Much larger springs are being weighed in, on average, compared with earlier in the season. The bigger spring salmon have definately arrived. The spots up west have been the first to produce good catches of these larger fish, although the Trap Shack, Secretary Island and Possession Point have been producing fish in the last few days as well. Otter Point has been very productive, as has Sheringham Point. Successful depths have been varying from 50 to 150-ft on the downrigger, some boats are doing well shallow and while others fishing deep, 150 to 200-ft of water with the gear from 100 to 150-ft on the downrigger. Late June saw some dark water enter the Strait which slowed the fishing down for a weekend, but the water has cleared and the fish are biting again. Many of the trollers are having success using bright colours on flashers and bait-teaser heads, glow, glow greens, purple haze, purple flash, mint pearl, glow pearl, tiger fire and bloody nose bait heads. Kinetic jelly fish, silver betsy, bright greens, and solid chrome, flashers have been working well. There have also been a number of spoons which have been producing on these larger fish.
Many of the boats are trolling bait, and there is a great supply in Sooke. The bites of course vary with the tides but the early morning and the late afternoon/evenings have been good at the local hotspots. Look for a flooding tide which reaches a high slack in the early evening, these are local favorites for heading out to Possession or Otter Point for a few hours if the wind is down. Great news from DFO (Fisheries), Coho salmon will be open to keep one wild and one hatchery Coho salmon per person as of September 1. Check the regulations on the DFO website, or ask about regulations at your local tackle store.
Halibut fishing continues to be good throughout the area from the Sooke Harbour mouth to Sheringham Point, in particular areas closer to the harbour mouth. Many anglers are reporting catching halibut in shallower water, as low as 75 ft. There are dogfish in the area now, so hali fishers are using more artificial baits, and/or taking more bait along on the fishing trips. The usual halibut baits are working well. Crab fishing in the harbour continues to be good on the flooding tide, the longer the traps are in the water the more they seem to produce. It’s a good idea to keep your traps out of the transit lanes for boats in the harbour, as they are a navigation hazard, which can cause costly damage to boats. Tickets are on sale for a few great Salmon Derbies in Sooke including The Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society Derby, Bite Me Derby, Vancouver Island Salmon Classic, and the V.I.Rangers Derby.