Fishing Reports for March 2 – Salmon University

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Fishing Reports for March 2

By on March 2, 2016

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Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco)

no report this week

Marine Area 2 (Westport)

Not much to report this week from the beaches of Washington. The Long beach area and the Moclips area have planned Razor Clam digs. Those who have ventured out have been successful.

Crabbing is slowing down but folks are still catching limits with a little bit of persistence. Always remember: use Fresh bait.

Ling cod season begins March 12 in Area 2. This is the yearly start of the Charter season and many will try to get that first one.

There will be no live bait available this spring for Bottom fishing. Seems that the Sea lions finally stormed the walls at Westport Seafoods and did a lot of damage to the pins. They will be back up and operating before Tuna season.

Have Fun, Be Safe, and we will see you in Westport.

Report by Kevin Lanier, owner of KC Sportfishing Charters 425-328-8558, President PSA Ocean Anglers, VP PSA State Board. Photos by Cyndi Lanier, Owner of Dockside Art,Gifts,and Tackle Westport Wa. 425-328-8559.

no report this week

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay)

no report this week

Marine Area 5 (Sekiu)

no report this week

Marine Area 6

no report this week

Marine Area 7


Had lots of smaller fish this weekend. Most bit at 110 feet. Purple haze has been on fire this year for us, Coho killer and ace hi. Area 7 has slowed down on keepers… Moving to area 9 to warm up for the March 19 Everett blackmouth derby.

Submitted by Dane at Team Rod-Dog Arches. The cover image of this week’s fishing reports was also provided by Team Rod-Dog Arches.


Salmon fishing has picked up a bit in the ‘Juans, depending on where you’re fishing. The weather has cooperated as well. Silver Horde Tailwaggers and 3” Kingfisher light spoons have been productive. We’ve also had more luck on hootchies this Winter  than in years past. I’ve been fishing the Lurecharge voltage tuned hootchies with success. It’s hard to tell if the squid are working better this year, or if it’s just that we’re fishing them more. The more you’ve got something working  in the water, the more chances you will have of dragging it in front of a biter.

Submitted by Kevin Klein, Fidalgo-SanJuan Islands Chapter PSA, CCA Northsound.

Marine Area 8.1

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) predicts “Good” prospects for cutthroat during March in Marine Area 8.1.

Marine Area 8.2

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) predicts “Good” prospects for cutthroat during March in Marine Area 8.2, and “Poor” prospects for Coho.

Marine Area 9 (Admirality Inlet)

IMG_2808 (1) (2)
Yikes! Where have all the blackmouth gone? It has been pretty slow in Area 9 over the past week or so with few keepers caught. Most of them are in the 22-24 inch range; 3.5 inch tailwagger spoons have been producing the best in the 120 foot range.

We have been trying all over from Possession to Point No Point to Mid Channel bank with few in the box. The Tackle Trappers come in handy when “making a move” to another Area. Not only do they look good, they protect the flasher from excessive swivel ware.

The Fishtale 2 never gives up so we will be hitting Double Bluff and Useless Bay next. See you on the water!

Report submitted by Nelson “Spud” Goodsell – Salmon for Soldiers, IGFA Life Member, FISHTALE2

Marine Area 10

no report this week

Marine Area 11

The salmon fishing continues to be slow with very little fishing pressure the usual areas to fish are Quarter Master Harbor, Slag and Clay Bank areas the typical depths to fish are in 120′ to 150′ of water and within 10′ of bottom there has been some bait right on the bottom. Flasher and spoons usually seem to work best this time of year.   The tenants have been going out and caught fish up to just under 5 pounds.  There have been several wild blackmouth caught and released so we are starting to see a few salmon caught, but weather dictates the number of anglers able to fish.   For latest information call (253)591-5325.

Crabbing is now closed in Area 11.

Basic Fishing Classes (Adults 15+) Cost $10 March 5, 2016 10 am to 12 noon at Point Defiance Marina.  Pre-register at or call 253-591-5325 Learn beginning fundamentals for fresh and salt water angling including regulations, equipment, tackle, rigging, knots, casting, fish identification, landing and care for fish.

Basic Fishing Classes (Youth 8+) Parent or guardian welcome to register and learn with their youth .  Cost $10 April 2, 2016 10 am to 12 noon at Point Defiance Marina.  Pre-register at or call 253-591-5325 Learn beginning fundamentals for fresh and salt water angling including regulations, equipment, tackle, rigging, knots, casting, fish identification, landing and care for fish.

