A Brief Guide How To Catch Salmon from Shore

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Salmon is a popular fish because of its versatile taste and nutritional value. What could be better than eating this very healthy food fresh from the river? Fishers have long taken advantage of migratory habits, and catching this fast and healthy fish is very enjoyable. To be more likely to catch salmon, you need patience, the right equipment, and knowledge of their habits.

Salmon, lake trout are shy and skittish. When alarmed, they move very quickly in the water, and they go a great distance without stopping. Therefore, you have to be more careful when fishing, and it requires skill and perseverance.

The most cautious fishermen have the patience to catch this fish, whose instincts lead them to incredibly ingenious efforts to escape. The salmon’s feeding grounds are fast flows and deep lakes, with gravel and pebble bottoms, where there are outlets to the sea.

The time to fish for them is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The preferred baits are worms, small fish or shrimp, and the fly. If you plan to start or continue fly fishing for salmon this or the next few fishing seasons from shore.

Here are a series of helpful tips that are sure to help you as a practical guide to having a better chance of success in your endeavor. These tips are for using conventional equipment, such as those of the Switch or Spey type. Expert fishermen advise that it has been fishing for decades for the “King” salmon in the waters from which they originate in the planet’s northern hemisphere.

Salmon Fish Habitat, Species and Morphology

Salmon is undoubtedly one of the iconic sports species of our rivers and Atlantic Cantabrian cornice. It is no wonder since its reputation for fierce and fast combativeness, its beauty, and unfortunately. Its scarcity makes it’s fishing a challenge for the most experienced sport fisherman.

May and June are the central months for salmon fishing. They can be tempted to bait, fly, or spoon, the latter modality that gives excellent results. Next, we will address all the keys to fishing as exciting as it is difficult.

Various Color of Salmon Fish

Their color is changeable depending on whether they are at the time of reproduction. Which goes from bluish-green with a silver cover to reddish-brown and green with orange and even reddish specks. The smallest ones stand out for their mottled purple color, also seasoned with some red spots. It has dorsal and anal fins as well as soft rays.

We can know the age of each specimen because they have growth rings. It has a prominent and hooked jaw. This species is very elusive, swimming upstream up to 6.5 km / h and jumping up to four meters. When they are small and still in freshwater, they take crustaceans, aquatic insects, and mollusks. As they move to the sea, their diet changes, obviously, and they take several species of large fish to grow fast and also shrimp and squid.

As a curiosity, knowing that this species is used to easily and quickly check. if the waters are in good condition, as they are compassionate. We can also affirm that it is a fish that has been with us for millennia since. It already served as food for Paleolithic man.

You can read also: How To Spool Fly Reel

Types of Salmon Fish

The typical salmon, or Salmo salar, often confused with the real, is a salmonid family’s fish. Its fusiform body is riddled with small rounded scales, except for some regions of the head. They measure around one and a half meters when they are adults, weighing up to 36 kilograms, while they do not exceed 20 cm when they are considered fingerlings.

A large spool is necessary, with several feet of silk line and hair combined, or a grass line is sometimes used. The rod should be five or more meters long and elastic at the end. The right hook for the worm and live bait can be a Kirby and Limerick pattern. The numbers are from 0 to 4, and the numbers from 0 to 3 in fly fishing. Artificial fly fishing is often very successful when the flies are made of gray feathers and flashy colors. Other highly valued species are silver salmon, sockeye salmon, king salmon, and pink salmon. 

Atlantic Salmon

In the first place, we will talk about the protagonist of our fishing days, the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), and we will see some data about its life cycle. A large fish with a small head, not exceeding one-sixth of the total length, reaches 25 kg of weight. In adult salmon, its back is gray with bluish-green iridescence, silversides, and white belly.

Numerous black spots are scattered throughout its body, which takes on reddish tones in the spawning or breeding season, which occurs in November and December.The female lays her 4,000 to 6,000 eggs in the river. For this, the female digs a furrow between 30-50 cm. deep and several meters long, in a backwater, where it lays the eggs immediately fertilized by the male.

It is calculated that each female lays many eggs proportional to her weight so that one kg corresponds to approximately 1,500 eggs. The eggs are laid in several batches and last between 3 and 15 days. Their eggs are food for many predators, and it is estimated that of 8,000 eggs, 5 or 6 salmon can be obtained in the river. However, in fish farms, between 40 and 60 salmon are obtained.

A large part of the females dies shortly after laying the eggs, being left without strength and being attacked by fungi, as they lose between 40-50% of their initial weight. In the first years of life, the salmon fry remains in the river between one and four. Later they acquire a new form by which it receives the name of pinto and emigrates to the sea, here it spends several years swimming thousands of km.

Fly Salmon

We can also fly salmon fishing; for this, we will use rods with one or two hands of lines 6 to 8 depending on the specific destination. Assorted flies, including imitations of shrimp, all types of tube flies, generally in sizes 10 to 16. They prefer very colorful flies presented at great depth.

