Bait Breakdown

Salmon truly are the fish of fishes. They taste amazing cooked in a pan, on the barbecue or smoked. They can fight like Conor McGregor, run like Usain Bolt and dive like an Italian soccer star. No other fish, well maybe halibut, comes close.


So how do you pull in one of these king of kings? With a good guide, the right location and of course, the perfect bait.


For the uninitiated, salmon bait comes in two forms: live bait and lures.


The three most popular live items are herring, sardines and roe. Roe is salmon eggs and yes, they eat their own kind. Herring are small fish that are brought up with nets and sardines are even smaller fish. But, you know the saying: ‘It takes a small fish to land a giant.’ Maybe that’s not a saying, but it should be because it’s the truth.


Attaching live bait can be messy and tricky. You want the live bait to spin in the water, giving the illusion that it is naturally swimming through the water. Drawing your hook and line through the live bait is where the skill comes in. Thank goodness for salmon fishing guides.

The other, less messy option is a salmon lure. The three main types of salmon lures are hoochies, cut plugs and spoons. Hoochies are small, often brightly coloured synthetic lures that are designed to resemble squid. Cut plugs are solid lures that look like cut fish. They spin like herring when attached correctly. Spoons are oblong pieces of metal designed to resemble and mimic a fish traveling through the water.


Lures are often coloured with UV paint for maximum visibility at greater depths.

Finding the right combination for the fish you are after can be extremely time-consuming, but again, that’s why you hire a guide. Guides know exactly what the salmon are feeding on at the time of your trip. They know how to mimic that food, how to properly tie it to your line and where to drop it for maximum strikes.


Let Escott Sportfishing bait your hook and start pulling in the king of kings – pacific chinook salmon.

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