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December Report and Jan 2011 Outlook

Merry Christmas and Best of the Season from all of us at Pacific Angler!

December  fishing in the Vancouver area has been slow to get going and overall the fishing has been lack lustre. There have been a few bright spots and in between those bright spots,  we haven’t been on the water a whole lot as strong winds and torrential downpours have kept us warm and dry indoors! LOL.  The reason for the lack lustre fishing around Vancouver this past month has been the absence of the large bait concentrations which characteristically attract and hold fish. When we find the bait concentrations, surprise surprise, the fish are close behind. When we have been on the water, the Salty Dawg and our associates have been finding a few undersize Chinook in the 15-22 inch range and a few of the shaker size (7-11 “)variety with just the odd keeper thrown in.  All of our action has been right off the bottom in 120-160 feet of water at the Cap, the freighters in English Bay, the QB, around the backside of Bowen inTunstall Bay, the Waterfall, Hutt Island, the 3rd Marker and at Grace Is.

When we have been successful at finding the fish at these locations, we’re finding the best tackle to be our typical winter spring gear…11″  Hot Spot Flashers with Green with a Silver Horde and Coyote Spoons in the  3 to 4 inch sizes as lures.  Irish Cream, Midnight Rider, Green Glow and similar patterns of spoons are working. In targetting these fish, it’s important to cover area and seek out bait concentrations and make a few passes through the area before moving on.  Our associates have been reporting sporadic success with hoochies in the Purple Haze, Green Haze, J79, Runny Nose, Cloverleaf and Green Spackleback colours. Sometimes these fish can be very finicky, however as is usually the case, if you match the size of the bait, and fish with an appropriately sized lure, you’ll probably catch it!  A variety of Tomic Plugs have also been productive at this time of year and those colours have been in the 4” sizes. Productive plug numbers in the past have been the 168, 602, 407, 512g, 403 and the rare G26L or G82G if you’re lucky enough to find one.  The best way to run these plugs for winter springs is to fish them on your high lines, 10 feet up from your bottom spread and fish them about 50 feet back where they will dive to the bottom.

The local crabbing is starting to improve and we’re finding salmon carcasses and Chicken Backs to be the best bait. Our traps are producing a few keepers now as the Bay was picked over pretty good by the commercial crabbers earlier this year.

What’s ahead in January 2011?

I’m confident that January is going to offer more consistent action than the last month and a half.  As we get  into January, I’m sure we will start to see a larger number of fish being hooked on each trip and I”m expecting  much better quality as well as the herring start to mass up and migrate through to their spring spawning areas.  In these cases, moving off structure based fishing into areas of open water has been very productive. This is where Glow Cop Car and Black and White Hoochies replicating  the appearance of herring really come into their own. Each January there are several fish caught in the mid to high teens in local Vancouver waters.  Quite often it is the same boats who hook 2 to 3 very nice fish when they are in the right place at the right time. You have to be ready for anything!


For those of you locals reading the blog, if you’re new to the area or are new to the sport of winter spring fishing and find yourself challenged with a lack of success, I suggest you check out our mid- January Winter Spring Fishing Course! Our Winter Spring Course is $225 per person and includes a 3 hour theory session in the shop followed by an 8 hour fully guided trip to put the theory and techniques learned at the shop into practice! It’s the only one of it’s kind in Vancouver and seats do fill up quickly so inquire early. Due to the popularity of this course we’ve added additional dates.  Give us a call at the Shop and ask to speak to Jason Tonelli. Our expert guides will get you out on the water, show you a few trade secrets and show you a few tricks!

Stay tuned for more frequent reports and updates as we’ll be on the water more now that the holiday season is behind us !

Tight Lines!