Open daily from  6:30 am to 6:00 pm. Call 253-591-5325 or visit us on Facebook “Point Defiance Marina”

Pier Peer in Tacoma –See and touch creatures brought up from local divers.  Participate in plankton and sea life netting to view the variety we have in Puget Sound as you learn about these amazing creatures from Tacoma Nature Center and Point Defiance Marina educators.  Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 7:30-9 pm   Cost $8   For ages 8+.  Every youth needs an adult chaperone.  Complementary Hot Chocolate and Coffee. Sign up online at or 253-591-5325.

Basic Trailering Class- Learn the basic fundaments of care, proper and safe trailer connections, towing, launching, docking, and returning the boat to the trailer and the trip home.

Saturday, April 16, 2016 10 am to 12 noon@ Point Defiance Marina Complex Cost $20 – Questions: Gene Anderson (253)591-5325;

ABC Boater’s Education Classes ….  Wednesdays 7-9 pm May 4- June 1, 2016 Taught by Tacoma Power Squadron Learn what you will need to be a safe boater and receive your mandatory WA State Parks Boater’s Education Card.  Cost $50 (Includes a student manual, CD, and an introductory navigation software CD from RosePoint Navigation)

Start collecting those Swap Meet items for the Point Defiance Marina Swap Meet on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 10 am to 3 pm. Covered Space will be limited…A great way to clear up your lockers or garages with tackle and gear others may really need. No firearms, bullets, tobacco, or alcohol products. Contact Information: Gene Anderson

• Register Now for a 10 X 10 Space

• Space is limited.   Deadline to register May 19, 2016 .  Registration form required and can be obtained at PDM Boathouse

• Cost: $15.00 PDM Locker Tenants receive $5 off

• No admission fee for shoppers

• Tables can be rented to sellers at $5 per table.  Must reserve in advance at PDM Boathouse.

Report submitted by Point Defiance Marina. For more information contact: Art Tachell, Boathouse Marina Technician, 253.591.5325

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) predicts “Fair” prospects for Coho during March in Marine Area 12.

Marine Area 13

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) predicts “Fair” prospects for Coho during February in Marine Area 13.

Freshwater – Potholes Reservoir


This past week I got the opportunity to fish Walleye here on Potholes with two accomplished blade bait fishermen. Wednesday my neighbor, Tom Welch, and I hooked up with a long time friend, Jeff Dillon, to fish off his 20 foot Ranger Walleye boat. It had been several months since we had fished so we started off the mouth of Crab Creek  in 40 feet of water and then moved to several locations shallower. No luck but we had heard of fish being caught between the State Park and Goose Island. Paying attention to the GPS and depth finder we saw a couple of nets in the air with repeats.  We finally found biting Walleye that were staging in locations that were humps coming up to 35 feet from 40 to 45 feet in depth. Both days we had success marking the shallow spot being 35 feet with a marked and then backed of maybe 50 feet. We would cast the blade baits to the top of the hump and then fish downhill. By working this way we ended up with eleven Walleye. As we found the bite was really off we started using Walleye Smelly Jelly as an added attracter. We did much better then most boats.

20160225_140224The next day I again fished with Jeff. We started at the location we had fished the day before and soon Jeff had four in the boat. We had attracted the attention of other fishermen like honey attracts bees and could not fish our spot. Time to move and watching Jeff’s depth finder we found a location north of the State Park that had lots of close marks. I located the shallow spot of 35 feet and tossed the marker out. As Jeff positioned the boat, and before I could grab my rod, he called out and said to get the net. Once netted, I got his jig loose from the net and the walleye I the live well again Tom , get the net. After the third fish I asked Jeff as to when I might get a cast and just what was he doing to get his jig down to the bottom where it had landed. He showed me that as his jig had landed he free spooled his reel and lifted the rod 2 or 3 times to provide almost a straight drop on his jig. He was fishing to bottom where the jig entered the water and then was fishing the jig slowly back to the boat. We ended the day with 13 good eating sized Walleye and one over sized spawning about 6 pounds.

The pictures show Jeff holding the nice fat Walleye, released to spawn. The other is at the cleaning station at Mardons with our days catch. For best eating, all Walleye were bled out by cutting the gills. The day was perfect with no wind either day. This can change as yesterday there were 30 mph winds and Westport white caps.

Report submitted by Tom Pollack.

British Columbia


Mike and crew with 3 nice legal fish from the weekend.

Mike and crew with 3 nice legal fish from the weekend.

