Salmon, halibut take hook, line and sinker

Fishing in Sooke has been consistently good for salmon and halibut for a few weeks now

Ron Neitsch

Contributed

Fishing in Sooke has been consistently good for salmon and halibut for a few weeks now.

Recently, large hatchery chinooks have been showing up, with anglers weighing in these chrome beauties to 22 lbs.

Most of these fish have been reported as taking gear trolled right on the bottom, anywhere from 100 to 160 feet of water, with the downrigger balls hitting the bottom occasionally.

There also appears to be some smaller winter springs mixed in with these larger fish.

The salmon are taking any glow white/green spoons, hootchies or bait heads trolled behind a bright flasher with a shorter three-foot leader which many anglers will be tying longer soon.

Halibut fishing in Sooke waters has been great, and of course, good timing for the South Islands’ two popular halibut derbies this spring: Island Outfitters’ Just for the Halibut Derby on April 22-23, and the Sooke Saltwater Series Sooke Halibut Derby on May 20-21.

Lately the halis have moved in closer to shore in greater numbers and appear to be larger than those earlier in the season.

Most popular baits include herring, octopus, squid, and salmon bellies or spines hooked onto large 8 to 10 sized J hooks and presented on spreader bars.

Local tackle providers can be a great source of information regarding the how and when of halibut fishing, assisting with figuring out tides and currents or drifting and anchoring methods for your boat, or helping you find a certified charter operator to take your crew fishing.

Crab fishing in the harbour has been getting much better.

We have been consistently seeing three or four big Dungeness crabs in the traps on the way in from fishing trips.

Crab can be fished from the public Rotary Pier at the end of Murray Road.

•••

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

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