5 Great Lures to Catch Pacific Salmon on their Spawning Run

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When targeting pacific salmon [King (Chinook), Silver (Coho), Red (Sockeye), Chum, and Pink] on their annual spawning run, you need to use the brightest and most irritating lures possible. This is because when salmon begin their run up-stream, they stop eating and will not attack any lure because they are hungry. Instead, they only strike out of irritation.

Bright and flashy lures drifting by really get on the nerves of salmon and cause them to attack ferociously. So here are some great lures to irritate salmon into striking. Some of these I have used with great success, while others I think would work great based on how they look.

Wiggle Wart

There is nothing like a wiggle wart when it comes to irritating salmon. With the blindingly bright color combinations and the deep diving wiggle, you are sure to annoy at least a few salmon into striking. I have used these myself and can surely say that they work. Sold here.


Spin-N-Glos, in my opinion, are one of the most popular salmon fishing lures due to the fact that they are cheap and effective. You just feed your line through the hole in the center, add a bead or two, and attach the hook(s). The spinning action is irresistible to the salmon. The salmon think to themselves, “Next time that obnoxious bright spiny thing floats by, I will rip it to shreds”. And that’s exactly what happens. Buy them here.

Rockstar Lures SpinnerI have done pretty well catching salmon with spinners also. I have used many different brands and have notice that the bigger and brighter the spinner is, the better the salmon strike. While I have never used a spinner from Rockstar Lures (picture above), they look to be exactly what the salmon like, or are irritated by. They are large in size, have bright/contrasting color combinations, and have a spinning blade for that extra flash and vibration. This spinner is definitely great for aggravating the salmon into striking.

Mepps Syclops SpoonWhile I don’t fish with spoons for salmon too often, I know that they work quite well. I have experience using Blue Fox Pixees (sold here) as well as Mepps Syclops spoons (sold here) with great success. Any larger sized spoon should work as long as it’s bright and flashy.

Glow Yarn Salmon FishingGlow yarn is probably the best invention since the wheel. OK, maybe not. It’s a great salmon fishing lure that can be used by itself or added to any other lure for that extra “glow”. When using glow yarn by itself, simple tie on a 4-8 inch piece onto or near the hook. This is kind of like a bright salmon fly that the salmon will definitely strike. For sale here.

OK, let’s summarize: (1) When on their spawning run, salmon don’t eat, they strike out of irritation. (2) Since they strike out of irritation, bigger, brighter, contrasting, and *irritating* lures produce the best. Hope this helps.

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3 thoughts on “5 Great Lures to Catch Pacific Salmon on their Spawning Run”

  1. Morning William. I have a box full of bright colored Steelhead flies that I bet would work just like the Rockstar pink one. Only thing is, California needs to let us fish for salmon again.


    • Hello Shoreman, So you’re ready for salmon fishing but the law wont allow you? That’s the saddest thing I ever heard. Time to move up north to Alaska, where you can catch all the salmon you want.


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