I began targeting coho salmon in the Lower Fraser River watershed one week ago but unlike other years, success has been hard to come by. On opening day in the tidal portion of the Fraser River, I visited a regular spot. Among 20 or so anglers, I caught, a bull trout, one of three fish in the entire afternoon. Knowing that sooner or later the fishing will pick up, especially with the extremely large incoming tide this week, I have persistently spent a couple of hours each day by the water when the tide peaked.
Today the persistence finally paid off. We gave the gradual outgoing tide in the afternoon a try and the fish were definitely cooperating. My gear of choice was a Shimano spinning setup, a 9′ Clarus spinning rod rated 6 to 10lb and a Sustain 2500 reel. The lure of choice was a 1/4oz fire orange clear crystal Gibbs Croc spoon. This pattern has served me well since I discovered how effective it was for coho salmon back in 1996.
In total four coho salmon could not resist it, but only two were managed to be hooked and brought to shore. They were wild, as the presence of their adipose fin indicated, so they were gently released after a quick photo snap. Only hatchery-marked coho salmon can be kept in the Fraser River, which can be identified by the absence of their adipose fin.
My other companions also did well, by plunking roe on the bottom. This method yielded two adult coho salmon and a coho jack. Jacks, matured males which return one year earlier than their brothers and sisters, do not grow much bigger than a foot long. These smaller fish, possibly due to a lack of life experience, will always find roe or any other bait irresistible.
Lower Fraser River’s coho salmon fishing is just starting to pick up and will remain productive for at least another month, so be sure to take advantage of this fishery.