, a weighted body, and a hook. The blade spins as it moves through the water, creating vibration and flash that attract salmon.

When choosing spinners, consider the size of your baitfish, water depth and temperature, and the color contrast between your spinner and surrounding environment. Spinners work great when trolling at varying speeds or casting upstream into moving water.


Jigs are another popular type of lure that many fishermen use when trying to catch salmon. A jig, which is a hook with a weighted head, mimics the movement of baitfish in the water and can be very effective in attracting salmon’s attention.

Depending on the current and depth of the water, jigs can either be cast or drifted along with the tide. Some good options for jigs include the Herring Jig and Squid Jig, both of which come in various sizes and colors to cater to different types of fish.


Plugs are another effective type of lure for catching salmon. They come in various shapes and sizes, such as the classic wobbler or the more modern jointed plug. One example is the Rapala Original Floater, which imitates a wounded baitfish with its erratic swimming action.

Plugs work well when fishing in deeper waters or swift currents, where they can dive down to reach the fish. It’s important to choose a plug that matches the size and color of the local baitfish, and to adjust its depth accordingly using a downrigger or lead core line.


Flies are another type of lure that can be used for catching salmon. They mimic natural insects that the fish may feed on, and they can be particularly effective in fly fishing techniques.

Flies come in various shapes and sizes, such as dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. A popular technique is to cast a fly upstream and let it float naturally downstream towards the salmon.

It’s important to match the hatch with your choice of fly by observing what insects are present in the area at that time.

Professional guides often recommend using a combination of lures when fishing for salmon to increase your chances of success. However, understanding the behavior of salmon is just as important as having quality gear.

Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoon

The Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoon is a highly effective lure for catching salmon, especially in freshwater rivers and streams. Its unique design creates both flash and vibration as it moves through the water, which can attract nearby fish even from a distance.

What sets the Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoon apart from other lures is its versatility. It comes in a range of sizes and colors, allowing anglers to match the hatch or experiment with contrasting hues to trigger strikes.

Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Glow

The Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Glow is a top pick for salmon fishing enthusiasts. This lure has been designed specifically to catch the attention of fish with its flashing and vibrating action, making it effective even in murky waters.

The added glow-in-the-dark feature allows for visibility at night or early morning fishing trips, making it an excellent option for off-grid living where electricity is not readily available.

Anglers have reported success using this lure for both fresh and saltwater fishing, which makes it versatile enough to take on any fishing trip.

Pro-Troll ProChip Flasher

The Pro-Troll ProChip Flasher is a popular salmon fishing lure amongst professional guides. This unique flasher has a rotating triangle that creates erratic movement in the water, mimicking the natural behavior of baitfish and attracting salmon.

One great thing about this flasher is its versatility – it can be used with any kind of bait, troll or cast, and is effective in both saltwater and freshwater environments.

Plus, using a Pro-Troll device can increase your chances of catching bigger fish as well, due to their patented EChips which emit an electrical pulse that mimics the nerve discharge of live baitfish.

Hotspot Flasher

The Hotspot Flasher is a popular fishing tackle used by anglers to catch salmon. It’s designed to attract fish from afar and increase the chances of a successful catch. This flasher features patented “Double Deep Cup” technology that creates a massive amount of vibration in the water, which triggers the predatory instincts of salmon.

As it spins through the water, its bright colors draw attention and mimic small baitfish, making it hard for salmon to resist.

For off grid living enthusiasts who enjoy fresh seafood, adding a Hotspot Flasher to their collection will improve their chances of catching more salmon while enjoying their time on the river or lake.

The flashers come in different sizes, shapes, and colors suited for various fishing conditions such as cloudy days or murky waters.

Acme Kastmaster

Acme Kastmaster is a versatile and durable fishing lure that can be used for catching various types of fish, including salmon. It features a unique design with a spoon-shaped body that produces an erratic action and vibration in the water.

The reflective surface of this lure also attracts fish by imitating the flash of baitfish scales.

One exciting feature about these lures is their ability to catch multiple species of fish, not just limited to salmon alone. They can be effective when used for casting or trolling in both freshwater and saltwater conditions.

Rapala Salmon Lures

One of the most popular lures for catching salmon is the Rapala Salmon Lure. These lures come in a variety of sizes and colors, making them a versatile choice for any fishing situation.

Professional guides often use these lures when fishing in rivers because they are highly effective at attracting salmon. The lure mimics the look and movement of a real fish, which triggers an instinctual response from hungry salmon.

When using a Rapala Salmon Lure, it’s important to vary your retrieve speed and keep an eye on your line tension to ensure that you don’t lose your catch.

