Well June was the “Month of Gabriola” this year as the bulk of our fishing efforts were in this area. The chinook fishing was generally good to excellent with even a few fish hitting the box on the slow days and on the good days we were hooking double digits and limiting out on nice chinook.
Last year by mid June we were doing a good number of charters off W. Vancouver and were having great success for coho and even a few chinook, but this year that has not been the case. Very few coho have been hooked despite a decent amount of fishing pressure off W. Van in anticipation of the great action there last year in mid to late June.
As we move forward to July we will start to see things pick up off W.Van. There are already good numbers of coho, and good size ones at that, in the Capilano River. The river has had good water levels all of June so the fish aren’t slowing down much and stacking on the shoreline for the beach anglers and trollers. Once we get some actual summer weather and the river drops, the fish will start stacking up off W Van. This should be the case fairly soon as we have just started to hear some better reports from boats fishing W. Van and Cap Mouth beach anglers in the last 48 hours. Try to keep your gear in the top 60 feet of the water column with a fast troll (45 degree angle on the rigger cable) and use White UV hootchies with a 28-32 inch leader. Bait and popular spoons like the Glo/Green and Wonderbread with a 6 foot leader also work well.
Things are not done over at Gabriola either. We are still hooking good numbers of chinook off Thrasher Rock and the Grande in 120-200 feet of water with the gear close to the bottom. Other anglers are continuing to find schools of chinook offshore of these areas in 500-1000 feet of water and depths of 90-180 on the riggers. A variety of items are working such as spoons in the 2.5, 3.0, 4.0 sizes as well as hootchies, plugs, and bait. We start to see some juvenile herring show up this time of year so often the smaller spoons right off the bottom will work well. When you are fishing deep the spoons with some glow tend to work really well. Flaming Hans, Glo/Green, Night Rider are some of my favourites.
July is also the time to think about Howe Sound. There will be good fishing for some decent size chinook along Hole in the Wall, Sunset, and Porteau. Productive depths are from 65-165 on the riggers and anchovies or herring behind a flasher is often the most productive setup but some angler also do well on their favourite spoons and hootchies.
As for the July Fraser River Chinook, some recent chinook management actions have just been announced:
Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10, Fraser River Spring (age 5-2) and Summer (age 5-2) Chinook. The in season prediction of Chinook returns to the Fraser River through June 15th is approximately 50,000. Given the uncertainty about the in season estimated return to the Fraser River, the Department plans to implement management actions consistent with zone 2 after July 15, 2011. Specific management actions announced previously to protect Fraser Spring 4-2 chinook (see FN0370) will remain in effect until July 15, 2011 when greater than 70% of the Spring 4-2 Chinook run has entered the Fraser. Effective Saturday, July 16 until Thursday, July 28, in Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10, the daily limit for wild or hatchery marked chinook salmon is two (2) per day with a minimum length of 62 cm and a maximum length of 77 cm. Effective Friday, July 29, 2011 and until 23:59 hours Saturday December 31, 2011, in Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10, the daily limit for wild or hatchery marked chinook salmon is two (2) per day with a minimum length of 62 cm.
Effective Saturday, July 16, 2011 and until Thursday July 28, 2011, in Subareas 29-11 to 29-17 the daily limit for wild or hatchery marked chinook salmon is one (1) per day with a minimum length of 30 cm and a maximum length of 77 cm. Effective Friday, July 29, 2011 and until Wednesday, August 31, 2011, in Subareas 29-11 to 29-17, the daily limit for wild or hatchery marked chinook salmon is four (4) per day only one of which can be greater than 50 cm. Effective Thursday, September 1, 2011 and until Saturday, December 31, 2011, in Subareas 29-11 to 29-17, the daily limit for wild or hatchery marked chinook salmon is four (4) per day only one of which can be greater than 62 cm.
When fishing for these fish off the Bell Buoy, QA, T-10, North Arm & South Arm of the Fraser, it is what we call a “meat show” meaning we are usually fishing flashers and anchovy or herring on all 4 rods. Most of the fish tend to travel fairly shallow and productive depths are from 25 feet down to 90 feet on the riggers. I like to use a flasher with some glow tape on one side and anchovies or herring in glow or glow green teaser heads with a 6 foot leader. This setup tends to produce well in the dirty water often associated with this fishery. I am looking forward to these fish in the weeks to come as they are some of the best tasting salmon there is!
Weekends are booking up rapidly for July but we have some weekday spots open so if you are interested in a charter please give us a call at the shop or stop by to pick up the gear you need for these upcoming fisheries.
See you on the water,