Halibut and crab fishing in Sooke is very good right now.
There are also some nice winter spring salmon moving through.
With some flat water and sunshine, sitting on the anchor waiting for a massive halibut strike while your crab traps are filling with large male Dungeness crabs, can be an incredible way to spend the day.
Best halibut baits are fresh, frozen (not rotten) herring, mackerel, squid or octopus. My favorite is to roll a herring in the current off a spreader bar with a strong monofilament leader and large size 8/0 to 10/0 “J” hooks.
Sooke waters produce halibut not only when the current is at slack, but also when the current is flowing. The trick is to know how much current your boat and gear will effectively fish in and that takes practice.
As long as your bait is near the bottom, you are fishing for halibut, once you lose contact with the bottom and cannot regain it, you’re not. Your anchor set up (length of anchor line), speed of current, and depth of water are all factors that those who catch halibut are very familiar with.
Sound complicated? Not really, winter time is a great time to rig your boat for one of the area’s best tasting fish.
Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Adventures, based in Sooke.