March Fishing Report - Vancouver and the Gulf Island's
It certainly has been a long winter! We have been operating on a limited basis in recent months. We have been a few same household type charters and aligning with Provincial Health Orders. It looks health orders will start to relax in April and we will look forward to getting out on the water even more! Overall, we have enjoyed a pretty decent winter chinook fishery. Generally, the action has been quite good, some days we get a couple keepers, and other days we have been getting undersized. All in all, it has been a great way to get outside and enjoy the spectacular winter scenery.
Big news! We acquired another big Grady White Marlin! As we deal with fishing charters during this pandemic, we have made the move to try and give our guests more spacing and comfort. We are excited to get her in the rotation, she is a beauty!!
On the fishing front, it has been pretty standard issue over the last month in the Vancouver area. Most trips out are getting 5 to 10 chances at winter chinook, and most days there is opportunities at legal fish. Grace Island, the Waterfall and Tunstall Bay have all had their days. The Harbour has also been kicking out some fish as well, both mid harbour and the Cap Mouth. This year, the seals have been noticeably more problematic in Howe Sound, it now seems like there are a few resident, problem seals making things annoying on certain days. If you have a problem seal following you, it is a good idea to move. Fishing in the Sidney and Southern Gulf Island’s has been quite active with lots of undersized and the odd legal in the mix. .
As usual we have been running our favourite winter chinook spoons and hootchies. We haven’t bothered running bait all winter as it is not necessary in the winter. Our winter spoon staples in the Vancouver area are Skinny G and G Force Spoons. We find the best patterns to be the Outfitter, Trailhead, Bon Chovy, No Bananas, Herring Aide and Irish Cream. We also run hootchies quite a bit this time of year with Yamashita green or chartreuse spacklebacks being our top producers. We pair up these lures with Gibbs Delta Guide Series Flashers and keep it pretty simple. The Bon Chovy, STS, Madi, and Lemon Lime patterns work for for us all winter long. When we were are fishing the Sidney and Southern Gulf Island’s we tend to run smaller presentations in the winter as the bait is a bit smaller. We have a lot of success on Coho Killers and Wee Gees!
Prawning has been ok and crabbing has been picking up slowly. The crabbing and prawning adds to the winter experience! We drop traps for crabs on all of our winter trips and we prawn on our 8 and 10 hour trips on request in March and April.
Did you know that we have a boat based in Sidney, BC? Last year we added a Vancouver Island location to our operation. Having a boat based in Sidney provides us with a great secondary location that provides calm water, consistent fishing for salmon and ling cod and also good winter crabbing and prawning. In addition, we offer pick ups on all the Southern Gulf Island’s!! If you are staying on Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, or Saltspring Island’s, give us a call, we can pick you up! Check out this video we shot from our Sidney location last March! An exciting, chilly day with www.fishingwithrod.com with some great action!
Everyone is anxiously waiting to hear what the chinook regulations will be this spring? At this point, there are portions of Howe Sound, the Gulf Island’s, Haro Strait and Juan De Fuca Strait that may open up to chinook retention in April. It is by no means confirmed, but there is good dialogue going on between the Sport Fishing Advisory Board and the DFO to facilitate data driven commencing in April. If these proposals go through, it will provide some relief to Coastal Communities and fishing families. It is also recognition that data driven opportunity is the way forward to target abundant chinook stocks and avoid stocks of concern. Stay tuned! We will likely get an announcement in late March/Early April from the DFO, hopefully it is good news!