For good reason, trolling is the most successful form of fishing when it comes to catching salmon. Trolling accounts for more salmon caught each year than all the other methods of salmon fishing combined. Just because a method is practically guaranteed, however, does not mean that it is the most popular option. Casting for salmon is a past time that many anglers swear by; not only does it have its successes, but it is also the most sportsmanlike and cost efficient of salmon fishing there is. Casting reels for salmon fishing are very similar to those used in pursuit of other species, the difference being one of heavy duty performance in most cases.
When to cast
Casting for salmon is an activity enjoyed by many both on the Pacific Ocean and the rivers that run inland. River running steelhead in particular are highly prized by anglers who cast, both due to their reclusive nature when it comes to taking some bait and then the incredible fight they put up once hooked. Both of these characteristics are common to salmon of all species, whether they are landlocked kokanee or spawning chinook, pink, sockeye, chum, or coho heading upstream.
One of the best times to catch salmon by casting is when they are gathered in the mouths of rivers, preparing to head upstream for the spawn. These fish are still hungry, and therefore much more likely to take bait presented to them than they will be in just a few days farther up the river. Casting for spawning salmon in the mouths of rivers and other estuaries means using casting reels for salmon fishing that are resistant to corrosion, as the fresh water will often still be mixed with a measure of salt.
Anglers who cast in the ocean have a few options open to them. It is possible to cast from a boat even when trolling; the key lies in having a reel with a quick action, which usually means sacrificing some power. You don’t have a lot of time to make the cast or play the fish with the bow heading towards your cast, so speed is the ticket.
Other types of boat fishing including mooching and drift fishing might mean that you will have the option of using from time to time. Appropriate times might include spying a school of herring or salmon rising for whatever reason. And of course using a good casting or spincasting reel for salmon fishing is always popular from the shore; just make sure that you have the drum size to make a far throw, and the line capacity to clear tide lines.