Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Locally we really haven’t heard too many coho reports. There have been a few coho taken off the Cap Mouth, Ambleside, and South Bowen, but nothing consistent so far. This can change in a hurry, so hopefully this is the week that happens.
If you are focusing on coho, think shallow. Usually, the best depths are 25-65 feet on the riggers. For flashers try the Betsy, Herring Aid Betsy, Twisted Sista, Green Onion, or Purple Onion. You can’t go wrong with a white or UV white hootchy and a shorter leader, around 28 inches. Skinny G spoons are also an excellent choice in the nickel finishes with a 4 to 5 foot leader to the flasher.
Recently we have been suggesting longer trips to our clients, and when winds allow, we have been crossing over to the Gulf Islands and Nanaimo. In these waters we have had fantastic chinook fishing with a little bottom fishing thrown in as well. On the other side chinook are open for non-retention and we are hopeful this will open for retention on July 15th. I have been in touch with DFO this week and they are telling me they are working on the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan, and it should be out soon. When that comes out, we will know if we are going to get that opening on July 15 on the other side of the Strait of Georgia. There are no projected openings for chinook in our area, except perhaps that small piece of real estate off West Van they opened last year in August. Besides that, it will likely be a September 1st opening like we saw last year.
Here are some pictures of the fish we have been into on the other side these past few weeks on our guided trips and also some pictures from our regular customers.
If you are heading over to the Gabriola and Nanaimo areas to fish for chinook, we have been doing well on chartreuse flashers like the Salty Dawg or Lemon Lime paired up with a chartreuse or green splatter back hootchy. Productive leader lengths are in the 32 to 40 inch range. Most of the fish are in the 8-15 pound class, but there have been some in the mid to high twenties, and the odd one close to 30. So make sure you gear is fresh!
Crabbing locally has been decent but commercial activity is picking up in English Bay which is normal for this time of year. I noticed quite a few commercial sets yesterday, so I expect crabbing to slow down over the coming weeks.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Beach Fishing Report
This past week saw an unusual heatwave hit the lower mainland, putting fishing on hold for the most part. This also affected the beach fishery, with many people finding it too hot, even in the early hours of the morning.
Things are looking a little cooler this week with more favourable tides as well: tides dropping below 6′ starting on Saturday, July 3rd. For this fishery, it is important for the tide to be below 6′ as it allows access to the sandbar that the coho have to swim past. Starting on Saturday, it looks like the tides will be great, continuing all the way through into the following week.
Keep in mind that these fish are more staging than hunting/feeding and that their habits will reflect this. Though the odd fish will be encountered and taken on small baitfish patterns (Clouser Minnows, etc.), these fish will want to expend the least amount of energy while gaining the greatest number of proteins. This makes krill, crab larvae, euphasids, and polychaeta easy and important food sources.
Small patterns such as Andre’s local custom patterns found here at the shop have proven to be the ticket for myself, and countless others over the years. Small California Neils, Jiggy’s, and even sparse buggers have all proven themselves successful off the beach as well.
Keeping the average size of these fish in mind as well, this can be a great opportunity to use some lighter rods as well, making a 6wt or 7wt suitable options when the 8wt feels a little too heavy.