Salmon fishing in Sooke has been getting better every week, depending on where the bait balls are located.
We have been trolling from the Sooke Harbour mouth west on most salmon trips and finding the salmon somewhere between the harbour mouth and Sheringham Lighthouse.
Running the gear on the bottom in 120 to 140 ft of water has produced both smaller winter feeders and larger returning hatchery Spring salmon and even a couple of nice halibut.
Getting good reports from boats trolling salmon at Otter Point and just west of the point. Seen a few nice hatchery Spring salmon brought into the dock up to the 12 to 17 lb. range.
Best baits have included anchovy and herring, as the bait in the salmon stomachs has been pretty much exclusively herring, even had herring hanging out of the salmon’s mouths on the way into the boat.
The herring have been visable on the sounder and result in salmon on the lines when the bait has been located. We are having success with glow teaser heads and brightly coloured green and silver flashers.
Halibut fishing has also been good, as is normal for this time of year. Good reports of smaller halibut to 45 lbs are coming in from; the harbour mouth, bluffs, bump off the trailer park, and points west of Otter Point.
Best baits for halibut fishing can include a variety of fresh offerings. Contrary to some beliefs I have been told by commercial fishers and some Sooke old timers that halibut like fresh meals, not rotten stinky ones.
Herring, octopus, mackerel, squid, and salmon bellies are always popular bait choices for halibut, be sure to take more bait than you think you will need, as many times there will be smaller fish that will steal your bait.
A lot of new fishers are intimidated or confused by “halibut tides”, hearing that anchoring in the wrong tide can not only be dangerous but also unproductive.
Look for slower moving tide changes, check the current charts as well as the tide tables. I was always told not to anchor in anything moving over 1.8 knots of current.
Record the conditions when you catch halibut, and try to duplicate the tide and current factors.
Some more fun derby action – Island Outfitters “Just for the Halibut” derby this last weekend was won by Mike Koff with a 70.3 lb halibut from Oak Bay waters.
Upcoming events: The Sidney Salmon Derby May 1/2, Sooke Halibut Derby May 23/24, and Alpine Juan De Fuca Fishing Tournament June 20/21.
Ron Neitsch, 2 Reel Fishing Adventures