Category Archives: Fishing Tips

Fishing Tips & Techniques

Fishing is a matter of skill, equipment, location and luck. Here are some great fishing tips and techniques. Getting out on the water with Dave and his crew is an opportunity to fish for the big ones and learn some new tricks.

Salmon Fishing Techniques

The most common method for fishing salmon off the west coast of Vancouver Island is trolling. Usually a flasher and a hootchie (octopus or cuttlefish are two very popular varieties) are utilized but not always, spoons or bait with or without flasher are also very productive.

Bait vs. Artificial Lures

There is a constant debate about bait vs. artificial lures when it comes to fishing a variety of species of salt and fresh water fish, not only salmon.  I use a reality simple rule of thumb.  The more experienced you are as an angler the more bait you can effectively fish.  If you are just starting out, stay away from the bait until you get all the bugs worked out.  There is nothing more frustrating than spending all day fighting with your bait, trying to get the right roll, strikes and misses, just to see the guy next to you at the dock come in with a boat full of fish when he or she was pulling hootchies all day.

Trolling Speed

As a general rule 2.5 to 3.5 kts is a good starting speed for trolling salmon, each different species of salmon can be targeted to a certain degree by varying your speed. For example when you are fishing for Coho salmon vs. Chinook salmon you tend to hook more Coho salmon while trolling faster, and more Chinook salmon when trolling slower.

Colour Patterns

Two very popular Colour patterns for trolling Salmon on the west coast off of Tofino and Ucluelet are a white colour with a purple haze, and a green and white pattern, every day conditions are a little bit different so shades and patterns change but this is a good starting point. Of course if the water is crystal clear, a darker lure should be used and vice versa, if the water is murky, brighter is usually better.

One of the most exciting way’s to catch big Chinook salmon is to troll using big 6” and 7” plugs, a light blue and silver colour scheme works well, as does the light rainbow pattern. No flasher for drag, just you and a smiley (smiley is a 25 lb plus Chinook salmon) on a single action rod and reel, what a rush.

Fishing Tip – Make sure that…

Probably the easiest and yet the most commonly overlooked fishing tip I can offer is razor sharp hooks, you will consistently catch more salmon and more halibut while fishing, if your hooks are super sharp.  I know this sounds simple, but how often do you sharpen your hooks?  I hit mine every time they come out of the water.

More Articles on Salmon Fishing Techniques by Other Authors

1) Fishing BC Salmon with Spoons by Wayne Moss
2) History of Tomic Lures
3) Fishing BC Salmon with Spoons – Another Viewpoint
4) Fishing BC Salmon with Plugs
5) Fishing BC Salmon with Hootchies

Halibut Fishing Techniques

The two most commonly used techniques for fishing Halibut are trolling, pretty much the same method used for fishing salmon, and Jigging.

Trolling

The basics are the same but you want to drag your cannon balls as close to the bottom as possible without loosing them, and a big green and glow cuttlefish pulled behind any variety of flasher should work well.

As a general rule 1.5 to 2.5 kts is a good starting speed for trolling halibut, it is a good idea to use a little heavier trolling gear when trolling for halibut vs. trolling for salmon, I use 40 lb mainline and 70 lb tails for Halibut compared to 30 lb mainline and 40 lb tails for Salmon.

Jigging

The other popular method for fishing Halibut is jigging. Find the spot that you want, drop down your spreader bars and bait, or grubs, drift and real in fish.  A spreader bar is just that, an “L” shaped metal rod that separates your bait from your lead.  Usually a one to three pound lead ball is clipped onto the short end of the spreader bar, a 18” to 36” leader is then attached to the long end of the spreader bar, and the line is attached where the long and short end meet. Power grubs are a very productive bait it herring are attracting too many dogfish.

Unlike salmon, which are visual feeders, Halibut are a sensory feeder that relies on its sense of smell.  A scent trail in the water is an excellent idea as long as you can stay away from dogfish.   Many different types of rods and reels are available on the market today, I recommend a 60-80 lb braided style of line with a medium heavy 7ft to 8 ft rod, combined with a level wind reel with a 3-4 to 1 ratio.

Probably the easiest and yet the most commonly overlooked fishing tip I can offer is razor sharp hooks, you will consistently catch more salmon and more halibut while fishing, if your hooks are super sharp.  I know this sounds simple, but how often do you sharpen your hooks?  I hit mine every time they come out of the water.

General Fishing Tips

Find general fishing articles with some great tips in the articles below.

1) Sharp Hooks for Fishing BC Salmon and Pacific Halibut
2) Fishing BC with Flashers