We are now transitioning into a spring pattern in our local fishery. After a productive winter fishery in Howe Sound and the inner reaches of English Bay, the offshore fishery has started. Over the last week there has been decent numbers of fish showing up out in the deep! This trend will continue and the fishing should continue to improve in coming weeks.
We have been focusing our efforts around most of the traditional early Spring spots. The Bell Buoy, Cowan Point, Cape Roger Curtis, the Hump and the QA Marker have all had fish depending on the day. This fishery should continue to improve as it is still quite early. This fishery usually peaks between the middle of April and the end of May. We have been spending increasingly less time in Howe Sound as most of the winter fish are now pushing out to the deeper waters.
Now is the time that covering water can be key to success as these fish are roaming in the deep looking for pockets of bait. Pay attention to tide lines, bait on your sounder, and fish the tide changes. Once you hit a fish or two, it is always worth working that area for a bit if you can get a pattern going. Spoons, hootchies and anchovies will all work this time of year. We have had some good results on Skinny G and G Force Spoons. Good patterns have been the Herring Aide, Killy Mcgee, Trailhead, Bon Chovy and Outfitter. The Guide Series Flashers wiith the UV tape have been good in the murkier water. The Madi, Bon Chovy, STS and Lemon Lime have been effective as usual.
Give us a call to get out on the water! The Spring fishery is one of our best of the year.
We have been out quite a bit in recent weeks and have enjoyed some good fishing in Vancouver area waters. Winter fishing for chinook salmon has been fairly consistent in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound. We have been dropping traps for Spot prawns and Dungeness Crabs and spot prawns and have had very good results.
We have not ventured too far this winter as most days we have enjoyed consistent fishing in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound. In Vancouver Harbour we have found some nice fish deep inside the Freighter Anchorages in 70 to 100 feet and some fish off the Mouth of the Capilano on the flood tide. In Howe Sound, the West Side of Bowen and Gambier Island is where we have found most of our success. We have been fishing deeper in Howe Sound, primarily in 140 to 200 feet of water.
Gear wise we have been running a mixture of spoons and hootchies. Our favourite spoons have been Skinny Gs in the Bon Chovy, Outfitter and Irish Cream patterns and Gibbs G Force 3.0 and 3.5 in the Trailhead and Bon Chovy. We have had very good success on Yamashita Spackleback Hootchies in Green and Chartreuse. Our favourite flashers have been the Green and Chartreuse Blade Lemon Lime Series and the Chartreuse Glow Phantom Flasher by Oki. We have not messed around with any bait yet as the artificials are doing just fine. We will start to run bait once things start to warm up in early April and the plankton bloom starts.
Prawning has been excellent in Howe Sound and crabbing has picked up in Vancouver. We are dropping crab traps on all of our trips and we are dropping prawn traps on our full day trips when weather permits.
Our Winter Chinook Charter Special is running until the end of March. If you are looking to get out on the water at a great rate, our winter charters provide one of the best fishing experiences of the year. Hard to beat the scenery and the seafood! Charter Details.
Our 2019 Winter chinook salmon is here and so is our annual “Winter Chinook Charter Special! Like we do every year, we are offering fully guided winter fishing charters at a great rate from January 15th to March 31st. This year we are offering full day trips (8 hours) for a great price. We have enjoyed good fishing so far this winter and we are hoping and anticipating more productive trips over the next couple months! Winter salmon fishing is truly our favourite fishery of the year. If you have not tried, this is a great way to give it a shot! The amazing scenery is worth the trip alone!
In the past we have offered a half day special as well, but we feel the full day trip offers the best experience in the winter months. These longer fishing trips allows us to fish where we want, work the tides, and have the gear in the water longer to increase the number of hook ups.
In addition to the salmon fishing, we drop prawn and crab traps on the way out to the fishing grounds. The prawning has been very productive over the last couple seasons.
On our Vancouver fishing trips no previous saltwater fishing experience is required and we supply all the fishing equipment. Our boats are rigged are rigged to perfection with new Mercury and Yamaha Outboards, Island Reels, Scotty Downriggers and all the hot winter chinook gear from Gibbs Delta Tackle.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE
PRICE FOR 8 HOUR CHARTER
1 TO 2 PEOPLE
3 TO 4 PEOPLE
5 TO 6 PEOPLE
Check out the video below to get a feel for the Winter Fishing Experience!
