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  • Writer's pictureCaptain Ivan

It's Sockeye Time!

Where has the summer gone? The weather has been gorgeous and so has the fishing. June was very productive in the local Vancouver waters for the Chinook fishery and the Cohoes started to show in July. If the winds weren't blowing, going across the pond over to Thrasher Rock and up to the Nanaimo area, fishing was nothing short of spectacular. I missed most of last month's fishery as I was guiding up at various lodges up in the beautiful and majestic Haida Gwaii. Now it's Sockeye time. Our last recreational sports fishing opening for this highly prized salmon was in 2014. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans are forecasting a return of a high of 14 million to return to the Fraser River. Sockeye travel in large schools. Use lots of flash by running dummy flashers off the cannon balls such as "Kone Zones." Then stack 2 rods twenty feet apart on each downrigger line. Pink, hot pink and red squirt hootchies on 18" - 24" leaders behind your favorite flashers. You will find the fish anywhere from 30' down to 120+ feet. Watch your sounder for the schools of fish and once you get a bite, set a waypoint and stay on top of them. My rule of thumb is let the first fish tug on the rigger for 15 seconds or so before pulling the rod. The flashing fish seems to attract other sockeye and you end up with a double, triple or even a quadruple header. Sockeyes have soft gums and hooks easily become dislodged and if you manage a 60% landed rate, you are doing well. Chinook salmon also bite on sockeye gear so you could end up with a bonus brute of salmon when least expecting it since Chinooks are returning to Fraser River as well. Besides sockeye, coho salmon fishing has been been fast and furious off the West Vancouver shoreline. Fish can be found between 18' - 35' using hootchies (mainly white) and anchovies. Good luck, good fishing and "Let's Go Fishing!"

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