BlogFebruary 2019

A Few Salmon Fishing Tips for Beginners

A Few Salmon Fishing Tips for Beginners

By Andy Whitcomb

Feb 19, 2019

It may take a few tries to catch your first salmon. Here are some tips for landing this famous fish.

Salmon are one of the most famous fish species. Noted for amazing runs from oceans or, if stocked, lakes to spawn up streams and amazing runs once hooked.  Also, they are famous for being found on menus everywhere. Among the first salmon fishing tips for beginners is identification. There are several species of salmon such as coho, chinook, atlantic, and sockeye in the U.S.

Fly fishing is popular but not necessarily a recommended technique as far as salmon fishing for beginners. However if you wish to pursue this technique, heavier-weighted, long, shock-absorbing fly rods are the norm.  In general, flies are often brighter and larger than for trout. Egg patterns also are successful.

Frankly, one of the best salmon fishing tips for beginners is to employ the services of a guide, at least to get you started. Not only can they put you on fish, but they’ll have the right equipment and presentation knowledge. Sometimes this is accomplished in waders on a stream.  Heavy, long spinning rods and at least 12 pound line are used for casting spoons, plugs, and spinners.

In the ocean or lakes where salmon have been stocked such as the Great Lakes, trolling from a boat and listening to the crew will be a good source of beginner fishing tips. Here, downriggers may be utilized to reach deeper fish with lures such as large spoons, often incorporated with attraction getting “flashers.

As with most large, strong fish, once hooked, an important part of how to catch fish is to listen to your drag. It should be set light enough to let the fish tire on its long runs, but strong enough to turn if needed.  Check the drag constantly because if it get bumped too tight, these fish will snap your line.

Another great source of information about salmon fishing for beginners can be the state fishing regulations, available when purchasing a new fishing license. Right there with keep size and quantity limits will be the best times, locations, and even lures for the area.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.