Chum salmon

The Oncorhynchus keta, most commonly called the Chum Salmon, is a well-distributed pacific salmon.

They are native to various countries like Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and some regions in North America.

The Chum salmon species are part of the Salmonidae family and have an average growth of 3.6-ft and 8-15 lbs.


The Chum Salmon are much heavier and deep-bodied than their salmon relatives. They have an appearance that changes depending on the water bodies as well.

Against the ocean, Chum Salmon has a metallic greenish-blue color with black speckles. In freshwater, they develop a pattern resembling tiger stripes. Migrating juvie chum salmon also lose the parr marks.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Chum Salmons are found in freshwater but only reside for a limited period. This fish species usually spend around 3-4 yrs. at sea and then eventually returns to freshwater in late fall for spawning.

Due to their anadromous nature, Chum Salmons hatch in rivers and water streams and then migrate to saltwater environments for feeding and growing.

Finding and Catching

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

Chum Salmon is undoubtedly the most distributed among all pacific salmon and is usually found across North Pacific Ocean, Canadian Arctic coast, and Asian and North American Northern Coastal regions.

Usually, for catching Chum Salmons, fishing with a bobber (a float) or jig is proven to be quite effective. But, the effectiveness will also depend on the state of the water.

Peak Season

The Chum Salmon species are found abundantly in late summer till March when they spawn. Their peak spawning occurs in early winter when river flows are rising.

They usually spawn around the lower reach areas of rivers within 96km (60 mi) of the ocean.

Best Bait

Some common and well-known baits used among Chum Salmon hunters are:

  • Prawns
  • Roe
  • Fly
  • Jig
  • Herring oil
  • Anchovy oil