Top Coho Salmon Lures for Successful River Fishing


As the wet season approaches and the Coho Salmon return to our western rivers, it’s an exciting time for fishing enthusiasts. To ensure a successful catch, having a selection of the best Coho Salmon fishing lures is essential. In this article, we’ll explore various techniques and lures that can trigger a Coho Salmon bite, allowing you to make the most of your river fishing experience.

Factors for Successful Coho Salmon Fishing in Rivers

When embarking on a river fishing adventure, there are several crucial factors to consider for a fruitful catch:

  1. Location: Are you fishing in tidewater, the middle section, or a tributary of the river?
  2. Timing: What time of the season are you fishing in? Timing can greatly influence the behavior of Coho Salmon.
  3. River Level: The height of the river is an important factor as it affects the fish’s movement and feeding patterns.
  4. Duration in the River: How long have the Coho Salmon been in the river? This impacts their level of aggression and receptiveness to specific lures.
See also  11 Delicious Sauces to Serve with Salmon Patties

Considering these factors will help you determine the most effective techniques and lures to entice Coho Salmon.

Vibrax Spinner: A Coho Salmon Fishing Classic

Vibrax Spinner

One of the most widely recognized lures for Coho Salmon fishing is the Blue Fox Vibrax Spinner. With a well-placed cast and a slow retrieve, this spinner can attract these curious fish. It works best in slow currents or areas on the river’s edge with sufficient depth to hold salmon. Make sure to carry a selection of Size 4 and 5 spinners, and occasionally Size 6 if the rivers are high and the water is murky. For a larger profile, try rigging a small plastic squid on the hook.

Steelhead Slammer Spinners: Crafted for Quality

Steelhead Slammer Spinners

Designed by an Oregon-based angler passionate about quality gear, Steelhead Slammer Spinners boast a low-profile brass body that quickly sinks into the strike zone. The design of the lower profile body ensures a fast sink in the current.

Yakima Baits Maglip Plug: Versatile and Effective

Yakima Baits Maglip Plug

When fishing from a drift boat, the Mag Lip Plugs from Yakima Baits are a personal favorite. These plugs come in many appealing color patterns and run true in any water condition. The Maglip 3.5 is highly recommended due to its versatility, while the Maglip 4.0 offers a larger profile. For added effectiveness, wrap a sardine fillet on the belly and employ back-trolling in river currents or trolling in lower tidal stretches.

Brad’s Wiggler Plug: A Local Seattle Area Favorite

Brad's Wiggler Plug

A must-have lure for Coho Salmon fishing in the local Seattle area rivers, Brad’s Wigglers are perfect for trolling, back-trolling, or casting into deep dead water, pools, or slow water.

See also  Cooking Salmon on a Pellet Grill

Dick Nite Spoons: Success in Low Water Conditions

Dick Nite Spoons

In lower river stretches, where Coho Salmon can be finicky, the tiny Dick Nite Spoon is the go-to low-profile lure. It might be surprising how such a small lure can yield a limit of hefty Coho Salmon. The Skagit River, Stilliquamish River, Snohomish River, Skykomish River, and Green River are prime spots for the Dick Nite Spoon. A subtle change in spoon color or size can make a significant difference, so pay attention to these details. Drift fishing with Dick Nites can be highly effective in some areas.

Coho Salmon Twitching Jigs: A Mainstream Technique

Coho Salmon Twitching Jigs

Twitching jigs have become increasingly popular for Coho Salmon fishing. The lift-and-fall action of a marabou or rabbit fur jig triggers violent strikes, especially when Coho are nestled near woody structures or in dead water along the river’s edge.

Aerojig Rabbit Salmon Twitching Jig

Aerojig Rabbit Salmon Twitching Jig

The Aerojig Rabbit Twitching Jig, available in 3/8 Ounce and 1/2 Ounce, features a rabbit fur body with rubber legs, enhancing its effectiveness.

Aerojig Death Jig for Coho Salmon Fishing

Aerojig Death Jig for Coho Salmon Fishing

The Aerojig Death Jig combines a super durable plastic hoochie skirt with a 1/2 Ounce jighead. This well-balanced combination makes it a top choice for Coho Salmon fishing along the Pacific Coast.

Lil Corky Drift Bobber: A Drift Fishing Essential

Lil Corky Drift Bobber

If you’re familiar with Salmon Country, you’ve likely heard of the Yakima Baits Corky. It is an iconic fishing lure and an integral part of the drift fishing technique. The Corky slides down to the front of the hook, providing buoyancy to lift the presentation off the river bed. With countless color options, anglers can be selective in their choices. Pairing it with colorful yarn or cured salmon roe on the hook maximizes its effectiveness.

See also  Wine Pairing with Salmon: A Guide to Discovering Delicious Combinations

Cheater Drift Bobber: A Buoyant Alternative

Cheater Drift Bobber

Similar to the Corky but made by Beau Mac Tackle, the Cheater Drift Bobber offers a buoyant option for drift fishing. Use it with yarn or cured salmon roe for best results. Many seasoned fishermen argue that it provides slightly more buoyancy than the Corky, though in practice, they are interchangeable.

Floats and Cured Salmon Roe: The Irresistible Combination

Floats and Cured Salmon Roe

To trigger Coho Salmon’s spawning aggression, consider using a cluster of salmon eggs as bait. When fishing in water deeper than 4 feet with a slow current, floating bait under a bobber can be a deadly tactic. Next time you catch a female salmon, save the eggs and cure them at home. Opt for a 1/2 to 1 ounce bobber for most Coho Salmon fishing scenarios.


Now armed with knowledge of the top Coho Salmon lures, you’re prepared to embark on your fishing adventure. Explore new rivers, experiment with different tackle, and enjoy the thrill of catching your first Coho Salmon. Good luck out there!

Hook’d Up Bar and Grill