The coho salmon rears for part of its life in the Pacific Ocean and spawns in freshwater streams.
Features: When in the ocean coho salmon can look very similar to Chinook salmon. However, coho will have a white gum line on the lower jaw with darker color both inside and outside of the gum line, and will only have spots on the upper lobe of their tails. When coho return to freshwater they become red on their sides and dark greenish on their backs, heads, and fins. Coho adults may reach 25 pounds or more, but rarely exceed 15 pounds.
Habitat: Small, relatively low-gradient tributary streams with pea to orange-sized gravel for spawning and juvenile rearing. Coho may use lakes for rearing when they are available. They also prefer complex, in-stream structure like woody debris and tree-lined banks.
Technique: Drift fishing is a common technique for coho when in freshwater. Here, it is ideal for your bait to bounce off the bottom, moving at the same speed as the current. A similar technique to use is plunking, in which a spoon or spinner is cast but instead of drifting with the current, anchors in one spot where a fish is likely to happen across it. When fishing for coho in the ocean, anglers often have the best luck trolling within 15 feet of the surface using a spoon or artificial squid tipped with a piece of herring or anchovy. As a general rule, trolling at 3-5 mph produces better results, and a dodger or flasher in front of an artificial squid often increases success.