Written by Tara Ciecko

April Area Fishing Report

Area Fishing Report: Fairwinds Marina, April 15, 2018

It has been an eventful start to Spring fishing here in Nanoose Bay. After having a sizable Herring spawn on the East coast of Vancouver Island, the Herring fishery in the areas from Qualicum / French Creek through to Nanaimo was brought to an unexpected halt.

Earlier in the month, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) had concerns about a unique situation involving the Herring fishery linked to an outbreak of Vibrio cholerae. They traced the bacteria back to the consumption of Herring roe and as a result, restrictions were placed on many species in our area. The DFO has since re-opened the Herring fishery and confirmed that the risk to the public was no longer present.

So far, the fishing has been a little spotty and inconsistent. We have seen streaks of larger Chinooks being caught in high numbers by fishermen who are willing to venture further afield. Many of the area’s locals have been able to reach their daily limit within a few short hours at sea. The hot spots in our area have been the ledge at Sangster Island (just off the lighthouse) and along the north side of the Bellenas Channel. Most of the early Chinooks have been trending towards the mainland rivers so plan your tack lines accordingly.

CONSIDERATIONS: Halibut has now opened for the year. The early salmon are holding quite deep at depths around 120ft – 140ft. Anglers fishing around Nanoose are reminded to be cautious of our Rock Fish Conservancy areas when fishing at these lower depths. Also, as part of a new management strategy, it is now mandatory (coast-wide) to release all egg-bearing female prawns.

TIPS: Though we generally prefer to keep things simple by fishing spoons, this year, we have seen the most success when using hoochies. If you would like to try your hand at fishing both at once, McOmie’s Watermelon Coloured Salmon Spoon with Hoochie is a great rig which features glow paint and our three favourite colours (pink, white and green).

Dave Kratt, Marina Supervisor

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