Spawning salmon don't eat

Salmon are gonna do what they are gonna do. If you put someting in front of them that gets them to react for whatever reason they will react. Some or all may try to eat til the day they die wether they can swallow or not. Some will react to anything that is close to them regardless of what it is. Only thing I care about it is finding what they want and putting it in front of their face for whatever reason they are going to try and eat/hit/destroy or otherwise chew up whatever is on my line.

I do believe that most salmon at least try to eat as long as they can sense something as food. Wether they can eat or not is irrelevant, IMHO.
 

metalfisher76

Well-known member
Nobody pointed to relevancy. Just provided a first hand account...The fact that this thread is still alive..WOW..the horse be dead...salmon eat, duh! When they stop swallowing and digesting is , as RWS said, quite situational...

duh
 
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AK Angler

New member
The thread was started because I've heard a surprising number of people here in Oregon tell me that "fish are eating in the river because they are hungry." WIth a fish that is 100 miles upriver and turning into a boot, I just don't believe this is true at all. As many have pointed out here (including myself) a fish that just entered the river and bear sea lice has a much better chance of still having a true urge to eat (i.e., hunger) vs. one that is sitting in the red and is all spawned out.

I've had at least a dozen people try to tell me that "salmon eat when they spawn because they need energy for the difficult journey upstream; they get tired and they need food." This represents a fundamental misunderstanding about salmon biology.

To fish4all, troutdude and metalfisher… The point of discussing something like this is to understand the fish you pursue so you can improve the methods you use to target them. For instance, if you believe that bright, spritely chrome fish are more likely to strike bait because they are still feeding, then you might want to fish a bait setup early in a run, around the mouth/estuary, and/or when you see a pack of bright fish come into your hole. If you think they give up on eating later into their spawn, then you might think spoons, spinners and plugs are more effective.

Or you can just dismiss the whole concept, show up with your rod and reel, and throw whatever you think works into the river without knowing why it works.
 
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metalfisher76

Well-known member
The thread was started because I've heard a surprising number of people here in Oregon tell me that "fish are eating in the river because they are hungry." WIth a fish that is 100 miles upriver and turning into a boot, I just don't believe this is true at all. As many have pointed out here (including myself) a fish that just entered the river and bear sea lice has a much better chance of still having a true urge to eat (i.e., hunger) vs. one that is sitting in the red and is all spawned out.

I've had at least a dozen people try to tell me that "salmon eat when they spawn because they need energy for the difficult journey upstream; they get tired and they need food." This represents a fundamental misunderstanding about salmon biology.

To fish4all, troutdude and metalfisher… The point of discussing something like this is to understand the fish you pursue so you can improve the methods you use to target them. For instance, if you believe that bright, spritely chrome fish are more likely to strike bait because they are still feeding, then you might want to fish a bait setup early in a run, around the mouth/estuary, and/or when you see a pack of bright fish come into your hole. If you think they give up on eating later into their spawn, then you might think spoons, spinners and plugs are more effective.

Or you can just dismiss the whole concept, show up with your rod and reel, and throw whatever you think works into the river without knowing why it works.

And it`s been discussed bud...Seriously...drop it and go catch 1 man. I`ve been throwin at `em for 20+ years. NEVER dismissed ANYTHING...Have a wondeful day
 

troutdude

Moderator
Here's a thought:

If you were literally starving to death--even with your throat and innards shriveling up and not allowing any digestion--wouldn't you still at least TRY to eat when you saw food (because you know you are dying and want very much to stay alive)? Duh.

Agreed. This pony died a LONG time ago. Now it is being repeatedly beaten for no good reason.
 

CFishRun

Member
This conversation has been debated for decades and probably decades before that. Here is a quote to wrap this up from Francis H. Ames one of Oregon's historically great outdoor writers and overall iconic outdoor enthusiasts. If you don't know who he is read 'Fishing the Oregon Country.' This book was written in the sixties and encompasses many of his fishing adventures and gives some really sound advice to the open-minded angler. Here is a quote from this book about salmon eating habits in freshwater:

"You've been told no doubt, that Pacific Salmon will not take bait when on the spawning run. Baloney! They will not take herring or pilchard, as they did at sea or in saltwater bays, but they will take salmon eggs, crawdad tails, even worms and flies. With salmon being taken consistently on bait every year it is ridiculous to maintain that they will only strike at bait in anger. Yet many so-called experts, even fish biologist, quite often declare that this is the case. In clear water I have seen salmon approach roe bait lying motionless on the bottom, yards from their position, and gulp it down. Certainly this bait was not annoying them, to cause their wrath to be aroused. We can be sure that salmon do take bait when in the rivers.

Personally I prefer to employ artificials on chinook salmon when they are in fresh water. I use spoons, plugs and spinners with nylon skirts. I prefer this method because it pays off best for me." (Fishing the Oregon Country by Francis H. Ames)

It's kind of funny how history repeats itself. Keep an ear to the past so the future doesn't sneak up on you, as you find yourself standing over a Clydesdale with a Lousiville Slugger and a fist full of bio-studies crumpled into your fly vest pockets. Good thread and great comments to all.

-Jeff (sitting Carolina Pool Side)
 

troutdude

Moderator
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Drew9870

Banned User
Heres's a simple answer to the thread...

If every fish was the same, we would only need to use a couple methods, one fish may take a Herring willingly but maybe the other needs to be agititated, maybe the other simply won't pay any attention to the offering, maybe it depends on the time of the day, maybe it depends on the day.

Maybe they are curious, aggressive, hungry, all of the above, or none of the above, each fish is unpredictable, there are always those fish that may never ''eat'' and those fish that may attack every single thing in its path.

Is it right to say everybody won't eat Coconut? Not everybody is the same, as with all life.
 

ChezJfrey

Well-known member
So what you're saying is I should use coconut as bait for salmon? Good thing we got this cleared up and I'll let you all know how I fare on the river with my palm fruits.
 
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