Chinook Fishing: Fishing Methods, Lures, Tackle and Habitats
The largest species of Pacific salmon. Medium-sized specimens can be confused with coho salmon, but Chinook salmon have black gums on the lower jaw and spots cover the entire caudal fin. The size of the fish can reach 180 cm and weigh more than 60 kg. Americans call the fish “king salmon”. Very strong and fast fish. Even medium-sized individuals strongly resist. There is a dwarf form: males mature in the river, and participate in spawning in the second year of life, without going to sea for feeding.
Chinook salmon fishing methods
Fish is considered one of the most interesting trophies of the Pacific coast. Because of its size and tenacity, Chinook salmon is a worthy contender for fly-fishers and spinners.
Chinook salmon fishing
The choice of gear for catching chinook salmon should be taken seriously. When playing, the fish exerts maximum resistance. Some anglers are of the opinion that spinning rods should be “marine grade”. The main requirements for the rod is to allocate sufficient power, but the action is recommended to be medium fast or closer to parabolic. This is due to the fact that the fish, especially at the first stage of playing, makes sharp jerks, and this often leads to loss of gear. For catching chinook salmon, gear equipped with both multiplier and non-inertial reels is suitable. The main thing is that they are reliable and contain a large amount of fishing line. The cord or fishing line must be strong enough not only because of the struggle with a serious opponent, but also because of the fishing conditions. For example, near the Kamchatka rivers, where the chinook comes, there is a rather difficult relief with stones and snags, which complicates fishing. As with other salmon fishing, you need to be very careful when choosing accessories, there can be no compromise when choosing. When fishing, you need to have a supply of lures, clockwork rings and other things. You should not save on trifles when catching such a coveted and powerful opponent.
Fly fishing for chinook salmon
The choice of gear for catching chinook salmon is quite similar to other types of Pacific salmon. But it should be borne in mind that this is the largest species of salmon in this region. Fly fishing for large chinook salmon is not considered easy. This is due to salmon living conditions in rivers with high, often changing water levels and fishing conditions. For fly anglers, this creates additional incentives to try to catch this fish. Lures for catching chinook salmon, as well as for other Pacific salmon, are used quite large. Do not forget about the frequent change in the transparency of the water and the “clutter” of the bottom in the rivers where Chinook salmon spawns. When choosing gear, you should keep in mind the conditions of a particular fishing, but knowing all the above circumstances, it is better to use longer rods of high classes. Especially when fishing on large rivers, it is better to use two-handed tackle with lines or heads, such as “Skagit” or “Scandi”. The reel should be large, with a lot of backing and a good braking system, in case of forced fighting in difficult conditions.
Experienced anglers point out that lures of a bright, “irritating” color are suitable for catching chinook salmon. This rule is suitable for both spinning and fly fishing. Spinners can be both oscillating and rotating, medium and large sizes, for fishing in the course or at great depths. In addition to traditional metallic-colored spinners, baits with coatings of bright colors may well be suitable. Fly fishing uses baits made on various carriers. Most often these are various zonkers, intruders, baits in the style of “leech”.
Places of fishing and habitat
Chinook is found in the Far East from the coast of Japan to Anadyr. Most of all it is caught in the rivers of Kamchatka. It is practically never found on Sakhalin, although it was bred there. You can catch Chinook salmon on the Commander Islands. In the river, you need to look for fish in different places. Chinook is found both on the rapids and in the pits. It is especially worth paying attention to places near islands, grass thickets or in various depressions in the bottom topography.
Fish begin to enter the rivers in May. Spawns in June-August. In North America it may spawn in autumn. In the sea, fish fatten up from 4 to 7 years. As already mentioned, there is a dwarf form of males that spawns in the second year of life, which does not go to sea. After spawning, the fish dies. The fish is not afraid of a strong current and pulls out nests right in the pebble bottom, in the middle of the water stream. Juveniles can slide into the sea only in the second year of life.