Fraser River Bar Fishing 101

Fraser River Bar Fishing 101

The Fraser River offers an awesome fishery for Chinook Salmon during the Summer and early Fall months. Bar fishing is one of the most rewarding methods to catch these powerful migrating salmon. These fish are fresh and aggressive, and very willing to bite. Ideal times for bar fishing are when the river is dropping, and visibility improves. So grab a lawn chair, bang the holder into the ground, and send your rig out there. Now the only thing left is to hear the bell toll!

What to look for to become a successful bar angler:

You will want to target gradually sloping bars between the areas of Chilliwack and Hope, and cast to traveling lanes of Chinook Salmon. Do not be discouraged when you cast and your weight lands 20 feet from shore. When casting large weights, it can be difficult to get it far out,  but do not worry as most times the fish will be swimming close to shore. This can be a bit of a trial and error to find the proper traveling lanes, but with a little patience and persistence, you will find them.

Below you will find out what you need to be successful with this fishery.

Rods – Having the proper rod is critical for this fishery. You will need a fairly long rod with lots of power and backbone. The reason behind having a heavy rod is that on average, you will be casting heavy weights.

Here is a list of good rods:

–    Shimano Technium
–    Trophy XL Custom Series or Titan
–    Fenwick HMX
–    Sage 4 power series
–    St. Croix

Here are the specifics on proper rods:

–    10’6” to 12’ in length
–    Medium-Heavy or Heavy Action
–    Casting / Levelwind Style

Reels – A heavy duty reel of good quality is needed in order to be able to handle long hard runs of Chinook Salmon and capable of casting heavy weights.

Here is a list of good reels:

–    Abu Garcia 7000 Series
–    Penn 320 Series
–    Penn Torque 25
–    Penn Squall 30LD

Lines – Having the correct line, and the correct test rating is going to a be a large part of your success.

Braided main line is absolutely crucial when bar fishing due to its thin diameter which causes less drag against the current. Regular monofilament is generally thicker and will cause more drag. Another main reason braid is so important is that it has zero stretch, which makes for direct contact hook sets.

Mainlines to use:

–    Power Pro Braided 65lb or 80lb
–    TUF Line Braided 65lb or 80lb
–    Fireline Tracer Braid 65lb or 80lb

Heavy leader material must be used due to the constant wear and tear of the spin-n-glo spinning on the leader, and for the fact that the leader must be stiff in order to keep the spin-n-glo stationary in the water column. You will want to use roughly 35” of leader from your bar rig to your hook. Make sure that you are checking your line every 30-45 minutes to know that your gear is still fishing without tangles, and that by casting in newer areas or slots, you are covering more water and travelling lanes.

Leader Material

–    Maxima Ultragreen 40lb – 60lb.
–    Seaguar Blue Label 40lb – 60lb

Spin-n-Glos – These will be your main staple presentation.


–    Chrome Green Top
–    Chrome Red Top
–    Black Silver Speck
–    Fire Tiger
–    Chrome Red Top (Pink Mylar Wing)

Tips and Tricks for your Spin-N-Glos

–    Bend the wings up for a better spin
–    Take the end of knife or scissor blade, and carve a wider hole on the bottom of the spin-n-glo for better spin.

Scents – Scent can play a major role when fishing for Chinook, especially once they have hit freshwater.  It has been researched meticulously that certain bait scents can out-perform other presentations that are bare of scent. When using scent, lather your spin-n-glo with a thin layer of gel. Make sure you check the regulations first.

Here is a list of our recommended scents

–    Pro-Cure Bait Scents; Gel (Anchovy, Herring, Sand Shrimp, Shrimp)
–    Smell Jelly (Anchovy, Salmon Egg, Herring)
–    Mike’s Tuna Scent
–    Pautzke Gel Krill

Terminal Tackle and Accessories Checklist

–    Bar Rigs (Heavy duty Fraser River style bar rig)
–    Hooks (4/0-7/0 Owner or Gamakatsu Octopus)
–    Plastic Beads (Red, Orange, Green, Chartreuse)
–    Weights (Wedge Weights 12-24oz)
–    Swivels (Heavy duty barrel swivels)
–    Cow Bell with surveyors tape or bright yarn tied onto it
–    Folding Chair
–    Rod Holder
–    Sunscreen (Weather permitting)

And that about wraps up our Fraser River Bar Fishing blog post. If you need up to date salmon fishing information please give us a call at 604-931-5044. Be sure to enter our “I’d Rather Be Bar Fishing Photo Contest”.

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