These trophy sized salmon (also called Springs and Kings) are the main course in Nootka. They run from 8 pounds to 60 pounds locally. A Chinook over 30 pounds is called a Tyee. Critter Cove awards every guest who catches a salmon over 40 pounds with a red "Executive Club" hat and any salmon over 50 pounds with a blue "Presidents Club" hat. When you hear our fog horn that's the signal that there's a hat worthy salmon at the scales.
Chinook are caught all year. The biggest Chinook are those returning to spawn, and they arrive mid June through September.
These are the jumpers that run from 5 pounds to 20 pounds. We've seen some coho well over 20 pounds as well. Coho can be caught in May and run right through until the end of September. The biggest Coho are caught later in August and September.
Pink, Chum and Sockeye:
The occasional Pink salmon (often called humpies) and Sockeye are caught. Chum (often called dog salmon) are more plentiful in September and October.
These monsters known as barn doors weigh from 20 to 200 pounds locally. We have always advocated releasing halibut bigger than about 60 pounds as they are the breeding stock and they're not as good to eat as the small ones anyway. For 2013 it's the law that the biggest halibut must be realeased (the measurement translates to about 60 pounds). The best halibut fishing is in May and June, but they can be caught throughout the summer (regulations permitting of course).
Ling cod, rock cod, yellow eye and even black bass are delicious bottom fish available on the outside waters beyond Friendly Cove.
Trolling with downriggers is the most common way to fish for salmon here. Although many spots are 300 feet deep, most often people are fishing the top 60 feet of water. Over the years we've seen just about everything work for lures - so bring what you feel comfortable and confident fishing with. Bait (anchovy and herring) spoons, plugs and hoochies are often used.
Our favorite tackle for Nootka is Tomic spoons and plugs. We've got a good assortment of Tomic and other most popular lures on hand.
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