It has been an interesting week out on the water with some hot and cold fishing depending on your location and your luck. There have been some double-digit chinook days from Thrasher and Nanaimo only to be followed by some days of extremely tough fishing for a lonely chinook or two. To make things even more interesting there were even some days this week where the Hump was out producing Thrasher and Nanaimo! So if you were scratching your head this week, you were not alone. To make things even more interesting Mother Nature decided to add some Orcas into the mix in the Thrasher and Nanaimo area. This likely accounted for some of the hot and cold action.
So where to go this weekend? Well typically this time of year if the winds are co-operating and you have the boat for it, you want to head over to the Gulf Islands and fish from there up to Nanaimo. Popular spots are Porlier Pass, Thrasher Rock, and right out in front of Nanaimo from Entrance Island up to Five Fingers. That is a lot of water to cover, and there in lies the dilemma. Where do you go? As mentioned in the previous paragraph, one spot is hot one day and cold the next. These fish move around a lot, so the best we can suggest is you head to a spot and fish it hard. If you are in the right spot on the right day, you are going to have some pretty hot fishing. Most of these spots are about 25-35 minutes apart, so if you do need make a change, you usually have enough time to move once and hit the next slack tide. For instance, if you are at Thrasher and it is slow, you can run up to Nanaimo in about 30 minutes or so. Another good piece of advice is to fish deep. The water has been very, very clear this year and we haven’t seen much Fraser River water coming over to the Gulf Islands. This might change as things heat up later this month and the rivers start to freshet, but for now the water remains very clear and the hot depths on the downrigger have been from 135 all the way down to 215, with most of the activity in the 150-200 range. You want to be fishing at least a 15 LB cannonball and when the tide is pushing hard we have even been using 18 LB cannonballs.
On the business end of things, we have been doing well with Oki Tackle green or chartreuse glow flashers, the Green Footloose Flasher, and the Purple Onion Glow and Green Onion Glow flashers. When fishing deep, even though the water is clear, you want to have some glow tape on the flasher. A 6 foot leader to your favourite spoon is always a good choice, like the Pesca Gut Bomb, Clupea, and Leprechaun in 4.0 and 5.0 and the Kingfisher 3.5 and 4.0 in Yellow Tail, Irish Cream, Kitchen Sink, and Homeland Security. Hootchies are also doing well and we have been doing well on the Ernie Ross Shimmertail in OG140R, NG142R, and Thrasher Basher with a 32-36 inch leader length. Don’t forget about the bait. Normally we fish only spoons and hootchies for this fishery, but for some reason there have been some days when the fish really have wanted a herring or anchovy. Perhaps it has something to do with the clear water this year, but there have definitely been some days where bait was the ticket. Try some of the Oki teaser heads in glow green chartreuse or glow green. We have a great bulk teaser head selection in a variety of styles and colors including glow, chrome, and UV finishes.
If you want to stay a bit closer to home then the Hump might be worth a try as it definitely surprised us on a few trips this week with hotter fishing than Thrasher and Nanaimo. The same flashers and lures just discussed will work very well at the Hump but adjust your depths slightly. Productive depths for the Hump have been 90 to 160. The deeper depths seem to produce more on sunny days and the shallower depths on the overcast days.
We are pleased to announce that crabbing is open again in Vancouver Harbour so we are dropping traps again on our trips and this picture speaks for itself.
We are booking up fast, but we still have a few prime time dates for Thrasher and Nanaimo and the fishing the next 4-5 weeks should be awesome. Give us a call at 778-788-8582 to book your trip and get some nice chinook and some fresh dungeness crab!