Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
It’s been a great start to the Fraser Chinook fishery these past 2 weeks. There were some good days and some downright red-hot days at the Bell Buoy, North Arm, T-10 and South Arm these past 5 days. The wind has dictated fishing location for the most part, but the forecast this weekend looks pretty good at this point, so take your pick.
As usual for this time of year the best depths have been on the shallow side as these mature chinook are up in the water column getting used to the freshwater and trying to find the mouth of the Fraser. These are not fish that are on the bottom, actively feeding on the herring balls that are in that area. Generally, you want your gear in the 30-75 zone on your riggers. On our guide boats we are stacking 2 rods per rigger with a 20 to 25-foot spread, so we have that area covered well.
You want to fish bait and then more bait, and then some more bait. We fish bait on all 4 rods. These fish aren’t feeding and bait is the best at getting them to bite one last time before they take off up river. We have been doing well on “green” herring size and on 5.5 or 6.0 anchovies. Leader length is 5 to 7 feet. For flashers, I have been fishing a Betsy on my shallowest rod, then a Green Onion Glow on my next shallowest rod, then a Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, BC, or STS on my deeper rods. The same format of going from flash and UV on the top rods down to glow on the bottom rods, applies for teaser heads. I run chrome ones on my shallowest rod, then a Green UV, then into glows like a No Bananas or a Green Chartreuse Splatter. There have been some days, like Wednesday, where there were so many fish around that hootchies or spoons worked just as well as bait, but that is not the norm. If you want to consistently hook fish, get the bait box out.
I am sure there are some pinks and coho around, but to be honest, none of our boats have been chasing them this past week, we have been focused on chinook. I don’t have any first hand info to pass on there, but generally things should be pretty good off West Van this time of year for Cap coho and any pinks that stop by there on their way to the Squamish or Indian River.
The chinook fishing should continue to get better as we are a good week or more away from the traditional peak migration. It has been amazing so far, so I am very interested to see how things play out in the next 2 weeks.
See you in the shop or on the water,