By Nootka Marine Adventures.
They’re here! The bigger fish have arrived, both on the inside and outside (inside the legal 1-mile surf line for salmon retention until July 15th) of Nootka Sound, and Esperanza. Reports of nice sized Chinook are coming from areas such as Wash Rock, Beano Creek, Escalante Point, Strange Island, Hoiss Point, Ferrer Point (which closes July 15th) and Camel Rock. Fishing on the outside has not slowed down and remains excellent with very nice size salmon and ground fish hitting the dock each day now. The average Chinook is now in the 18 to 25-pound range, mixed in with the smaller 16 to 20-pound U.S. clipped fish. Our larger, mature local Conuma and Burman fish are just starting to arrive and will increase in numbers as the month wears on. We are also seeing some very nice early Coho both hatchery clipped and wild, mixed in with all the other salmon species; this will remain strong with the average size increasing over the next six weeks and well into September.
Halibut fishing is very consistent, with legal limits of 17 to 40-pound fish being harvested daily when the weather permits a day trip to the outside banks. Try fishing gravel bars and rocky up-crop structures for the most productive bottom fish opportunities, with both drifting and jigging, or anchoring and bait fishing being the choice of our guide fleet. Needle fish hootchies, glow cuttle fish, 3 to 4-inch spoons, and anchovies trolled behind flashers are all producing salmon as they are mimicking the bait fish which they are aggressively feeding on, as well as a mix of large schools of squid on the outside. Trolling depths for salmon are in the 23 to 33 foot range at first light, and down into the 45 to 65 foot range later in the day, however do not be afraid to bounce bottom when angling some of the shallower areas. Whole herring, octopus, and a multitude of heavy jigs producing all species of ground fish.
*Be sure and check your local Salt Water Sport Fishing regulations before fishing Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet (area 25/125), as there are many different limit restricted sub-areas, and in-season specie closures that apply to the different sub-areas that you may be fishing in. This is more prevalent and constantly changing in-season than in past years and can become somewhat confusing.
The warmer weather we are now finally experiencing has also increased the surface freshwater temperatures considerably in our rivers, lakes and streams, best opportunities are very early mornings (first light) and late evenings after the sun drops behind the trees (just before) dark for feeding trout. Trolling and spin casting small spoons and spinners, as well as small dry flies will all attract both aggressive Rainbows and Cutthroat.
Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing,
Gibran White, Marine Operations Manager.