Sooke resident Wen Chan out with his family for a winter halibut trip on Nov. 28. Sooke has seen near record numbers of halibut being caught this year.

Fishing’s good if you get off the couch

The opportunity to fish lies just outside the harbour in perhaps the best time of the year.

Ron Neitsch

Contributed

Yes, saltwater fishing continues for sport fishing enthusiasts in our area.

Poor weather including bone-chilling winds, dark, wet cloud cover and some choppy water have sent some to the couch or even farther in search of comfy warmer conditions.

But there are breaks in the weather, and those getting out on the water are being rewarded with the bounties of the sea.

Salmon, halibut and crab are still in the area and the other boats aren’t.

Winter feeder salmon are right on the bottom just outside the Sooke harbour in 120 to 140 feet of water, easiest trolled with a flasher and an anchovy, hootchy or spoon on a short three-foot leader attached 10 feet behind the downrigger ball.

Halibut fishing has been consistent close to the Sooke harbour mouth in the depths, anchoring in 200 to 250 feet of water, using herring or salmon bellies.

The end of December will close out one of the best halibut seasons I have ever seen.

Crabbing in the harbour has been spotty, but I’m still hearing reports of success from the Rotary Pier and seeing a few in our traps dropped before leaving the harbour for fishing.

A fun on the water upcoming event: The Sooke Sailpast, where local boats decorated in Christmas lights sail in the harbour, Dec. 19 5:30 p.m. near the Prestige hotel, Government dock and Rotary Pier.

On the local derby scene, the Sooke Boxing Day Chinook Derby, the last in the Sooke Saltwater Series of Derbies is going to prove exciting.

In the series standings, Mike Koff in first place, has a not so comfortable five-pound lead, and James Cool, Al Kennedy, and Mike Thompson in second, third and fourth place are separated by less than a pound, and are up for a big piece of the prize action. But wait, it’s fishing, anything can happen! More details online at sookesaltwaterseries.ca.

•••

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

 

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