Ron Neitsch with a 13-pound chinook salmon caught trolling off the Sooke Bluffs on Saturday. (Contributed)

Ron Neitsch with a 13-pound chinook salmon caught trolling off the Sooke Bluffs on Saturday. (Contributed)

FISHING ADVENTURES: Winter chinook make way through local waters

Ron Neitsch | Contributed

Sooke saltwater fishing at this time of year consists of trolling for winter chinook salmon, which spend the season feeding and chasing bait fish around the Salish Sea.

These salmon are typically in the first or second year of their lifecycle, and are actively feeding almost constantly, which makes them fun and easier to catch.

The salmon’s flesh is usually bright red or a mixture of red and white, and quite oily (good oil) on the larger 10- to 15-pound fish.

Winter springs/chinook usually feed close to the bottom in 100 to 150 feet of water.

Last week, fishers reported larger salmon in the 10- to 15-pound range being caught in front of Sooke Harbour, the Bluffs, Tin Shed, Trailer Park, and Otter Point.

Green, glow, yellow and white have been good flasher and lure colours.

Crabbing in the harbour continues to be excellent, with plenty of hard shell large male Dungeness crabs.

This week is the last chance to grab Sooke Saltwater Series Boxing Day Chinook Derby tickets to support salmon enhancement efforts and the Sooke Food Bank. Anglers will have a chance to take home the $3,000 first prize for the largest fish and thousands of dollars in other prizes.

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Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Fishing Adventures, based in Sooke.