Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. Chinook salmon and Halibut turning on
With the last month of Saltwater fishing in the Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. areas not really up to normally good standards, the last few days on the water have finally given us reason to talk it up.
Chinook Salmon have been feeding almost exclusively on offshore masses of krill suspended mid to top water in the areas that average 150 ft deep. Along with a series of tides that made for some tough fishing last week, it was pretty hard to mimic this tiny food source that has been the focus of most local and transient stocks of Chinook salmon. Sporadic action was had between tides on Anchovies some hoochies and small spoons, and Halibut were also fussy, with most being enticed by Salmon bellies or Herring fished on a spreader bar.
The last two days have been pretty favorable tides in the Tofino and Ucluelet area, and great offshore conditions to fish a combo trip for Chinook salmon and Halibut. Most Chinook Salmon caught have been in the 16-26 lb range, preferring needlefish hoochies with some pink and green trolled behind a flasher at 110-120 feet deep. Some spoons have been working, but with all fish having empty bellies aside from a few krill, we are better off to stay focused on rubber baits until the Salmon shift back to Needlefish and Sardines.
This goes true for Halibut as well. After the large tides, most Pacific Halibut that have been settled in the Gravel for the last week have empty bellies as well. Sardines, Herring and Needlefish normally make a good portion of the Pacific Halibut’s diet, and are usually good baits to consider. The last couple days, the bite is on again for the areas offshore from Tofino and Ucluelet for Pacific Halibut, with Salmon bellies by far the best. The new Gulp Squid from Berkley has been fishing well, which it should considering the price....You might also consider one of the white 8 Inch Grubs that are made by various companies, either fished on a lead head jig or spreader bar leader.
Highlights from today include a 28 lb Chrome Chinook Salmon caught on a needlefish Hoochie and a 54 lb. Halibut caught on Salmon belly, by the same angler, within the same hour. The group enjoyed a great day with limits of both species for their efforts. Clayoquot Ventures Guides Blake and Derek seemed to be top vessels for the Tofino area again today. The forecast looks to provide great offshore opportunities for Chinook salmon and Halibut offshore from Clayoquot and Barkley Sound, with great charter dates still available for this season.