Well this is pretty much the end of the season for migratory chinook and coho. I just took a look at the Albion chum and chinook test set data, and all but the last of the chinook are up the Fraser and coho numbers are starting to dwindle as well.
Chum numbers are really ramping up, right on schedule. Traditionally, not many or any anglers have targeted chum off the mouth of the Fraser. If you wanted to give it a go, this would be the week to do it. It looks like the run is forecast to be about 1,000,000 and this is considered a pretty good run as the escapement target is 800,000. Some anglers have had success in the past trolling purple hootchies, so that would be a good place to start.
The Cap is over as well. Any chinook or coho hanging out will take advantage of these rains to head up the river.
The next season is winter chinook. There have been a few fish taken here or there by the keeners who are already out there exploring but typically fishing will pick up as we get into November. I will cover winter fishing in more details in November and December.
Now is a good time to check on your boat. As we all know, it rains a lot in Vancouver in October and November. If you can, get some heat in your boat so you don’t get mildew. I like to head down to the boat mid-October and wipe down the interior with disinfectant or a light bleach solution to remove any bacteria, then get some heat going to keep things dry. The best thing to do is actually go down to the boat on one of those days when it is a 50-60 mm heavy rain forecast. This is when you can see if you have any leaks and can see where it is coming from so you can make the necessary repairs on a drier day. Take pics and a video on your phone or tape areas off that need to be addressed with a new seal or some sealant.
It is also a good idea to test your bilge pumps this time of year. Make sure they are working and make sure that all important float switch is working. A lot of boats will actually get a significant amount of water in the bilge during the fall rains. It enters from drink holders, seals that need to be replaced in the floor, anchor storage areas, cracks, etc. Eventually your batteries might even get drained from your bilge pumps, so it is also a good idea to charge up your batteries periodically during the winter or if you have shore power, use that.
If you aren’t going to run your boat all winter, you should also consider filling your tank to minimize condensation and to add some fuel stabilizer.
Whatever you do this winter, give your boat some care and attention and it will pay you back the next time you use it.
See you in the shop or on the water,