Category: pacific salmon - rivers

Hi ItaloThis year i want to get serious about float fishing in my local tributary, oshawa creek. I am wondering what size hook i should be using to drift small roe bags and pink worms for salmon. My friends tell me a size 8 is good, but as a bass fisherman i feel strange using such a small hook for such a big fish. What range of sizes would you recomend?

Posted on August 22nd, 2020

Hi Edward, you may be surprised to hear that when tributary fishing even for large salmon a small hook is much more effective then a bigger one. The advice you were given is good if you are using a standard size roe bag ranging from dime to nickel coin diameter. A number 8 hook is proper. A smaller hook won’t get hung up on bottom as much and it is much easier to set into a fish past the barb than a larger hook. Also, once hooked a hard fighting fish has a much harder time getting the hook off. If I’m using a large chunk of salmon skeened-eggs (about the size of a golf ball), I go to a number 4 hook…God bless you.

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Hello Italo LabignanI live in ajax, i mostly fish bass but i am craving doing some float/ bottom fishing with bait for big fish that take a while to land and pull lots of drag. Im fine with any fish as long as they have a nice fight. Could you recommend a spot, fish type and rig within 1-2 hours of ajax, one where i would have the best chance of catching numbers. Channel catfish would be fun but i am open to anything. Happy Labor Day!

Posted on September 2nd, 2018

Best time to target Channel catfish is in the spring up to June. Now is not the best time. You are better off targeting Chinook salmon by either fishing off the piers like the mouth of the Credit River & Bronte Creek, Bowmanville Creek or Ganaraska River, or fishing those rivers after the next rain when there will be more salmon running up. If you fish off the piers you can cast lures, drift-fish a float with a roe bag, or fish on the bottom with a floating roe bag. If you fish the tributaries you can drift flies, artificial salmon eggs or roe bags with or without a float. Timing is everything and the best timing is fishing the tributaries as the water is clearing up after a heavy rain.

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Hi Italo, Do you know of any techniques for catching shallow water salmon in the rivers that are likely spooked? Thanks

Posted on August 12th, 2017

Hi Matthew, very difficult to make spooked fish strike or feed. It’s better to fish pools/runs early before salmon are spooked and make casts from further back so they don’t see you with either salmon eggs or lures like the Jointed Rapala in the fluorescent orange color. Try to cast up-stream from the fish and let your bait/lure pass in front of them in a natural manner. Never cast right on top of them, that will spook them also.

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Hey italo! I am planning on heading up to the gta next weekend for salmon bowmanville the credit i can not make my mind up anyways i will be float fishing with a centerpin what do you sugguest for early salmon and what type of shot pattern would i run i have only fished big water not small streams

Posted on September 8th, 2016

Hi Paul,

If we get some rain on Sat., Sunday should be the best day. Bowmanville may be your best bet, but I don’t think there will be many fish in the rapids and pools. There may be more staging at the mouth in the harbor. Guys are catching them in the tribs, but few and scattered. Set-up for the center pin is same as for steelhead in the smaller streams.

italo_big_female_chinook

Your lead average will be 2-4′ below the float in the rapids/pools, 6-10′ in the harbor mouth. Leave at least a 14″ lead between your hook and the first split-shot sinker. Stagger your split-shot same as steelheading. Larger one closer to your float and go down in size closer to your float. Use enough shot to “neutralize” your float. ¬†Hope you catch some!!

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What is the best time of year to catch plenty of salmon in the niagara whirlpools

Posted on September 13th, 2015

italo_chinook

Right now after the water clears up form the heavy rain and right through until the beginning of Nov.

rapala_j13

Best artificial presentation casting the Jointed #13 Rapala in fluorescent orange and chartreuse and 3-4″ casting spoons.

drift_setup

Best bait presentation fishing a slip-bobber righ 8-12′ down and using a chunk of skeened salmon eggs for bait.

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Hey Italo,This weekend I was considering fishing my steelhead spots on bowmanvill creek for salmon. Do you think that the salmon are in the rivers at this time ? Thanks, Jerry

Posted on August 28th, 2015

barb_big_salmon

Some Chinooks did run up some of the eastern Lake Ontario tributaries after we had the last rains, but most have dropped back to the harbor mouth and the lake. You may wan to wait until we get another heavy rain and fish afterwards when the water is turbid.

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hi, in October and November im planning to do some float fishing for salmon or steelhead with spawn sacs it will be my first time, how far up do you put the bobber stop and how long is the leader to the hook and where do I place the split shots? Thanks Jason

Posted on July 7th, 2015

barb_big_salmon

The distance you fish a spawn-sack below the float is determined by where the salmon are holding in the water column and how deep the water is. In most cases salmon in rivers/streams will hold within 1′ of the bottom because here is less current there. So, if you set your spawn-sack to drift within 1′ of the bottom, the lead from your float to the spawn-sack will be determined by the depth of water. I would really encourage you to look at the TV shows I have shot river fishing for salmon, steelhead and migratory brown trout on our Italo Labignan Youtube channel, and you will see exactly how we set out rigs. If you subscribe to our channel you will receive notifications every time we post a new TV show or tip.

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