Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
In this week’s report we are going to focus on coho. Hatchery coho, with a missing adipose fin, are open for retention in most sub-areas of area 28 and 29. Consult the area 28 and 29 regulations and area maps for more details.
Remember coho retention is for hatchery only, 30 cm or greater, and coho have white gums and only a few spots on their tail, usually on the upper part of it, if any at all. Chinook have black gums and their tails generally have quite a few more spots. Here are some good pictures from our friends to the north.
Pacific Salmon Marine Phase Identification
There have been a few coho caught so far, but it is still a bit early. Things usually pick up mid to late June and some of the first good catches are off South Bowen from Cowan to Roger Curtis, out on The Hump, and also out in the middle of the Strait of Georgia on tidelines. Finding these fish is usually half the battle. Once you do, they are usually fairly co-operative and can provide some fast and fun action. A little later on in the summer we can start to expect more fish along the West Van shoreline.
Most of the time coho are surface orientated and productive depths can be as shallow as right under the surface at first light down to 65 feet, but 25-45 feet is usually the sweet spot on most days. For tackle, more reflective flashers with a chrome or UV finish will work well. We fish a lot of flashers with white glow tape for chinook, because we are fishing deep, but time to adjust for these shallow water conditions to more flash. The same can be said for spoons. Nickel or silver finishes, not glow finishes, tend to work the best. Hootchies are also very productive, usually a white or white UV hootchy with a mylar insert. Try a 4 to 6 foot leader on your spoon and a 28 inch to 32 inch leader on your hootchy. Don’t be afraid to pick up the pace a bit either. Coho like lots of action and a faster, rather than slower troll is the way to go.
You might hook a few chinook while you are targeting coho. If that is the case, we recommend carefully releasing the chinook on the side of the gunnel as currently there are no fishing for chinook regulations in place. By this we mean it is better for the fish to have you lean over the side of your boat, over the gunnel, pop the barbless hook out, and it’s on its way. Netting the fish and bringing it in the boat to take the hooks out, then releasing it, is not as ideal.
Prawning has slowed down as the commercial fleet has been open for a while. Crabbing has been pretty decent.
See you in the shop or on the water,