Tips For Choosing The Best Lures

Best salmon lures

Consider the water depth and temperature when choosing your lure, as well as matching the hatch and using contrasting colors to attract salmon.

Matching The Hatch

Matching the hatch is a technique used by fishermen to mimic the natural prey of salmon that they are targeting. Since salmon feed on different types of insects and baitfish, it’s crucial to choose a lure that looks like what they’re currently feeding on.

For example, if you notice salmon eating small green flies near the surface of the water, you may want to use a green fly lure. Or if you see them hitting small herring or smelt in deeper waters, consider using a silver jig or plug with similar features and colors.

The best way to determine what type of baitfish or insects salmon are feeding on is by keeping an eye out for any activity happening in or around their habitat.

Considering Water Depth And Temperature

Water depth and temperature are important factors to consider when choosing the best lure for salmon fishing. Salmon tend to swim at different depths during feeding times, so it’s crucial to choose a lure that matches their swimming level.

For example, if you’re fishing in shallow water, using a surface or shallow-running lure like a spinner or plug can be effective.

Temperature also plays an essential role in salmon fishing as it affects their metabolism and behavior. During warmer months, salmon tend to move closer to the surface of the water while colder temperatures force them deeper into the water column.

As such, it’s vital to use lures that correspond with both temperature and depth changes. Additionally, changing up your color scheme can also attract more bites from curious salmon looking for prey.

Using Contrasting Colors

Choosing the right color for your lure is crucial when it comes to catching salmon. One effective technique is using contrasting colors, such as a bright green and red combination or blue and orange.

These colors create a visual contrast that can attract the attention of hungry salmon even in murky waters. It’s also important to consider the environment you’re fishing in, and choose colors that mimic the natural prey of salmon in that particular habitat.

Using contrasting colors is just one aspect to consider when selecting lures for catching salmon. Along with size, shape, and movement patterns, color choice can make all the difference in whether or not you bring home dinner from your fishing trip.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations until you find what works best for your specific location and conditions.

Size Matters

When it comes to choosing the best lure for catching salmon, size matters. The size of the lure you use can make all the difference in attracting and hooking a big fish.

Another important factor to consider is matching your lure size with the baitfish present in the area where you plan to fish. For example, if there are small baitfish like smelts or herring around, using a smaller lure that matches their size and color can increase your chances of catching a salmon.

It’s also essential to note that larger lures may require heavier equipment including rods and reels, lines, and leader materials which must be able to withstand a catch from a strong salmon without breaking or snapping off.

Techniques For Using Lures To Catch Salmon

Learn the tried and true techniques for using lures to catch salmon, including casting, trolling, drift fishing, and using scent and attractants.


Casting is one of the most popular and effective techniques for catching salmon with lures. It involves throwing the lure out into the water using a fishing rod, allowing it to sink to the desired depth, then reeling it back in with a rhythmic motion that mimics a swimming fish.

To make your cast more successful, choose a spot where you know salmon are likely to be hiding, such as behind rocks or near riverbanks.

If you’re new to casting for salmon, start by practicing basic techniques like overhead casts and roll casts before moving on to more advanced methods like double hauling or spey casting.

Remember that different types of lures require different casting techniques – spinners may require longer casts while jigs can be fished closer in – so experiment with different styles until you find what works best for you.


Trolling is a popular fishing technique that involves dragging lures or baited hooks behind a moving boat. It enables anglers to cover more water and reach fish in deeper areas where they can be harder to catch by other means.

When trolling for salmon, it’s important to consider the depth at which you want to present your lure or bait, as well as factors such as water temperature and current speed.

The type of lure you choose will also affect your success rate, with options ranging from flashy spoons and spinners to diving plugs and soft plastic baits. Professional guides often recommend using Hotspot Flashers or Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoons for their effectiveness in attracting salmon bites.

Drift Fishing

Drift fishing is a technique that involves casting your line upstream and allowing it to flow freely downstream with the current. This method of fishing can be incredibly effective for catching salmon, especially in rivers or streams where the water is moving quickly.

One helpful tip for drift fishing is to use lighter gear and smaller lures as this will allow you more control over your line as it moves downstream. Another important factor in successful drift fishing is choosing the right location – look for areas where there are visible obstructions in the water such as rocks or logs, as these can create eddies and pockets of calm water where salmon like to rest before continuing their journey upstream.

Using Scent And Attractants

One effective way to increase your chances of catching salmon with lures is by using scent and attractants. These can come in the form of sprays, gels, or liquids that are applied directly to your lure or added to a bait container.