It has been another good week of fishing in local waters. Most days we have been hooking 5 to 10 winter chinook salmon. Some of them are legal and some are undersized.   There has been quite a few fish around in the 15 to 20 pound range and there was 27 pounder caught by a local angler this week.

Most of the larger fish are hunting down the mature herring that are spawning in local inlets.  It is a pretty exciting fishery right now as there is a good chance of a big fish!  We have been running  Gibbs Delta G Force and Silver Horde Spoons.  We have also have had good success on larger anchovies.

Prawning and crabbing has been good as well.  Give us a call to get out on the water.  We are running a great winter charter special until the end of March for a great rate.  It includes salmon fishing, prawning and crabbing!

For more info call Jeff or Jason at Bon Chovy Fishing Charters (604) 763-5460, email:

Vancouver Island (Saltwater)

no report this week

Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound

Sid with great Chinook salmon landed along the Bamfield Wall

Sid with great Chinook salmon landed along the Bamfield Wall

The month of March has arrived and many individuals living in the Pacific North West and Pacific Rim areas are ready to welcome in spring.  The spring months often mean that people living on the West Coast can say good bye to the winter storms that batter the west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia.  March for most sport fishermen often means thinking about summer salmon fishing trips into various Vancouver Island regions.  The Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and offshore Ucluelet are three of the most popular areas for sport fisher people to visit and salt water salmon fish.

March on the West Coast, Barkley Sound, and the Port Alberni area also means the first major fishing derby of the year and also one of the biggest festivals on British Columbia’s West Coast.  The first weekend of March celebrates the Sproat Loggers salmon fishing derby.  This year the popular derby which has had close to 400 entrants in past years takes place on March 5th and 6th.   The derby is hosted out of Poett Nook located at the far end of the Bamfield Wall in Sarita Bay.

Coho salmon fishing in Barkley Sound in August and September is often spectacular

Coho salmon fishing in Barkley Sound in August and September is often spectacular

March also welcomes the Pacific Rim Whale Festival.  This festival takes place from March 12th to 27th and celebrates the official kickoff to the beginning of the Whale watching season.  The vast area of Vancouver Island’s coastal waters between Ucluelet and Tofino witness the migration of over twenty thousand Gray Whales as they make their thirteen thousand kilometre journey from Mexicos Baja Peninsula to the Bering Sea.  This event began twenty-nine years ago.  The Pacific Rim celebration has many daily events that people of all ages can enjoy.  Many events are free and some do have a very minimal charge.  One of the biggest features is the Chowder Chowdown which takes place in the Ucluelet Community Centre on Sunday March 20th.  Two other spectacular features are the Sweet Indulgence all you can eat dessert and the Blues Concert which takes place at the spectacular Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet.   Spring is the beginning of new things and is also the beginning of a spectacular sport salmon saltwater fishing season.

Those people looking forward to salmon sport fishing this summer in British Columbia will again be pleased to hear that the fishing opportunities in many of the more ideal locations will have some fabulous salmon fishing in 2016.  Vancouver Islands Pacific Rim area will boast some of British Columbia’s best salmon fishing.  The summer of 2015 saw record numbers of sockeye return to the Somass River located in Port Alberni.  The migratory flow of Chinook salmon that swam the west coast of Vancouver Island heading to various watersheds to the south stayed close to the beach and created a fantastic inshore sport fishing season.  The Chinook Migration also created some very good fishing out on the sandy banks in offshore waters.  Many Chinook came into the vast coastlines, various inlets, and sounds to feed on the rich resources of bait fish found along the surfline of Barkley Sound.  The migratory flow of Chinook salmon in 2016 is expected to be relatively strong.  West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook are expected to be in very good numbers with the average age class at four years.

Sockeye returns coming into Barkley Sound and returning to the Somass River system are again expected to be just a little above average for the 2016 summer sport fishing season.  One can only hope for the same return as 2015 when well over two million Sockeye salmon migrated into the system.  The early Sockeye return to the Somass River often begins in mid May.  Sport fishing for these number one commercial salmon in the Port Alberni Inlet usually is well underway by the 15th of June with the peak of the season occurring the second or third week of July.  Henderson River Sockeye which are often bigger than the Somass River stock begin to show in the middle of July and often swim as far up the Alberni Inlet to Nahmint Bay before turning back to the mouth of the Kildonan Inlet and the Henderson River.

Chinook and Coho returns to the Somass-Stamp River system should be better than average.  The Robertson Creek Chinook return is looking better than last year but numbers have not yet been fully discussed or publicized.

