Salmon fishing in Sooke is VERY GOOD for Coho salmon right now! Coho are on their migratory path towards the rivers they will spawn in, and the Strait of Juan De Fuca or the Salish Sea is showing a good abundance of wild and hatchery salmon. These salmon are very popular among recreational fishers as they hit the gear hard and provide good sport if fished on light gear and shorter leaders, and you can often limit out on them during a morning fishing trip. Best baits/lures for Coho are; small red,white or yellow, silver, squirts or hootchies, Silver Horde Coho Killers, or anchovies in a variety of bait heads with 4’ to 5’ leaders. Best locations to usually find Coho are off the Sooke Harbour mouth or Sooke Bluffs trolling out from 100 to 500’ of water with the gear from 60’ to 130’ on the downrigger. Currently regulations allow two Coho per person, one of which maybe unmarked (wild). Please check the regulations on the DFO website or at your local tackle store before heading out.
Chinook salmon fishing has definately slowed down, they can still be found by pounding the shoreline trolling anchovies or herring deep, 10’ off the bottom. Secretary Is.,Trailer Park, Otter Point, and West of Otter Point are good places to start looking. Some are being picked up while trolling a line deep 130/140’ for Coho, in the deep water.
More boats are switching to halibut fishing this time of year, and we are starting to see some “chickens” (small halibut) at the dock. The halibut tend to be a little deeper now, in 120’ to 250’ of water. Favorite baits include herring, octopus, squid and salmon bellies, soon they will be closer to the Harbour mouths looking for yummy spawned out salmon carcasses floating into the strait. Most common methods for fishing halibut in Sooke are drifting or anchoring, the later being more productive. Most common gear includes a speader bar system with a 2-lb lead ball weight and a baited double hook halibut leader, or a variety of halibut jigs. Best to fish through a tide change with low to moderate current speed.
Crab fishing should get better soon with the spawning salmon entering the river. As usual crab fishing during an incoming tide with fresh bait often produces best results.
Up coming salmon derby – The Sooke 4th Annual Thanksgiving Coho Derby October 11 at Jock’s Dock – not to be missed! Contact Anne Marie at 778-676-1965 or Maureen at 250-642-7983, or visit your favorite local tackle provider for details.
Ron Neitsch – 2 Reel Fishing Adventures