Fishing for Coho salmon in Sooke has been great! So far October weather, water conditions and good numbers of Coho have made trekking out for some salmon fishing a pleasure. The Coho are close to the Sooke harbour mouth and for the most part are fairly easy to track down and catch. The Sooke river banks have also been busy with shore anglers trying to land the salmon as they approach the spawning grounds.
The Coho are being found from just outside the harbour mouth to just shy of the international border nearing 600’ of water. Secretary Island and Otter Point are popular starting points, most fishing boats are trolling out until they encounter fish then turn back to stay with a possible school of Coho. Popular lures for Coho usually include brightly coloured hootchies/squirts and spoons-glow, green, pink, and red are good colours to start with. Coho Killers and Coyote spoons trolled like bait, seem to work well if ran on three or four foot leaders, much shorter than for summer Springs. Anglers are reporting good numbers of these salmon hitting the gear at 65’ to 105’ on the downrigger, while running the gear closer to the boat, approx. 10 feet back from the weight. Currently fishing regulations are allowing for one wild and up to three hatchery Coho salmon per person/day. Please check the regulations on the DFO website before heading out. Halibut fishing has been picking up recently, I have seen some nice fish coming into the dock. The halibut tend to be in deeper water at this time of year, try anywhere from 150’ to 250’ of water. As the salmon begin to spawn in the rivers the halibut will become more active at the river/harbour mouths feeding on the carcasses. Popular baits include fresh herring, octopus, and salmon trimmings including bellies. Look for slow but definate tide changes and good weather conditions that are suitable for anchoring through (low winds). The halibut regulations now allow for two halibut per person/ day, one of which may be over 90cm. Finally, crabbing has been slower than usual in the harbour, hopefully the spawning salmon in the river will bring more mature crabs into the area. Good Fishing.
Ron Neitsch 2-Reel Fishing Adventures