Cassie Powell from Minnesota catches her first-ever salmon during a recent visit to the Sooke area.

Fishing Adventures: Salmon and halibut biting

Winter salmon fishing in Sooke is picking up in plenty of time for the Sooke Boxing Day Chinook Derby.

  • Nov. 29, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Ron Neitsch


Winter salmon fishing in Sooke is picking up in plenty of time for the Sooke Boxing Day Chinook Derby.

We have been hitting some five to seven-pound spring or chinook salmon trolling anchovy, spoons, or hootchies at 120 to 140 feet on the downrigger in the same depth of water to put the gear right on the bottom. Bright green or glow flashers will get these fish attention while trolling fast darting spoons like the Gibbs Bon Chovy or the Gold Star Blueberry Muffin right on the bottom.

Out front of the Sooke harbour mouth, and the troll west to Otter Point, first thing in the morning has been working very well for us over the last week.

Halibut fishing has been good, with many fish in the 15 to 50-pound range landed by those willing to put in the effort.

Heavy rains have in some cases affected the tide. Sooke River outflow is slowing down the power of the incoming tide, but given low winds and the right tides most boats are doing well.

Talk to your local tackle provider about reading tides and currents, to find out when the prime halibut fishing days are in December. Remember Halibut will be closed in January.

Halibut have been hitting herring, mackeral and octopus made to spin in the current on large J hooks.

Crabbing in the harbour continues to be good, grocery stores package up chicken backs and necks in convenient packages perfect size for Crab trap bait cages.


Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Fishing Adventures, based in Sooke.


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