We have seen mostly sunny skies and calm seas over the last week, and the fish are still here in really big numbers. After seeing solid outside action for the past three weeks, both the Coho and Chinook have now filled into the inside areas around Cains Island and Cliffe Point, making the fishery much more accessible for smaller boats and obviously less travel. (Cains Island Lightstation is appr. 10 minutes from Winter Harbour out Forward Inlet)
Hard to really comment on whats working right now, because there are so many fish around that you could send down a green toothbrush and probably get a fish. The Chinooks are primarily in the 17-22lb range, but a number of fish in the low thirties came in from the lighthouse last night, and the average off Lippy Point yesterday was in the high twenties.
We are a story of three fisheries right now. The fish out on the highway at the 50 fathom edge from Top Knot down into Brooks Bay are still fairly deep, coming in between 160 and 185 feet, where the old standard Purple Haze, Tammy Fay (B52) and Big Boy hoochies are working well. The fish in the near-shore shallows off Lawn Point, Lippy Point are primarily feeding on needlefish patterns, so the J31 and LGG11, and Jay79 needles are working very well, with anglers having really good action 125 ft down in 160–240 ft of water around all the structure where the baitfish are holding. On the inside, the fish have been taking larger herring and sardine patterns, which also helps to keep all the pesky Coho off your line! The area is absolutely swarming with Coho, although they are still relatively small. Lots of surface action around the kelp beds, so Coho and Spring on the fly right now is heating up as well.
The bottom fishing has continued to be excellent, as there is still a prolific amount of bait in the whole area. There are large shoals of needlefish, sardine and herring hanging around, attracting humpback and grey whales, as well as huge schools of porpoises providing entertainment while jigging! Lingcod have been hitting the old standard lead Jig heads with glo grub tails, as well as large Norwegian Jigs.
Hali action has been steady, with a lot of good sized fish coming off the troll in the flats off Grant Bay. Herring or Octopus on a spreader bar on the gravel humps in 200ft of water between Cains and Lippy Points have been producing very well for jigging as has the nearshore shallows off Lawn Point.
Winter Harbour is truly a hidden gem that gets very limited pressure and is a relatively easy day trip from Vancouver.