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Fishing The Atlantic Salmon: The Do's and Don'ts

Updated on December 26, 2011
Atlantic Salmon from the Salmon Rive in Pulaski, NY
Atlantic Salmon from the Salmon Rive in Pulaski, NY

Every year, at least once a year, my brother, cousins, and boyfriend go to the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY to catch Atlantic Salmon. They are different from the Pacific Salmon, and you can easily tell because they aren't pink. We love to catch the fish to put up with their fight, and then eat them! This article will serve as a guide for you and for others that want to head to New York to score some salmon.

Do's

  1. Always hook your fish in the mouth. You can perfect this technique the more you practice. Place you split shot above your hook about 10 inches and throw into the water in front of the salmon. Let the hook, guided by the split shot, float into the mouth and gently pull back towards you. Easier said than done so get practicing!
  2. Get to your spot early. Salmon fishing is alot like deer hunting. Wake up early and get to your spot so you can catch the fish. Fish the early morning and late evening hours, as fishing tends to be the best at these times.
  3. Stay at a place where you can clean the fish yourself. Fish cleaning stations up there rack you $3 bucks a fish! With the daily limit being 3 fish per license, that total can add up quickly. Stay somewhere that you can clean the fish on your own. Need an idea? Try Selkirk Shores State Park.
  4. Go up a weekend other than Columbus Day weekend. Time off brings more people, and more people means less fish per person. You do the math.
  5. If netting the fish with your bare hands, stand down river from it and allow it to float to you. Thrashing towards it will only scare it.
  6. When going to net the fish with your hands, grasp firmly around the back part of the fish, as close to the tail as you can get. When I say firmly, I mean firmly. They are a strong fish and can easily get out of your grip.
  7. Bring your own food. Saves you alot of money. Breakfast at McDonald's is ok though. That'll save you time in the morning!
  8. Take pictures. No one ever believes you on how big they are!
  9. Fish small streams if the salmon are in them. The river is fun too.
  10. Dress warm. It's always cold up there in October, especially at 5 in the morning!
  11. Wear chest waders. You never know when you'll be in water up over your waist!
  12. Make sure you yell "Fish On!" While fishing in the main river, or near other people. It's common courtesy, plus they'll move for you, or maybe net your fish. Running down through fishing lines is just rude, and will give you alot of enemies quick.
  13. Keep your female's eggs. Find a place in town to take them, and they'll pay you 50 cents a pound. The money adds up over the weekend, trust me.
  14. Stop in at Fat Nancy's Tackle Shop to get the scoop of where the fish are, enjoy a coffee, and get your license. They're nice people there and they'll help you out.

Don'ts

  1. Don't think you are trout fishing. This is a completely different style of fishing and takes practice to aquire. Keep at it though, it gets better.
  2. Don't foul hook a salmon. A foul hook is when you hook the salmon anywhere other than the mouth. It's against the rules and you'll lose you fish alot easier anyhow.
  3. Don't start fishing before you're allowed. Plainclothes fish commission officers patrol up there and they'll catch you and nail you for that one (my cousin had a story from one of his buddies that confirms this!)
  4. Don't honk someone out of their hole. It'll come back and bite you!
  5. Don't walk through a hole someone is fishing in. It'll make them mad and you don't want to make the wrong person mad up there.
  6. Don't walk on private property. They patrol it.


To have a great time and catch some fish, follow these simple rules and you'll be sure to succeed!

A markerPulaski, NY -
Pulaski, NY 13142, USA
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