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Sooke Fishing Report

Welcome to the Sooke Fishing Adventures website! On this page, we will post regular updates on what's happening with Sooke fishing, Vancouver Island fishing, and other news of interest to our fishing friends from around the world.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Coho Salmon are here!

Photo from Silver Streak Boats
Halibut has closed for the season, the chinook salmon have mostly headed up to the rivers to spawn, but the good news is the coho are here!  The reports vary daily, but most anglers are coming home with a few. Last weekend the reports said the fish were found in tight pockets, so as long as you stay with the school, there was plenty of action. One angler reported catching a 15lb hatchery coho!

A problem has been finding the hatchery marked fish, catching a lot of salmon that have to be thrown back. Starting Sunday Oct 1st, DFO has announced anglers in Sooke waters can keep 1 wild (unmarked) coho too. That's great news for fishers and also for the fish, as it means less wild fish damaged trying to get a keeper. [CORRECTION: the DFO website has contradictory info on daily limits -- a local angler has confirmed that in Sooke waters you can keep 4 coho total, of which 1 can be wild]

Sooke Saltwater Series continues on October 7th with the coho derby. $50 per rod, $3000 first prize. This is a fun event that benefits local Sooke recipients, the Food Bank and Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society. Tickets and more info here.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Sooke Salmon Fishing, late August

Summer is soon fading into fall, but no one told the weather man.   Hot weather in Sooke this week and no wind for a few days too. 

It's a mixed bag report, with some days seeing lots of action and some days slower. There's been days where the pink salmon are so thick that you can't chase the mighty chinook, use up all your bait. And then others where they are spotty, hard to find the schools.   There's also some nice early coho, including hatchery keepers.

Definitely worth getting out on the water!


Friday, August 18, 2017

August fishing heating up

Sooke's summer fishing season has had its ups and downs.  Hot streaks and days where they are few and far between, super windy stretches that seem like they will never die down, smokey dead calm humid days, plus the usual August fog. 

In mid-August the reports have been consistently good.  Below is a photo from Roy of Blue Wolf Charters, with a 3-boat trip that caught a whole bunch of nice fish!  Good size chinook/spring salmon, lots of pink salmon, and a few early coho thrown into the mix.  That's a fun day on the south west coast of Vancouver Island. Bright sunshine, big smiles.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Halibut and some salmon too

Most of the fishing effort around Sooke these days is focused on halibut.  And there's lots of nice fish coming back to the dock.

Here's Roy from Blue Wolf Charters with a boatload.  His photos page says: "50, 48, 39, 35, 29 lbs. Halibut - Albert Head -  DFennis, Ron, Neil, & Keely from Victoria BC, from Beacon Hill Petting Zoo 23rd year with Blue Wolf".  Nice!

Similarly, No Bananas Trevor braved some rough seas today to get this angler into a 40 lb halibut plus some spring salmon too. Trevor says "The new Gibbs Blue/Chrome Skinny g caught the salmon and a cut plug mackerel behind a small gibbs dodger for the halibut."


So -- the fish are out there, just have to get on the water and chase them!  

Wishing you calm seas and tight lines.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Halibut Fishing in Victoria and Sooke

The halibut fishing has been quite good lately, as shown by lots of great fishing reports, bragging posts, photos, and videos on Facebook. Some really snotty weather with rain and high winds hasn't slowed down the fishing action. 

Here's a couple of photos from No Bananas Fishing Charters, with halibut caught up to 50 pounds and also some nice winter chinook salmon.

Below is a two videos from Foghorn Fishing Charters, showing halibut some fun fishing -- including one filmed with a drone, pretty cool to see the eagle eye view of halibut coming aboard.

Early spring is a very under-rated time of year to get on the water! For a fun, safe, comfortable day, try chartering one of the Victoria or Sooke fishing guides.



 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Febuary means halibut

Canada's Department of Oceans and Fisheries have announced the fishing regulations for halibut for 2017. 

