FISHING OUTLOOK 2013
After attending several fisheries & other related meeting the following is our educated scenario for the upcoming season.
Chinook – Abundance of WCVI (West Coast Vancouver Is.) fish has not changed much. The good news with these stocks is that we are expecting large numbers of 4 & 5 yr. old fish, so a season in our area much like 2011, but with lots of tyees (Chinook over 30lb ).
The BIG bonus for Esperanza Inlet, especially with the easy of access to the 1.7 million Chinook that are expected to return to United States West Coast Rivers. The American hatchery systems have once again produced recorded numbers of Chinook. As per normal, the salmon are moving down the WCVI in late May/early June. They will be moving off Brooks Peninsula down to the feeding grounds at the mouth & offshore of Esperanza Inlet. These fish are in such large numbers we see many of them well inside the inlet as far as Steamer Pt. These fish tend to run well into late July when they blend into the WCVI Chinook moving south. These USA fish, after leaving Esperanzna/Ferrer PT. are on their way south mostly follow the 30 meter line down to Bajo reef. After leaving the reef, feeding areas the fish move out to the 100 meter line to continue their journey south.
Conclusion – Lots of early run USA Chinook & larger size in general for our WCVI fish
Coho – Great news - DFO has reported that the WCVI coho will be in abundance, in the dept. of fishery lingo that means we will be treated to the largest volume of coho that we have seen in many years. Over the past two seasons we have had 2 waves of fish come during the season. The 1st run comes mid-June -these coho run in the 8-12 lb. size they continue right into late July when the big fish start arriving. When we say BIG we mean it. It is a very normal thing to have several 20 lb.+ coho on the cleaning tables daily. In late August the fly fishermen start showing up to challenge these brute size coho inside Esperanza Inlet. The fish school up at Double Is., Fairway Is, Otter Is., Centre Is., & Saltery Bay waiting for the right condition to move up the many inlets to their spawning rivers & streams. These fish are quite aggressive when they are schooled up. They can be taken with spoons, coho flies, saltwater streamer flies, & trolling a variety of baits.
Conclusion - There will be more coho around than you can shake a stick at. You may even be cursing them as you try to get your downrigger down to catch Chinook, NICE PROBLEM!!!
More good news – at present, as the season starts, bag limits are 2 coho per day, until Sept 1 when it jumps to 4 coho per day. There is a proposal afoot to move the date for bag limits of 4 coho back to July 1st .The proposal looks good we should know soon. Stay tuned.
Halibut – We are only sure about a few things at the time of this printing but, on the whole it’s GOOD. There is a strong effort to eliminate the 1 over 1 under reg. from last year also there is clear recognition from all parties involved in the process that it is essential to keep the season open at least until Sept 30 , 2013. Having said that Hali stocks continue to remain strong & we anticipate another excellent Halibut season.
Conclusion – We will see lots of slabs on the NEW scale, which usually mean lots of smiles & pictures.
Lingcod & other Ground fish – Stocks continue to be fished commercially off the coast of WCVI that means there are plenty fish for the taking. Last year we saw plenty of very successful fishing on these species.
Conclusion – Do not miss this opportunity – stop by the MARINA tackle shop so we can show you the local chart with the hot spots to catch these delicious fish.
Prawns – They are very plentiful – Most of the local waters are open now, howerver there are some minor closures. Consult the DFO website, www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca, for more specific details. APRIL 1st the season opens everywhere & remains open until well into the fall. Early indications from the catches in the areas that presently are open now show HUGE quantities of spot prawns & they are big. Limits are 200 prawns, per license holder, per day.
Conclusion – Do not forget your prawn & crab traps you will be very happy with the results.
Thank you for a great 2012 Season and we are looking forward to an exciting 2013!
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