Fishing is steady from the lighthouse at Friendly Cove up to Maquinna Point; as well as Burdwood, to Escalante and when weather permits out to Bajo Reef. Most of these early Chinook that we have been catching are in the 10 to 18 pound range, with a good percentage of them being clipped fish migrating south to Washington and Oregon. We are using a combination of needlefish hootchies, four-‐inch spoons, as well as flasher and anchovies mimicking the small needle fish they are primarily feeding on. We have been locating salmon from as shallow as 40 feet in the early mornings, down to 120 feet and deeper later in the afternoons. Find the suspended bait balls and run your gear 10 to 20 feet above them for your greatest chances of success.
Bottom fishing opportunities remain strong (weather permitting) with lots of good ling cod, yellow eye, and chicken halibut coming into our docks on daily basis. Most anglers have been bottom bouncing with larger baits and jigs, as well as sitting on the anchor just off of areas with structure waiting for fish to come to them well searching for food.
Glow needlefish, and army truck cuttlefish hootchies, as well as the four-‐inch live image spoon all trolled behind flashers have been the hot ticket tackle of choice for our guide boats. Anchovy trolled on a six foot leader, is always a good bet year round! Try whole or cut plug herring and large 6’ plugs and spoons slowly trolled ten feet off the bottom as an option for targeting Halibut and Ling cod.
Prawning and crabbing opportunities remain steady all throughout Nootka Sound and Moutcha Bay. Try setting prawn traps in the 300 to 400 foot range and crab traps in the 80 to 130 foot range, with river mouth estuary’s being your best bet.
Most all the coastal streams and rivers surrounding Nootka Sound will now have good numbers of hungry rainbow and cutthroat trout looking for early emerging salmon fry.
All the lakes in our area have great trout fishing for the first four hours in the morning and again just after sunset in the evenings, again primarily targeting migratory salmon fry and early larvae hatches. Both fly fisherman and troll anglers have been enjoying early season success thus far.
Tight Lines, Good Luck and Safe Fishing
Gibran White – Marine Operations Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures