Nootka Sound mid-May saltwater report
<p>They're here! Last week was the first time we were able to get out to the areas we really wanted to fish. Due to persistent South Easterlies for the last couple of weeks it has been virtually impossible to get out to areas like Bajo Reef, Ferrier Point, Maquinna, Beano Creek etc. But due to changing weather patterns, the winds finally subsided enough for us to make it out to some of these areas for the first time this spring, and we were not let down.
Most of the bait and the best fishing we encountered was out on the reef; we did land two small feeders at Beano as well. By days' end (which was only 3 hours of fishing) we had hooked six nice springs, and kept four. A twenty two pounder being the largest, with a sixteen being the smallest, round that out with two eight pound ling cod and what a morning of fishing for mid-May. It was encouraging to see all the smaller immature lings we released during the day, and hopefully during the rest of the season all responsible anglers will do the same. Unfortunately many of these smaller lings get harvested by inexperienced fishermen who have not been educated on the damage that can be done to an area by over-harvesting of future brood stock fish for all species.
Back at the cleaning tables we noticed that all the salmon we had kept were chock full of five inch needle fish (typical for this time of year) thus the reason we chose needle fish hoochies for bait (anchovies would work fine as well). We found that our most productive depths were 63 and 55 feet, fishing in an average depth of 85 to 110 feet of water. An hour after the high slack and into the ebb was also the most productive for us. We can thank the good work of our neighbors south for the great early fishery we are experiencing on the west coast of the Island right now, as three of the four fish we retained were clipped fish heading back to either Washington or Oregon. This we know from the hatchery clipped heads we have been returning for the past several years. The US has been greatly increasing their efforts for enhancement and habitat for all species of Pacific salmon, over the past seven years giving us the opportunity of this fabulous early season migration of US spring salmon.
Crabbing and prawning has finally picked up substantially as well, with the areas around Bligh Island producing the best results. Prawns being found readily in the 280 to 350 foot range, and crabs at 65 to 85 feet, however remember there are many areas open to commercial prawning at this time, including ours.
Gibran and Jud with some May beauties
Gibran just off Bajo reef in mid-May
About The Author: Gibran White
Company: Nootka Marine Adventures
Area Reporting: Nootka Sound
Bio: For 23 years Gibran White has been living his dream on the west coast of Canada. He was born in Ontario and grew up in Chilliwack, British Columbia. In 1988 he moved to the Hamlet of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and began a career in guiding. In 1991 he opened his own business in partnership with another fisherman and guide. They named their company Morning Magic Charters, bought a boat and were in business. In 1995, he received an offer that allowed him to explore new fishing grounds. He left the charter business in the capable hands of his partner and traveled north to the Haidi Gwaii Island (Queen Charlotte Islands). After two years of guiding he joined Eagle Pointe Lodge; first as a senior guide then a General Manager. The location, north of Prince Rupert along the inside passage was stunning and the fish were abundant. For the next 15 years he called this lodge his summer home; living at the resort from May to September and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island the rest of the year. In 2011, Gibran decided to move back to Vancouver Island to be closer to his family. Gibran is now the Managing Director of Resort Services for Nootka Marine Adventures; the parent company of Moutcha Bay Resort and Nootka Sound Resort.