Salmon fishing is one of the most popular fishing sports today and continues to grow in popularity. There are different types of salmon, each with their own unique characteristics and appeal to fishermen. The largest of the Pacific salmon is the Chinook salmon, which can grow up to 40 inches long and weigh as much as 100 pounds. The Chinook salmon are only accountable for about one percent of the salmon harvest each year.
The Sockeye, from Alaska, is the most valuable of all salmon. It grows to 24 inches in length and weighs between six and nine pounds. It makes up 25 to 30 percent of Alaska’s commercial fishing. During spawning season, the males turn a beautiful red, and therefore are often called “red” salmon.
Coho’s are the next (third) most valued fish. These “silvers” as they are called, because of their bright silver color, are popular in the marketplace and often sold whole. The Coho runs to about 29 inches and weighs on an average of nine pounds. The favored ways of processing them is smoking or canning.
Another common salmon is the Chum salmon, however these types of salmon are less valuable to fishermen because their meat is pale and yellow in comparison to the red salmon, making them less desirable to the consumer. Chum salmon can reach a length of 30 inches and weigh about 8 pounds.
The least valuable of Pacific salmon is the Pink salmon. This is also the smallest of the salmon, weighing 4 pounds and averaging about 22 inches long. Even though the Pink salmon is the least valuable of all the salmon it is found in the most abundance. Pink salmon are used mostly for canning and not for eating fresh over the coals.
There are many fishing charters along the northern Pacific coast that are very popular among sport fishermen. If you are an avid fisherman you may want to think about chartering a boat to take you to the finest salmon fishing places along the coast. Many of these charters also offer whale watching tours which is a great way for you to combine your fishing vacation with a bit of sightseeing. Take your time finding the right charter for you as there are many different packages that you can choose from, including one day excursions to week long trips. You will want to join a charter that doesn’t have too many people booked with it, since the smaller the group is the better your salmon fishing trip will be.
Choose carefully and you can enjoy some great fishing – and some great tasting fish!