Gearing up with new tackle for an Awesome Autumn of Salmon

The Awesome Autumn of Salmon is in full swing, with hundreds of anglers already competing in the Salmon Slam 2022.

As it’s one of Australia’s biggest smartphone-based fishing comps, we’re anticipating plenty of competition among Slam entrants trying to win the many awesome prizes up for grabs including the top prize of a sensational Shimano salmon fishing package valued at more than $3,000, including a Stella SWC 5000XG and a Coltsniper BB S 9ft6″ rod!!

To give you the edge in the Salmon Slam, supported by our partners Shimano, Recfishwest’s Zach Relph has taken an in-depth look at the fishing tackle that’ll help you land more salmon this autumn.

Recfishwest’s Zach Relph with a salmon from a picturesque south coast beach. Picture: Recfishwest

Rods:

If you’ve never fished for salmon before or just want to get a new rod for the season – because, let’s be honest, you can never have too many – it’s hard to look past a 10ft or 12ft spinning rod.

Most rods of this length rated in the 6kg to 15kg range will work a treat.

We’re blessed with world-class beaches in the Great Southern and South West, so it’s always plenty of fun keeping the sand between your toes along the coast while chasing salmon schools.

To hurl your lure out to the hungry salmon while fishing from the beach, a 10ft to 12ft spinning rod will give you the distance range needed to easily reach the schooling sportfish.

While some fishers opt to use lighter setups – I like using my Shimano Zodias 7ft 4lb-8lb spinning rod for salmon at Bunker Bay, for example – you cover more territory with a longer stick.

This is important if the salmon are schooling a bit farther offshore, which is sometimes the case!

A rod rated from 3kg-6kg to a big 12kg-20kg – with a cast weight between 30g and 50g – will be effective for a variety of salmon fishing styles.

Rods designed to help you cast farther, they’re a great option for salmon fishing, especially if you need to cast over any swell, while chasing big schools from the beach, include the Shimano Speedmaster Surf range.

Also, the team at Assassin also have a fantastic range of rods, many of which suit salmon fishing from along Great Southern and South West beaches.

The Assassin Sabre Surf comes in a range of sizes – including 10ft, 12ft and 14ft – to help you easily reach the salmon schools.

Have you checked out Assasin’s rod range?

Reels:

From spinning reels to the old-school side-casters, salmon chasers aren’t afraid to mix up the style when fishing during the annual salmon migration.

One of my favourite reels, which I love to dust off each salmon season, is my Shimano Stradic 5000 FI.

Loaded with 20lb braid, it’s been my go-to salmon reel since 2010, catching plenty of the hard-fighting sportfish in autumns gone by.

Although it has never let me down, I’m going to give it a deserved retirement this autumn and find a new reel to battle the mighty West Aussie salmon with.

I’m keen to get a new spinning reel in a 4000 or 5000 size, which will definitely suit a 10ft or 12ft casting rod when chasing salmon!

Browse Shimano’s range of spinning reels here.

If you’re based in Perth, or visiting the metro, and need help selecting a reel, visit the friendly team and Anglers Fishing World in Fremantle to help you select a new reel for salmon.

Having the gear necessary to cast into big schools of salmon, like this one near Yallingup, is essential! Picture: Chris Liaros / Drone Adventures Bunbury

Lures:

Now that we’ve gone through potential rods and reels, it’s time to talk lures!

One of the best things about salmon is they’re generally not fussy eaters and during the annual autumn migration, they’re particularly hungry so they’ll take most lures they see.

While anything from metal slices, to poppers, plugs, soft plastics or high-end stickbaits will entice a salmon, I like to keep it simple and just use a lure with the weight needed to cast into the schools.

If you’re catching and releasing the salmon, be sure to crimp the barbs on your trebles or rig your lures with specialised single lure hooks to make unhooking and releasing salmon easier.

It’s hard to look past Halco – namely the mighty Halco Twisty – when chasing salmon, while Halco’s new Slidog range has also worked very well when cast into hungry schools.

Stickbaits can be the go on those rare days when the salmon are being fussy and the Shimano Ocea range are a good bet here.

Also, have look at the CID Shiverstick range here – they’re certainly a salmon lolly!

A Halco Roosta popper is a very visual way to target salmon, often leading to terrific surface strikes.

Also, be sure to stock up your tacklebox with Richter Lures’ range of lures, including the mighty Richter Plug, for your next salmon mission.

Fishing soft plastics for salmon is plenty of fun, with even a basic straight-retrieve often being enough to fire up the fish.

Shimano has a great range of stickbaits, which are perfect for salmon fishing. Picture: Shimano

Join us and Shimano on the run this autumn

Join Recfishwest on the run this autumn and celebrate West Aussie salmon as the iconic southern sportfish they are during the Awesome Autumn of Salmon, from March 1 to May 31.

Supported by Western Angler magazine and our partners Shimano, the annual celebration showcases the safe and accessible sportfishing WA salmon provide.

With tens of thousands of WA fishers spending $331 million annually to chase salmon, this is a much-loved recreational fishery worth celebrating and protecting.