Salmon in the rivers have a very keen sense of smell to go with there eye sight. To take advantage of this you should use oils, sand shrimp, roe or sardine wraps to take advantage of this ability. Salmon fishing with bait is the same as drift fishing for steelhead except you should target the pools and deep channels in the river.
Change your bait often since the smell of the bait will fade with use.
When using bait on a jig try using a rubber band (dental braces rubber) to hold the bait on. When using bait below a float it can be rigged up like drift fishing or put in a small colored nylon bag. This works well when shrimp tails are the preferred bait. Tuna balls are a favorite of California Salmon anglers. Canned tuna in oil or water will work when placed in mesh bag and tied shut. Chopped herring or Sardines make excellent bagged baits too.
There are several types of shrimp at the fresh fish counter. Prawn tails fished behind a spin glow are effective for both salmon and steelhead. You may even try bagging some of the cocktail shrimp up . These can be soaked in Oils overnight and readily accept coloring.
Curing Roe for cluster eggs
When removing roe from a fish keep away from water. (Do not rinse) Never freeze eggs in water for later use. Always cure roe as soon as possible. Roe will keep in refrigerator in Ziploc bag for up to a week before curing.
To thaw roe place in microwave for one minute (No longer or you will cook your eggs)
Your ready to fish
Sand shrimp must be refrigerated at all times during your transport and fishing trip. They deteriorate rapidly with out a ice cooler.
When fishing sand shrimp I use a double hook set up that allows one hook on the head and another in the tail area. They must be cast gently or it will rip off during cast. You can also clip tail off and place in egg loop after putting hook down middle exiting though the tail. Place the egg loop around a shell section for strength.
Hook size on this set up is 2/0 or 3/0 to expose the hook for the bite.
To catch sand shrimp go to the beach at low tide and dig for clams. The sand shrimp swim into the holes left by the clam gun or shovel. Scoop them out and put in bucket.
This is a old time bait substitute.