The early Chinook Salmon which are migrating down the Vancouver Island coastline often appear in April and actually go through three very different runs know as early summer, mid summer, and late summer.  The Coho appear in early July and from mid July through September will keep west coast sport fishermen busy during their daily fishing excursions.

Robert of Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing with guests from Idaho show their Alberni Inlet Sockeye Salmon landed in June of 2015. We are hoping the 2016 season is as remarkable

Robert of Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing with guests from Idaho show their Alberni Inlet Sockeye Salmon landed in June of 2015. We are hoping the 2016 season is as remarkable

Sport fishing in the Alberni Inlet is very quiet during the winter.  Prawn sport fishing is closed in the Alberni Inlet although it is available in some Barkley Sound locations.  The Sockeye salmon season which begins in June will re-awake the Inlet this summer.  Sockeye Salmon fishing in the Port Alberni Inlet is really a family adventure and can be fun for all from the age of four to ninety-four.   Barkley Sound is fishable year round due to the protective waters on the east and west coastlines of the Sound.  Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound and the Bamfield area has been off and on.  Some good feeder Chinook fishing has occurred along the Bamfield Wall with a few Chinook landed up to fifteen pounds.   There has also been some Herring spawn which has produced a few good salmon fishing days in Tseshart and Peacock Channels.  Lyle Point and Mayne Bay have had some good days with Winter Chinook averaging ten to twelve pounds.

Swale Rock and Vernon Bay have been hit and miss as has Pill Point and Diplock to this date.  Winter Chinook fishing along the Bamfield Wall and especially the inside of the Bamfield Harbor mouth have also had some good days.  In most of the selected Barkley Sound sport fishing areas the fish are in one hundred to one hundred and forty feet of water.

The Sproat Lake Loggers Derby is closing in and is only a few days away.   This years’ derby takes place on March 5th and 6th with derby headquarters at Poett Nook.  Cost per entry in past years has been $15 to $20.  Ticket sales have been at Gone Fishing and Port Boat House which are both located in Port Alberni.   If you are planning on fishing the Sproat Lake Derby or just coming fishing for Winter Chinook over the next six to eight weeks remember to fish deep and if using hootchies slightly lengthen up on your leader length.  Summer lengths are ofter forty-two inches if  behind a  flasher.  During the late winter and early spring forty-four to forty-six inches is not a bad length.   Coyote spoons in three and a half or four inch are also good.  Three and a half inch seems to work better with smaller bait especially at this time of year.  Cop Car, Irish Cream, silver hordes, green glow and Blue or Green Nickel are great choices.  It is never a bad idea to also have bait (anchovy) on board ones sport fishing boat.  Usually the feeders are where there is bait.  So it is important to find the bait balls.   The fishing in Barkley Sound through March, April, and May should really pick up as the feeder Chinook move in with the herring spawn and the early summer run of Chinook make their way to southern watersheds and come into the Sound to rest and feed on the rich resources of bait fish.  By late June and into the month of July the Sound should fill up with the summer run of Chinook and Coho which hopefully will once again be in very big numbers.

For more information and/or reservations, call Doug Lindores at Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing (250) 723-2435; (250)724-2502; cell (250)731-7389 or 1-877-214-7206 or;


see report for Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound (above)

Becher Bay

Salmon fishing was GOOD for anglers in East Sooke. Anglers were catching springs as large as the mid teens in the bay. It has been best between the Cheanuh Marina breakwater and Fraser Island. There have also been reports of nice springs caught by the Trap Shack and in Whirl Bay. Anglers have been successful with all types of gear. Anchovies in glow teaser heads have been very effective. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Cop Car, Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were also effective. For flashers, the Madi, Lemon Lime and Purple Onion have been good. Some halibut up to 50 lbs were also brought back to the marina.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;

Oak Bay
Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week. The Flats have been holding some nice fish recently for those trolling close to the bottom. It’s been best in 100-140 depths. Good lures have been Green Splatterback Coho Killers, Skinny G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons.
Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;

Pedder Bay

Salmon fishing was GOOD, just like last week. There were lots of springs at the entrance to the bay. John McHale caught the biggest salmon of the week, a 16¾ lb spring hooked in Whirl Bay. The anglers are fishing close to the bottom and often bouncing the downrigger balls on the bottom, in 120-150 feet of water. There is still a lot of bait right inside the bay. Small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in the glow and/or any bright colours were very effective. Hootchies and squirts also produced well. Flashers that remain popular include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Purple Onion. And you can’t go wrong fishing anchovies in a Bloody Nose teaser.

