By Ron Neitsch
A great start to the 2017 saltwater fishing season in Sooke with some nice winter chinook salmon and large male Dungeness crabs taken in local waters.
Reports of salmon to 16 lbs. are consistently coming in from boats trolling the Sooke harbour mouth to Otter Point. Many boats are limiting out on fish four to six pounds, but the larger fish are there.
Standard winter trolling tips include having your bait or lure presented close to the bottom in 100 to 140 feet of water, keeping a watchful eye on the depth sounder and on the surface for signs of bait fish activity in the area.
Groups of black diving birds coinciding with “clouds” of bait on your boat’s depth sounder can give away the salmon location. Try turning around and going back through these areas, especially if you get a strike.
Anchovy, a white or glow hootchy, and many green/glow/white spoon patterns are working well right now. Make sure to try shortening the distance you run the gear behind the boat to about 12 feet, and your leader lengths to four feet or even shorter.
The next winter salmon derby is being hosted by The Local Pub in Victoria. Tickets are $400 per boat, no boundaries, weigh in at the Local Pub before 3 p.m. More details can be found by calling The Local Pub or Island Outfitters Victoria.
Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Fishing Adventures, based in Sooke.