Amy Chwojka of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society along with society president Rob Gamache were signing up interested contenders for the 11th annual Chinook Salmon Derby coming up this August 2 and 3.

Amy Chwojka of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society along with society president Rob Gamache were signing up interested contenders for the 11th annual Chinook Salmon Derby coming up this August 2 and 3.

Fishing remains consistent around Sooke

Ron Neitsch writes about the fishing action in Sooke waters

Salmon, crab and halibut fishing in Sooke remains consistent with good catches being reported daily. The larger spring salmon have been arriving in small schools and avid anglers have been finding them at the usual Sooke hotspots. Many of those looking for larger salmon have been fishing Sheringham Point wHere the larger wild springs are legal to keep. But I have heard many reports of boats releasing large wild springs, and boating big hatchery springs at Beechy Head, Trap Shack, and Otter Point. There are still plenty of smaller salmon within the slot limit being landed everywhere. These fish have been found in the deeper water lately, (120 to 200 ft.) It’s been great for action on slot limit salmon.

On Monday, June 9 the 2REEL2 crew caught and released a larger wild Coho salmon at Otter Point, and we did see another small hatchery Coho salmon at Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina later that day, first Coho of the season! Had some reports of other trollers picking up Coho outside the Harbour mouth on the June 7-8 weekend at 50/60 ft. on the downrigger. The salmon have been caught on anchovy, herring, spoons and hootchies trolled behind a variety of different flashers. We have been running silver 3.5” and 4” Coyote spoons, green/white/yellow hootchies, and a number of different coloured anchovy teaser heads with good success. Check the regulations before heading out fishing, but the salmon restrictions are due to come off on June 13, allowing anglers to keep a larger wild spring salmon in Sooke waters.

Halibut fishing continues to be good in Sooke although the “dogfish” (spiny dogfish), small sharks, have arrived in our waters, and often take baits offered for halibut. They can be extremely difficult to get off the hooks if left to gobble the entire bait/hook setup into their throats. We try to bring them up quickly and get them unhooked before swallowing the whole bait. Keep in mind that regulations involving dogfish have changed, allowing fishers to only take one of these fish, meaning you should only extinguish one at the side of your boat. Many halibut fishers switch to using more artificial baits like hootchies, curly tails, grubs, and jigs, while the sharks are around and switch back to herring, octopus, squid, mackerel when the dogfish back off. This is usually when the tide starts to run. Either way it’s a good idea to take more bait.

Crab fishing in the harbour has been hit and miss, although pretty good overall, we have been averaging two or three crabs in a trip and more if dropping in the right place at the right time.

There are many great fishing derbies coming up including the V.I. Rangers Derby, the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society Derby, and the Sooke Salmon Classic. Check your favorite tackle outlet for more details on fishing derbies and regulations in the Sooke area.

Good fishing, Ron Neitsch 2REEL2

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