Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well, it’s that time of year. The coho are showing, the pinks are showing up, some Fraser chinook are showing up, but the large schools of aggressive feeding chinook we enjoyed all of April, May, June are thinning out. This last week of July is what I like to call “transition week” for the reasons just pointed out. The good news is the coho and pink fishing should only get better this coming week. The chinook fishing will also pick up as more and more Fraser fish start to show up and linger off the North Arm and get pushed into the harbour on flood tides. You need them to get pushed into Area 28 so you can keep one, so make sure you know where that line is and what the regulations are. This was covered in detail in previous reports.
A reminder these mature Fraser chinook travel shallow. Expect to get them from 30-65 on the rigger for the most part. Bait is key for this fishery. Hootchies and spoons work well April, May, June, but for these fish bait is the ticket. 5.5-inch anchovies in a Rhys Davis teaser head work well. Chrome and UV finishes on your shallow rods and glow finishes on your deepest rods. For flashers the same is true. I will run a Betsy on my shallowest rod, then a Green Onion, then some more glow, like a Salty Dawg, on my deeper rods.
If the winds aren’t too bad and burning some fuel is in the budget, there are still some good numbers of chinook being taken around Gabriola, and Nanaimo. Totally different fishery here, the chinook are deep. The hot depth will vary depending on how many feet of water you are fishing, but the best depths on the riggers have been 175 to 255 for us. Hootchies are hard to beat for this fishery and the hot combo for us has been a Yamashita Blue Splatter Back on a 32-36 inch leader. For the flasher, a Gibbs Madi or Oki Purple Phantom has been deadly when paired up with this hootchy. Unlike the Fraser chinook, these fish are actively feeding and are looking for herring. The herring is on the bottom or close to it, hence the deeper rigger depths. Find the bait and you will find the fish.
There has been some decent action for pinks off South Bowen as well. For pink fishing, I would call it average at best. That can change in a hurry though, so I will reserve judgment on the run size until a later date. These fish are Squamish and Indian River fish. The Fraser pinks don’t show up for another 3 weeks. The pinks and coho for that matter have been fairly shallow, usually 35-75. Try shallower in the morning and deeper as the day progresses, especially on sunny days. We have covered our top choices for coho in detail in past reports, so check out the June reports if you want some specifics on what to use. The coho gear works well for pinks and you can also put on a pink hootchy and they won’t be saying no to that.
See you in the shop or on the water,