How to Use Salmon Eggs for Bait

Updated February 21, 2017

Salmon eggs make a deadly bait for trout, steelhead, even salmon themselves, when the spring spawning season drives these migrating fish berserk. Salmon eggs are available commercially in a variety of colours, from natural pink to eye-catching chartreuse, a blend of green and yellow that stands out in the water with greater visibility. Bait a hook with several eggs to resemble a small cluster as they appear in the wild.

Tie a hook to the end of the fishing line a few inches below the rod tip using a clinch knot to prevent slipping. Illustrated instructions for tying a clinch knot are linked in the Resources section below.

Pinch on two or three split-shot sinker weights about four inches up the line from the hook to add weight for the cast. A split shot weight is about the size of a BB shot with a slit in the middle. Place the line in the slit and pinch the two halves together.

Pierce three to four salmon eggs, one at a time, on the barb of the hook, pushing each egg around the hook's curve. The eggs should resemble a small cluster with the point of the hook buried in the last egg. Spawning salmon release strands of eggs connected by a viscous jelly. Eggs typically break off from the cluster in groups of three or more. Trout and salmon are looking for these morsels, which the baited hook resembles.

Cast the baited hook in pools of still water or in front of exposed rocks in fast-moving streams or rivers, allowing the hook to drift around the rock. Fish often lurk behind these natural hiding places, waiting for a meal to drift into view.


Fishing with salmon eggs, especially for trout, may be illegal in some areas at certain times of the year. Check local regulations before fishing.

Things You'll Need

  • Rod and reel spooled with line
  • Salmon egg hooks size 6 and 8
  • Split-shot sinker weights
  • Salmon eggs
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.