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Discussion Starter #1
I recently heard from local sources that winter feeders can be found off of Yeo Point right here on Salt Spring Island, and indeed, on our first trip there we hooked into a 5 to 7 lb feeder about an hour before high tide that day, with a gold/chrome flasher and anchovy teaser. This weekend, however, we got to the same spot right at or just after high tide at 7:30am in the morning. We were finding bait schools and the gulls were active, but we weren't getting any action on our lines. We were using the same combos we had the previous weekend. I switched up to a double glow hootchie and green flasher, and had a shaker on the line about two hours after high tide. Thankfully, the crab pots were much more productive this weekend--lots of dungies to be had.

I'd like to end with a few questions for the forum:

1) How long does winter feeder action last in the Gulf Islands?
2) When does the next fishery for salmon pick up? April? Later?
3) I have the impression that my BC pals I go fishing with aren't as particular about fishing tide changes as I am. I'm a firm believer in the "2 hours before high tide, 1 hour after" and the "1 hour before low tide, 1 hour after" guidelines (I read 'em first from DC Reid books), but my other friends think there's always fish in the water to be had. My experience has shown otherwise. I like to be out on the water, and because I don't have my own boat, I'm a bit beholden to their schedules.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

-Robert
 

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Hello Robert,
I'm not an expert on the Gulf Islands timing, but here, Nan, I look forward to May/June for some nice chinooks, both in numbers and quality. I would think you'll see the same fish down there.
Regarding tide changes. Both of you are correct. Tide changes are important, but they are not the be all and end all. Interestingly, some spots are very tied to the tide change. Others, not so much. Ideally, a tide change at first light is usually a great bet, but its not a guarantee. Personally, I'd take early morning over a tide change at noon any day.
And by the way, Mr Reid is not the Bible on fishing. Good luck!
 

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I can't tell you for sure about the entire Gulf Island's and feeder/winter fishing but there area from Porlier to Thrasher is still going now. There is never a time you can really say it's going to begin or start....haha. Much like fishing the WCVI as the waves of fish can roll through although you're in prime time.

I would be surprised if you see the area to the north of you that I just mentioned stay productive until that fishery really starts to pick up which is usually into the earlier part of April. That whole area from Galiano north to Gabriola (and further up the inside) will have fish in the spring. We had some awesome days last spring around there with double digit hook ups quite often.

As for down your way.....I really couldn't tell you if Pender Area or the immediate Saltspring Area is good or not early season. I know once things get moving with more of the 'runs' it will be cooking along big time down there. This too is a pink year and through Active Pass area will be hopping with fish.
 

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Thank you for the input! @teacherspet, for early morning/dawn chinook targets, is the typical approach to locate the bait schools on the fish finder and then fish accordingly, or do you know to fish in more shallow depths for that feeding period, and if so, what depth do you typically start?

-Robert
 

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Ive fish winter springs in the Sunshine coast area for the last two winters, and I usually pick some structure as a starting point (ie troll along long shelves, ridges, ect) in the 80-150ft region. Through experience I have my areas I like to start and then watch the sounder and adjust depths/strategy accordingly. I like to start with one ball close to the bottom (10-15') and one higher up (20-30') for a spread to start and again, watch the sounder and adjust depth as needed.

We got a twelve and 2 six pounders last week (on 'chovies, 80-140' down), one had a 5" anchovy in its belly, one had a 2.5" shiner so those gotta be good presentations this time of year.
 

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Any time you have bait showing, fish it hard. The exception would be surface bait, and you're after springs. They likely won't be up top.

Ideally, I'd fish in depths of 100 - 200 ft, and keep the gear in the bottom third of the water, say 80-150 ft.
 

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In the immediate vicinity of Yeo Point I have heard some people talking about fish at Deep Cove on the North West side of the Saanich Penisula. Motored past there a couple of days ago and saw four or five boats trolling.
 
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