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  • Writer's pictureCaptain Ivan

It's time to bundle up and get those Winter Chinook

Well after some record setting coho fishery in mid summer to another September to remember for large and fiesty Chinook Salmon returning to the Fraser River, it's time to layer up and stay on the fish. The "winter fishery" just rolled over without a lull moving away from the Fraser River arms to the more traditional grounds in Howe Sound, the Vancouver Harbour and over across to the Nanaimo side. We've have changed tactics from fishing shallow on the riggers to going deep just off the bottom of the ocean in depths anywhere from 120 feet down to over 250 feet on the riggers. We have been most successful when we let the cannonballs hit the bottom then bring it up a couple feet. Our go to tackle in the winter is glow hootchies and glow 3-3.5" spoons with glow flashers. Notice the key word "glow" as the gear is deep. There is a vast difference in glow qualities amongst the tackle manufacturers. I believe in the adage of you get what you pay for. Westcoast Fishing Tackle is the premium equipment I recommend. Charge up the glow with a UV flashlight, deck light or your cellphone and change up gear every 20-30 minutes.

Using bait at these depths is not "fun" as the bait could blow out as it descends as well as any little bite requires a lot of reeling to check the bait. Troll faster than with bait to cover more distance and watch for bait on your plotter/fish finder. This is good time of the year to consider switching to a 50 lb braid mainline with a 30-60 foot topshot of 30 lb monofilament on your reels. It is much easier on you and your rod when tripping the line off the retention clip. Good luck, stay warm and "Let's Go Fishing!"


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