Chum Salmon Fishing

Chum Salmon Fishing

Chum Salmon

Chum Salmon
  • Size 4-10 lbs
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Average
  • Habitats Inshore, Lake, River

(Oncorhynchus keta)

Chum Salmon, the outcast of the Pacific Salmon clan. You’ll find this commonly-occuring fish in the waters ranging from Alaska to northern California. Relatively low both in table fare and game quality, this fish is best described as the underdog of the Salmon species. Some people even call it “Dog Salmon.” For all the hype you hear about Salmon fishing, Chums usually aren’t included. In fact, many anglers regard this fish as a mere bycatch while targeting other Salmon. Poor Chum, surely you must have some redeeming qualities?

How Big?

If nothing else, it’s safe to say that Chum Salmon are one of the bigger species you’ll encounter. These fish average 4-10 lbs in size, with plenty of 25-pounders hooked on a regular basis. Chums are known to top 30 lbs on occasion. This means it’s not all bad news when you hook into one—if nothing else, you’ll have a big, photo-worthy catch!

Chum Salmon fishing in Canada

A Chum Salmon caught in BC, Canada

When and Where

Chums aren’t just one of the biggest Salmon, they’re also one of the most common. These Salmon inhabit a wider range than any other Pacific species, from the west coast of north America to Japan, Korea, and the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. Anglers fishing from Alaska to California catch this fish in local bays and rivers during late summer. Like other Pacific Salmon species, Chums make their way upstream to spawn every year, usually between May and August.

How to Catch Chum Salmon

The best way to catch a Chum is by fishing for other Salmon! Jokes aside, this fish can actually be pretty picky and usually goes for small spoons, spinners, shrimp flies, or streamer flies. Light tackle and fly fishing are the methods of choice.

Good to Eat?

You won’t see many people sharing recipes for Chum Salmon, but this fish is certainly edible. In fact, it can taste quite good, especially when smoked. If you catch one on a fishing charter and opt to keep it, ask your captain for some cooking tips. A little spice can turn even the least-loved Salmon into a delicacy!

Fish Species Similar to Chum Salmon

Top Chum Salmon Fishing Charters