It’s that time of year again when rivers of the Pacific Northwest are flooding with massive king salmon. These storied fish — the prize of northwest fisheries — normally weigh from 10-to-50 pounds but can reach as much as 130 pounds.
Salmon fishing guides are filling the Columbia River like a 6-lane expressway in Los Angeles as thousands of fall Chinook make their way to upstream breeding grounds. Opportunities are wide open with anglers landing whoppers as far upriver as Hanford.
Fishing for salmon isn’t easy, though, and there are several methods depending on your position. When you’re dropping a line from a boat, you’ll likely have the most luck with a favorite among king salmon fishermen and that’s super bait.
One of the most popular baits is the Brad brand of super bait, which comes with everything you need to put together a killer lure. The nice thing about Brad’s super bait is that it allows you to compress pieces of tuna or strips of other bait fish within the plug in order to create an oily lure with the scent and the action of an actual minnow. You can also use anchovy paste as an alternative.
With super bait, the lure creates a clamp where you can secure your bait. Just pinch a piece of bait into the jaws of the lure, and you’re ready to go.
Each rig comes with two treble hooks — which you can replace depending on your fishery — a swivel, rubber surgical tubing, a section of 30-lb line, and a flasher in front of the last hook. You can either utilize all of these components or run this lure just a single hook at the tail.
Super bait is typically trolled up stream in a river, but you want to watch your speed by keeping an eye on the rod action. You can either use a downrigger or a lead ball weight to keep it below the surface.
Another trick to using super bait is to utilize the foam padding within the bait. This you want to soak in the oil from your can of tuna or whatever bait you might be using. Other than that, get ready to real in a northwest treasure!