Summer can see the Coho Salmon in many different habitats.

Young and maturing Coho Salmon are found in the ocean and can be found in shallow bays or out roaming the ocean.

They can also be found in the river estuaries and heading into the rivers to spawn. They can also be found in lakes in central North America as well in the north east of the Untied States.

Coho Salmon tips for River Mouth Fishing

As summer is coming to an end, Coho Salmon move to the river estuaries. They do not make their way in to the river until rains increase the water level.

While they are at the river mouth, cast out using a sinker and let the spawn bag float off the bottom. If you are fishing out of the Great Lakes, try using marsh mellows.

We have heard from countless anglers that use these as baits and find them very successful. We are not sure why they strike at marsh mellow baits as they do not resemble bait fish and they are the wrong colour to approximate eggs.

It is more likely that the Coho Salmon are striking not out of hunger but because they are charged. At this time of year, they are very aggressive and defensive, which is normal for most animals when they enter the spawning phase.

For those using artificial lures, use alewife and smelt for the Great Lakes rivers and herring and anchovies in colors white, silver or gold.

Catching Coho Salmon in the River

Coho Salmon, like other Pacific Salmon, stop feeding as they enter rivers, however, this does not mean they will not strike bait.

For those fishing the rivers of spawning Coho Salmon, they catch most of their salmon by snagging them, which is not considered a legal method in many places. Some will still strike for food, but this is rare and should not be counted on.

Coho Salmon think of nothing but spawning when they are in the rivers. They are aggressive, defensive and will protect their territory.

As such, any lure or bait that agitates them or gets too close will be struck. The type of lure or bait does not matter too much, but bright colours do work best during this time as do spinners and spoons as it gets their attention.

However, as some jurisdictions place bans on fishing in some rivers, we recommend that you contact the local state or province for details. Catching them is not illegal, but keeping them could get you in trouble. Some locales will confiscate your boat, gear and even vehicle for violating regulations.

Lake Fishing Tips

Coho Salmon do not naturally exist in freshwater lakes. However, they can easily adapt to a freshwater existence. If the lake habitat is big enough, contains enough food and is deep enough, they can sustain a population without a stocking program.

In the Great Lakes, trolling is the best way to fish for them. Use a down rigger to keep the bait at a specific level and troll slowly, as slow as possible. As you may have read elsewhere, they prefer the 53°F/11.6°C thermal level, which can see them anywhere from 10 feet to 150 feet/ 3 to 45 metres deep depending not the time of year.

In the spring and fall, temperatures are mostly the same through out the water column. However, in the summer, they go deep to find the 53°F/11.6°C level and the winter they can come close to the surface.