If you are looking at combining a couple/few fishing days with a seaside cabin, we work with the Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island to combine great fishing with great accommodation. Packages start at $669.00 per person for a 2 day trip! Have a peak at this link for more info. The Bowen Island Winter Package is truly a perfect fishing get away. www.bonchovy.com/site/fishing-packages/bowen-island-winter-chinook-salmon-package.html
As July comes to a close, we are very optimistic about the fishing opportunities in coming weeks. Over the last few days we have had some very good chinook fishing on our full day trips and solid coho fishing on our half day trips. The chinook are getting bigger, we have had fish well into the mid twenties over the last couple days. The other big news is that sockeye salmon will be opening on August 1st. This is the peak year for Fraser River Sockeye, and if current trends continue, we are likely looking at a run of 14 to 18 million fish! So in short, it looks like we have some good opportunity in coming weeks!
In recent weeks, our full day trips have been running across to fish the east side of Gabriola Island when weather permits. Fishing has been very consistent and most days our boats were hooking 6 to 12 good chinooks a trip along with some coho. We have been running our gear pretty close to bottom in 150 to 220 feet of water in the Gulf Island’s. We have been running flasher/hootchie combinations pretty religiously this month in the Gulf Island’s. Blue, Green, and Chartreuse Yamishita Spackleback Hootchies have been very productive in tandem with Guide Series Bon Chovy, STS, Lemon Lime and Brain Freeze Flashers. The Gulf Islands will likely continue to produce for the next 3 to 4 weeks, but we will likely start to shift our chinook focus to the Fraser Mouth in the next week or two as the first big push of Fraser River bound chinook and sockeye hit local waters in the first to second week of August.
Local coho salmon fishing has been all over the map over the last few weeks. Some days have been lights out and other days been lights off! The last few days have been quite good and it is quite likely that consistency will improve over the next week. West Vancouver has had a few good short shots of coho, but the bulk of the summer hatchery run is still sitting and feeding offshore. I would be willing to bet that they will push into West Vancouver in the next 7 days. It is quite common to get a big push of coho this week. We will soon find out! Hard to beat white or glow hootchies on coho this time of year.
Early indications are pointing to a very good sockeye return to the Fraser River this August. This is the peak year in the four year cycle. Test fisheries in Area 20 off the West Side of Vancouver Island have been consistently strong over the last 10 days. As of now, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans the run is tracking slightly above the pre season P 50 forecast. If current trends continue we will likely see a run of 14 to 20 million fish back to the Fraser River this year We will be heading out this week to scout for sockeye. It will be still early in the opening and it may take a week or two for numbers to build. Stay tuned!!
We are getting rigged and ready for the sockeye opening. Our favourite set ups our pretty basic, we will run the standard local flasher colours of chartreuse, green, and red. Our choices are the Guide Series T-10, STS, and Bon Chovy Flashers. Other flashers will obviously work as well, but these are the ones that we rely on. We pair the flashers up with Michael Bait Red Sockeye Hootchies on a 26 to 30 inch leader. It is also very beneficial to run a few dummy flashers as well. We will have lots of sockeye gear in our shop on Granville Island if you need the right gear and some hints. Have a look at this video below that we did with Fishing with Rod in mid September in 2015, it shows what sockeye fishing can be like and the methods we use.
If you are looking to get on the water this August, please call or email soon as the local charter fleet is getting booked up quickly. We are hoping for a great summer fishery for chinook and sockeye!
Summer definitely arrived over the last few days! It looks like we are now into a summer pattern now with warm temperatures and clear skies for the next couple weeks. This arrival of this hot weather brought some strong Northwest winds and tough fishing this past weekend, but things look like they are going to stabilize nicely this week with calm winds returning. Fishing has been productive on the Gulf Islands side with some nice chinook salmon up to 22 pounds and a few coho now in the mix. Locally, things have been tough over the last week and we have been working hard to hook a good fish or two on our half days charters. We are looking forward to more coho pushing into Vancouver Harbour over the next couple weeks and our West Vancouver fishery starting.
Thrasher Rock, Porlier Pass, Entrance Island and the east side of Gabriola Island have been the most productive areas on our full day trips over the last two weeks. We have had some pretty solid charters and most trips are hooking 5 to 10 good chinook a trip. Most of the chinook salmon are coming right off bottom and hootchies and the new Gibbs Wee Gees are by far the most consistent producers right now. Blue, Chartreuse and Green Spacklebacks have been our best hootchie colours as usual. We should continue to see decent waves of chinook in the coming weeks. In addition to the chinook, we have been getting a few coho and some nice ling cod. On a very interesting note, we know of 4 confirmed halibut caught over the last 2 weeks off Gabriola and Galiano Island’s…..good sign!
