The Salmon

Salmon are considered the ultimate game fish because of their tremendous power, speed and stamina. These traits are present because salmon are anadromous, meaning they spend their adult life at sea and swim long distance to return to their freshwater spawning grounds. During this trek, salmon often vault over rapids and falls that are seemingly impossible to climb.

There are five species of Pacific salmon: Chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, and chum. These salmon swim into streams from Northern California up to Alaska. Pacific salmon have a fixed life span where most individuals of the same species will return to spawn at the same age and die. Atlantic salmon enter streams from New York up to Labrador and can live many more years then Pacific salmon. Atlantics tend to spawn a few times in their lives.

Salmon do not rely on cover and structure like other game fish. Instead, they go where they must to find a comfortable water temperature and food. Comfortable water temperature for a Salmon is 53 to 57 degrees F. On the Pacific coast some salmon will enter freshwater streams and rivers as early as April though the majority of their runs are from June to September. Atlantic salmon usually return to freshwater from May to October. Some of the river will have both spring and fall runs. When salmon enter their spawning stream they can be found in the same lies trout favour.

What does The Keel SystemTM do?

  • Action mimics a distressed or injured bait fish.
  • Erratic movement makes it easier for salmon to spot its prey.
  • Added flash off keel for better visibility.
  • Will not spin even in the choppy water that salmon love.

The Salmon and The Keel Difference


Chinook and coho salmon feed mainly on small fish, while Atlantics and kokanees rely more heavily on insects and crustaceans. Growth rates vary considerably among salmon species but the Chinooks generally grow the fastest. In the Great lakes a Chinook can reach up to 20 to 35 pounds where a sea-run Chinook can reach up to 50 pounds or more.

The Keel Difference - Prey

The contrast of the white belly to the color of the fishing lure makes this both a good catch for salmon in either low or bright lighting. The rolling action of the lure from side to side will allow the salmon to see the movement of the prey lure above it. If low lighting, the white belly and the added flash off the keel will catch the attention of the salmon. In brighter lighting, the shadow from the contrasting color of the lure will make it visible to the salmon. The kicking tail movement and rolling action also mimic the action of a wounded minnow which triggers the salmon to strike at its weak opponent.


Chinook salmon have silvery sides with black spots on both lobes of their tails and along their backs. Their gums are usually blackish in color and their anal fin has 15 to 19 rays. The normal life span is four years. Coho’s resemble a Chinook but the tail spots only appear on the upper lobe and their gums are whitish. The anal fin only has 12 to 15 rays and their life expectancy is three years. Pink salmon are also silvery with large black spots on their back, both lobes of their tails and their upper sides. They only live up to two years. Chum salmon have faint vertical bands over silver sides and have no black spots. They only live four years. Sockeye, like chum, do not have black spots. They do have silvery sides with distinct steel blue to bluish green backs and usually live up to four years. Kokanee have slim bodies with blush green backs and black speckles. The tail is not spotted and they only live four years. Atlantic salmon are silvery to yellowish brown with dark spots that may be X-shaped. They resemble brown trout but the tail is slightly forked and the adipose fin is not spotted. Landlock salmon have larger spots the sea-run Atlantics and the spots often have light halos.

The Keel Difference - Types

Because the Reel Keel comes in different diving and suspending depths, even pike that are swimming in deep water will be easy to catch. You will be able to catch salmon even on hot days with the Reel Keel fishing lure.  Anglers love our fishing lures.  They enjoy the true durability, efficiency in the water, and dynamic performance of them.  Experience the world's best fishing lures, buy KIKO Fishing Lures!


Our Recommended Lures for Salmon:

These are what our Pro Fishermen recommend for salmon. You may find other colors that work for you in your particular location. The lures listed below are the #400 SERIES ONLY. For our full color listing and #300 Series, head over to our Fishing Store.

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Black Salmon Fishing LureBlack Salmon Fishing Lure
SRK418 Black

Pink Tiger Salmon Fishing LurePink Tiger Salmon Fishing Lure
TFRK437 Fluorescent Pink

Pearl Salmon Fishing LurePearl Salmon Fishing Lure
SRK424 Pearl Bone White

Red Salmon Fishing LureRed Salmon Fishing Lure
SRK420 Black on Red

Red on White Salmon Fishing LureRed on White Salmon Fishing Lure
HBRK407 Red on White
White on Pink Salmon Fishing LureWhite on Pink Salmon Fishing Lure
HBRK410 White on Pink Fluorescent
Green on Yellow Salmon Fishing LureGreen on Yellow Salmon Fishing Lure
HBFRK408 Green on Yellow Fluorescent
Orange on Yellow Salmon Fishing LureOrange on Yellow Salmon Fishing Lure
HBFRK409 Orange on Yellow Fluorescent
Green on Yellow Tiger Salmon Fishing LureGreen on Yellow Tiger Salmon Fishing Lure
TFRK434 Fluorescent Green on Yellow
Orange Salmon Fishing LureOrange Salmon Fishing Lure
TFRK435 Fluorescent Orange
Orange on Yellow Tiger Salmon Fishing LureOrange on Yellow Tiger Salmon Fishing Lure
TFRK436 Fluorescent Orange on Yellow
Blue on Green Tiger Salmon Fishing LureBlue on Green Tiger Salmon Fishing Lure
TFRK433 Fluorescent Blue on Green

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