Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report – Mid Season Update & August & September Forecast
As we near mid-August, looking back at the past few months, it has been a memorable first half of the season. The local coho fishing in late June and all of July was simply amazing. The amount of coho around and hatchery coho in the mix was outstanding and at levels not seen in decades. Once chinook opened in the Gulf Islands on July 15th, we were off to the races and haven’t looked back. The chinook fishing has been excellent and seems to be only getting better. Locally the pinks have arrived to bolster the already good coho fishing which is still going strong.
Going forward, more and more Fraser bound chinook are coming in on each tide. We can retain these fish in area 28-6, one a day from 62-80cm. The retention area will expand on August 13th when area 28-9 opens for chinook retention as well. Once September 1st hits, 28-7 and 29-3 will open for chinook, 2 a day, min size 62 cm.
It should be a good September season as there seems to be lots of chinook around, lots of coho around, and the test sets further up the coast have been a lot stronger than anticipated for pinks and sockeye. I am glad to see these better than expected numbers. I don’t think there will be sockeye retention, but if some of the trends continue, we may see some in river pink openings (you can already retain pinks in the ocean locally). This would be great as the Fraser is low and has a lot more visibility than usual, so casting spoons and spinners from the banks of the Fraser would be very productive if it does open. It’s still too early to tell, and we have to wade through in river closures for endangered steelhead and coho, but it looks like there is a good number of pinks on the way. Fingers crossed the Fraser opens later this month as this is a great fishery for anglers without a boat, new anglers, and of course the kids!
Getting back to the ocean fishing. As mentioned above, it’s been great! All week we have been doing well on coho and pinks on our 5 hour and 6 hour trips and some encounters with some big chinook as well. On our longer trips we have been crossing over to Gabriola and Entrance and doing very well on chinook and have found some schools of coho over there too. When we are putting in the effort, we are also getting some nice lings.
All of this will continue for the rest of August, so if you are planning on getting out, now is peak season and I highly recommend it!
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