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The 2008 saltwater sport fishery is approaching and local anglers can expect to see more fish in the Georgia Strait this coming season as there seems to have been a significant change to the good in the last two years. The large number of under-sized Chinooks that took up residence in the Strait from Feb/March of 2007 until present, are feeding well and seem to be happy staying put. Many of these fish have reached legal size and if they stay to feed on the influx of migrating herring that are now in or on their way to the Strait to spawn will provide great angling opportunities for many who have lost interest in East Coast Vancouver Island fishing. This year’s Chinook fishery in and around Courtenay, Comox, Denman & Hornby Islands should exceeded most anglers expectations. Winter spring fishing is excellent and should carry right on through to early May when we should start seeing migratory stocks again. Hotspots include Twin Islands, Sentry Shoals (July), Kitty Coleman (July), Lambert Channel (Feb- June 15, Aug 15-Sept) and especially the south end of Denman and Hornby Islands (May-Sept). Big and Little Qualicum River runs have been exceptional for the last six years and expect more of the same in 2008. These two rivers are providing some of the best Chinook fishing (Aug 15-Sept 15) in the Georgia Strait with most fish hitting the scales at between 25-35 lbs. With any luck the Puntlegde River summer and fall Chinook runs will be stable enough to avoid the ongoing slaughter by problem seals, and with no action being taken by DFO, we just have to keep our fingers crossed. Coho numbers may be stronger, but it’s too early to surmise what opens and what remains closed but we should expect some type of opening to start around early June, most likely for hatchery (fin-clipped) fish. This should coincide with an earlier (June1st) Lingcod opening, based on last year’s catch data. Local prawning is fantastic, you just have to wait for Mother Nature to co-operate. With more DFO enforcement in Area 14, be sure to abide by all regulations before setting your gear. For charters contact G&M FISHING CHARTERS at 1-800-577-6966 (250) 954-6500 www.fishingbc.ca
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