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Vancouver BC Saltwater Fishing Report

By Jason Assonitis, Bon Chovy Fishing Charters | Last updated: September 19th, 2018

It has been a hot, smokey last few weeks!   We have enjoyed some solid fishing for sockeye salmon, some good bursts of coho fishing and a few good chinook tides.   It looks like the weather is going to switch to a fall like pattern this weekend and things will start to cool off.   Our fishery will start to change this week as the sockeye fishery comes to a close and our chinook fishery starts to ramp up!  We are looking forward to seeing some of the bigger hatchery white chinook into local waters in the coming weeks.  We will also start to see numbers of coho and chum increase off the Fraser River Mouth in a few weeks.

Sockeye salmon have been the major focus of local anglers over the last month.  Numbers have been good, and most trips that targeted sockeye did quite well.  It looks like the run size is going to come in between 10 and 14 million fish.  Definitely, not a record return, but a healthy return that has provided sport, first nations and commercial fisherman with good opportunity.   There is still good numbers of fish off the Fraser River Mouth.  The later run sockeye that our in local waters right now are known to stage and hold for 1 to 3 weeks before heading into the Fraser River.  We have been targeting them a little deeper than earlier in the season, and productive depths have been from 70 to 110 feet on the downrigger.   Michael Bait sockeye hootchies behind STS, T10 and Bon Chovy Guide Series Flashers are what we use for sockeye.  This year, the STS flasher has been our best producer.   Keep things simple, keep an eye on your sounder, look for jumpers and try and time your sockeye fishing with good current.  Sockeye do not like strong current and will often go off the bite when the current is really moving.   They also like to bite going with the current, not against.  On days with mellow currents, direction is not too important, but on bigger current days, pay attention and try not to troll cross current!  It is very likely that the sockeye fishery will close between the 11th and 15th of September based on the information we have received.  Having said that, nothing is set in stone yet for a closure date.

As we progress into September, we will see our sockeye fishery wrap up and our hatchery chinook run begin. Over the last number of years, we have enjoyed a good fishery for big white chinook that have been enhanced in local rivers.   The Capilano, Chilliwack, Stave, Chehalis, and Alouette River all contribute to the fishery off the Fraser RIver and Vancouver Harbour.  Looking forward to seeing them soon!    For these returning chinook we primarily target them with anchovies and herring, but sometimes a white or glow hootchie or a Skinny G can be very effective as well.   There will be chinook off the Fraser RIver into late September and chinook off the Capilano River into the middle of October depending on rainfall.

Coho salmon have done very well in the Salish Sea this year.  From the Gulf Island's up to Campbell River coho have been present in strong numbers since the spring time.  This is very promising and there is a good chance that we will have a good fishery for hatchery coho off the Fraser Mouth in October.  Chum returns are also forecasted to be good as well.  Chum are not know to be very good biters in our area, but every year we seem to be catching a few more in mid to late October as we tweak things.

Give us a call to get out on the water!

Jason Assonitis
Bon Chovy Fishing Charters
604-763-5460