Nanaimo Area Report
May is generally the best month for Chinook fishing in Gabriola/Nanaimo waters. Several runs of fish intersect here on their way to US and BC rivers. Most of the fishing is done two to three miles offshore in 600 to 800 feet of water depth. These fish are distributed from outside the Fingers to Thrasher Rock. Some of the Chinook do feed inshore on the 150- to 200-foot contour from Grande through Whalebone, at Thrasher, and Neck Point. Downrigger depths range 120 to 180 feet, depending on bait concentrations. Lures of choice include whole anchovy or herring in clear green scale or green/chartreuse Rhys Davis teasers; spoons in Evil Eye, Killy MaGee, Pink Sink, Kitchen Sink, Cop Car, or Silver/Blue; or hoochies in T-Rex or Blue Meany. Most of these fish are in the 8- to 15-pound range, but there is the occasional big fish in the mix. Because the stocks are so varied this time of year, flesh tones can range from red to orange to marbled to white.
My friends have been DNA testing coho, at the request of DFO. Apparently, the coho have over wintered in the Gulf, like they used to do in times of high abundance. This is great news if we actually have a strong coho fishery this year! Be sure to consult the local regulations concerning timing and retention of coho before fishing for them!
Ling and rockfish open May 1st. Try the structure at Gabriola Reef or Entrance Reef fishing on the bottom in 35 to 70 feet in depth. Large plastics, bait or jigs will entice these fish.
Commercial prawning season is going full bore in May at the Flat Tops. I do not compete with the commercial prawn fishermen during this time period.
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Silver Blue Charters
Also see the Nanaimo Archives
- Island Fisherman
- February 12, 2018
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