Scent and attractants mimic the smell and taste of natural prey, enticing salmon to bite.

Professional anglers have reported great success when using these types of products while fishing for salmon. In fact, it’s common knowledge among seasoned fishermen that adding scent or attractant can make all the difference in catching more fish on any given day out on the water.

Other Salmon Fishing Gear

The article will also cover the necessary fishing gear for catching salmon, such as selecting the right rod and reel, choosing the correct line and leader, and using various terminal tackle like baits, hooks, and rigs to increase your chances of success.

Rod And Reel

To effectively catch salmon using lures, the right rod and reel are crucial. A good quality rod should have sensitivity to feel the slightest nibble of a fish, while being sturdy enough to handle the weight of a big catch like king salmon.

When it comes to reels, baitcasting or spinning reels are both popular choices among anglers. Baitcasting reels offer greater accuracy and control for casting heavier lures over long distances, while spinning reels provide ease in handling lighter lines and smaller lures.

It’s important not to overlook the significance of choosing suitable gear when planning your next off grid adventure in pursuit of these prized gamefish!

Line And Leader

Choosing the right line and leader is crucial for successful salmon fishing. The line is your connection to the fish, so it must be strong enough to handle their weight and fight.

Monofilament lines are popular for their invisibility underwater; however, fluorocarbon lines have become increasingly popular due to their abrasion resistance properties which make them ideal for rocky river conditions.

Leaders can add an extra level of camouflage between the lure and the fish, making it harder for salmon to detect any unnaturalness.

When choosing lines and leaders make sure you check local regulations as some bodies of water may require specific types of tackle such as barbless hooks or monofilament-only restrictions.

Remember to change out your line frequently especially if you’re targeting larger species like Chinook Salmon since they will wear down more easily.

Terminal Tackle

Terminal tackle refers to the fishing gear that is attached to the end of your line. This includes items such as swivels, snaps, weights, and hooks. The right terminal tackle can make all the difference when it comes to catching salmon.

For example, using a high-quality ball bearing swivel can help prevent line twists while reeling in a big catch.

When choosing your terminal tackle, it’s important to consider the size and strength of the fish you’re targeting. Salmon are notoriously strong fighters, so using sturdy hooks and leaders is essential for successfully landing them.

Additionally, certain types of lures require specific types of hooks or weights for optimal performance.

Places To Catch Salmon

Salmon can be caught in a variety of locations including rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs, and even saltwater fishing near the coast.

Rivers And Streams

Rivers and streams are some of the best places to catch salmon using top lures. These waterways provide a natural habitat for salmon, making them abundant in certain areas during specific seasons.

Salmon fishing on rivers and streams can be done by wading or from the riverbank, offering an immersive experience for fishing enthusiasts. Some popular rivers for salmon fishing in North America include Alaska’s Kenai River, Washington’s Columbia River, and Oregon’s Rogue River.

When fishing on these rivers and streams with lures, it is important to choose the right size and style of lure that matches the current conditions such as water flow rate and clarity.

Furthermore, anglers should pay attention to any structure in the river or stream where fish might gather – behind boulders or under submerged logs are good examples.

Lakes And Reservoirs

Lakes and reservoirs offer a unique habitat for salmon fishing, providing more expansive areas to explore and catch fish. The deep waters of lakes provide cooler temperatures that salmon are attracted to during warmer months.

Reservoirs can also present an increased challenge due to their size; however, proper techniques and the right lures can increase your chances of success. Some popular spots for lake or reservoir fishing include Lake Tahoe in California, Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, and Lake Chelan in Washington state.

Utilizing tactics like trolling with a downrigger or using topwater plugs can help fishermen find success on these larger bodies of water.

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater fishing is a thrill that many off-grid living enthusiasts enjoy. The ocean presents an entirely different challenge to freshwater fishing due to the unique nature of saltwater fish and their habitats.

When it comes to salmon fishing, for example, trolling with downriggers or using bait such as herring can yield excellent results in saltwater environments. However, when using lures, there are some essential things to keep in mind such as selecting the right lure size and color depending on water depth and temperature.

It’s also critical to use scent attractants like shrimp oil or Berkley Gulp Alive Salt Water Sandworms for added effectiveness.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Fishing With Lures

Avoid common mistakes when using lures for salmon fishing, such as choosing the wrong lure, fishing in the wrong spot, overworking the lure, not paying attention to detail, and lacking patience.

Choosing The Wrong Lure

One of the most common mistakes made by anglers when fishing with lures is choosing the wrong lure for the job. There are many different types of lures to choose from, each designed to target specific species in a particular way.

