While there are several species of salmon, in Fort Bragg, we target Chinook Salmon also known as King Salmon. These are the largest species of salmon and prized by many anglers. There is also a viable commercial market for Chinook Salmon. Depending on the season, they can be a challenging fish to catch, but you will be rewarded with excellent table fare. Silver Salmon or Coho Salmon are also found here, but we can not keep them. The size of King Salmon we often catch range from 8lbs to 35lbs. Salmon is heart-healthy and great grilled, baked, fried, smoked or canned.
Salmon are an anadromous fish meaning they begin their life in freshwater rivers and streams, migrate to the ocean for most of their lives and then return to the same river or stream they were hatched to spawn. This cycle typically takes 4-6 years.
Salmon spend most of their time in deeper water offshore feeding on krill. The krill is what gives the salmon flesh its bright red color and the high levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. As the salmon begin to make their migration back to the rivers, this diet changes from primarily krill to primarily squid and fish like herring or anchovy.
Fishing for Chinook Salmon
Early in the season, when the fish are in deeper water can make the fishing tricky. As they migrate closer to shore, they begin following the reefs and the fishing gets easier. Typically, we troll for salmon with bait such as herring or anchovies. Artificial lures such as spoons, hoochies and Apexes can also be productive. Salmon are hard fighters making several powerful runs. The use of barbless hooks also adds to the challenge. The limit on salmon is two fish per angler per day.
Price: $200 per person. Up to 4 anglers.