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Our Best Lures for Coho Salmon Fishing in Rivers

Coho Salmon Lures - Our Top Picks for River Fishing

Coho Salmon are one of the most abundant salmon species in the rivers of Washington State, as well as across the Pacific Coast and Alaska. Once they get up into the rivers, they no longer feed but instead get into spawning mode, and even during the first couple days of being in the freshwater, every lure they strike at is triggered by that spawning aggression. Coho can be extremely aggressive at times, and in those cases, large flashy lures can be the ticket. Sometimes Coho can be very selective and really make catching them a challenge. That is the specific reason why we have so many fishing lure choices. We are here to break down our top choices so that you know what lures to pick up for your next trip.

Twitching Jigs for Coho Salmon

One of the newer techniques to hit the Coho Salmon fishing scene, twitching jigs is the technique of choice when Coho are holding in areas that are slow and deep. Twitching jigs are super effective lures for slow water whether it be a large and deep pool or a small little pocket of dead water next to a log jam. We recommend Aerojig Twitching Jigs and Yakima Bait Twitching Jigs in 3/8 ounce and ½ ounce. Consider grabbing a variety of colors such as black, purple, blue, hot pink and chartreuse.

Coho Salmon Twitching Jig

Spinners for Coho Salmon

Casting spinners is one of the top techniques for catching Coho Salmon. These simple salmon lures are chucked across and up-current and slowly retrieved back. We really like Steelhead Slammer Spinners in Sizes 3, 4, 5 and Blue Fox Vibrax Spinners in Sizes 3, 4, 5. We recommend that you carry an assortment of body colors like hot pink, chartreuse, blue, green, orange, purple as well as having a variety of blade options like nickel, copper, brass and black nickel.

Coho Salmon Spinner Lures

Plugs for Coho Salmon

Plugs are a great lure choice for Coho Salmon. We recommend the Yakima Bait Mag Lip 3.5, Mag Lip 4.0 and Flat Fish M2 for most boat fishing scenarios. You can also use Brad’s Wigglers from the boat or casting from shore. Coho can be very color-centric at times so make sure you have a variety of colors and sizes.

Coho Salmon Fishing Plugs

Float Fishing Lures for Coho Salmon

Fishing with a float is a popular way to target Coho Salmon. Unlike other species of salmon, we usually don’t fish jigs suspended under a float (bobber). The best setup to float fish with is a Bobber & Egg Setup. Grab a ½ ounce to 1 ounce float, bobber stop, pre-tied salmon/steelhead leader and get everything setup (Bobber & Egg Setup), place a cluster of cured salmon roe in the hook snell and set the depth to a foot off the river bottom to start. If you are fishing a river where bait is allowed and has some slower pools or runs, this is a deadly setup.

Coho Fishing Bobber Eggs

Drift Fishing Lures for Coho Salmon

Drift fishing gear rounds out our recommended list of Coho Salmon lures. The most universal drift fishing setup is a Corky & Yarn Setup, and very popular because it can be fished in most speeds of river current, with a custom length of pencil lead that allows your gear to tumble right off the river bottom where the salmon will be holding. Yakima Bait Corkies are one of the most affordable Coho Salmon lure you can find, and it doesn’t cost much to outfit yourself with a good variety of colors and sizes. Yarn is also really inexpensive, one pack of yarn will last you many seasons. In many places, you can also use cured salmon roe with this setup to increase your odds.  

Coho Salmon Drift Fishing Lure

In many of the rivers around Seattle, drift fishing with Dick Nite Spoons is a productive and unique technique. While these small lures look like they are more fitted for small trout, anglers long ago discovered that when Coho Salmon get extra finicky and hard to catch, the flutter of this small spoon is exactly what it takes to trigger a strike.

Best Coho River Lures