Chum Salmon Fishing


The Chum, Keta or Dog Salmon (Onchorhynchus Keta) have the widest distribution of all pacific salmon. They range from the Sacramento River to the Arctic Ocean, Japan and Siberia. Ocean fresh chums are beautiful silver fish with greenish blue backs that fight hard and are excellent eating when bright. You will see bright chum in grocery stores labeled as silver bright salmon. Chum typically mature between 3 and 5 years. We recommend eating the bright ones and releasing the dark spawners with the vertical stripes.

Stages of a Chum Salmon

DESCRIPTION: Ocean fresh chum are metallic greenish-blue along the back with bright silver sides and silver streaks in their forked tail. Chum average 7-15 pounds with some males exceeding 30-lbs. When nearing their spawning destination chum will turn green with purple & brown vertical bars on their sides. The male’s nose will hook and their teeth will protrude from its mouth like a snarling dog.

AVAILABILITY: Chum salmon are most abundant in Ketchikan from July through August.

FISHING TECHNIQUES: Chum are caught at deeper depths 50-100′ with herring or small hoochies (pink works good) slow trolled behind a flasher on a short 28″ leader. Schools of chum jumping on the surface are easy to spot but usually won’t bite. Jumping chum are distinguished by multiple sideways jumps in a circular pattern like skipping a stone across the water.