When to move?

My friend recently bought a boat and we have had very limited success going after Salmon in the salt. This past weekend we hit many points and covered lots of water and never saw any action except for little ones. I would like to know how long you fish one area, beach, or point before you decide to move and try another?


Steven Green

Hood Canal Pirate
I wouldn't consider myself an expert on this, but If you haven't seen any signs of fish in 30 or so minutes its probably time to move. Some would say less time than that. Look for jumping bait, Bonaparte Gulls, and the obvious salmon jumping/thrashing the surface. Another thing to keep in mind is that the salmon run is still somewhat early, and there will not be as many fish as there will be in a few weeks.

depends how familiar you are with the area and how much faith you have that fish will be there.
salmon are tough because they are constantly on the move in and out of the area. I;d spend more time moving and looking for fish as a beginner in the salt than camped out in one place.
I probably spend 15 min or 1 to 2 drifts on each spot until I find them. I also know exactly where i am going next if the fish are not at the current location though.


He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron

also would like to add that good electronics will benefit you. Stay on top of bait balls.
During a day of fishing(5-6hrs) for sea-run cutthroat or coho salmon I will commonly fish 12 to 15 locations. If I don't get a strike/hookup or see fish activity with 5-10 minutes max., I will either re-anchor down current or move to another spot. If fish are at a location, you should get a strike or see fish activity pretty quickly. I don't dilly-dally at a location even if the location usually holds fish and the tidal current setup is good. Before I leave the boat ramp I have a pretty good idea the locations which I want to fish at certain times of a tide exchange so I have a route in mind for the day. It all depends on the tides of the day. I can usually find a few locations where the fishing is good. One of the big advantages of a boat.



Active Member
i am always moving. like Roger, i might spend 5-10 min at a spot.
It shouldnt take long to hook up a cuttie if they are there.

Salmon are different though as hooker said. I will search for salmon in general areas by buck tailing or just cruising the beach. they are always moving so it can be tough to set up on one spot if they arent in there thick.
from the beach, i will fish the best part of the tide at the best part of the beach and hope for the best. Either they show up or they dont. maybe 3 hrs max
Thanks for the input guys. Good call on posting the question Clay.

Since I don't know the sound (other than the few beaches that I have fished before the boat was purchased), it sounds like I should just do some exploring. I suppose that would mean not ruling any stretch of shoreline out (specifically when targeting salmon). Diligence and good note-taking should shorten the learning curve.

That being said, Clay is down in Vancouver, I have one other guy that I will be fishing with up here, so more often than not I will be heading out alone. I plan to get into the sound at least once a week throughout the fall, so if anyone out there wants to come along on the boat occasionally, shoot me a pm. I'll provide the boat and you provide a little experience--that should shorten the learning curve as well.;)



He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron
That sounds like a plan Mark. If you need a fishing buddy, just post an open seat thread. I'm sure there are plenty of guys on this board that would be more then happy to help with the cause.:thumb:

What type of boat do you have?
18ft Larson with a 195hp i.o. Nice platform on the back for the guest while I'm up front running the trolling motor.

I guess I will post next time I plan to go out.