A technique that is tried, tested, and true, float fishing jigs for salmon evolved from the popularity of float fishing jigs for steelhead. Little did most know how effective jigs presented under a float can be for salmon as well, and not to mention, salmon of all species.
Suspending a jig under a float comes with great success in the right scenarios – Water speed, depth, turbidity, and the targeted species. Like most float fishing scenarios, maintaining a drag-free drift is imperative. A simple setup with great efficiency!
In this article, we will focus on primarily Coho and Chum Salmon due to the time of year and run timings of fish in the South Coast region (ie. Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, & Vancouver Island).
A well presented jig allows for a few key principles: Your jig suspended at a depth that is off of the bottom and in the strike zone of the fish, a drag-free drift, and an evenly distributed weight to jig ratio. On top of a few key principles, when it comes to salmon fishing, it always a wise choice to have variety. Carrying a good amount of jigs in various colour and weight assortments can allow for a lot of option if the fish get picky or have turned off a single colour or style.
Suggested set-up *in order from float to jig*
- 25-35gr. Float (Bobber stops if necessary)
- Weight system (Various weights – Egg Sinkers, Pencil Lead, Split Shot)
- Barrell or Crane Swivel (Size 7-Size 10)
- Leader material to jig (Often 12-20lb Test – Monofilament or Fluorocarbon)
The necessary rod type for this method of targeting salmon with jigs will consist of adequate length to the body or bodies of water you are fishing, and your main targeted species. A variety of fast, medium, and slow action blanks will provide adequate casting and hook setting power. As a general rule of thumb, a longer rod in the 9’6” to 11’6” length will provide better line control than something shorter than 9’6” for example.
There is no right or wrong style of rod to fish, however anglers often vow to fish with a casting style or centrepin style. Spinning setups can be used, but anglers will find a drag free drift difficult to accomplish at times
- Trophy XL 10’6” Custom Series (Centrepin & Casting available)
- Trophy XL 10’6” 2106 or 3106 TITAN (Centrepin & Casting available)
- G-Loomis GL2 10’6” (Centrepin & Casting available)
- Fenwick HMX 10’0” (Casting)
The importance of a reel in this fishery is not as critical to certain specifications like that of your chosen rod, but there are a few things to think about; line capacity, line type, cost, and the overall species you plan on targeting. Whether you plan on using a centrepin setup or casting setup, we have you covered.
- John Milner
- Abu Garcia
It is often personal preference when it comes to line chosen for float fishing – Both monofilament and braided lines work quite well. We suggest monofilament lines for a majority of float fishing, but anglers may choose to spool up their casting reels with braid as braided line does have significant floating properties.. Suggested line weight should vary between 15-20lb for monofilament mainline, and 30-50lb for braided mainline.
- Berkley BIG GAME
- Maxima Ultragreen
- Maxima Chameleon
- TUF Line
- Power Pro
Jigs Styles – Colour, Type, & Weight
Jig colours and styles are never ending. Twitching jigs can consist of plain marabou styles, to rabbit fur styles, to a plastic grub tail and everything in between. What you choose for your jig styles and colours is dependant on species, water clarity, water speed, and water depth.
Standard Jig Head Sizes (weight oz)
*Sizes will be lighter on average compared to twitching jigs*
- Black & Blue (Coho – Chum)
- Black (Coho) *dark or clear water conditions
- Black Purple (Coho)
- Purple (Coho – Chum)
- Pink & Purple (Chum)
- Blue & White (Coho)
- Chartreuse (Coho – Chum)
Grub Tail Colours