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Tactics for Locating and Luring Fish on Saltwater Bodies

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Different bodies of water pose different challenges when fishing, and saltwater is a category of its own. There are several unique factors to consider when fishing for a species like salmon or many others in saltwater specifically, and one of the particular challenges that sometimes faces anglers in this realm is simply locating large quantities of feeding fish in these bodies of water.

At Pybus Point Lodge, our saltwater fishing excursion guides are well-versed in all the ideal techniques for locating salmon and other fish during your fishing trip. We have years of experience throughout Pybus Bay, plus on numerous related bodies of saltwater. What are some of the techniques you might see our guides use to help locate fish when on a saltwater body? Here's a quick primer on a few of the most common approaches.

Watching Birds

One of the oldest tricks in the angler's book, and one that still holds major value today, is keeping an eye on the birds present on the saltwater body. Birds know the location of baitfish, and if they are flying around and diving into the water, you can bet there is a good chance of finding some fish and many hungry salmon and trout lurking below them.

Once you've located birds, watch their behavior. They may not actively be feeding yet -- they could be waiting for the shoal of baitfish to come by so they can swoop in and have a meal -- but you can still work with this information. Look for areas where the birds are diving, or areas where they are circling around. These are good places to cast your line, either lures or baits.


Another common practice for not only locating fish, but also drawing them closer to you, is known as trolling. Trolling involves a boat, with a guide trolling along at a slow speed. The angler casts lures behind the boat to mimic live bait fish and drive salmon towards you.

This can be an effective way of drawing attention to your lure quickly, as it is very easy for salmon to see against the surface of the water. The ideal method for most saltwater settings is the use of a downrigger, which involves tying a barrel swivel to the mainline, then adding about six feet of heavier line. From here, the lure or hook is tied on, bait is cut, and let the trolling begin.


A different trolling technique that deserves its own section here is plug cutting, which refers to cutting the head off the bait at a specific angle to promote a certain action of the plug. The most common angle of cut is about 45 degrees, which causes the plug to run vertically once it hits the water and tail-walking horizontally across the surface. Other angles might cause different actions, and anglers go with what works best for each fishing situation.

For more on techniques your guide may use to locate salmon and other fish or draw them to you while saltwater fishing, or to learn about any of ourall-inclusive fishing and wildlife packages in Alaska, speak to the staff at Pybus Point Lodge today.

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Alaska is one of the top dream destinations for anglers around the world, and it’s no surprise why! Our waters are home to a wide variety of fish species that are good to eat and a blast to catch.




Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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