Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
First off… What a month! I begin with some apologies…sorry we’ve been delinquent with filing reports…we’ve all been so busy fishing and guiding that we’ve had next to NO TIME to do anything other than FISH! Here is your Vancouver salmon fishing report for August 31, 2010.
The one word to sum our local fishery for the month of August is– simply AWESOME! While we were awaiting the highly anticipated Sockeye Opening on August 8, we found that the stellar Coho (Silver) fishery from July (the best we had seen in 20 years locally) was beginning to taper off. It had slowed from the fast and furious Coho action of July and we were down to a few bites each charter–and we had some great extended bites on some days but it began to sputter and stall out. Our expert guides noticed a distinct shift in the salmon’s preference from our spoons and “top secret” Coho slayin’ hoochies to natural baits—herring and anchovies. The bite was back on! Gear and lure choice is oftentimes absolutely critical as it was in this case—and the bite was back on! In the first week, we fished just around the corner from our docks–along the West Vancouver shoreline and off the west side of Stanley Park. To keep things interesting, there were a few Chinook (Kings) in the mix up to 20 lbs—so it definitely kept our guides and guests on edge!!! We landed a few of these Chinook and it was enough to give our guest’s arms a hearty workout!
In the first week of August, while anticipating the Sockeye opening we made a few exploratory jaunts off the Fraser River Mouth targetting the big Summer run Chinook which are a key feature of local fishery. Due to the large area we need to cover to seek out the large Summer run Chinooks off the mouth of the Fraser River , some of those half day trips were met with mixed results. Our guides were finding the best success came on Hoochies, Anchovies in Teaser heads behind flashers and fishing from 40-85 feet. On one charter we hit a real BEAUTY at 35 feet which spat the hooks out in defiance. You have to be ready for anything! This is a fishery to put your time in and the rewards are WELL WORTH the wait for pristine torpedo sized Chinook! However, as the end of the first week of August neared, while fishing for Chinook, we began to see substantial numbers of Sockeye jump and ever increasing numbers and larger schools of Sockeye stage in the local marine waters off Vancouver….and then…what was about to happen over the next 3 weeks…no one could have imagined. The early test fishery results were coming in and the run size was officially upgraded to a mind boggling 34 MILLION SOCKEYE!
On August 12, our boats and associates went south to Sandheads (an 18 mile run one way) in search of the first large Sockeye schools and it was GAME ON! The sport Sockeye fishery is heavily dependent on technical imperatives—our expert guides lowered our downriggers stacked with dummy flashers and rigged all of our rods with highly tuned and specialized Sockeye gear and the success was immediate and consistent—single, double, triple and even QUADRUPLE simultaneous hook ups. The action was FAST AND FURIOUS. As fast as we could land one double or triple header and reset the gear, we were into more and more fish. There were some early inconsistencies, but as the month wore on it was clear that no one was mentally prepared for what was about to happen. This was the largest officially recorded Sockeye run in 100 years! As the number of schools holding off the Fraser Mouth got progressively larger and millions of fish began holding, there were days when you could see 200 fish in the air no matter what direction you looked! For the next 3 weeks, each charter (with the odd exception) produced easy limits of Sockeye for all our guests–on some days not having to run any further than the North Arm of the Fraser just outside English Bay. Most of the Sockeye averaged from 7-9 lbs each—and if you hit the right school- every fish was 10 lbs and up. Our guides were nearly run off their feet and the cleaning table turned in to an assembly line with each guide waiting in line for the next guide who got back to the dock first by either limiting his guests out first or beating the other back to the dock! It’s quite nice having 400 horses at your disposal right guys?! 😉 Quite a sight to see 40-50 Sockeye on the dock at one time and 80 to 100 bright red fillets of Sockeye! From sun up until sundown, the Salty Dawg and our associates Grady Whites and 38 foot Uniflite were on the water each day–sometimes we were doing a mindboggling 3 trips per boat per day! To say Pacific Angler Guides Andrew, Jason and Eddie were busy is an understatement!
And so it continues clear into September! Wish you were here—and if you weren’t, you truly missed out and as many of our guests said it was an experience they’ll never forget. As we were at 100% capacity for August, our sincere apologies if we could not accommodate you– however, be sure to call us early and book well in advance for this FANASTIC and FUN fishery. Sincerely, Captain Andrew.