To avoid choosing the wrong lure, it’s essential to understand your target species’ feeding habits and preferred habitat.

One great tip is always to have an assortment of lures in your tackle box so that you can quickly adapt your bait selection depending on changing conditions or if one type isn’t working.

Fishing In The Wrong Spot

Choosing the right spot to fish is essential for a successful catch, but fishing in the wrong spot can leave you empty handed. A common mistake anglers make is not researching or scouting out potential fishing locations before they go.

Different types of salmon prefer different environments, so it’s important to know where they are most likely to be found based on season and water temperature. For example, Chinook salmon tend to congregate in deeper waters while Coho salmon can be found closer to the surface near estuaries and mouths of rivers.

Overworking The Lure

Overworking the lure is a common mistake that many anglers make when fishing for salmon with lures. It can be tempting to keep casting and reeling in the lure repeatedly, hoping for a bite, but this can actually backfire and scare off the fish.

When using lures, it’s important to give them enough time and space to work their magic. A good rule of thumb is to cast out the lure and let it sink or swim for a few seconds before retrieving it slowly and steadily.

Varying the speed of retrieval can also help attract different types of salmon.

Not Paying Attention To Detail

One of the most common mistakes in salmon fishing is not paying attention to detail. Every little aspect can make a big difference, from the type of lure used to the color and size.

Matching the hatch, which means using lures that imitate what the salmon are feeding on in that particular area, and choosing a contrasting color that stands out against the water are just some examples of how fishermen pay careful attention to detail.

Additionally, anglers need to consider their fishing spot’s depth and temperature when selecting lures and other gear.

Not Being Patient

Patience is an essential aspect of salmon fishing. It’s not uncommon for anglers to wait for hours or even days before catching a single fish. Impatience can lead to frustration, which in turn can cause you to make mistakes that could result in missing your catch altogether.

To combat impatience, you can try switching up your fishing techniques or moving to a different location within the waterway. Another helpful tip is taking breaks in between casts – it allows you to recharge mentally and physically, making it easier for you to maintain focus throughout the day.

The Joy Of Fishing With The Best Salmon Lures

Salmon fishing with top lures can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, landing a big salmon with your favorite lure is sure to bring a sense of satisfaction and joy.

In addition to catching fish, salmon fishing with top lures allows anglers to enjoy nature in all its glory. You’ll get to spend time outdoors surrounded by beautiful scenery while testing your skills against one of the most elusive fish in the world.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that successful salmon fishing requires patience and perseverance. While there are no guarantees when it comes to fishing, using top-quality lures from trusted brands like Acme Kastmaster or Rapala Salmon Lures will certainly increase your odds of success.


In conclusion, fishing for salmon with top lures is an art that requires patience, skill, and the right gear. With the help of this comprehensive guide, however, you’re well on your way to unlocking the secret of catching the best salmon using premium lures like spinners, jigs, plugs and more.

By understanding their behavior and habitat patterns while also knowing what types of lures to use in each situation, you’ll be able to significantly boost your chances of success.


1. What is the best time of year to catch salmon with lures?

Salmon tend to migrate upstream during their spawning season, which typically takes place from summer through fall. Therefore, fishing for salmon using lures can be most successful during these months when they are actively swimming upstream towards their breeding grounds.

2. Which types of lures work best for catching salmon?

There are different types of lures that work well for catching salmon depending on the location and species being targeted. Top options include spoons, spinners, plugs and flies – each designed to mimic a particular type of prey or bait fish commonly found in the water where you’ll be angling. Experimenting with various patterns and color choices can enhance your chances of attracting more bites.

3. How do I determine what depth my lure should be set at?

To determine what depth your lure should be set at while fishing for salmon will depend upon factors such as water temperature-which affects where specific species may concentrate – along with experience & familiarity regarding specific area conditions.Paying attention to details like surface activity or other indicators within environment could also provide clues about optimal placement.

4. Is it possible to catch larger Salmon using lures compared to other conventional methods?

While there is no exact way ensure success when it comes down between comparing techniques-the use of Lure Fishing does offer anglers many advantages over traditional methods because they allow greater flexibility in presentation style along with providing access deeper waters.Taking into account personal preference/experience & technique proficiency-all play roles that impact outcome though several expert fisherman have reported successful results utilizing this approach instead relying solely on bait fishing alone .


Ray F
Ray F
Ray is a nature enthusiast from the northern region of Norway, where he spent his childhood surrounded by the majestic Arctic mountains. His passion for the outdoors has always been evident, and he enjoys spending his time exploring the wilderness and learning about off-grid living.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles