4 Ways to Find the Best Salmon 

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Last Updated on December 16, 2023

Do you like salmon but have a hard time finding good fish? Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to find and purchase high-quality food. 

You can find and procure excellent salmon with a little education and some insider information.

Continue reading below for some tips:   

Do you like salmon but have a hard time finding good fish? Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to find and purchase high-quality food. 

1. Make a Friend of Your Local Fishmonger 

Who else but the experts will know what quality fish is? Wherever you shop, ask the fishmonger what is fresh in the fish case and what has been previously frozen and thawed. 

Inquire about the availability of seasonal fish. Yes, fresh fish like salmon, as well as asparagus and peaches, are seasonal. And buying in season, especially at the peak of the season, ensures that you get the freshest product at the best price. 

Summer is the season for Pacific salmon from Alaska and the west coast of the United States. Wild-caught salmon (particularly Alaskan Salmon) typically fished from mid-May to the end of September.

2. Have Fresh, Wild Salmon Delivered to Your Door  

Cut out all the middlemen and have your fish delivered directly to your door. If you buy directly from a fisher, you can almost always guarantee the freshness of your catch. Most wild salmon delivery options will compile information such as what species of salmon are in season and who has the best prices. 

This is also a good option because most services allow you to buy in bulk. Because fresh wild salmon is only available for 3-4 months a year, purchasing larger quantities from a home delivery company is the best option for the rest of the off-season.

3. Purchase Vacuum-Packaged, Frozen Wild Salmon 

If you don’t have access to a fishmonger or don’t want to buy in bulk, you can always purchase vacuum-packaged fish from the store. Vacuum-packed salmon is typically less expensive, and “if” vacuum-packed and flash-frozen, it will taste fresh for at least six months. 

Finding a company that will vacuum-pack and flash freeze their fish is the challenge.  

Nearly 90% of the seafood consumed by the average American is imported, and up to 32% (or USD 2.1 billion) of imported wild-caught seafood is illegal, unregulated, and unreported. In some cases, even fish caught in domestic waters is exported to China for processing before being exported back and resold in the US market. 

You can find someone who flash-freezes their fish and enjoy the taste of the ocean with a bit of research.

4. Make Use of Your Senses    

Examine, sniff, and feel. Is the salmon moist and glistening on the outside? Is the skin silvery and gleaming? Are the eyes protruding, bright, and clear if the salmon is sold whole? Do the fillets appear moist and freshly cut instead of flat and browned at the edges when shopping for fillets? 

Do not be afraid to ask to look over the fish or fillet before you weigh and purchase it. Fresh fish does not have a fishy odor. Top-tier fishmongers will be thrilled to help you pick the best fish for your needs. If you are a bit concerned about your selection, stand near the scale while the fish is being weighed and take a sniff.

Take a look over the skin too. If the fish appears resilient and firm, rather than mushy or slimy, you’re in the clear. Ask to see the gills if the head is attached; they should be bright pink or red; if they are pale or brownish, the fish is old.


It’s now time to go shopping at the grocery store or the seafood market. The key to smart shopping is to find a fishmonger you can trust. If the labeling is ever ambiguous or unclear, don’t be afraid to seek assistance.

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