Best Lures for Catching Coho Salmon

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

brads-wiggler-plug-lures

Great action, countless color patterns, and four sizes got the Brad’s Wiggler on our top 10 list!

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-salmon-spinners

Mepps Spinners have been catching salmon for generations.

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

luhr-jensen-kwikfish-salmon-plug-lures

Kwikfish in sizes K11X, K13, K14 & K15 are deadly-effective for Coho.

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

flash-glo-squid-spinner

A new twist on the classic Flash Glo Spinner, Yakima Baits has added squid skirts and painted blades!

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

coho-twitching-jigs

Twitching jigs are the "hot" new method for catching Coho.

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

yakima-baits-fatfish-salmon-plugs

Wordens Fatfish can be backtrolled, fished on anchor, trolled or cast & retrieve.

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

corkies-and-yarn-lures

Drift fishing is a deadly effective technique for catching Coho Salmon.

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-eggs

Clusters of cured salmon eggs offer the perfect combination of color, smell and flavor that are irresistable to Coho Salmon.

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

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Dick Nite Spoons are the perfect lure for non-aggressive Coho Salmon.

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

vibrax-silver-salmon-spinner

Blue Fox Vibrax spinners are the most versatile lure for catching Silver Salmon.


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.

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Andrew Moravec

Andrew Moravec has been sharing his passion for fishing with folks around the Pacific Northwest for over a decade. He has worked in the Tackle Industry as a buyer, managed a Sporting Goods Shop, as an Alaskan Fishing Guide, a Westport Deckhand, and currently is operating Fishing Charters in Seattle, Washington.
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4 Comments

  1. eggs wok the best lures dont work as well on the skagit

  2. Robert Smaus /

    Thanks, been swapping out. Does make it harder to stay hooked up. Wish I didn’t like eating my catch so much….

  3. Avatar of Andrew Moravec

    Hello Robert,

    Thank you for the question. You are correct, many rivers and all saltwater areas require single-point hooks for salmon. Unfortunately, most tackle companies ship their lures with treble hooks. We have to cut off the trebles and replace them with a single point hook. I use Open-Eye Siwash hooks, they are easy to switch out. Many of the lures shown were fresh out of the package. I figured it would be better than showing the used ones I have. :)

  4. Robert Smaus /

    New to the Northwest, I am curious why so many treble hooks are shown. I thought they were illegal, at least in Washington where I will fish, and have been changing all my trebles to singles. In Puget Sound, any of these good cast from the shore or pier?

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