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2016 Trail Bay Source for Sports Winter Fishing Report

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January, and February are always great months for feeder winter springs, good numbers feed around the local waters during this time of year with legal size winters mixed in. Look to Trail Islands, Secret Cove area and around to Halfmoon Bay for keepers, Epsom, Buccaneer Bay or out to Bjerre Shoal for good numbers. Remember the fishing only gets better as we go through the winter! In winter past I remember catching a spring on Jan 1st off the mouth of Secret Cove just as daylight was breaking. The 12 pound spring bit 30' off the bottom in 150' of water my live bait and that's no fish Tale!

Trail Islands and Davis Bay always have good numbers through the winter with Sergeants Bay and Halfmoon Bay being a good area to look for a winter keeper. Key this time of year is to hug the bottom, many of the productive areas have sand bottoms so let those cannon balls get down and tap so you know you are getting down to the hot zone. Clear winter marine water drives bait fish and feeders down to 130-170 during mid-day, and if you mark feed on your sounder get your gear in the same zone. Shiners are a likely prey for salmon, they hug the sandy bottoms and don't school up like herring, you will see them as a yellow line along the bottom if you have a colored sounder, get your lures down where the shiners are. Army/truck patterns work well when shiners are around, also the Trapper and Mongoose coyote spoon is a good shiner imitation. With the short winter days the evenings just before dark is a productive time for big fish. They move into shallower depths to hunt, give Sergeants or Halfmoon Bay a go, I like around the 80ft depth just as and just after the sun goes down.We have also had reports of winter springs off Trail Islands,Halfmoon Bay and Buccaneer Bay.Trolling anchovies, strip or whole herring is also productive.

The key to successful winter spring fishing is to keep your bait or lures as close to the bottom as possible. But, you will not take many fish if your gear is not down in there face. When trolling, it is also good practice in the winter to fish one rod with a flasher and one without. The flasher will call fish into the area of your lures, but with the water being clear the fish may be spooked when they get up close to the flasher. Another good fishing method is to attach the flasher on five foot leader directly to the cannon ball and the lure ten feet up the cable. This allows your line to be free of the flasher. This method gives you the best of both - the flasher is attracting fish to the area, but not spooking them away as they get close to your lure.

Bite times are important; of late the low tide bite has come on two to three hours before the slack and has stayed steady for an hour past the tide. On the other hand the high tide bite has come on hot near the high slack and then over, don't get caught running off to find fish at another spot while missing the bite. Depths, fish around Secret Cove, Epsom Point are best at 120-150ft.

Live bait mooching with herring in depths of over 160ft is a great way to relax and catch a few winter spring salmon. Another trick is to pick out the biggest herring first and only use one #10 hook with a 10-12' leader and a 3 oz grey beaded weight. Using light tackle while mooching is also a great way to present your bait, 15lb main with 12lb leader. Don't be to anxious to set your hook, set your drag just to prevent free spooling while in the rod holder. Wait until your reel is going out at a good pace works well a a good rule of thumb of when to set your hook. You still want to make sure that the bait fish are showing well on your sounder, that you are out a couple of hours before the tide change and your fishing some bottom structures.

Play safe and check the marine weather reports before going out, leave a note at home so your family knows when you plan to return, and where you are going to be fishing!.

Some hot spots will be:

Pender Harbour Area - (Quarry Bay, Bargain Harbour, Bjerre Shoal, Agamemnon Channel, A-Frame)

Secret Cove- (Red House, Mouth of the Cove, Thormanby Island - Epsom Pt)

Sechelt - (Trail Islands, Davis Bay, Halfmoon Bay)

Sechelt Inlet - (Snake Bay, Sandy Hook, Tillicum Bay, Nine Mile Point, Maclean Bay, Narrows Inlet)

Gibsons - (Twin Island, Bowen Island, Cape Roger Curtis, Worlcombe Island, Pt. Cowan, PoPham)

Clams - prior to harvesting clams always check to make sure you are not digging when there is a PSP Closure by checking out DFO's Fishery Notice on PSP levels at: DFO Red Tide Closures for area 16 or call (604) 666-2828.

Crabbing has picked up look to 50-120ft off Davis Bay, Poise Island or Sargeants Bay for some nice big keepers. The commercial vessels are finished Prawning. The little prawns grow fast, so look to the 270ft - 300ft as a starting point. Please check the areas you are prawning in to see if there have been closures in place.

To view DFO Management Area maps in order to ensure you know where the boundaries are for various areas or sub-areas that you are interested in fishing, check out their website at: Management Areas Pacific Region.


You won't get better fishing information for the Sunshine Coast.

We hope to see you soon!!!!

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