Do Salmon Bite At Night? Best Tips For Fishing Salmon

Many fish are more active than during the day, making it enjoyable to try night fishing. But does this rule apply to salmon? Do salmon bite at night?

Yes, but not all salmon species are the same. For the ultimate guide to salmon angling, let’s follow our post! 

do salmon bite at night

Do Salmon Bite At Night? 

Yes. Night fishing is ideal for most salmon varieties, except for Coho. Here is a rundown of nighttime salmon activities. 

King Salmon

You can fish for King salmon (also known as Chinook) any time, but night fishing yields the best outcome. 

Chinook salmon are abundant in the ocean. Sometimes they move back upriver. You can catch them with plugs, spinners, or bobbers.  

Many fishermen look for the ideal water temperature to tie into a “king” while trolling along the coastline with the land hardly visible.

There are two excellent periods for fishing these species: September to October and June to August, with the latter being the better. 

King doesn’t come from eastern waters, but people have transplanted them successfully to the Great Lakes. You can find them there and enjoy your trip. 


Sockeye fishing at night may be successful, especially when the moon is full. 

Try fishing from the shore, and you will have an excellent experience. 

People love catching these fish because of their fantastic taste. They are smaller than Chinook, so you need a different fishing technique. 

The best lures for Sockeye are hoochies, flashers, and squid flashers. Choose the red one because it’s more attractive to these fish. 

The best time for fishing Sockeye is from June to September. Don’t forget to check the local regulations before starting your trip. 


The only salmon that are active during the day on this list are Coho (also called Silver Salmon). Pre-dawn hours are magic hours for these fish. 

Coho is even smaller than Chinook, but you can’t overlook the fighting skills of these warriors. Hence, hunting for them is pretty challenging. 

Another thing to note for your adventure is the life cycle of Coho. These fish live one to two years in freshwater and travel to the sea later. 

The best times for fishing for Coho are from May to June and July to December.

Fish them with fluorescent orange or red plugs for an impressive outcome.   

coho salmon
Fishing for Coho during the day is a good idea.


Like Sockeye, Chum salmon are energetic at night, especially during the full moon. Their favorite food is baitfish. 

Hence, choose the lures that look like baitfish to attract them.

Chum are not popular because of their ugly appearance. However, some anglers still hunt for these tasty fish. 

If you like this species, go fish for them from September to December. It’s perfect for catching some male Chum for your sushi. 

Pink salmon

Fishing Pink salmon during the day is fine, but you will have a more rewarding experience if you set your trip right after sunset and right before sunrise.

Pink salmon are small, but their aggressiveness makes them hard to catch. If you like their amazing taste, challenge yourself with them.

If you want to fish for these species, bear in mind two rules:

  • Fish in the late summer
  • Use pink lures

Also, please note that Pink salmon only move into freshwater to breed every other year. Hence, if you fish in Alaska, fish for them in odd-numbered years. 


You will have a successful Kokanee trip if you head for dusk and dawn. New and full moon nights are when they hunt for food aggressively.

Anglers advise searching for these fish in July. They also remind others that Kokanee just strikes the lure softly. 

kokanee salmon
A Kokanee hits the lure so softly that you may not even notice.

Read more: Best Time Of Day To Fish For Salmon With Tips For All-Level Anglers

Are Salmon Teeth Sharp?  

Yes. The teeth of the salmon must pierce the prey they have grabbed. 

They should also be pointed to penetrate the prey’s fins, shells, scales, bones, and skin. But do the teeth affect your fishing? The short answer is yes. 

Can salmon cut through the fishing line?

The answer is No. Salmon teeth are often very pointed, so they don’t cut through braid, fluorocarbon, and monofilament. 

If you ever experience the bite-off, it can be due to the fishing line abrasion. 

You can blame the salmon in two cases:

  • Some salmon species have sharp teeth.
  • The salmon is so strong that it breaks the line. 

To avoid line breaks, try to use the proper pound test for the mainline. With this method, you can save many fishes. 

Can salmon destroy fishing lures? 

Salmon’s huge teeth can definitely damage or shatter your fishing lures, even though they frequently won’t cause much harm to the line.

If sharp-toothed salmon meet soft plastic lures, crankbaits, and inline spinners, they will destroy the lures easily.

More violent salmon, therefore, are hard to fish for as anglers have to choose the right lures for them.

You can’t prevent the salmon from tearing your lures. So, the rule of thumb, in this case, is to bring extra lures. 

Are Salmon Teeth Sharp
The sharp teeth may destroy your fishing lure.

Can Salmon Bite Humans? 

Yes. These fish are not too aggressive. However, they may bite you when you’re unhooking or checking their teeth and mouth. 

Salmon sometimes will approach your waders on rivers and begin to chew at your boots. However, these are rare cases, and the salmon most likely acted like that due to curiosity. 

Though it seldom happens, getting hurt while treating salmon, particularly the large and heavy species, is common. 

Furthermore, you could get hurt very badly if you are unlucky or careless.

Having an outdoor first aid kit is the only way to deal with this issue. Do not let the pain interrupt your excursion.

Can Salmon Bite Humans
Be careful with the salmon teeth.

Salmon Nighttime Activities 

Most salmon feed at night. Hence, night fishing is the best method for catching these animals. The moon also plays a role here. 

Phases of the moon, high and low tides, and even the practice of low-pressure schemes can maximize your chance.

Many anglers believe that the best fishing happens during downpours.

Salmon strikes can frequently occur in abrupt surges due to raindrops vibrating the water’s surface. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Do you need a leader to fish salmon?

Although wire leaders are unnecessary when fishing for salmon, using fluorocarbon or nylon leaders can be an intelligent decision.

Since you’ll want your end equipment to be as invisible and quiet as possible, particularly in clear water, you can opt for a fluorocarbon leader of roughly a 15 to 20lb test. Fluorocarbons are far more resistant to abrasion than nylon. 

Q: How do you know if salmon bites you?

The feeling at the end of the rod could be a slight jiggle. Novice salmon anglers misinterpret this as nibbling.

99% of the time when you feel that bite, the salmon has the bait in its jaws. 

Q: Can you fish the Salmon River at night? 

Salmon River doesn’t allow fishing from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. 


Salmon bite at night and are also more active during that time; however, some species may have different behaviors. It’s necessary to learn about your targeted prey beforehand. 

Fishing for salmon is an exciting experience. We hope that our guide can help increase your chances. Thank you for reading!

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