Well it looks like it is going to cool off this weekend, if only slightly, and we are going to see some SE winds for the first time in a while. For those of us battling the NW winds of late, that will be a welcome change, just hopefully not much rain and too much SE wind.
If the winds aren’t too strong and you have the appropriate vessel, you may want to cross the Strait of Georgia and head over to the Gabriola and Nanaimo area. We have been making that crossing when the conditions allow and we have had some consistent chinook fishing. Be prepared to fish deep. It is not uncommon to be 200 plus on the downriggers this time of year. Our best producers have been black or blue glow flashers with blue or dark green splatter back hootchies. We also got some nice fish on 4.0 Herring Aid spoons in G-Force and Kingfisher models. Sometimes the chartreuse glow flashers and chartreuse splatter back hootchies are also working well; it depends on water clarity and how sunny it is. Try darker gear on one side and brighter on the other and adjust as the day goes on and what the fish are smashing that day.
Coho fishing has also been good. It seems it is getting more and more consistent off West Van down to the Cap Mouth each day. The beach guys are starting to get them and that is a sure sign the numbers are building. It has also been pretty good to really good off South Bowen, especially on the morning bite. Productive depths have been 35-65 on the riggers. White or UV white hootchies have been working well behind Betsy, Hot Dot, Green Onion, Purple Onion and Twisted Sista flashers.
There are some regulation changes as of August 1st. The main one for our area is you can retain one chinook a day from 62 to 80 cm in area 28-6. Here is the link to the Area 28 Map. 28-6 is defined by a line from Point Atkinson to that point of land where the Pink and Blue Apartments are in West Van just S of 21st and 22nd street. So, a reminder the Cap Mouth is not open for chinook retention until Sep 1 and then it will go back to the good old 2 a day. At least if you catch a chinook off West Van 28-6 zone while fishing for coho and it falls in the slot limit, you will be able to retain it.
The other area that opens up for one chinook a day from 62 to 80 cm is the SE side of Thrasher Rock in that portion of 29-5 that is W of the blue shaded section in this Chinook Non Retention Map. Note that 29-6, 29-7, 29-9, 29-10 are also closed.
It should also be noted I would advise against fishing in the Chinook Non-Retention Map area at the specific locations of the North Arm, T-10, and South Arm in August and say you are “coho fishing” and then catch a whole bunch of chinook. If that is what we choose to do as anglers, the next regulation you are going to see is “no fishing for fin fish” in that same map area and that will be the end. I don’t agree with the current regulations but defying them by fishing in these chinook hot spots off the Fraser Mouth under the guise of coho fishing is not going to make them go away. The best thing you can do is sign this Petition and support the SFI and PFA.
See you in the shop or on the water,