April 2017 Nanaimo Fishing Report from Reel Time Fishing Charters
Salmon: This year, our salmon charters started in late February. Our first trip produced 7 Chinook at the Brickyard and the very next day, we hooked into 8 fish at the same place. Good numbers! However, most of these Chinook , as in prior years, were all in the 22″–26″ range and caught in the 100–140 ft depth on white or white, green, and black 3″ spoons. Other than lower numbers of fish, our March trips were reminiscent of February. The one difference was finding those same fish in the Northumberland channel as well, again, at the same depth and on the same bait. April: Though I look forward to the end of April, I have always found the first few weeks to be challenging in regards to finding keeper size Chinook. This past weekend (April 1st-3rd), we logged in three charters. The first was a 4 hour trip on Saturday out by the Brickyard that produced no keepers and only a few small fish. The following day (Sunday, April 2), we started over in the Northumberland Channel and found nothing. With a 25 knot wind blowing NW, we took our chances on the south side of Entrance Island (ya, we got bounced around a little). There though, we finally started marking some bait. And, it wasn’t long after that we hooked a nice 14 lber on a 3″ kitchen sink at about 100 ft. Hoping the bait would stick around for the following day, we took our next group back to Entrance Island. With a beautiful blue bird day, we searched for the bait and fish but to no avail. We picked up our gear and made a waves toward the Fingers where there were a number of boats. We dropped lines on the edge of the deep water only to pick up a number of shakers. The Brickyard produced the same fish. Finally, we tried Spoil Grounds where we found some bait and were rewarded with a scrappy 12 lb Chinook. Yep, a lot of work for a few fish! But then that’s been my experience for those early April days in the decade or so I have been fishing Nanaimo waters. If you have had better luck in the area, we’d love to hear from you :).
Crabbing: It seemed like everwhere we were dropping our trap (front of Newcastle, Departure Bay, False Narrows), we were catching at least 2 keepers. I have even heard from those fishing the pier in Nanaimo that crabbing out there has been great.
Prawning: Though we did not set any prawn traps on recent charters, the word from some of the locals who have has been fair to good out in front and to the south of the Five Fingers. For more information on prawning regarding the what, where and how, check out the information published on the Harbor Chandler Website which has always been helpful for us.
Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned as we begin to get ready for one of the most productive seasons of the year in Nanaimo waters. Feel free to call us and ask or share information. Otherwise, keep safe, have fun, and consider letting the big ones go for future generations to enjoy.