Miranda and Clay with a catch and release spring salmon. Photo submitted

Last weekend for catch and release spring salmon fishing

The announcement made by the federal government back in mid April to have catch and release fishing for spring salmon hit hard with local anglers charter operators and anyone who deals with boat repairs or sales.

Just by looking around the city, some have put a for sale sign on their boat while others have fished other areas of the province where you can retain a spring salmon. A number of locals still got out fishing and the idea of catch and release for springs didn’t sit well with them but they still got out with their families and enjoyed the outing.

Some of the local fishing guides took out customers and fish were being caught in the mid teens to the high 20s in weight. Some days were hit and miss and if the bait was around, chances of getting a spring salmon was quite good. In some cases finding bait was a problem but when others found the bait balls in 50 feet of water, the fishing was right on.

In previous weeks during catch and release dates, if a salmon was hooked it was played out and released as per current regulations. This Monday, July 15, you are able to fish for springs and keep one per day with a maximum of 10 per year. It is always advisable to check fishing regulations before you go fishing to avoid heavy fines.

Salmon are in the area and it’s quite possible to get a spring fishing the Discovery Pier and so far the catch reports have a spring caught and released on June 23. You can expect more anglers getting out and fishing the pier. Add to the mix, both wild and hatchery coho and various bottom fish and the pinks will soon be arriving. For the fun of it, there is an abundance of sea perch that can be hooked using light tackle.

I made a point of driving out to a few lakes that receive very little fishing pressure. I was mostly interested in looking over the terrain and seeing if anything would give me any indication that fish were around. At one lake, the rain and wind had died down and I was able to check the shoreline and see if any signs were visible that trout were surfacing.

All around this small unnamed lake the shore was full of downed trees and more submerged logs and bush were all around. Water was clear and deep and first signs of any fish were the sticklebacks that appeared but no trout surfacing. Getting to the water was a challenge but I found a small opening and launching my inflatable boat was easy.

I have been using a stickler fly which resembles a stickleback minnow and I have good success fishing it on local lakes. This four-inch streamer will be featured during the winter fly tying sessions for beginners with dates and times to be announced.