Bait Fishing and Bait Casting For Salmon

When the salmon run is at its best, thousands of salmon may begin schooling in preparation for the big migration to facilitate the breeding process. In large numbers, the fish will enter during the incoming tide, travel upstream to their respective egg-laying areas and return to the main water bodies on the outgoing tide. They will then repeat the cyclical process multiple times, throughout the course of their lives.

bait casting for salmonThis consistent, yearly pattern provides many anglers the opportunity to drift bait, such as spawn eggs, with the ebb and flow of the water current. One of the more successful methods of Salmon fishing, this is what anglers refer to as ‘bait casting.’

Bait casting is a method of fishing, which requires a great deal of poise and practice. It insists on using accuracy and timing as its mainstays. If given the adequate amount of time and effort, however, it can become an enjoyable, successful method to introduce into a fisherman’s, or woman’s, arsenal.

Bait casting requires minimal equipment. However, each must be chosen with several factors being considered. The bait casting fishing rod, typically made of glass, bamboo or metal, can range from 5 to 6 ‘ feet long, and is classified by its light, medium or heavy weight. This ‘action’ defines the strength, flexibility and overall reach of the rod. The reel, which usually holds a 100-200 foot line capacity, is operated with a typical hand crank, which turns the spool and winds the line. The line used may be braided silk or nylon, and it is available in a variety of breaking strengths. These can range from 4 to 20 pounds and above.


  • Ensure that your equipment is in good working order.
  • The rod must be free from defects.
  • Your reel should be smooth when cranked and should possess no visible snag- or knot-inducing features.
  • Make sure your hook and bait are securely fashioned to the line.


  • Raise the rod so that the tip is placed at the approximate angle of ’10 o’clock.’
  • Test your spool’s action by releasing the line and dropping your lure. You may have to adjust the spool brake, turning it until the tension is tightened and try casting again. Repeat as needed until there is no motion after the bait touches the ground.
  • With your thumb on the button, raise the rod, using your forearm and wrist, over your shoulder to approximately the 2 o’clock position.
  • Smoothly and with a controlled motion, swing the rod forward as if you were trying to hammer a nail in front of you. As the rod tip reaches the ’12 o’clock’ position, take your thumb off the spool. This releases the line, casting the bait. Reel, fish and repeat!

This method works particularly well when fishing “from the bottom.” By beginning downstream and following the fish upstream, an angler has less risk of spooking the Salmon.