In local waters we have been working the South End of Bowen Island for the most part. Seems like the majority of the good fish are coming between Cowan Point and Cape Roger Curtis. We are finding them pretty close to the shoreline in 200 to 400 feet of water. Cowan Point is often a good bet on the flood tide. We are using larger G Force and Silver Horde Spoons between 50 and 130 feet on the downrigger. The G Force Bon Chovy, Trailhead and Outfitter pattern has been good. In Silver Horde the Cop Car, Irish Cream and the Kitchen sink are good producers as usual. As we move into late June and July we will anticipate our first waves of coho pushing into Vancouver Harbour. This is a favourite local fishery as it is only 10 minutes from the dock. We will start scouting things out over the next week. We have seen them show as early as June 15th and as late as late July in the past. We will see what this year brings. It seems that survival has been good as there is quite a few in Georgia Strait.
We are hoping to see a good return of sockeye salmon this summer. This is the big cycle for Fraser River Sockeye and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is forecasting 14 million sockeye to return. The forecasting for sockeye in recent years has not been very good and we will have a better idea of run strength in late July and early August once test fisheries start in the approach areas. We are crossing our fingers!
Summer is here! Give us a call or email if you would like to get out for a charter!
For the most part, local anglers and charter guests have been spoiled by some excellent chinook fishing over the last month. Things have slowed in local waters over the last week, but the Gulf Island’s have continued to produce very well. With a mellower tide set coming up this week, local fishing hopefully perk back up.
For the most part, the most consistent activity locally over the last couple weeks has been from Cowan Point up to Cape Roger Curtis along the South End of Bowen Island. Most boats are concentrating their efforts in 200 to 400 feet of water doing long tacks back and forth. There has been lots of bait showing and it seems to be a mixture of medium sized herring and anchovies. Most fish have been coming reasonably deep between 80 and 150 feet on the downrigger. Bigger 4.0 spoons have been working best for us recently with the Silver Horde Homeland Security, Herring Aide, Irish Cream and the G Force Bon Chovy, Trailhead and Outfitter being our favourites.
The Gulf Island’s have been excellent on most days in recent weeks. We have spent most of our time off the Eastern shoreline of Gabriola Island, but good reports have been coming from Galiano Island up to Nanaimo. The fish on the far side of the Strait have been a little deeper and productive depths have been from 90 to 200 feet on the downriggers. Hootchies seem to the best bet over there for most boats. Our favourite Gulf Island hootchie is the Yamashita Green or Chartreuse Spackleback. This hootchie paired up with a Gibbs Delta Lemon Lime or Bon Chovy Flasher is a deadly combo over there.
As we progress into late May and June we are anticipating that the fishing will continue to be productive along the surfline from Passage Island up to Gibsons. Over the last couple years, the fishing has remained productive for chinook in Vancouver area waters well into June, we are hoping for a repeat performance. We like to recommend the longer 8 and 10 hour trips in May and June. We often run a little further this time of year and the longer days often pay off. We often cross to the Gulf Island’s on our 10 hour trips in May, June and July if the weather and fishing reports are favourable.
We have stopped prawning as of early May now that the commercial season has started. This past winter and spring was the best prawning we have seen in quite a few years. We are hoping that next winter and spring are just as good! Crabbing has been ok in Vancouver Harbour and we will be dropping traps for another few weeks until the commercial season opens up.
—————–SANDY COVE NET PEN PROJECT—————
It is that time of year again! Our Sandy Cove Chinook sea pen project is up and running. There are 1110,000 hatchery chinook salmon in the for the next 3 weeks. They will be there to acclimatize to the ocean environment under safe and stable conditions. The beauty of this project is the survival rates are substantially higher than conventional in river releases. These chinook are of Harrison River origin and are a very important food source to the Southern Resident Killer Whales. These chinook also support first nation, commercial and recreational fisheries. As local fisherman and charter operators we have been succesfully catching these net pen chinook in our winter, spring, summer and fall fisheries! This project has been made posssible by years of dedication by the Vancouver Sport Fishing Guides Association under the leadership of Phil Grassi. We have had lots of help and support from the Capilano Hatchery and its wonderful stagg. We are excited to feed and watch these little guys grow over the next few weeks! They will then be released into English Bay and return to Capilano River. We look forward to catching a few along the way! It is projects like this that are having big impacts on local chinook populations!
