Bring on the Salmon!
For a lot of recreational fisherman June is the time of year when the salt chuck adventures start. Now is the time to look over the fishing gear before your first trip out. Replace old monofilament mainlines, tie some new leaders on your "Lucky" lures, sharpen hooks, and shine up your flashers. You should be set now, spend your time on the water fishing and not fixing!
The Chinook salmon fishing has really picked up in local waters this May. We are seeing good returns of migratory Chinooks moving through Georgia Strait and taking advantage of our abundant Herring supply. Hopefully this trend will continue and should make for some exciting fishing! On a recent outing we even witnessed some Humpback whales!
Last year we saw a good return of Coho, hopefully this year will be even better. We'll see more Pink salmon this year too, as the big returns occur on odd years (2017).
When targeting Coho or Pink salmon it's really quite simple, use your go to Chinook salmon gear and bring one side up to 70'-90' on the downrigger. I have caught Coho and Pink salmon trolling as deep as 200' on the downrigger, but generally they're more abundant in 120' range and shallower in our local waters. Try using a black/white spoon (60" leader) with a green/silver flasher, or "Army Truck'' hootchie (42" leader) with a red/silver flasher.
One of the better areas for Coho and Pink salmon can be right "Out Front" of the French Creek Harbour, making it really accessible, and small boat friendly. Area 14 Coho size limit is 12", 2 Hatchery (Adipose fin missing) per angler/day. Coho are open from June 1-December 31.
No word yet on Wild Coho retention for 2017 in Area 14. Pink salmon size limit is also 12", 4 per angler/day. It's always a good idea to check with Department Of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on retention limits for the area you'll be fishing prior to heading out.
Practice safe releasing methods. Keeping salmon in the water and using a gaff or pliers to get the hook (s) out will give the fish a better chance at survival. Try to avoid netting the fish and having it flop around in the boat losing scales, only to discover it needs to be released. With a little practice you can release salmon with relatively little harm done to them.
Coho and Pink salmon fishing can be a great way for young anglers and families to be introduced to our great sport. Lots of hook-ups and action will keep everyone's interest level high!
This is a guest article by Darrell Jobb. Darrell owns and operates Western Star Charters
out of French Creek Marina.
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