Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report, February 26, 2021
Fishing has been pretty decent since the last report. Wind has been a challenge, which is normal for this time of year. Those with flexible schedules who have been able to get out on the calm days have generally had some pretty good fishing by winter standards. Keep in mind winter chinook fishing is similar to steelhead fishing. Some days it seems pretty easy, other days you work all day for one shot at a good fish, and some days, no matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to get a thing. That’s what keeps it interesting.
There have been some fish caught in the harbour amongst the freighters, as the herring numbers continue to build. There has also been a few fish caught off South Bowen from Cowan up to Gower Point on the days where it has been calm enough to fish these more open water spots. As usual, the Howe Sound spots are producing fish, with each day bringing its own unique results with a mix of small fish, some legal-size fish, and seal issues.
It does seem the problem seals are moving around or growing in numbers as some anglers are getting their fish taken by seals in areas that have, up until now, been safe havens. Hopefully some transient orcas come in and push them out or better yet just eat them, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Seals are a touchy subject no doubt. Some groups will tell you their population has stabilized; others think it is still on the increase. One thing we do know, is that they eat around 42% of all out-migrating chinook in the Salish Sea, 47% of the out migrating coho and steelhead smolts get hit hard as well. In my opinion, the population is still increasing, and I don’t think we will ever see a meaningful recovery of interior Fraser coho, chinook, and steelhead stocks without some sort of population control.
Back to fishing…. It is nice to see some bigger fish around. I have seen a few fish in the high 70cm range and a few passing the 80cm mark. Most of the fish are still those 8-pound hatchery red springs, which are fantastic eating, but it is nice to see some bigger fish in the mix.
As far as productive gear goes, the chartreuse flashers like Salty Dawg and Lemon Lime are must haves, paired with classics like an Irish Cream spoon in 3.0 or 3.5 or a chartreuse splatter back hootchy. There have been a few days where the darker flashers like a black or blue blade paired up with a darker spoon like a Herring Aide G-Force in 3.0 or in a Skinny G, has been the hot ticket. It all depends on the day, how deep you are fishing, water clarity and how sunny it is. Experiment with brighter and darker gear, both fished close to the bottom, and see what happens, take notes on the conditions and make your own conclusions. To me, this is a big part of the game and what make fishing fun, trying to crack the code each day.
Prawning has been average it seems but crabbing is starting to slowly pick up and March usually sees quite a few more legals in the pot. Remember to know where your Sponge Reef Closures are. Update that map card so you can see where these areas are and make sure you avoid them. You can also download the Navionics app on your phone and it will show them. If you want us to go over it with you, no problem, come by the shop and we can show you on one our Simrad, Lowrance, or Raymarine display models.
See you in the shop or on the water,