In fly fishing for salmon, the correct choice of sample is a decisive factor, but which fly should we use? Without a doubt, color and size are two aspects to consider, but as with any choice of baits, each angler has his preferences. Regarding size, many anglers are guided by the following table that relates the size of the hook/flies with the temperature of the water.

Water temperature º C: 8-9 10-11 12-13-14 15-16 17-18-19 20. It usually happens the other way around than with the spoon so that the salmon can reject a fly that is too large. Good advice is always to use a smaller fly than the one we had initially chosen.

Where to Find The Salmon Fish?

This species’ common range is the Atlantic Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere, approximately from the 41st parallel to beyond the Arctic Circle. It is found in the sea and rivers that flow into its coasts, both on the European and American fronts.

It usually develops its activity in habitats where there is clean and oxygenated water. Also important are areas where there is vegetation that offer protection and shelter. In general, we will look for fishing days on cloudy days, and with the least amount of light possible, sunrises and sunsets being the best times to tempt them. On sunny days, they stay on the bottom, and it isn’t easy to catch any.

It is essential to highlight that salmon and fish fishing does not require excessively long casts. The best positions will be found in the pools that house our resting prey. The sets must be sustained since our target will not always start the first to get our spoon. So patience is essential, depositing our spoon in full view of the prey and trying not to scare it away.

When a salmon is alert, it tends to place itself in the upper layers with its pectoral fins, balancing it in the current. If you get too close and discover you, or feel the vibrations of your movements or your splashing in the water. You will see how it goes to the bottom, showing less apparent moves and increasing its state of alertness and distrust. It will then be practically impossible for that salmon to bite. Salmon are typical of the Atlantic Ocean. They are found both on the east coast of North America and Western Europe.

Where Norwegian salmon is fished, so appreciated by our palates. They are also typical of the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. Although, in the latter two, there are not as many specimens of typical salmon as in the north. Mention that man has successfully introduced this species in countries. Where it would not correspond, such as Argentina, Switzerland, Chile, the Czech Republic, or New Zealand.

You will find salmon in fresh and salty water. This will depend on their age and, therefore, their size. They do so in rivers at birth, although, as they grow, they migrate to live in the sea. They only return to the river, to their place of birth, tracing its course, to procreate, and, often, this is where they die. 

Migration To Sea The Salmon Fish

The pintos begin their migration to the sea in spring when they have reached a minimum size of 12 to 13 centimeters. In the Iberian Peninsula, salmon live one or two years in the river before emigrating, but they can stay up to four and five years or even longer in more northern latitudes.

The juveniles go out to sea mainly in April and May. The changes that the Pintos undergo to adapt to their marine journey are extraordinary. Externally, they change their appearance, become elongated and thinner. Lose part of their dark coloration and acquire a silver livery with bluish hues. Their behavior goes from being very territorial, solitary, and aggressive animals to becoming gregarious individuals grouped in groups or schools to travel to.

Reaching Iceland and Greenland, to return to the river that saw them being born after. One to four years to start the cycle of life again, due to the effort many of them perish and others return to the sea. The marine life phase is the phase of maximum growth for salmon. When they come out of the river, the smolts measure about 15 cm and weigh 40 g. From the source rivers to the fattening areas, his journey through the sea continues to pose many unknowns today.

A 14-cm, 35-gram smolt, tagged and released into the Lérez River, was recaptured in mid-July in North Iceland; After traveling more than 3,000 km, it had doubled in size and weighed almost 200 grams. After the first winter of life in the sea, the growth is already spectacular. Salmon stocked in Cantabria and caught off the west coast of Ireland during their return trip with winter at sea, they measured more than 60 cm, and their weight exceeded 2.5 kg.

Other smolts repopulated in the Bidasoa river, being caught in Ireland with winter, exceeded 65 cm and 3 kg in weight. Upon reaching the Iberian coasts one or two months later, these same salmon weigh a kilogram less. Males are always older than females of the same age. They usually reproduce at 4-6 years; only 4% reproduce for the second time and 1% for the third time.

Salmon Fishing for Beginners

  • More than in any other, in salmon fishing, it is essential to present the fly to the fish without being aware of our presence. Be cautious and on the lookout, not forgetting how easily sounds and vibrations travel through the water.
  • The surprise factor is essential. Separate more space between each cast, the more clear the water is in a long pool of indefinite positions. Or sweep the fly without warning in the exact areas where you think the fish may be found.
  • Take advantage of the first cast. It is always the best. Do not forget that the first passes on a position are decisive and give you the most chances of capture by far. But for this, you have to do things right from the beginning.
  • Use a suitable material, present the fly to the fish conveniently, and stay on your toes from the first moment. Sometimes you only get one shot on the first cast. Please don’t waste it.
  • A step between each set may be reasonable early in the season if the water is drawn in and fishing with recessed lines. In large wells and clear water, it is more effective to take a few broad steps between each cast and sweep. The clearer the water and the more on the surface we fish, the sooner the fly will discover the salmon.
  • If we choose to give a new pass to the same well, we can change the fly model or change the lure’s size.
  • Let the pose rest. Caution is required, and it is advisable to let the pose rest before starting another fly or a new technique. Salmon have a relatively short memory. Wait half an hour if you can between your raids, and the chances of capture will increase again.