Halibut fishing was GOOD early in the week. Best areas were Race Rocks, William Head and Constance Bank. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use Mudraker, Lucky or other large Jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;


Salmon fishing was FAIR near Sidney. Coal Island was the hot spot this past week. The nicest catch there was an 18.7 lb spring caught by Brenna Boyle from Prince Rupert. The majority of the winter springs caught recently have been short of the minimum size for retention and most areas have some fish. Most anglers are fishing using anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green teaser heads. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and Gold Nugget.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;


The salmon fishing was GOOD for winter springs this past week. There are lots of small springs off Sooke right now but there is the occasional larger fish. Anchovies have been the top bait recently, especially with glow teaser heads. The 3”-4” Coyote, Gypsy and G-Force spoons, as well as hoochies, are also top choices for Sooke anglers in the winter months. Good colors have been Outfitters, Irish Cream and No Bananas. Hoochies in White Glow, Army Truck and Tiger Prawn have been catching their fair number of fish. The most popular flashers recently have been the Purple Onion, the Gibbs Outfitter and the Lemon Lime.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;


Those daring to fish the waters of Ucluelet during the late winter have had some success relatively close to the Ucluelet Harbor.  There has been some beautiful winter afternoons and mornings with a few sporties salmon fishing the Alley, Mara Rock, Sail Rock, and Great Bear.   There have been some nice feeders amongst the bait fish.  Great Bear is often the best spot.  As mentioned there are some very nice days on the open Pacific during the winter months.  Ucluelet does have a great location as boats can go up Peacock Channel and fish in the quiet and protected waters of Mayne Bay, Lyle Point, or Swale Rock.  All of these locations over the years have had some great fishing in March and April.  We are expecting some great feeder Chinook fishing right through April and even the first half of May.  The early summer run of salmon headed to watersheds to the south should begin to show by mid April which should be the beginning of another fabulous summer of fishing for 2016.

Remember the west coast has plenty of activities during the early spring.  The Pacific Rim Whale Festival begins March 12th and continues until March 27th in Ucluelet and Tofino.   It is the beginning of another saltwater summer fishing season.  Plan early and enjoy the 2016 salmon sport fishing season in all Pacific Rim areas.

For more information and/or reservations, call Doug Lindores at Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing (250) 723-2435; (250)724-2502; cell (250)731-7389 or 1-877-214-7206 or;


Fishing for salmon was GOOD off Victoria. The fish were plentiful near Albert Head (on the pinnacles) and near Esquimalt, but still not very large. The inside of the harbour has also produced some nice springs. Constance Bank has been good and Brotchie Ledge to Ross Bay has also produced some fish. Spoons and squirts were successful in getting hook ups. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze have been the most popular colors for teaser heads. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and White Glow. Coho Killers, AP Needlefish, G Force and Coyote spoons in Green Splatterback, Moon Glow and Cop Car colours have also been good. The Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Madi have been effective lately.

The 1St Annual WTF Derby was held on Sunday, Feb 28th. Weigh in was at the Lido Restaurant in the Inner Harbour. The derby winning fish was a 21.65 lb spring caught inside the Victoria breakwater by Keith Shearer. It won the top cash prize of $4,450. Second place went to Geoff Golding for a 13.1 lb spring. Third place went to Bruce Miller for a 12.65 lb spring. There were18 fish weighed in and $3000 was raised from derby proceeds for the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;

Cowichan River
The River has been dropping recently, as have trees across the river. There is a dangerous sweeper above the Skutz Fall pull out and another one above the Bible Camp. One boat was lost this week, but fortunately no lives were lost. The water level at the lake today was at 1.65 meters and near Duncan at 1.4 meters. The water clarity has been good. Anglers have been catching both steelhead and brown trout in the Riverbottom area, mostly from drift boats. For steelhead, good lures to fish are Spin ‘n Glo’s, Beads and yarn, Gooey Bobs and the always reliable Pink Worm. Spoons can also be a great lure in these conditions. We’ve also heard of some fly anglers hooking up with steelhead too. Fly fishing at the top end of the river has been good.
Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;


Fishing is FAIR in most lakes. Wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake, where the fishing has been good for these large trout. Steelheading has been good in most Island rivers.

Bass fishing is VERY SLOW. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged “Carolina Style “are also a good choice when fishing the bottom, drop offs and reefs, and have been most productive in 4” Smoke or Pumpkinseed Yum baits. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.

Submitted by Tom Vaida, Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC (250) 475-4969;

Stamp River

no report this week


Tillamook Bay

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon could be good. Fish the channel edges on the outgoing tides.

Great Lakes

Lake Michigan

no report this week

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