Pulling the Plug
While it is widely known that salmon eggs are deadly as bait, many anglers are discovering that lures are extremely effective as well. Chinooks entering estuaries and tidal river mouths are surprisingly aggressive if shown something they like, and almost any diving lure that goes deep quickly and makes noise will get their attention. I've caught many big chinooks on 3- to 4-inch rattling plugs with large lips, such as the Wiggle Wart series by Storm Lures. Popular colors include blue and silver, purple and silver, green and silver, and orange. Many anglers using these plugs remove both treble hooks and attach only a single large hook (e.g., a 3/0 to 5/0 Siwash) on a swivel from the front hanger via a split ring. I'm convinced this modification hooks more fish. Trolling under power or casting and retrieving with a fast, steady crank of the reel gets hookups in slow or slack water, but if there's a strong current, it is more effective to anchor the boat and "troll" that way.