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If you’ve ever found salmon fishing to be a challenge, it could be that you haven’t given yourself the advantage of some good salmon lures.
When you have the right gear in your arsenal, you’ll be able to fish for salmon in any kind of condition – rain or shine, cloudy or sunny, shallow or deep.
Not sure what to look for? In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best salmon fishing lures you can find – as well as some helpful buying tips.
Quick Guide to the Best Salmon Lures
If you’re in a rush and aren’t interested in all the nitty-gritty details, skip the lengthy read and consider these the Best Salmon Fishing Lures
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The 8 Best Salmon Lures on the market
Here are the top salmon fishing lures on the market today
Luhr Jensen Coyote Spoon
There are all kinds of coyote spoons by Luhr Jensen to choose from, but this one is one of the best salmon lures you will find.
It originated in the top ocean salmon fisheries of Washington, western Canada, and Oregon – so you know this lure is effective on the big boys.
It has a thin, aerodynamic material that produces an active swimming behavior in the water that salmon just can’t resist.
It has heavy-duty construction and a welded ring on the head end. It has polishing and premium plating for the best level of flash to entice any skeptical salmon to come your way.
This spoon is corrosion-resistant and has a metal flipper hook on the end for maximum versatility. It can be used behind both flashers and dodgers and comes in several colors.
Although “Cop Car” is a good option for shallow water, Fluorescent STrike, Neon Green, Wonder Bread, and Ever Glow Army Truck work well as you get into deeper, murkier conditions.
This lure comes in several sizes, including 3.5”, 4”, and 5”.
- Comes in several sizes and colors
- Great for large and small salmon alike
- Some customers report that the colors don’t perfectly match what’s depicted
Point Wilson Dart
There are several kinds of Point Wilson Darts available, including herring jigs, candlefish jigs, and anchovy jigs.
My favorite for salmon is the candlefish jig. It has five weights to choose from – 2 ¼ oz, 6 oz, 4 ¾ oz, and more – and includes a treble hook for the perfect set.
There are several colors available, including pearl white, blue gold, green pearl, and “glow.” Each is uniquely designed to work in certain weather and water conditions.
These versatile little darts can be used for all kinds of fish, including tuna, rockfish, steelhead, and naturally, salmon. They are best for large game fish as they look just like real candlefish.
They are also known for being the fastest sinking jigs on the market. If you want your sport fish jig to sink quickly and stay at that depth, you’ve got to consider the Point Wilson Dart.
- Durable and easy to use
- Several colors for various water conditions
- Versatile and quick sinking
- Some colors and sizes are pricey
Hot Spot Flasher
Like the Point Wilson Dart, the Hot Spot Flasher comes in various sizes, colors, and styles to attract various types of fish.
This flasher provides lifelike action to just about any lure and creates dynamic vibrations for maximum visibility.
With shampoo ball bearing swivels and stainless steel snaps, this lure is extra large, measuring in at 11 inches.
While it won’t help you catch the tiny salmon swimming in the river, it’s great for ocean fishing giant salmon. It has erratic action that allows it to roll, kick, sway, and dart- just like an actual fish.
You will find all kinds of colors and alternative sites, although the large 11-inch flasher is the most common.
Colors include Army Truck, Strawberry, ink Haze, Glow Black Jelly, and Chartreuse Mirror. They also work great on trout!
- Extra large size lures in large salmon
- Stainless steel snaps are durable
- Multiple colors available
- The reflective coating wears off quickly
Gibbs-Delta HighLiner Flasher
The best of the best when it comes to salmon lures, the Gibbs-Delta High Liner Flasher is a rotating flasher made with the best plastic resins.
Although plastic isn’t usually the material I would choose for my lures, this lure is an exception.
It is durably built with welded jump rings along with a coast-look terminal snap. It has ball bearing swivels that allow for unique movement through the water.
Watch this thing move, and you’ll be certain you’re looking at an actual fish. It swims and darts like a small fish as it moves through the water.
The welded rings of this lure add extensive strength and durability, while the ball bearing swivels allow it to move more smoothly.
