The big springs are here!
Every year, large spring or chinook salmon that have been in the open ocean for a three to five year period of their lives begin their journey back to the rivers and streams that they were born in.
Many of these salmon have to swim through the Strait, right past Sooke to get to where they are going.
Some large mature chinook salmon could be seen coming in at the local docks this last weekend, a few in the 20 to 27-pound range. These fish were reportedly caught at a variety of depths from 80 to 140 ft on the downrigger, and mostly on anchovy trolled in a bait head behind a flasher.
The warm weather and low winds on the weekend brought more fishing opportunity, and a good number of boats were on the water. Otter Point and west to Sheringham Point were the most heavily fished areas.
The DFO regulations currently allow for fishers to catch one large wild spring salmon (over 67 cm) and one under. Hatchery springs can be kept at any size over 45 cm.
Please check the regulations online, though most marinas and tackle providers will post the current regulations. Halibut and pacific cod fishing has been great, but the dogfish or spiny dogfish (basically a small shark) has moved into the area.
These sharks will readily take any fresh baits put down for halibut, and can make halibut fishing more difficult and expensive. Many fishers switch to artificial baits when halibut fishing at this time of year.
The larger salmon also attracted a large group of orca whales which could be seen cruising the Sooke coastline west towards Port Renfrew. A great fishing weekend.
Ron Neitsch 2 Reel Fishing Sooke B.C.