Start your search in and around big-water tributaries
Enjoying a successful day of chinook fishing is about finding the biggest concentrations of large fish, then presenting them with a bait or lure they can’t resist.
Fortunately, finding chinook in the fall—both along the B.C. coast and in the Great Lakes—is made much easier by the species’ predisposition to return to the rivers where they were born or stocked. Early in the fall, you will find kings staging within a few kilometres of their natal tributaries; later in the season, you’ll catch them in the estuaries and rivers proper.
Because chinook prefer cold water in the 10°C to 14°C range, anglers typically need diving aids to get their lures down to the preferred depth. Late in the season, though, you can flat-line glow spoons, cutplugs and wobbling lures right under the surface. You can even fish from shore, drifting spawn sacs, salmon beads and—my favourite—small scented soft-plastic pink worms.