We have been out on the water quite a bit in recent weeks! Overall fishing has been good in the Gulf Island’s and more hit or miss than it was than earlier this winter in Howe Sound. We have had some very good charters, but we have also had a few tough trips in Howe Sound. Crabbing and Prawning have been very productive on most of our trips. . Looking forward to April and May this is when we typically have some of the most consistent chinook fishing of the year in our offshore waters near Bowen Island, the Hump, the Gulf Island’s, QA Marker and the Bell Buoy. Last year we had our best chinook fishing of the year in the last two weeks of April and the first few weeks of May. This was primarily on our full day trips to the Gulf Island’s and further out in Georgia Strait. It will be interesting to see where the early biomass of Chinook salmon lands this spring!
Like usual in the winter months, most of the fish that are being caught have been very close to bottom in Howe Sound and the Gulf Island’s. This pattern will slowly start to change in the coming weeks as the days get longer and warmer and triggers the first plankton blooms of the year and the spring freshet. We did notice some minor blooms earlier this week with the warm weather. When we start to notice more consistent plankton blooms, this will trigger our offshore fishery to begin. Depending on the year, this usually starts in the first or second week of April. We have already seen some fish start to congregate and suspend in the outer reaches of Vancouver Harbour, so it will be not too long now.. Areas that we will look to focus on as we move into April include the Freighter Anchorages in English Bay, the Bell Buoy, QA Marker, Cowan Point and the offshore waters off the South End of Bowen Island and the Gulf Islands. These fish will start to suspend more and more and soon it will be worth running some shallower lines.
We have been running primarily Skinny Gs and smaller 3.0 and 3.5 G Force and Silver Horde Spoons in recent weeks. Hootchies don’t seem to be as productive as they were earlier in the winter fishery, but always worth a shot. In the Skinny G’s and G Force Spoons we have had our best luck on the Outfitter, Bon Chovy and Killy Mcgee patterns. In Silver Horde we have been having our best luck on Irish Cream and Kitchen Sink patterns. As we move into our springtime fishery in Vancouver Harbour and the outer reaches of Howe Sound, we will start to run a little more anchovy. We often find when the waters dirty up in early April because of the plankton bloom and the snow melt, it is time to run an anchovy or two.
Give us a call to book your spring fishing trip! Our offshore chinook fishery should start to really get going in the second to third week of April. Until then, we will likely continue with our standard winter tactics in Howe Sound, the Gulf Island’s and Vancouver Harbour. Our winter special is still happening until the end of March. Check out this link, it has all the details on this great deal!
Winter chinook salmon season is here and so is our “Winter Chinook Charter Special”. Like we do every year,we are offering fully guided winter fishing charters at a great rate from January 15th to March 31st! This year, we are offering full day trips (8 hours) for a great price. This winter chinook season has been a productive one so far and we are hoping and anticipating that things will keep rolling right into spring!
In the past, we have done a half day special as well, but we feel the full day trip offers the best experience in the winter months. A full day trip allows us to fish where we want, work the tides, move around a bit, and have the gear in the water longer to increase the number of hook ups! Have a look at this video we shot last winter chinook season, this is what we are targeting and the area we typically fish in the winter. The scenery is worth the trip alone!
The beauty of the winter is the lack of crowds, stunning scenery and some of the best eating salmon of the year. On our charters no previous saltwater fishing experience is required and we supply all the fishing equipment. Our boats are rigged to perfection with new Mercury and Yamaha Outboards, Islander Reels, Scotty Downriggers and all the hot gear from Gibbs Delta Tackle! In addition to trolling for winter chinook salmon, crab traps will be dropped for Dungeness crabs on the way to the fishing grounds. If weather and fishing locations permit, we can also drop traps for spot prawns!
If you are looking to make a weekend of it, we can combine 2 days of fishing and a night at a seaside cabin at the Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island. A 2 day package with a night on Bowen Island starts at $569.00 per person. Makes for a great quick fishing getaway for a great price. Please get in touch with us for more charter and accommodation info!
The last few weeks have provided local anglers with good weather and consistent winter chinook salmon fishing. There has only been the odd tough fishing and weather day so far this month. Hopefully things continue into the New Year!
It doesn’t seem like there is a real hot spot right now, it seems like all the usual winter chinook spots are holding fish depending on the day. If you don’t find bait or fish in one spot, you can always make a move, or just stick it out and wait for fish to move in. There has been fish in Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Gulf Island’s. We typically try and go where conditions are the nicest! Calm water is the best water! The nice thing about the winter months is that when the Squamish winds are blowing in Howe Sound, it is usually calm in Vancouver Harbour. If it is blowing in Georgia Strait and Vancouver Harbour, it is usually calm in Howe Sound.
