Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well I don’t have a heck of a lot to report. Our charter operations are shut down and our store doors are closed, but we are accepting phone orders and email orders and then shipping them out or allowing curbside pick-up. More details on that in the outlook and on our website.
I did decide to go check on the boats yesterday on my day off, turn the engines over, check on the heaters, and spray off all the bird poop. I even went out on a brief solo mission, released a few undersize chinook and a small hatchery coho and headed back to the docks. That’s about all I have to report first-hand, but I have received a number of reports from my network of friends and fellow guides who have gone out by themselves.
Let’s talk about that for a minute. I know a lot of us are off work and going stir crazy but getting together with a fishing buddy or two and heading out on your boat is not a great idea. Leaving straight from your house and going to your boat and wiping down door handles and such on your way is one thing but getting the boys together for a fish just isn’t what we need right now. We need to stay singular and practice social distancing. To put it into perspective, this wasn’t being adhered to in Washington State and they decided to shut down all fishing period. I think it had to do with quite a few people fishing, especially in the parks for steelhead, and also there are enforcement issues that come along with that. So, do you part to practice social distancing and hopefully this gets better sooner than later.
If you do choose to head out this will be your last weekend shot at keeping a chinook as we are anticipating seeing non-retention of chinook regs as of April 1st. I wish I could tell you it’s been hot, but it’s been pretty slow out there. Yes, there have been a few good catches here and there but for the most part, it has been very slow. The fish are there, we can see them on the sonar plain as day, but they are off the bite. This happens this time of year because of the algae bloom, which is in full force right now. They can’t stay off the bite forever, and when they come back on it is usually red hot. Hopefully that will be this weekend or before April 1st!
If you are fishing in Howe Sound, I have been seeing a lot of suspend fish, as is normal for this time of year and the algae bloom. I usually keep one rod just off bottom and then on the other side of the boat I experiment with depths depending on what I am seeing on my sonar. If you are seeing fish at 150 in 190 feet of water, drop your gear all the way to the bottom for a point of reference, then bring it up from there. Don’t try and guess where you are at. Or next time you are in 150 feet of water, bounce bottom once and look at your cable angle and what your rigger says for feet of cable, then you will know what to do next time you want to actually have your gear trolling at 150 feet.
In terms of where to go, there really are a lot of options. The QA to the Bell is a good close one. It’s also time to start checking out Cowan to Roger Curtis, the Hump starts to produce a few right about now, and there are lots of grumpy fish in Howe Sound that should turn on any day. Earlier in the week I posted on Facebook and Instagram on our Pacific Angler Sport fishing page, some of my favourite flashers this time of year. Today I will post some of the top spoons for this time of year so make sure you check that out.
In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.