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How to Bottom Fish

Some fish, like salmon, are often found on or near the bottom, so the best way to catch them is to put your bait down there as well. This is called bottom fishing. Bottom fishing for salmon is particularly popular in rivers.

Bottom Bouncing

The first step in learning how to bottom fish is learning what bottom bouncing is. Bottom bouncing is the act of dragging your bait along the bottom of the waterway. Bucktail jigs, spinners and live bait are among some of the best bait for bottom fishing. The dragging motion causes the lure to bounce along, stirring up small clouds of sand or mud.

After a few strikes with bottom bouncing, you can stop moving if in or near a river or drop anchor if fishing from a drifting or trolling boat. Use the bottom fishing tips listed below to hook the species you’ve attracted. Bottom bouncing is a great way to attract or locate fish during most seasons and times of day. 

  1. Before you start bottom fishing, remember that all bottom fishing rigs need to include a weight or sinker on the line, rigged below your hook to get your bait down to the bottom and keep it there (try using a 3-way rig
  2. If you rig your weight above your bait in strong current the bait will drift back the distance between the two. Once you have dropped your lure or bait, let the bait rest and float along until you get a bite.
  3. Check your bait periodically to ensure its still on your hook.

Once you learn how to fish using this method, you’ll find it one of the most relaxing methods to land fish with a lot of effort. Learn more about how to bottom fish along with other fishing techniques using live bait in our next section.