It’s available in several colors, including green-red stripe, green moon/red, and red. At eight inches long, this moderately-sized flasher is perfect for large and small salmon alike.
However, there is also an eleven-inch version available if you want to go after the really big boys!
- Works well on both chinook and coho salmon
- Moderate length with several colors available
- Durable construction
- Does not have a treble hook
Brad’s Killer Fishing Gear Plugs
Brad’s Killer Fishing Gear makes several different plugs that are perfect for salmon fishing, but this one is one of the best. It comes in several sizes, including three- and four inches.
Best for average-sized salmon, these lures can be purchased in single- or double-packs. You’ll never have to worry about misplacing one because you will always have a back-up.
Several colors are available, too, including Hot Tamale, Seahawk, Jack Pot, and Mountain Doo. The lure has a split-cavity design and acts like a wounded baitfish as it moves through the water.
It’s coated in UV-reflective paint, so it is visible in most water conditions. It comes with an Izorline leader and a #2 treble hook along with a scent pad, swivels, and two rubber bands.
You’ll have everything you need!
And if you run out of any of this gear, it can all be purchased separately. These lures are effective at catching salmon along with kokanee, walleye, and lake trout.
It can be used for all types of fishing, including plunking, casting, rolling, or even back bouncing. Add some scent, and you’ll have a ton of success no matter how you choose to fish.
- Comes with all kinds of bonus features
- Catches largest salmon
- Works with various fishing techniques
- Two-pack does not come rigged
Silver Horde Coho Killer Spoon
A small metal spoon that’s perfect for coho and salmon, the Silver Horde Coho Killer spoon offers a super realistic 3D appearance and a flutter, lifelike action.
If an aggressive, determined salmon strike is what you’ve been waiting for, you won’t have to wait any longer with this dynamic spoon. It is three inches long and comes rigged with a single hook.
It’s available in several colors and patterns, including Cookies & Cream, Strawberry & Cream, UV Pink Haze, and UV White Lightning.
You’ll have colors to choose from no matter what the weather conditions might be.
At three inches long, this reasonably-sized lure is meant to be used with a #3 hook. It moves well at low depths and will slay any salmon that comes your way.
- Comes in multiple colors
- Small size is versatile and effective
- Comes rigged with a #3 hook
- The smaller size may not be as effective on large fish
SteelShad – Lipless Crankbait
This SteelShad lipless crankbait was developed by professional fishermen right in the United States.
This option comes in a three-pack, offering everything you need to fully equip your tackle box. Each lure has durable stainless steel construction and comes with a VMC hook.
It is versatile and can attract fish from all depths in both saltwater and freshwater. Regardless of whether you are fishing in two feet or sixty feet, this lure will work well.
It has a phenomenal throbbing action that encourages salmon to strike as well as other fish like musk, striper, walleye, bass, and trout.
It’s available in seven colors and offers maximum versatility.
- Resists corrosion
- Available in four sizes and seven colors
- Can fish at any depth
- Hooks are dull
Panther Martin Salmon Steelhead Ham UV Hooch Spinner Trout
A final option for you to consider is the Panther Martin Salmon Hooch Spinner. This option is sold in a UV Yellow/Pink color and comes in ½ oz and ¾ oz sizes.
Made in the United States, this lure is practically guaranteed to catch fish. It has a unique, innovative design that is easy to cast.
Its skirt will move easily through the water just like squids move through the waves.
The salmon won’t know what’s coming! It has a premium UV painted finish with a hammered blade effect for maximum visibility.
- Has vibrations and movement to send salmon into a feeding frenzy
- Available in two sizes
- Moves easily through the water when you are casting
- Can easily be tangled in weeds
How to Find the Best Salmon Lures
Types of Lures
If you’re wondering what type of fishing lures work best for salmon, it’s helpful to first consider the most common types of lures you can use.
Spinners, also known as spinnerbaits, come in several different designs. Usually, these have reflective blades made out of metal that attracts fish by mimicking smaller fish.
These lures vibrate when they move around in the water, and they also help to catch the light. They are great in murky or muddy waters.
Another type of lure is a plug. These are rigid plastic lures that are painted with reflective paint. They look like small fish, like herring, which salmon cannot resist.
