For the past several years in the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes a strange metamorphosis has taken place. Fishermen, once satisfied with a pailful of tasty panfish, a stringer of three pound walleye, or the fight of a 12-inch bass, have become obsessed with "salmon fever."
In Michigan alone, sport fishermen harvest more than 30 million pounds of Great Lakes trout and salmon annually.
The beauty of this fishing is that it's available to almost anyone. Depending on the time of year, huge kings and coho can be caught off piers, surfcasting, wading a river, or even stream fishing from shore. But, without a doubt, most are caught trolling.
Coho and chinook salmon are anadromous fish. This means they are born in a river or stream, migrate to the ocean or Great Lakes, and return to their birth place to spawn. In the Pacific Northwest, these spawning runs occur in the spring, summer and fall. Great Lakes salmon only spawn in the fall.
The chinook (king) salmon is the largest of all salmon. Some Alaska "giant" chinook reach weights in excess of 120 pounds. However, they will average about 20 pounds, and any fish over 30 pounds is a trophy. Coho salmon are smaller, but are fierce fighters, and can become very acrobatic when hooked.
Like the coho and chinook, the steelhead is also migratory. It is really nothing more than a sea-run rainbow trout; or, in the Great Lakes, a Great Lake-run rainbow.
Spinner and spoon fishermen considering salmon fishing for the first time should equip themselves with a medium-heavy rod and reel combination capable of holding at least 200 yards of 15- to 20-pound test line. A rod length of 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 feet is ideal.
Lure selection for these trophy fish is critical. Because of their unique design, the Mepps Syclops and Syclops Lite spoons provide maximum flash and movement at any trolling or retrieve speed. Colors are available for all fishing conditions. These colorful spoons can be highlined, attached to a diving planer, downrigged, or fished on a planer board. And, they track evenly behind a downrigger, providing tangle free fishing.
The Syclops can also be cast from a pier. It is probably the most versatile pier fishing spoon ever developed. Need more weight? Sandwich a couple of Syclops front to back, and you'll cast further than ever before.
Once the fish have moved upstream, the true white flash of genuine silver plating, or the "hot" orange spawn color of the Syclops, will aggravate the most passive salmon into striking.
While the Syclops and Syclops Lite are great salmon catchers, don't forget the "classic" Mepps that have been producing consistent salmon catches for more than 50 years.
Stream fishermen, in particular, have always relied on the #3, #4, or #5 Mepps Aglia; #3 or #4 Aglia Long; or Black Fury spinners again in sizes #3, #4, or #5.
The Mepps See Best line of spinners were specifically designed for the steelhead, salmon or trout fisherman. See Best blade and or body finishes include genuine silver plate, 24K gold plate, black oxide and tarnished brass. These are some of the "secret" finishes utilized over the years by many of the most successful steelhead & salmon fishermen. Combine these finishes with Mepps exclusive "coffee" finish and the See Best's revolutionary design, and you have some of the most efficient spinner patterns ever developed.
Each See Best package contains a detailed color and size selection guide, so the guesswork is taken out of lure selection. Knowing what size lure to use and which color to select at any given time, gives the fisherman a full day of productive fishing.
Another Mepps spinner that's perfect for both pier and stream fishing is the Flying C. The Flying C is a heavyweight spinner that drops deep and stays deep throughout the retrieve. Its bright body tube can be stuffed with salmon eggs or scent. The Flying C is available in three hefty weights: 3/8 oz., 5/8 oz. & 7/8 oz. And, three blade sizes: #3, #4 & #5. Body colors are either hot chartreuse or hot orange. Gold blades are polished brass. Silver blades are genuine silver plate. Hooks are extra sharp Perma Steel trebles. Single salmon hooks are also available. No pier of stream salmon fishing arsenal is complete with a selection of Flying C's.