May in Clayoquot Sound brings warmer weather and increased angling opportunities for the adventurous spirit.
The key to successful outings this time of year is to find the migratory offshore herring coming into our bays and inlets to spawn during March and April. These spots can be unpredictable and changeable from year to year.
Chinooks can be found in some of the more traditional offshore areas such as Portland Point to the south of town, as well as up to the west in the Raphael Point areas, but if you find the herring you will find the nicer early run Willamette fish. I have found them in areas protected from the weather such as Calmus Passage, Brabant, Russell and Father Charles Channels.
When probing the offshore areas looking for the bait and fish, I usually use anchovies in glow or chartreuse teaser heads and glo and blue or green octopus hoochies. If I find some salmon I try and clean them as soon as possible to see what they are feeding on and then try to match the bait size.
If I’m fishing the bays and inlets looking for salmon feeding on the herring I use a little bigger sized gear; green or blue pack herring in green or UV teaser heads as well as four inch chrome spoons. Once I do find this situation I like to switch to 5- to 6-inch Tomic plugs in 157, 232 or 700 series colours to target the larger sized Chinooks.
With the promise of a smaller maximum size this year, I will be using mostly circle hooks for easy release of oversized halis. I like to target these fish at this time of year using, of course, large herring as well as some salmon belly hanging off a white power bait grub. I usually don’t fish farther offshore than two miles for halibut in May.
The lingcod season is now open in area 24 and should be in decent numbers on offshore pinnacles. This is a weather-dependent but fun fishery.
The big thing is to make sure your boat and its safety equipment are up-to-date and watch the weather as it can be very unpredictable in the spring.
Owner and Senior Guide
Ospray Fishing Charters
Tofino’s finest fishing since 1987
THE ONLY GUIDE BANNED FROM FISHING IN A TOFINO DERBY BECAUSE WE WON TOO MANY TIMES
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- Island Fisherman
- February 12, 2018
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