Winter chinook coming through local waters

Trollers are reporting hitting fish at the Sooke Harbour Mouth West to Otter Point

Sooke resident Bob Swartz with ticket No. 1 of the Sooke Saltwater Series Boxing Day Chinook Derby. (Contributed)

Sooke resident Bob Swartz with ticket No. 1 of the Sooke Saltwater Series Boxing Day Chinook Derby. (Contributed)

Ron Neitsch | Contributed

Salmon and crab fishing in Sooke waters are great right now, with a lot of action on winter chinook salmon.

Last Thursday, we caught and released eight small spring salmon and landed four to take home. There were also six large male Dungeness crabs in our traps on the way in.

Other boats in the area reported lots of hits and springs up to 10 pounds.

The winter chinook are smaller than the early spring and summer-run chinooks that come through our waters, and many say they are the best eating.

Trollers are reporting hitting fish at the Sooke Harbour mouth west to Otter Point, keeping the gear deep on the downriggers around 130 to 140 feet. Favorite baits include anchovy, trolled in a bait head, hootchies and spoons, favorite colours are green, chartreuse, white, and glow.

On the derby scene, Sooke Boxing Day Chinook Derby tickets are on sale and can be bought at Eagle-Eye Outfitters, Island Outfitters, Trotac Marine, Cheanu Marina and the Crab Shack at Jock’s Dock in Sooke.

•••

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