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What Do Salmon Eat In The Sea?

What do salmon eat in the sea?

Fly fishing for salmon is to some degree still a riddle – and anglers will spend countless hours fishing over seemingly uninterested fish that have left a greedy, a la carte life at sea to return to their place of birth, fully nourished and with little or no need or desire for sustenance…Suddenly – and with no reasonable explanation – the fish will rise from the bottom to grab your small fly.

Is it hunger, a memory of food or just frustration that triggers this irrational event ? We cant really tell but it inevitably has to do with the behaviour and characteristics of the food salmon has been feeding on for millions of years –

Follow us to see the treats on the salmon menu carte as we delve deeper into the mind of this most demanding and frustrating of gastronomes

Salmon eat Sand eel lancer tobis

It has been a eye-opening experience for us to uncover the information on salmons feeding behaviour at sea – and we think that you will be equally entertained when you see the images of these rarely seen critters.

Here Hyperoplus immaculatus commonly known as Sand eel or sandeel

Salmon are opportunistic feeders

A common denominator in all the evidence we have read about salmon feeding behavior has been that Atlantic salmon is opportunistic feeders that will eat the food that is present at a given location and time.

salmon eat small cod

Common cod is on the menu

In the coastal waters of Newfoundland salmon feed mainly on herring, capelin and sand eels, while in Labrador young cod was a important part of the diet.

Gadus morhua. Common name: cod.
Here a trio of very small cod.
Photo with curtsey of Mr. Claude Nozères, World Register Of Marine Species.

Shrimps are popular with salmon - but fish was the main source of protein

Salmon eat krill

One of the surveys done by scientists in the North Atlantic showed that fish could be the bulk diet in weight – but shrimps could account for a staggering 95% of the food in numbers.

Above: Meganyctiphanes norvegica swimming with a Thermisto libellula  – Both important animals in the zoo-plankton food chain. Both 30 – 45 millimetres big.

Photos Mr. Claude Nozères, World Register Of Marine Species

salmon eat squidVisit our big page with images of many of the animal salmon will eat at sea Photo Mr. Claude Nozères, World Register Of Marine Species

Jesper Fohrmann

Jesper is chief designer and fly tier at Fishmadman - He also does most of our writing on the Fishmadman pages and Newsletter

Top water fishing is his sport and as an outdoor writer he has been writing articles on this subject in magazines and books in Europa and North America sins the early 80´s.

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