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  • Writer's pictureCaptain Ivan

Catch and Release Chinook Salmon April 1 - July 15

The new 2024/25 salt water licensing year is now in effect as well as new or amended regulations. Always check the fishing regs for the species of fish in the management area you will be angling in as "ignorance of the law" is not an excuse when checked by an enforcement officer or more importantly, being a good steward of our precious and iconic fishery. The "Fishing BC" app is probably one of the best tools in your tacklebox to stay current on the regulations. Simply download the free App onto your phone from your App Store.

During the catch and release season, I switch all my hooks on the spoons and hootchies to a maximum size of 3/0. The smaller hook significantly reduces potential injury or mortality to the smaller salmon. For my hootchies I only use a single hook vs a tandem hook set up at all times. It's much easier to "gaff" release with only a single hook.

During the last few outings, I and other guides have moved our gear up off the bottom or below 200' to depths of 80'-165' fishing around Bowen Island, Gabriola Island (Thrasher to Entrance Island) and Howe Sound. The salmon have moved up in the water column and are actively feeding. Please remember there is no need to net any salmon as they should be released without handling unless you are licensed to take DNA samples. This time in the year in April and May, it is quite common to hook up 10 to 20+ chinook salmon in an outing. I recently had 17 fish to the boat in 3.5 hour span

over at Gabriola Island.

The prawning and crabbing have been good to great all winter and continues to be strong.

There are hatchery only retention in limited areas over in the southern Gulf Islands as well as further up the coast for those fortunate to live close by. Get out on the water, be safe, have fun and employ best practices to sustain our fishery.


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