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The PREDATOR'S PEN Date: October 15th/2008.

By: David Korsch (Predator Charters)
E-mail: [email protected] Web Site: www.predatorcharters.com
Phone: (604) 329 - 8642 Fax: (604) 886 - 1928

Hello Fellow Anglers

The Capilano Chinook fishery continued to be the main focus of my saltwater fishing efforts over the past few weeks, But unless I hear of something good in the next few days, I think that fishery may be over for another year. It was "decent" this fall, but definitely not as spectacular as we have seen at times in recent years where the hot days had us hooking into 10 or more fish on a single flood tide. A half dozen fish was more along the lines of the hottest bites this fall. Oh well, we knew there would be very few 4 and 5 year old fish this year, and that definitely came to pass with most of the fish being those "teenager" 3 yr-olds. At least next year we should have good returns of both 3 and 4 yr-old fish, so the run will be that much better.

While I'm thinking the run is over for another year, it is still possible we will see some decent numbers of really late fish arrive in the next week or so. There have been some years where a significant number of fish showed up in the 3rd week of October (after we were basically getting nothing during the second week), and one year there was a strong run of really late fish that arrived after the first week of November. I'm not really expecting this to occur this year, but you really never know. We saw very few brighter fish arriving in October, as most of the fish we were getting looked as if they have been there for a while - even in late September. In addition, a significant portion of them (maybe 30%) were still "reds" which tend to be the early fish that show up in late August and early September. The typical late run of fish off the Capilano are almost 100% "whites", so this is one other thing that adds to the possibility of some late arriving fish.

Even if the run is over for another year, this definitely doesn't mean there is nothing to go fishing for. My favourite fishery of the year is just beginning - the "winter" Chinook fishery. These "winter" or "feeder" Chinook are arguably the nicest eating fish of the year, as they are immature, and all the nutrients from their food is going towards building up their body mass (mature fish that have stopped eating are actually living off their "reserves" - taking nutrients out of their flesh). They are bright silver fish in their prime, and it seems the colder weather at this time of year just makes them even better.

In Howe Sound the winter Chinook fishery usually gets started in early October, and this year is no different. I really haven't put in any time towards this fishery yet, but there is tons of bait in Tunstall Bay and off the Waterfall, and where there is bait, these voracious Chinook are sure to be nearby. Even though I haven't fished for the feeder Chinook yet myself, a buddy has been out looking in the past week, and has found success, so they are definitely there already.

Typically we can get away from using bait during this fishery, as spoons, hootchies, and 4" Tomic plugs are usually more effective. It will be interesting to see what lure combination turns out to be the hot one this winter, but over the past couple years it has been the Army Truck or Flamin' Hans Gypsy spoons or a purple haze hootchie. If you still think using bait is best, you may find herring strip to be more effective than anchovies. I can't seem to catch a cold on anchovies during the winter, but herring strip is another story....it used to basically be THE winter "lure" of choice back in the 90's before we started using spoons.

Early indications are that we will see a pretty strong winter Chinook fishery this year. The past week has seen roughly a 1/2 dozen feeders from 9 to 12 lbs taken in Vancouver Harbour by anglers still looking for mature fish. Vancouver Harbour typically doesn't see too much in the way of a feeder Chinook fishery until mid-December, so this was definitely a pleasant surprise. The size range indicates fish that would be maturing next fall as 4 yr-olds (of which there should be a pretty strong return); therefore, we should see good numbers of fish this size during the next few months.

If you are interested in doing a charter, I am fairly open at this time of year. I will be starting my usual construction projects in the marina shortly, but I am usually able to get away from that to do charters on short notice. At this time of year, weather becomes a major factor, but when it cooperates it sure is nice to take advantage and get out on the water. Don't be afraid to call even with less than a day's notice, as that can often work out at this time of year. I am basically available for mid-week charters most days, but I don't have any weekend openings until the weekend of November 1st/2nd.

In addition to the salmon fishing, the prawning is starting to get quite good again (actually is was pretty decent all summer), and getting upwards of a couple hundred of these tasty morsels to add to your salmon dinner is getting quite common again.

As always, feel free to pass this information along to any associates whom may appreciate the report. If you have any questions, or wish to book a charter, e-mail me [email protected]), or call me at (604) 329 - 8642.

Tight Lines,
David Korsch
Predator Charters
[email protected]
(604) 329 - 8642
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