10 Practical Tips for How To Catch Salmon From Shore

1.Perpendicular throws slightly inclined downwards

   You certainly need to properly “read” the water you are fishing in and adjust your cast accordingly. Still, in general, if you are fishing at the edge of the veil, at the edge of the current channel, the most effective presentation is that launch towards the other shore, approximately 20 degrees downwards perpendicular to the current.”Mend” big and wide. 

2.”Mend” loose, with enough line

If you throw the entire line you have, and at the same time perform a large “mend”. You will necessarily have to collect the fly to the rear of its position to perform. Such a corrective maneuver to achieve the best and most beautiful possible launch (right?).

Big mistake, you must load the line only until you hold the “running line” for. When you launch, then perform the fly posture leaving enough. “Running line” to allow you to make a “mend” broad enough to properly position the line and fly. Always avoiding picking up the fly to the rear of the angler’s position.

3.Keep the line straight

The Chinook prefers a long, slow-stroked fly presentation that allows for a smooth and stable fly swim. In most waters, this is accomplished by keeping the line as straight as possible. Don’t worry about perfection; make a few “mends” or corrections to hold the line straight, and then let the fly swim smoothly and steadily.

4.Don’t “nail” ahead of time

The Chinook’s “classic” bite is as follows: Yank… yank… pause… take long. It would advise, if you waited for the long and deep take to nail the hook, not before when you feel a few light touches. We are not always sure what is going on underwater during the shot.

We can only guess – but what is known is that you should wait for the long and deep shot. Of course, if the line suddenly starts to come out quickly, loudly ringing your reel, you don’t have to wait long or do anything. The salmon this time nailed without doing anything.

5.Nail slow, challenging, and towards the shore

Due to the weight of the Chinook, the curvature of the rod tip is not a sign that the job is done. After the long catch, you must drive quickly, progressively lift the rod and advance downstream, towards the shore. Always holding and aided by the thickest part of your rod. If your knots are properly tied, they will not cut when you nail hard.

 6.Don’t try to stop it

 Don’t try to stop the Chinook, particularly during the first two runs; let him run. If the salmon is heading downstream and its handle or grip is low and impossible to lift to stop its run. This is just the moment when you risk cutting the fly. Unless your reel is almost out of reserve line by now, and you have no choice, let it run and work hard to get the line back once it’s stopped. For the rest, this is the most fun part of this type of fishing.

7.Press your salmon

Once you have correctly nailed the Chinook, and after the first few runs or runs, fight it hard. This is a giant, powerful fish, and if you don’t work and push hard, the salmon will rest in the stream. The longer the hard fight, the longer the hook will work in the salmon’s mouth to free itself. Also, it will cause the salmon to be dangerously exhausted.

For this reason, you must fight the salmon with force to defeat it as soon as possible. You will surely also be exhausted after releasing a warm or “sweaty” Chinook salmon. Which shows its exhaustion through a noticeable color change (towards beige) and an excess of body mucosa due to anoxia and exhaustion. (warming up) of his muscles due to intense combat. Therefore, they should be used for at least 15 to 20 minutes to recover their silver color before releasing it.

 8.Walk backward, inland shore, releasing

When the fight is about to end, and the salmon is close to shore. The easiest way to strand it is to keep the line taut and the rod curved, strolling out shore, toward land.

Until the Chinook is in really shallow water, where it is finally beached and at hand to be picked up and handled. If you are in a place where you cannot walk backward (dense forest or rock cliff). You will have to be very creative, lifting the pole just like you would a trout.

9.No delicate line correction is needed for Chinook fishing

A significant correction or “mend” should be done as soon as the line and the fly touch the water in the “upstream” stage. This results in the best fly presentation for Chinook. When making a large “mend,” the rod’s full extension must be used, moving the entire wing of the line.

10.Observe and learn to read the water

Interpret the medium with which we interact. Watch it, soak up it, learn about the fish, and don’t miss out on anything. He manages to bring the casting phase to unconsciousness and the drift phase, and everything else to full consciousness. The fly fishes when it is in the water.

The salmon is fully aware of everything that happens around them. It is in its midst; you are not. Your best asset is surprised and going unnoticed. The first time you see your fly, it will be critical, but don’t overwhelm them if you don’t get it.

Often, we tend to overfish the position when we know there are fish, and sometimes it is just better to sit on the shore for a while, enjoy the environment, relax and let the fish do the same. Your chances of success have slightly increased.

Salmon is a migratory fish whose state of mind is influenced by many variables when it comes to being more inclined to take the fly. Today we have access to many of them in the palm of our hand. Thanks to the internet, we can know the flow rates, water temperatures, turbidity, weather, last catches.

There will always be information that we do not have, of course. But sometimes a coffee, a visit to the nearest fishing shop, hire a guide, or a good talk at the foot of the river with a partner can be the key when drawing up our strategy.