Fishing in Sooke has been good for this time of year.
Typically the early spring/late winter is a great time for saltwater fishers to drop crab traps in Sooke Harbour, troll for salmon and/or anchor for some halibut fishing.
The salmon have been consistent with at least a couple of strikes during an outing, Harbour Mouth, Trailer Park, and Otter Point have been reported as holding some salmon over the past couple of weeks.
Halibut fishing is picking up with good reports coming from Jordan River and spots closer to Sooke.
Fished with father and son John and Blake for salmon and halibut in Sooke.
Early 7 a.m. we began trolling at the harbour mouth heading west in 120/130 ft of water. Put a 3.5” chrome spoon and an anchovy (in a glow Oki-style head) down behind a purple onion and a bright green flasher, to 135 ft on the downriggers. Things were quiet until we got to Otter Point where we landed two nice springs, one on each set up. Continued to troll to the halibut spot, no more salmon bites.
Changed over to anchoring the boat in 150 ft of water between Otter and Sheringham Points.
The tide was ebbing at about 1.5 kts which put the gear at about a 45-degree angle in the rod holders.
We put herring down on double “J” hooks connected to spreader bars with 2 lb weights on them. Blake took the first nice hit which came at about 1:30 p.m., two hours after anchoring up. It was a nice 30 lb halibut.
The next one was John’s at about 15 lbs, and the last good bite was a nice Pacific cod to add to the white meat portion of our day. Great day, flat water and sunny skies.
Currently the limits for salmon in Sooke waters are that two chinook salmon can be retained by each angler carrying a valid saltwater licence with a salmon stamp.
Those chinook can be wild or hatchery fish, although there is a restriction stating that wild fish must be between 45 and 67cm, while the hatchery Chinook salmon can be any size over 45 cm.
This restriction is in place this year from March 1st to June 12th, and applies to Sooke waters East of Sheringham Light House.
Possession limit on chinook salmon is four per person. This means that visitors to our area may travel home with double the daily limit of salmon in their possession.
Regulation for halibut is currently one halibut per person per day with a possession limit of two, one of which may be over 90 cm with the head on. Maximum size limit on halibut is currently 133 cm.
DFO warns that fish must be cleaned in a manner that the species, number and size can be readily determined.
Easiest way to do this is to leave the skin, pectoral fin and a section of the tail on each whole fillet until you get the fish home for further processing.
Please check the DFO regulations on line or at your favourite tackle store before heading out. Knowing the regulations and following them will make your time out on the water far more enjoyable and stress-free.
Ron Neitsch, 2 Reel Fishing Adventures