As usual a variety of different lures will catch winter chinook. We usually stick to smaller G Force, Skinny G and Silver Horde Spoons with green/white/chartreuse type colour combinations. We have also had good success on hootchies so far this winter. Plain white glow and green and chartreuse spacklebacks have been our favourites. We been running our spoons behind Gibbs Delta Guide Series STS, Lemon Lime, Bon Chovy and Madi Flashers like usual. Our charter and tackle shop on Granville Island has all the right gear for winter fishing in Vancouver.
Over the last few years, our winter and spring chinook fishery in local waters has really improved. The reason for this is pretty simple…..food!! A couple key things have happened in recent years. Let’s hope things continue!
1. The local herring population in Howe Sound has increased dramatically in recent years. Herring is a staple for immature chinook and now that the local biomass is increasing, the salmon, whales, birds and marine mammals are loving it. This herring revival so to speak, is not by fluke, it is due to the hard work by the Squamish Streamkeepers. Have a look at this link, it shows what this hardworking group has been up to in recent years. www.squamishstreamkeepers.net/streamkeepers/Herring.html Hopefully in years to come our government will realize and act upon the vital importance of herring in our waters. The Squamish Streamkeepers deserve a massive thank you for their hard work. Hopefully the DFO can follow their strong lead and help in rehabilitating and protecting herring habitat, they are so important! When the herring got wiped out by industry in Howe Sound years ago, nothing was done by government to bring them back, glad to see that a bit of luck and hard work by volunteers has made a big difference!
2. Anchovies have also established themselves in Howe Sound…..big time! Over the last few years, a significant portion of the local chinook diet is being made up of anchovies. This additional food source has been present in Howe Sound in volume since 2015 and has significantly helped and attracted fish, birds and mammals in Howe Sound. Check out this fantastic film by Bob Turner documenting the anchovies in Howe Sound.
We are pretty busy with charters between Christmas and New Years, but have a few days available if you would like to get out on the water. We will be announcing the details of our WINTER CHARTER SPECIAL early in the New Year. We have been running our Winter Special from January 15th to March 31st for over 10 years and it is one of our most popular charters of the year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! We are hoping for a fishy 2018!
It looks like we are going to have another productive winter chinook salmon season. Like last year, we have had another encouraging start to our winter fishery in Vancouver Harbour, Howe Sound and the Gulf Island’s. There seems to be decent numbers of fish in most of the normal winter haunts. We have spent quite a few days on the water over the last few weeks, including and highlighted by an excellent 4 day Bowen Island Trip with a great couple (JT and Shannon)!
Over the last few weeks, we have had our fair share of varied weather conditions. We have enjoyed summer like sunshine and battled through Arctic winds and even a few snow flurries. As we move into December, the weather will likely be a little more consistent as winter sets in for a few months. We have covered lots of water in recent weeks and found quite a few undersized and some nice legal fish into the mid teens. Interestingly enough, the ratio for legals to undersized was actually higher in October than in November. The last couple weeks has provided better action, but some days you have to weed through the undersized to get a legal.
We have spent most of our time in Howe Sound, but we did take advantage of some calm weather to head to the Gulf Islands and further up the Sunshine Coast last week. We found pretty good action in both areas, with good numbers of undersized and a few legals. As usual, we are fishing smaller spoons and hootchies fairly close to the bottom. Look for bait and there will be fish around it at some point.
In the winter months, we don’t change things up all that much in terms of our fishing gear. Over the years we have found a handful of set ups that work exceptionally well in our Vancouver winter salmon fishery. Here is a list of our go to spoons/hootchies/flashers in the winter:
Gibbs Delta- G Force: Bon Chovy and Trailhead (3.0 or 3.5) Gibbs Delta – Skinny Gs: Outfitter and Bon Chovy
Silver Horde Kingfisher: Irish Cream, Herring Aide and Homeland Security Silver Horde Coho Killer: Irish Cream
Yamashita Hootchies: Green and Chartreuse Spackleback and plain glow
Gibbs Delta Guide Series Flashers: Madi, STS, Lemon Lime and Bon Chovy
Winter is truly a spectacular time to fish in the Vancouver area. It is not just the consistent fishing, it is also about where we travel to get to the fishing grounds and what we see while trolling and traveling to the fishing grounds. We are often spoiled with a post card like backdrop and frequent wild life sightings!
Give us a call to set up a winter chinook charter! Better yet, check out our Bowen Island winter fishing packages! Great accommodation, amazing scenery and consistent salmon fishing, crabbing and prawning!