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The 2008 saltwater sport fishery is now underway with some calm waters and good numbers of winter Chinooks out in the strait. The huge biomass of herring is now in the Georgia Strait to complete their annual spawn and with that comes plenty of early run Chinooks that have followed the herring along the east coast of Vancouver Island for generations. Some of the largest salmon we hook into every year are out there right now. Over the years our boats have boated more than a few of these extremely large migrating Chinooks. These early migrating fish, when hooked, seem to just want to head to the bottom, no matter how deep, and just keep on going. Try to match up your gear with the herring that are out there. Large silver or prism spoons (5-7") will get the best results, trolled without a flasher. Keeping one line on the bottom at any depth is always a good idea, and usually is the one that hooks many of the larger fish.
Seals are a problem in all B.C waters now but some are not as smart as others. Be creative by not bringing up your downriggers when landing a fish, this fools some that hone in on the sound they make. Try some plugs and spoons without flashers, or dummy flashers, anything that makes it harder for these problem seals to ruin your day. The large numbers of herring should keep the fish feeding in all areas from Campbell River to Nanoose Bay and beyond for the next month or so. Areas like Kitty Coleman, the Hump, Bates Beach, Lambert Channel, Tribune Bay and Flora Islets should produce good results on most days. Prawning continues to be fantastic in all areas with good catches after just a two-hour soak. DFO is regularly checking prawn lines in most areas, so be sure to have the proper gear, including line weights, marked floats and numbers of traps per line. Don’t be afraid to load up on the bait, as I have always found that the more bait in the traps the better the catch

Gil Di Cesare

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