How to Fish for Salmon from Shore

For most anglers, salmon fishing is synonymous with fishing with a salmon fishing boat. This is because the most common salmon fishing technique which is trolling is done using a boat.

However, you can fish for salmon from shore just as effectively as you do with a boat. All you need is to use the right techniques and correct fishing gear, and you are sure to have a successful outing.

In this article, we will teach you how to fish for salmon from shore.

how to fish for salmon from shore
A shore caught Atlantic Salmon

When and Where to Fish for Salmon from Shore

Salmon prefer staying in water bodies with temperatures averaging 55°F. As such, they are usually found in the deep water. This explains why trolling is a popular technique for salmon fishing.

This is not to say that salmon fishing from shore is not effective. Knowing the best period and location to fish salmon from the shore is key to having a productive fishing trip.

The best time to fish for salmon from shore is in summer, particularly the period between late August and early September. This is a period during which salmon tend to migrate for the spawning season.

The spawning season is the period when they reproduce, so they gather and move up to the deeper waters for this purpose. Before moving up the rivers and streams to spawn, they gather at the mouth of the water bodies.

The period of this migration provides the perfect window for catching salmon from the shore. The best time of the day for salmon fishing from the shore is early in the morning (before spawning) and late in the evening (after spawning).

The best location for fishing salmon from shore is the piers. Most piers provide access to deep water, making them a common gathering point for salmon before migration.

Deep and fast-moving rivers are also good locations for salmon fishing from shore.

Best Fishing Techniques for Salmon Fishing from Shore

Salmon fishing from shore requires using the right fishing techniques. In this section, we will highlight the best techniques for fishing salmon from shore.

Casting an Artificial Lure

Casting an artificial lure for salmon is a common and reliable technique for fishing from shore. This is because of its simplicity and minimal requirement.

All you need for this fishing technique is a salmon rod, rubber-coated salmon net, any artificial lure of your choice, salmon spinning reel as well as a monofilament line or braided line with a monofilament leader.

Once you have gotten all your gear prepared, you can start fishing for salmon. Tie your artificial lure to your leader or mainline, depending on the type of fishing line that you are using. Follow this by casting your lure into the water body as far as you can.

It is important to aim at casting your lure upstream, as this ensures that it arches back to your position when you retrieve it. Casting your lure to the other side of a river might make its retrieval a little stressful, so it is best to avoid that.

Follow this by retrieving your lure at a steady pace. Try to do this at a slow pace for effectiveness. You can add jerking actions and more speed to your retrieval if you do not get any bite. Once you get a bite, keep reeling your lure at the same pace until you have caught your salmon.

Float Fishing

Another effective technique for catching salmon from shore is float fishing. You can use a bobber set up to float salmon roe as bait. This setup is reliable for coho salmon, chinook salmon as well as pink salmon.

All that you need is a floating line, salmon rod, salmon spinning reel, floating bobber, salmon net, oz egg weights, circle hook as well as your salmon roe.

Start by tying your floating bobber to your line, then add two oz weights. Attached a leader to the end of the snap swivel, and tie a hook to the leader.

Finally, add eggs to your hook and your gear is ready. When casting, try to target deeper areas of the water, where the salmon are likely to be resting. This ensures that you get them to bite your bait.

Drift Fishing

Drift fishing is a salmon fishing technique that involves using a dropper line to catch salmon from the shore. The fishing gear that you need for drift fishing includes a dropper line, weight, beads as well as a snap swivel.

To set up your line for drift fishing, tie a weight to the dropper line, then tie the dropper line to a snap swivel. Hook the snap swivel to your mainline, and attach your beads.

Once this is set up, attach your leader, and then add your lure or bait to the end of the leader.

Cast your line upstream into the river, making sure that it is short so that your rig can drift. This will ensure that your lure drifts downstream into the river. Do this repeatedly until you get a strike from a salmon.


Jigging for salmon for shore is a fishing technique that works best for fishing for salmon from a pier or an ocean. It entails jigging your lure back, after casting it in the water.

You need a salmon rod, salmon spinning reel, candlefish lure, rubber-coated salmon net as well as a braided line.

Tie your lure to your fishing line and cast it into the water. Allow the lure to sink for about five seconds if you are fishing in an ocean, and three seconds if it is a river.

After waiting, start retrieving the lure using jigging motions. Do this multiple times until you catch a salmon.

Natural Baits

 Aside from artificial lures, natural baits can also be used for catching salmon from shore. Natural baits that can be used include smelt, alewives, fresh fish eggs as well as herring.

Natural baits are cast using the cut-plugging technique. Cut plug herring is the most reliable technique for natural baits.

Fishing Accessories Take for Fishing Salmon from Shore

In addition to your fishing tackle, you need to take along some fishing accessories for your salmon fishing.

1. Polarized Sunglasses: You need a pair of polarized sunglasses to protect you from UV rays and glare from the sun.

2. Rod Holder: A rod holder is needed to keep your rod free from sand and salt. This will ensure its durability and effectiveness.

3. Cooler: If you have a means of carrying it, an insulated cooler is an accessory that comes in handy. It helps you to preserve your catch, while you are fishing for more.


Following any of the methods listed above will help you to land salmon from the shore without stress. It is important that you fish using all the required fishing gear for the best results.

Always look out for the safety of the fish, by ensuring not to endanger them with harmful substances. In addition, be sure to use all protective gear to keep yourself out of harm’s way while fishing. 

Daniel O’Neill
Fishing Expert
Daniel specializes in fly, predator, and saltwater angling. He has practiced angling from a young age, quickly developing his knowledge of fishing fundamentals. His angling journey began in Ireland, primarily targeting rainbow trout on a fly rod. His passion for angling grew extensively as he ventured into other forms of fishing. He primarily targets freshwater and saltwater destinations in Ireland and the UK. His favorite catch to date was a 7lb / 3.6KG thick-lipped mullet from the Northern Irish coast—a prized fish to target on a fly rod. He is now the owner of DON Angling, a business that intends to inform and educate anglers on the best techniques, methods, and etiquette available.
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