Hi and welcome to the GRFA fishing report updated on the 29th of August 2023.
With summer waning and the autumn months quickly creeping up on us, west coast anglers start to get excited about the bonanza of opportunities soon to be.
With the this being an odd numbered year (i.e. 2023) we once again are on the door step of a Pink salmon run, and what a run we are expecting. At the moment the forecast is an unbelievable 17 million plus run! This is more than double of our last return… Not only that, the chinook returns have been staggering and coho/chum numbers are expected to be very strong.
These healthier than forecasted numbers are being directly attributed to the removal of fish farms from our delicate costal ecosystem. These “farms” were removed a few years ago and the first indicator of the effects are the Pinks as they spend 2 years in salt water rather than the traditional 4 for most other salmon. This means that they have gone through their complete life cycle without fish farms and the results are astounding, more than doubling the run stature. Looking forward its hard not to get excited what the next few years will bring…
GRFA proudly hosted the 2023 Jurassic Classic Sturgeon Fundraiser last weekend. Through the efforts of the The Wild Sheep Society of BC, Guide Outfitters Association of BC and the N. America Wild Sheep Foundation, this incredible event raises awareness and much needed funding for the plight of the Wild Sheep here in BC. Special thanks go out to the sponsors, donors and the volunteers that made this year’s event a smashing success, especially with all the struggles that the pandemic created. Not only did we raise a substantial amount of money for a worthwhile cause but the fishing was spectacular. With an overall weight estimate of over 10,000 pounds of sturgeon brought to hand over 2 days in 14 boats. Simply Awesome! Next year the dates have been set for the August 23rd to the 25th and we’re already counting down the days.
With salmon numbers in the Fraser building every day the sturgeon fishing has been very good, especially for larger specimens. They have definitely switched gears and are actively searching out pink salmon pieces now. With Pink, Sockeye and Red Chinook in the system sturgeon have keyed into the flesh of these beautiful fish. Having said, that please keep in mind that salmon fishing in the Fraser itself is closed at the moment and you will have to purchase some from local grocery stores or fish one of the tributaries that are open for them. Many boats are still reporting activity on other baits like lamprey and coarse fish but this seems to be a day to day phenomena rather than the norm. Having said that it’s still worth having a rod fishing something other than salmon meat, particularly pike minnows.
Fish have been found in all sorts of water and one really needs to move around to find the schools. Sometimes a hundred feet can be the difference between hooking up or just staring at your rods. Fish any where’s from 10 to 40 feet in depth and remember that the fish have been feasting and are getting fairly full. Most specimens are bulging with salmon in their bellies and they may “play” with your bait for some time before committing to it.
Water temperatures continue to stay ideal and the fish are feeling active enough to hold in some strong currents. Heavier weights have been the key in some situations as often we are anchoring as close to the fast seams as possible and then chucking out into the heavy water. Lighter weights are often rolling and some fish could be missed as they dislodge the weight easier and everything moves on them before they can really eat the bait.
The Fraser River is low for this time of year and resembles the end of September rather than August. Keep in mind that there are many gravel bars above the mouth Vedder River and one needs to be more careful when running the river, especially with a prop propelled boat. Also, tides do reach past the mouth of the Vedder and it’s a good idea to know them as the river can drop a foot or two on a dropping tide possibly making the route you took one way too shallow to run on your return. Best bet is to look at the New Westminster tide charts and add 2 to 3 hours.
The Canyon portion of the river has been phenomenal over the last few weeks with numbers of fish coming to hand simply stunning. With the water dropping fast; the fishing is getting faster, with good numbers of above average fish coming on every charter. If you are thinking of running this special piece of water keep in mind that is very “heavy” water and not for the timid or unexperienced jet boater. Please be very careful!! The canyon also has a tendency to eat gear and dropping an anchor or casting a line can result in getting snagged, often. If you’re interested in trying your hand at biggest of the big in one of the most spectacular venue’s in the world drop Rick a line and he’ll be more than happy to help organize one of our Ultimate Fraser Canyon Sturgeon trips with you. email@example.com
What better way is there to spend a warm autumn day than sitting in a comfortable covered jet boat waiting on another bite from the almighty sturgeon. With limited fishing pressure on the river this is a great time of year to get out and experience these dinosaurs of the deep. We offer half and full day outing’s via jet boat with nothing but the finest in guides and tackle. We pride ourselves in ensuring your day is as comfortable, safe and enjoyable as possible. Whatever your speed, we will cater to your needs. Call or email today.
Even though we are experiencing high numbers of Chinook and the Pink returns are looking spectacular, the Fraser River remains closed to salmon fishing. With over all salmon numbers looking so good we are expecting an opening and will keep you posted. Other tributaries, like the Vedder and Harrison Rivers, do have some opportunities with others coming up soon. Check out Region 2 – Lower Mainland: Recreational salmon fishing limits, openings and closures for updated openings, closures and limits.
Most of the news on salmon numbers has been quite positive as we are seeing larger than expected numbers. In fact the Pink and Chinook numbers are better than what we’ve seen in a decade or more! This bodes well for those planning their Fall River fishing. If you are at all interested in trying your hand for some salmon the time to book your excursion is now as dates are starting to fill up and space is limited. For more info on salmon fishing with GRFA please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s it for now. Conserve our waters and here’s to great fishing, forever…