By Ron Neitsch
Coho salmon are in season in Sooke waters now, and many anglers are eagerly awaiting the Oct. 1 opening allowing one wild coho per person per day.
This may not sound like a lot, but most boats will double their catch once the regulation changes on Oct. 1.
Coho and winter spring salmon have been found from inshore out to 500 feet of water, running the gear anywhere from 60 to 150 feet on downriggers.
Favorite spots are off Secretary Island and Otter Point.
Some popular coho salmon lures include Chartreuse Spatter Back Coho Killers, Gibbs No Bananas, Bon Chovy, Irish Cream, Coyote Glo Green, and Gold Star Blueberry Muffin spoons. Chrome red and chrome blue anchovy teaser heads have also been good for landing the big ones.
Spoons are recommended for this fishery as the single barbless hooks minimize damage to fish that have to be released.
The single hooks are easily removed from the fish with a gentle tug from a gaff placed inside the bend of the hook, the wild or under sized fish need not be netted at all.
Halibut fishing is heating up with some good catches from 30 to 60 pounds being weighed in on local docks, look for days with low winds and slower moving currents, like Oct. 2 to 13.
Popular baits include herring, mackerel, squid and octopus. Try scenting your bait every time you put it down to get the halibut coming to you.
Upcoming local fishing derbies include the Port Renfrew Marina Coho Derby Winner Take all, Oct. 1 and 2. Sooke Saltwater Series presents the Sooke Coho Derby Oct. 8, $40 per rod, $3,000 grand prize.
Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Fishing Adventures, based in Sooke.