There are several types of plugs, including wobbling and cut plugs. Plugs are versatile and effective.
Flashers are also common. These lures are pretty elementary looking, appearing just like long rectangular panels.
They are usually made with plastic and have some kind of metallic adhesive to creative vibration and a visual “flash.”
You might also use hoochies. These are plastic lures that look like small squid. They don’t work with all types of salmon but are both lightweight and colorful, so they’re easy to carry with you in a pinch.
Spoons are shaped like actual spoons and come in several sizes and colors. They reflect light and look just like batfish. You’ll want to match the spoon size and type to the kind of salmon you are fishing for.
Jigs are also common. These consist of lead weights and have separate shaped heads, they come in thousands of variations with different materials and colors used.
Jigs are the most effective when fishing in large schools.
Think carefully about your lure color. This is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor but will instead be based on the waterway in which you plan to fish.
Fish can see color, but solubility decreases dramatically at lower depths.
Salmon have better vision than other types of fish, but because light reacts differently in water than on land, you need to remember that normally visible colors, like red, will be invisible underwater.
It’s a good idea to have lots of lures in your tackle box. When you fish in shallow water, color won’t matter as much – the fish should be able to see just about anything.
If you’re headed into deep water, blue, purple, and green will be best.
The ideal lure will be made out of metal, but there are some made from plastic, too. Materials like bronze and steel are common choices.
Bronze is a great selection as it is strong and has anti-corrosive properties. Therefore, you can use this kind of lure in both freshwater and saltwater.
Steel, too, is durable and high-density, and it’s resistant to corrosion.
It also has great sound properties and can be used as a drag to catch a fish’s attention without being worn down over time.
Salmon are strong fish, and a good lure will not only incite curiosity but will also incite a salmon to attack.
You need to make sure your lure can withstand a great deal of force.
Ease of Use
There are plenty of lures that are lightweight, which makes testing easier, especially if you are new to the technique.
Some have metal balls inside that act as lead weights, helping to increase the distance you can toss your lure.
Other lures that have magnets that help the lure float when pressure is not on the line.
This will allow the lure to have a lifelike appearance and can entice a salmon to attack even if you don’t know any other techniques for manipulating the lure.
There are additional lures that feature auto-lock technology. Usually found in LED lures, this technology protects the lure from water damage.
The exact weight and size of a lure are important when you’re trying to select a fishing location and catch size. Generals speaking, the larger the lure, the bigger the fish you’ll be going after.
Another thing to consider is the climate where you will be fishing.
In windy conditions, you will want a heavier lure so that you can keep better tension on your line to react to strikes.
It’s a good idea to keep a wide range of lure sizes on hand so that you are prepared for any setting.
Lures that vibrate are best used in muddy, discolored, or otherwise unclear water. The vibrations will help your fish find the lure before they can even see it.
However, too many vibrations in clear water can be detrimental. Fish can be easily spooked by rattles or vibrations when they can see them.
Rod and Reel Type
Consider the specific rod you will be using when fishing for salmon. The length and style of the rod – as well as the line type – should be well-suited to your lure.
Pay attention to the hook when you are looking for an artificial lure. Not only did it need to be strong and sharp, but it also needed to be lightweight.
Usually, salmon lures have treble hooks. These will best direct the boat.
Using the Top Salmon Lures to Catch Tons of Fish
Once you are armed with a great lure, you’ll have almost everything you need for a successful day of fishing.
However, you’ll also want to master certain techniques. Trolling is a common method of fishing for salmon and involves fishing from a moving boat. Here’s a helpful video to show you how to do it.
You can also drift fish, which requires you to cast your line upstream, so your bait moves to exactly where the salmon are.
Casting is another popular technique. Curious about how to start casting? Here’s a quick video that will show you how to cast for salmon from a fixed location, like a pier.
When you fish in any setting, think about the depth to help you select the right lure. In deep water, you’ll want to use a lure that is bright blue or green. A flashing lure can also help.
Knowing how to hook salmon has a lot to do with mastering the weather conditions, the location, and of course, the lure.
With a bit of luck and the right gear, you’ll be picking up salmon in no time.