King salmon fishing is considered one of the most important outdoor sporting activities throughout the coastal and river areas .
The Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia, Canada and the waterways of Alaska. King salmon fishing attracts hundreds of thousands of anglers every year to these areas, bringing in important income to the area as well as providing money to natural resources and wildlife management and conservation through the sale of fishing licenses.
Keys to King Salmon Fishing
Most anglers would agree that the key to King salmon fishing is to know the habits and behaviors of the fish to be able to fish for the species in the best possible style given the conditions that exist.
King salmon, known by a variety of names including Chinook, Spring, Tyee, Tule and Bluemouth.
As the largest of the salmon species, it is not uncommon for a King salmon to weigh more than 35 pounds.
The largest King salmon ever recorded was caught in 1949 in a fish trap just outside of Peterson, Alaska. This King weighed 126 pounds, and still has the record today.
The largest King salmon ever caught using a rod and reel was also caught in Alaska, in the Kenai River and weighed just over 97 pounds.
The History of Fishing Hooks
King salmon fishing focuses on catching these fish in both salt and fresh water since they spend part of their life in each type of environment. King salmon are hatched in fresh water, migrate downstream to salt water to mature, then return to fresh water to spawn and then die.
The Chinook or King salmon species all die after spawning, but they spend between two to seven years maturing in salt water before they return to spawn. This means that there will be a huge variety in the catch for King salmon fishing runs, with some years the difference being many pounds difference in the size of the run.
Young King salmon feed on plankton and insects when they are juveniles, if fresh water and then, in their second year they move into the salt water and begin to feed on herring, squid and crustaceans.
In returning to the fresh water to spawn Kings again start to hit on flies, although there is some debate as to if they are actually eating the flies or just striking at them because they are irritated and excited.
Since King salmon fishing is dependent on where the fish are to choose lures, anglers can make accurate predictions about what lure will be attractive to the fish in various waters.
For example, in ocean fishing and deep water fishing heavier bait, Rapalas, jigs and downriggers will be most effective since they will mimic the actions of the bait fish.
In the river areas spinner and rattle baits are more likely to be effective close to the bottom, being moved against the current. This is likely to mimic the bait fish in these areas push they may excite the fish moving upstream, causing them to strike on the bait.