Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well its official, its Cap Season. The Capilano chinook are stacking up off the mouth of the Capilano and fishing has been pretty consistent this past week. The on and off rain caused a lot of fish to stack up off the river mouth and some fish did go up the river, but there are more to come. We usually see the bulk of the fish show up over the next few weeks. As many of you know, these fish respond well to a flasher and bait setup fished closed to the bottom.
Can’t beat fishing this close to home!
There are a few messages I am going to pass on to the angling community. The first one is steer clear of incoming and outgoing commercial traffic like freighters, tankers, and cruise ships. When you see these vessels leaving the Narrows or coming towards the Narrows, you don’t want to be out in the shipping lane or even close to the Green Marker off the Cap Mouth. Keep your eyes open and troll west up towards the yellow QD marker well in advance of these vessels entering the area. If we don’t do this, the Port Authority will have the evidence they need to shut this area down due to safety concerns. They have cameras on the bridge and they are observing our movements. The key wording here is well in advance. This has been the Port Authority’s main request. They don’t want us waiting until the last minute to head west and then camping out at the Green Marker. Rather they would like to see the fleet of boats migrate west towards the yellow QD Marker well in advance of having larger commercial vessels in the area, then we can head back towards the Green Marker once they have left the area.
The second thing is the Green Marker off the Cap Mouth. It is closed past this marker. This is a DFO area closure, so if you are trolling east of that, you are trolling in closed waters. It is also a fairly tight area from the Green Marker off the Cap Mouth to the opposite shoreline. So if you are out in the middle or offshore a bit, trolling past the Green Marker, you are smack dab in the middle of the shipping lane. This has been observed on numerous occasions by the Port Authority already this season, and sometimes there are boats in this area even when there are ships approaching the Lions Gate Bridge. This is exactly the evidence they need to shut this whole area down. So don’t be that guy or gal!
The last thing I am going to talk about is boat rotation. The accepted practice for this location utilizes the same rule that most anglers follow up and down the coast. It is called “right rod to the rocks.” This means that if two boats meet along the coast, generally off a piece of structure like a rock wall, ledge, or kelp bed, the boat with his right rods to the rocks will hold position along the structure and the other boat will move out into deeper water to give way. In doing so a spot will get a rotation so everyone has equal time along the “hot spot.” The Cap Mouth is no different. Troll east on the outside of the pack. As you get close to the Green Marker, prepare to turn to your port side heading towards shore. Time your turn so when it is completed and your bow is now facing west, that you are not past the Green Marker. Now you will be in line with the other boats to come up along the ledge from the Green Marker up towards Ambleside, likely in 90-100 feet of water. Once you have trolled sufficiently west, you can again turn to your port side, out into deeper water, and troll east back towards the Green Marker, making your turn again to port so you don’t go past the Green Marker. So in short, don’t try and troll east and take the inside, coming down into the pack of boats, you will likely get an ear full! It is critical when you are trolling east, on the outside of the pack, that you keep an eye out for commercial vessels. Don’t go out into that area when they around. You need to time you turn and when you can be out there as you are temporarily in the shipping lane. Keep trolling west when the commercial vessels are around, once they pass, you can turn out, come back down towards the Green Marker, make you turn to the inside and repeat. If we all follow these practices this fun and productive, urban fishery will be around for years. If we don’t we are going to lose it.
If all this is too much for you, I will keep it simple, go to the South Arm. There are lots of white chinook around there, headed for the Chilliwack and the Harrison rivers. There are some hatchery coho showing up as well.
Last but not least if you missed a follow up discussion I had host Jill Bennet on her show earlier this month – have a listen here – our chat starts at 29:01.
Time for me to get down to the docks, so I am going to end it there today.
See you in the shop or on the water,