Salmon Fishing With Powerbait: Tested and Rated By Guides

Salmon fishing with Powerbait can be good for large salmon like this one help by one of my guides.
Salmon fishing with Powerbait can be good for large salmon like this one help by one of my guides.

As a fishing guide of 22 years, I’ve had the opportunity to use and test Berkley Powerbait Doughs and other Berkely Powerbait products under various conditions and compared them to other common and effective baits.

My experience and knowledge of salmon fishing with Powerbait has enabled me to rate their effectiveness. Most Powerbaits are low-percentage baits, but one bait has proven to be excellent, and I have caught thousands of fish with it.

Salmon Fishing With Berkley Powerbait

An angler salmon fishing with Powerbait

I will tell you that “yes.” Berkley Powerbait can be used to catch salmon once they enter the river to spawn. However, there are some things you should know before you go and stock up on Powerbait Dough and fish salmon fishing.

About PowerBait for Salmon Fishing

A jar of Powerbait Dough
A jar of Powerbait Dough

PowerBait dough, also called dough bait, is a moldable substance that can be rolled into tiny balls using your hands.

Powerbait also comes in nuggets, eggs, and worms.

The manufacturer contends that this bait releases a tantalizing aroma that draws in fish.

I have read that the company claims that scientific trials have confirmed it’s better than salmon eggs and other pre-made baits.

However, I very rarely ever see anglers and guides using it, which makes me question, if it is better than real salmon eggs, why are top anglers and guides not using Powerbait to catch salmon.

Is Powerbait Natural?

A jar of Powerbait Glitter Dough
A jar of Powerbait Glitter Dough

Powerbait is not 100% natural. It is made from PVC, oil-based resin, and an array of scent-related compounds.

Why Salmon Eat Powerbait

Salmon will often eat just about anything that drifts past them, especially if it is small enough and resembles food. This means there are times when salmon will readily feed on various baits, including Powerbait.

Powerbaits can be molded to look like eggs, and then there is the Powerbait worm.

Many anglers claim beads are their most effective bait for salmon, since you can easily make your Powerbait small and round like a bead, there is no reason why Powerbait won’t catch salmon.

Choosing PowerBait For River Salmon

Powerbait Eggs
Powerbait Eggs

Berkley Powerbait Dough is a favored choice. There are many options for colors and a few formulas. Some even contain glitter, which is believed to be an attractant.

My favorite Powerbait product is the Berkley Powerbait Worm
My favorite Powerbait product is the Berkley Powerbait Worm.

After comparing the effectiveness of Powerbaits to other more common baits, other than one, none have been more effective.

Some Berkley Products To Consider: I’ve been able to catch salmon on all of these.

  • Berkley PowerBait Magnum Power Eggs
  • Berkley PowerBait Magnum Garlic Power Eggs
  • Berkley PowerBait Power Wigglers
  • Berkley PowerBait Floating Trout Bait Dough
  • Berkley PowerBait Natural Scent Glitter Floating Trout Bait Dough
  • Berkley PowerBait Power Honey Worm
  • Berkley Trout Worm: My most effective Berkley product

One thing I will tell you is that, like any bait, the bait can be ineffective when combined with the wrong hook and the wrong-sized leader.

Selecting the Perfect Powerbait Hook

This shows how to properly put a bait on a hook.
It is important to know how to properly put a bait on a hook. It’s even more important to use the right hooks. Do not use bait holder hooks. Top guides don’t, so you shouldn’t either.

Fishing guides are very picky about the hooks they use. Guides want a hook that penetrates well on the hook set, holds well and doesn’t come out, and is strong enough that it won’t bend or break.

Hooks like the Raven Specimen or Gamakatsu Octopus hooks in sizes 6 to 10 are good choices for Powerbait.

When rigging Powerbait on a hook, it’s important to leave space in the hook gap and leave the hook point exposed. I’ll explain why this is so important below.

Choosing the Appropriate PowerBait for Salmon

To enhance your success rates try PowerBait in different scents and colors and change based on the conditions or salmon’s preferences.

Choosing the Most Attractive PowerBait Color for Salmon

In terms of selecting your PowerBait’s color, bright shades such as orange, green, and rainbow tend to be more effective in attracting salmon.

These vibrant colors increase the bait’s visibility, especially in murky water conditions.

Also, PowerBait with glitter can reflect sunlight, further enhancing its allure.

Colors like orange closely mimic salmon eggs, a preferred food for salmon. Yellow PowerBait, available in “corn” and “cheese” flavors, has also proven to be successful.

Basic Strategies for Salmon Fishing with PowerBait

PowerBait is particularly effective when targeting stocked hatchery salmon.

However, it’s worth noting that PowerBait can also be successful for catching wild salmon, particularly in fast-moving water where salmon have less time to scrutinize the bait.

The most prevalent technique involves molding a marble-sized ball of Powerbait Trout Bait dough onto your hook.

Use effective salmon fishing methods like Float Fishing, Bottom Bouncing, Drift Fishing, Bobber Doggin, and even Plunking.

Advanced PowerBait Tips and Techniques

Here are some extra tips to augment your success when fishing for salmon with PowerBait:

Bait Your Hook Properly: Mold the PowerBait onto your hook in a small ball the resembled an egg or egg cluster, ensuring the hook’s point is fully exposed. This technique increases the likelihood of a firm hookset when the salmon bites.

Consider Line Visibility: Salmon have sharp eyesight and can often detect fishing lines, use fluorocarbon leaders, such as 12 to 16-pound test.

Experiment with PowerBait Varieties and Colors: If you’re not having luck with a particular PowerBait color or type, don’t hesitate to switch things up.

Fish at the Right Depth: Salmon typically swim about 1 to 3 feet off the bottom. Adjust your bait depth to match their preferred level.

Utilize Multiple Hooks: When allowed, I to use two hooks and baits for salmon fishing. Iuse two different baits or colors.

Rig Up Properly and Effectively: You must use a bait rig that works for that type of water. Check out my 5 most effective Powerbiat rigs or 6 Most Effective Salmon Fishing Rigs.

Is PowerBait the Best Choice for Salmon Fishing?

While PowerBait can be effective for catching salmon, it is essential to consider other bait options as well. Based on my experience and feedback from guides and anglers, more natural baits, one I call High-Percentage baits, often outperform PowerBait.

In my opinion, using other natural baits like spawn bags, shrimp, insects, and even worms are often more successful in enticing salmon to bite and hold on.

The Best Powerbait For Catching Salmon

Berkley Power bait Worms

The Berkley Powerbait worm has been very effective for catching salmon, and I use it all the time.

However, as much as I like the Powerbait worm, and my belief that part of the reason it works so well is the scent, when I tried other non-scented worms, they worked equally well.

So my conclusion, after catching thousands of steelhead and salmon on worms, is that the scent made no difference.

In fact, the first day I tried the Raven Pink worm, I was very hesitant until my clients pulled 13 steelhead out of the first spot of the day. This is still the best day I’ve ever had in that pool. After that, I had full confidence in worms without scent.

Do Guides Use Powerbait For Salmon

I have been around a lot of guides over the years, I even trained a lot of guides, and I can’t honestly say that very few in any actually use Powerbait Doughs for salmon..

However, salmon guides are using Berkley worms as well as Berkley Power Eggs with some good results.

Tight Lines,


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