Coho salmon are one of Northwest’s anglers favorite fall target. Most rivers and streams from Northern California to Bristol Bay, Alaska host a return of Coho (Silver) Salmon.
Coho average 6-14 pounds, and can tip the scales at over 25 pounds! Some rivers are famed for their overly aggressive Silvers, others are famed for their Silver salmon runs that are extremely difficult to catch.
Many factors play into a salmon’s aggressiveness. But regardless of the demeanor of your local river’s Coho salmon, here are the Top 10 lures that will bring you success!
#10 – Brad’s Wigglers
B.S. Fishtales’ Brad’s Wigglers came onto the main stage of Northwest fishing when Storm decided to junk the classic Wiggle Wart and revamp it. Salmon anglers everywhere scooped up every last remaining Original Wiggle Wart they could find, thinking that there would never be a replacement for such an important salmon lure. Enter: B.S. Fishtales. They produced an extremely similar plug with an unbelievable number of killer color patterns geared towards us salmon and steelhead junkies.
#9 – Mepps Spinners
Mepps offers such an array of fish catching colors that they definitely make the top 10! Their large blades trigger aggressive strikes, their heavy bodies sink fast which is neccesary to get down in the fast currents of our large Northwest rivers.
#8 – Kwikfish
Kwikfish not making the top ten list? Uh-uh, nope, not gonna happen! This lure is synonymous with salmon fishing, and they catch Coho by the multitudes each season. Whether your drift boat is anchored on a small Olympic Peninsula stream or your jet sled is backtrolling on the Columbia River, Kwikfish are extremely effective for targeting Coho. Wrap a small chunk of sardine fillet on the belly and hold on!
#7 – Flash Glo Squid Spinners
Coho anglers have been adding squid skirts to thei spinners for years, and now one of the Northwest’s most innovative tackle manufacturers has paired up the effectiveness of a classic spinner design, beautifully painted blades, and a plastic squid skirt. Large and aggressive Silvers love big, ugly, colorful lures. Yakima Baits scored big when it came out with the Flash Glo Squid Spinner, and so will anglers targeting aggressive fall Coho this year!
#6 – Twitching Jigs
By far the hottest “new” technique. Twitching a jumbo marabou jig, or a plastic squid jig can trigger aggressive responses from brute Coho. This technique is deadly in slower holding areas and tidewater.
#5 – Worden’s FatFish
Wordens Fatfish are available in a standard size and magnum size. These productive coho lures feature amazing color patterns, an enticing wiggle and a loud fish-attracting rattle.
#4 – Corky & Yarn Combo
Buoyant Corkies paired with a tuft of yarn create a deadly combination that, when fished properly, can outfish any other setup in many of our Northwest rivers. Drift fishing with this combo ranks high on the list due to its versatility and popularity on top Coho Salmon rivers such as the Cowlitz, Puyallup, Skokomish and Green.
#3 – Cured Salmon Egg Clusters
Cured salmon roe tempt the pallets of both aggressive and non-aggressive Coho everywhere. Wet cured eggs will milk out scent into the water and trigger the spawning aggression out of any Coho!
#2 – Dick Nite Spoons
Dick Nite Spoons have caught countless salmon over the past several decades. This lure has been around forever, and its name is directly tied in with salmon fishing tradition. Drift fishing Dick Nite Spoons is a favored technique to catch the notoriously lockjaw Coho Salmon of northern Puget Sound rivers. This lure is the absolute favorite on the Snohomish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Stillaguamish and Skagit Rivers. Try this low-profile lure wherever Coho become non-aggressive.
#1 – Blue Fox Vibrax Spinner
The Vibrax spinner is a lure that is well known in the salmon fishing world. While Alaska-bound salmon fishermen find that jumbo #5 and #6 spinners are the ticket for large aggressive silvers, this lure ranks on the top of the list for its versatility. Coho salmon in every river and stream along the Pacific coast are attracted to the combination of color and flash from this tried-but-true lure.