Pink Salmon

Pink salmon are the most numerous and easiest to catch of all the Pacific salmon, so they are a great way to get kids and beginners hooked on salmon fishing.
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Where and When?

Every other year, pink salmon return to the coastal waters of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington state in August, and start making their way up the rivers to spawn in September. Pink salmon can be caught throughout this time, either when they are still in saltwater, staging off river mouths, or when they begin their upstream runs. For the best eating fish, target pinks as early as possible in the season, preferably when they are still in saltwater, as their meat begins to deteriorate the closer they get to the spawning grounds. Pink salmon can be caught all day, but early morning and evening are usually the best times.

About Pink Salmon

Pink salmon, also called humpback salmon or “humpies,” are the smallest and most abundant species of Pacific salmon. The “humpback” nickname comes from the large hump that males develop on their backs at spawning time. The average pink salmon weighs three to five pounds and rarely grows larger than 25 inches in length. These salmon return to rivers spawn every two years, and when they do, they fill the rivers in incredible numbers. They are found on both sides of the north Pacific Ocean, from Siberia to North Korea and from southeastern Alaska to Puget Sound. Pink salmon are sometimes confused with juvenile salmon of other species. Identify pinks by the large oval spots along their back and on both lobes of the tail, and by their white mouths with a black gumline.

How to Catch?

Pinks are the easiest of all salmon to catch. You can catch pink salmon from shore or from a boat. From a boat, either casting jigs or trolling can work well; the fish are usually found along shorelines and in areas without heavy current. From shore, casting small spinners, spoons, or jigs is a good tactic, and since these fish are usually found in slow-moving water you normally don’t have to cast too far out. Interestingly, although the pink salmon is named for the color of its flesh, these fish also seem to be attracted to the color pink, so pink lures are a top choice. Other bright colors such as orange and chartreuse are also effective. Pink salmon can also be caught on fly-fishing tackle, and just as with jigs and lures, pink is the best color; choose a sinking fly such as a pink Clouser minnow.