Submitted by Lee Mac
Well the time has come to get back on the water for another season. The weather has warmed up and we've already seen some big fish caught here on the north coast. There have been a few changes in regulations this year with possibly more to come. The biggest change we've seen so far is the reduction in slot size for halibut. The size limit has dropped to 115cm down from 133cm last year which translates into roughly a 45lb limit. You can still retain 1 per day with 2 in possession but one of those fish must be under 86cm.
We are also expecting an announcement early in June about the recreational marine chinook fishery. The general feeling among anglers is that daily limits will drop from 2 to 1 and from 4 to 2 in possession. I think that most anglers support this change with the sweeping closures we have seen in the freshwater fishery. We will have to wait and see what the DFO decided and I'll keep you up to date in this report on any regulation changes.
Salmon fishing has started out great this year. There have been a lot of nice fish caught over the past month. Most of the fish we've seen have been in the low to high teen feeder chinooks with the odd mature salmon in the 20's showing up. We managed to boat a 27lb earlier this month with a 23lb coming the next morning. We've see a lot of smaller herring around lately so anything that imitates the small baitfish is a good choice for lures. The 6.0/5.0 Luhr Jensen Coyote spoon in the live image or cop car finishes have been very productive this early season. Bait has also been doing well with both Anchovies and cut plug herring seeing lots of action.
Halibut fishing has been very good to start the season. The weather is always the limiting factor early in the year but anglers have been taking advantage of the good days and getting out and finding fish. When I rig up to halibut fish I typically run 3 spreader bar setups when on anchor. My 4th rod is always some kind of jig with the Mudraker, Gibbs Power Paddle or Norwegian Jig being great choices.
Prawning has been a little slow with the commercial opening in full swing at the moment but crabbing has been very good and has been making up for the slow prawning.
Now is the time to get geared up for the season and Oscars has a great supply of everything you need for fishing the salt including a full freezer of bait. Make sure you stop by and talk to the crew before your next trip.
Submitted by Pierce Clegg
Just finished enjoying a great Canadian May-Long Weekend up at Rainbow Alley with Anita, Julius and Jesse. Jesse is holding a nice Burbot caught on a set line in Nilkitkwa Lake…early in the spring the Burbot are hungry as the salmon fry and smolt are just starting their migrations and the Burbot are starving for some high protein post winter. Our May Long is about a week earlier than usual so the river is just starting to produce fry and smolt, but this unusually hot spring weather will turn things on fast. As I was leaving today for Smithers there were more rising trout than when we first arrive last Friday…the frenzy is about to begin!
The Babine Lake level continues to rise and so we will see if the 1997 high water season is rivalled by this year’s effort…one thing for sure, lots of water, high water and big fish like it higher in the Rainbow Alley section as they feel more secure to move in and feast.
Lots of Black Bears about enjoying the early green grass and other early spring shoots…easy hunting if that’s what you are into…Tukii Lodge is enjoying a bunch of happy spring bear hunters for sure.
Lake fishing is warming up, so enjoy the open waters after a long winter!