Compliments of David Korsch @ Predator Charters. Click here for more about Predator, and their guiding services.
Well hopefully we have had our one major blast of winter weather and things will settle down and be a bit more reasonable for the rest of the winter. If you haven't seen them, I posted a couple of videos of the weather in Howe sound on January 15th on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Pretty extreme!!! Pam Rocks recorded peak gusts of 73 kts and winds up around 70 kts for about 6 hours that afternoon, but I guess the actual peak recorded gust from somewhere in that area was over 80 kts (156 km/hr). I have never seen winds that strong in all my years on the waters of Howe Sound. The new marina breakwater came through it all with flying colours, and all is OK with my boat etc...
As it turns out, it looks like I will be continuing to work in the marina for the rest of the winter instead of doing construction up on the Sunshine Coast. The original dock building projects I was doing have taken a bit longer than originally anticipated, and a couple more have been added. All this means is that I am available to do charters basically any day and on very short notice (the only days I wouldn't be available are when we have a scheduled dock install taking place as they require quite a few people, so I can't abandon them).
With the recent nasty weather, there have been very few days where getting out fishing would have been possible, so there aren't any recent reports of how the fishing is at present. However, we are now getting to that part of the winter which is typically considered the peak of the "winter Chinook fishery", and we should begin to see larger fish showing up in the catches on a more regular basis. The usual popular location in the lower Sound (Tunstall Bay, Grace Islands, the Waterfall, Hut Island, Gower Pt.) should all continue to produce well over the next 6 or 8 weeks, and now that we are into the middle of January, we will also see spots in the upper Sound also produce more consistently (Defence Islands, Porteau Cove, McNabb Ck.). for those wanting to do a longer trip across the Strait to the Gulf Islands, we should also see the action begin to pick up down off Porlier Pass, and around Silva Bay (Thrasher Rock and the Grande), though these spots may already have been producing better than usual as I have heard that the early winter results around Nanaimo have been significantly better than they have seen in recent years.
If you do book a trip, remember that temperatures are typically colder on the water than on land, so you need to dress in layers. Also, warm insulated footwear is necessary as the cold often seeps up through our feet. I will be working the Boat Show again this year as usual (Feb 5th to 9th), so I won't be available for charter on those dates. If you are planning on attending the show, feel free to stop by the Scotty booth to chat, and I will also be one of the speakers again this year. I don't know the schedule of my talks yet, but usually, they are Friday through Sunday.
Chinook limits are presently still set at 2 per person per day, and will likely stay that way through the winter. We don't know what the spring will bring, but it is hoped that the new Minister of Fisheries isn't the Trudeau puppet that Wilkinson was and that they make their decisions based on science rather than politics. The "science" dictates that a Chinook limit of "one and one" (one Chinook, and a second if it is a hatchery fish) in the Strait of Georgia will meet all the required parameters for escapement for the endangered early timed Chinook stocks. In actual fact, these particular stocks of concern are very rarely encountered by recreational anglers in the Strait of Georgia anyway as they make up less than 0.5% of the fish we catch (yes, you read that right...less than half a percent). Almost all of these fish are caught in the Fraser River with gill nets, so addressing this specific fishery with new fishing methods (weirs or fish traps where caught fish can be released unharmed if so desired) is a must if these stocks are to have any hope of rebuilding at all. Last season's springtime regulations were devastating to the recreational sportfishing industry and totally useless in that they didn't serve to help the Chinook stocks at all. My fingers are crossed that we don't see a similar regulation again this spring.
Prawning has continued to very good in recent weeks with only one or two "egged" females needing to be released each day. I've had my traps "poached" a couple more times this winter, and I think I know the boat that is doing it (he was setting his gear near mine). subsequently, I moved my prawning location back to an area where I use to do it a few years ago, and the numbers are still good there as well. So far my traps haven't been "poached" in this location.
2019 Charter rates are still in effect for a bit longer, and the new 2020 rates will begin on March 1st, and are as follows: For one person the 5 hour rate stays the same at $600 + GST, for 2 people it rises slightly to $635.00 + GST, for 3 people it will be $670 + GST, and for 4 people it is $720 + GST. Additional hours are staying at $100.00 + GST.
Remember to get your Fishing License if you don't already have it. The 2019 saltwater fishing licenses are available on-line from the Department of Fisheries. You now have to purchase licenses on-line as they are no longer for sale in tackle shops and marinas unless they do it on-line for you. This takes quite a bit of time, and often they will charge a "surcharge" for their time and printer costs. The following is a link to the DFO website where you can purchase your license. Remember to get a salmon stamp as well as the basic license as the stamps are not available at the marina either. http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/licence-permis/index-eng.html. The new annual licenses start on April 1st, so if you are getting a license to go out on a trip before then it is likely best to just get a one-day license, and wait until after April 1st to get your annual license. Also, when you buy your license, remember to print it out on paper and bring that with you when you go fishing. You still need to have a paper copy of your license with you while fishing in order to record your catch.
There is also the free BC Tidal Water Sportfishing App for iPhones. It will have the soon to be updated regulations, species identification, a catch log, and the ability to display your license, though as of now you still need to have a printed paper copy of your license to record your catch with you when fishing. The hope is that soon we will switch to an electronic license, and be able to do away with the silly paper copies.
As always, feel free to pass this information along to any associates whom may appreciate the report. I will be posting pictures and results of my fishing trips from out on the water with Instagram as they occur on both my Facebook and Twitter pages. If you are interested in "following", my "name" is "salmonfishdave (http://twitter.com/salmonfishdave).
If you have any questions, or wish to book a charter, e-mail me, or call/text me at (604) 329 - 8642.
Note: If you see this report posted on my website and you didn't receive it directly like you use to, please send me an e-mail and I will put you back on the list. If you wish to be removed from this e-mail list, please let me know and I will do so.