Chinook salmon

The Chinook Salmon, also known as Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (scientific name), is considered the largest among all pacific salmon. This salmon species typically measures about 36-inches and often exceeds 30 lbs.

They are found across the Northern Pacific Areas and are native to various areas, including Canada, Alaska, North Western USA, Japan, and Russia.


The Chinook Salmon has a robust and deep-bodied shape with a coloration of bluish-green on the back. While on the sides, a silvery color is present, followed by white on the belly.

Spawning Chinook salmon ranges from red to deep gray to copper in fresh water. However, the color may depend on the degree of maturation and location.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Important habitats of the Chinook Salmon species are estuaries and freshwater streams, especially during the spawning period.

The streams and estuaries also become common nursery grounds for eggs, fry & juveniles. They soon migrate to saltwater bodies to grow and feed as they hatch.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

This fish species is usually found in colder upper regions in the Pacific Ocean. They breed in freshwater rivers as well as streams in the Pacific Northwest.

Dealing with open water Chinooks means it?s vital to follow the right place and the right time. The Chinook species are usually targeted through herring baits, trolling frozen anchovy, or utilizing a sinker release rig or a downrigger.

Peak Season

Spring, i.e., the months of April, May, and June, are considered the best months for fishing the Chinook Salmon.

Starting from April, migratory Chinooks begin to appear in local water. Hence, making it an ideal period to make some memorable sightings of the Chinook Salmon.

Best Bait

Some of the commonly used baits for Chinook Salmon fishing are the following:

  • Salmon eggs
  • Sand shrimp
  • Herring
  • Cured fish eggs
  • Tuna
  • Marabou jigs