Halibut fishing open February 1, 2017 until further notice.
  • The maximum head on length for halibut is 133 cm (Approx. 101 cm head off).
  • The daily limit for halibut is one (1).
  • The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one of which may be greater than 83 cm, head-on (approx. 63 cm head off) in length.
  • The annual limit is six (6) halibut per licence holder, as set out on the 2016-2017 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.
  • All halibut retained by the licence holder shall be immediately recorded in ink on the 2016-2017 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. The area from which each halibut is caught and its length (cm) shall immediately be recorded on licence.
This is good news, as the halibut biomass is evaluated annually and there is always risk that recreational fishing will be curtailed or ever shut down.  With similar fishing regulations to later year, it appears the halibut fishery is considered strong and sustainable.

These early months are some of the best halibut fishing of the year, as there are bigger ones around and no pesky dogfish.  Victoria and Sooke see a lot of halibut fishing action from Feb to May or June, once people's attention switches to salmon fishing.  Most success is by anchoring on a hot spot and fishing a spreader bar with a two pound ball and bait: salmon belly, herring, octopus being the most common.  Put the gear down and wait a couple hours until the scent brings them in. 

Don't even ask about tips for spots ... closely guarded secrets!  And if you aren't confident anchoring, DO NOT DO IT ... as this is the easiest way to sink your boat and risk your life. No joke. If you want to learn to halibut fish, and safely anchor, consider getting out with a local guide, watch what they do, and ask lots of questions.  Most are happy to help out a local newbie. 

If you aren't a local, and are interested in halibut fishing, the many Sooke and Victoria guides will happily take you out for a fishing charter. Just watch for some nice weather and get out there!

The DFO website also provides rules for transporting and fileting your catch.  It also provides a nice description of how to release the big mamas with minimum harm to these important breeders! Excerpt here:

Release Halibut with Care

There are regulations in place that require all fish that are not retained, to be released back into the water from which they came immediately with the least amount of harm.
Halibut have a high survival rate and can withstand being caught and released. However, anglers should take care when handling halibut which are to be released. Releasing fish in the least harmful manner is a requirement by law. Here are some suggestions to assist anglers in catching and releasing halibut with care:
  • Avoid the use of stainless steel hooks. Should you have to consider cutting your line rather than removing a hook from a halibut that is deeply-hooked, standard steel hooks will rust away faster.
  • Use circle hooks as these have proven to hook halibut in the jaw or corner of the mouth. If you have to use J hooks pinch the barb to make unhooking easier.
  • Use heavy duty leader you can grab with a gloved hand. Halibut aren’t leader shy and a heavy leader is easier and safer for you to get a hold of and will provide you with a secure grip and control of your catch.
  • Use gear designed to catch halibut and avoid incidental species.
  • Halibut of similar age classes and size tend to school together. If you are fishing in an area and catching mostly larger fish, try moving to a new area where smaller fish typically are found.
  • Do not overplay your catch. Bring your catch to the surface as quickly as possible.
  • If you are going to release a fish, release it in the water. If it is unsafe to easily remove the hook the safest measure to take is to cut the line. If you have boated your catch and are releasing it, avoid handling it by the tail alone or the gills when releasing.
  • Mark an area at the waterline of your boat that measures 83 cm and 133 cm so that it is easier to determine when a fish is greater than that length.
  • Construct a measuring gauge from wood, plastic or aluminum that has an end that you can butt against the halibut’s tail and mark off the 83 cm and 133 cm lengths measured from the end of the gauge and use this to measure fish in the water.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sept Sooke Fishing

Some good reports for fishing in early September.   There are still nice chinook/spring salmon around, with regular catches in the teens and low 20s. 

the good news is the coho salmon appear to have arrived early ... catches of hatchery coho in the teens. That is great news for this early in September.  Right now you can only keep hatchery born coho with the adipose fin clipped. As of Oct 1, you can keep 1 wild, 3 hatchery.

If the rain holds off a little longer, they may be here a while.

And finally, a tip posted to the local fishing blog: "All around 50ft on the rigger and if it wasn't green and white it didn't get a bite!"

Sooke Fishing Adventures
info@fishingsooke.ca
Phone: 1-250-642-2587