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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: December 1, 2023

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: December 1, 2023



We have hit December and though many folks are thinking about the holiday season and not about fishing, there are still some cool, no pun intended, fisheries worth looking at if you are brave and don’t mind dealing with the weather.  

We have a storm in the mix for this weekend but when things are cold, more water can actually be a really good thing for river fishing.  

River salmon fishing is ramping down in a big way, but the egg eater fishery is ramping up. Matt was out last weekend and has some details in the Squamish report that you will want to tune in on. Yes, he has been neglecting the video version of the report for a few weeks, but we plan to tune back in for the New Year photo contest so make sure you have your best of 2023 fishing photos ready and are subscribed to the Pacific Angler YouTube channel.   

We also have a Chilliwack report and a local lake report. It’s kind of funny doing a local lake report this late in the season but we are hearing about some folks putting in the work and figuring their “interesting” fisheries out. It might be worth a trip late season if you have a few hours and just want to “chill” on a local lake.  

On the saltwater front, it’s time to head to the docks and check your boats and of course get out on the water when the weather allows this week!  Fishing has been great – check out Jason’s saltwater report below for more details. 

Finally, we have announced our 2024 course schedule so be sure to check out those details in our course section below. 

On to the report!  




Regulation Updates 
We shared the details on the coho regulations a few weeks back.  If you missed it this week there was an update to the regulations, specifically the close time for the coho fishery in the tidal waters of the Fraser River.   Fisheries notice is below: 
FN1253-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Coho – Tidal Waters of the Fraser River – Area 29 – Hatchery Marked Coho Salmon Opportunities – Correction to Close Time – Amendment to FN1211 

“This fishery notice amends FN1211 to correct the close time to November 30, 2023, in the tidal waters of the Fraser River mainstem, as detailed in the 2023/24 Southern BC Salmon IFMP. The corrected fishery notice follows: 

Waters:  Tidal waters of the Fraser River (downstream edge of the CPR Bridge at Mission to the mouth).  

Management measures:   

Effective November 15, 2023, until November 30, 2023: 

– The daily limit for Coho Salmon is two (2) hatchery marked only. 

– No fishing for Chinook, Chum, Pink, Sockeye, or wild Coho Salmon. 

– Fishing is permissible during daylight hours only.” 

Variation Order numbers: 2023-RCT-450, 2023-RFQ-454 

Update – Parking on Broadway! 
If you’re headed to the shop or other businesses in the neighbourhood, we’ve got some great news!  Starting Saturday, December 2nd, some additional parking spots will be reopened outside of peak travel times on Broadway. 

The re-established parking on Broadway, closest to shop, will be on the south side of Broadway between Manitoba and Ontario Street.  So, on the same side of Broadway as the store at the west end of our block!  Check out the map below for more details on this new parking as well as other parking options in the neighbourhood.    

Just like the pre-construction parking regulations, please be aware that these parking spots won’t be available during peak periods, specifically Monday to Friday from 7-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. You’ll have full access on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day. 

If you’re making a quick stop continue to use the free loading area directly in front of the store!   These spaces are free for 30min! 


Chilliwack River Fishing Report  
We’ve made it to December, and that means a few things- colder weather, awful holiday-themed music, and the end of salmon season on the C/V system. There will inevitably be a few reports of a random coho or chum being caught every now and then, but the season is pretty much over, and I would not consider it a worthwhile endeavor to head out to the C/V with the intent of catching fish. In addition to this, most of the fish in the system are quite dark or actively spawning, so targeting them is not advised.  

A very dark late-season buck. Dark fish like this have almost no food value and should be released. 

There will be some trout, char and whitefish in the upper river that can be encountered by drifting egg imitations, but the C/V egg-eater fishery isn’t especially good when compared to other systems like the Squamish, or a few of the north-side systems.  

That all being said, it can be a good idea to get out and scout the river in early December, before steelhead season starts. Looking at the weather report, there is a fair amount of rain in the forecast, so it’s hard to say if the river will stay in shape or not- no point in scouting a blown-out river. So, keep an eye on the forecast and the river levels.   The first reports of steelhead usually start in mid-December, so there’s a bit of time to check your gear, respool your reels and get ready for the winter steelhead season, if you intend on getting out there.  

As always, you should avoid wading in areas that salmon have used or are using for spawning- side-channels, backchannels, tailouts and shallow flats are all likely spots; the presence of redds is a sure-fire way to know you shouldn’t be stomping about in the water. Salmon eggs are not especially tolerant of being stepped on, so don’t. 

Taylor Nakatani 

Squamish River Fishing report  
I haven’t tuned in on the Squamish report much this season as Eric and the boys have been putting more hours on the system than me, but I was out last weekend and have some notes to share.  

Last weekend, the river was low and clear with water temps running around 37-38 degrees. For reference 35-36 degrees is my “I don’t want to be fishing” number when it comes to the Squamish system. The fishing was interesting. There are not many chum in the system at least when looking at historical numbers. This is going to affect the egg eater fishery going forward. We did see good chum in the lower sections of the system but up top they are almost non-existent.  

The good news is that because the pink numbers were good and the coho numbers look to be solid, the fish we found were well fed.  

A bright egg eating bulltrout

In the cold water, they were not sitting in the feeding lanes up in the high potions of the run. We found that if you ground the gut of the runs, there were fish to be had. Moving fast in this fishery is one of my keys to success but, on Sunday, just about the time I wanted to pull the pin and move, we would hook a fish. Interestingly, after we hooked one and got the zone dialed in, we hooked more. In one instance, we had been in one spot for 25 mins, I was about to pull out, but we hooked a fish….  and then hooked 8 more. Though I still recommend moving fast and covering water in cold clear conditions like we saw last weekend, a little bit of a grind paid off.  

Pale beads were working but, because there are still quite a few fresh eggs in the system, bright beads put up some numbers too. So bright presentations are still worth a try even in clear water. As the season progresses into December the pale eggs will take over in clear conditions.  

There are also still some coho kicking around and we had friends find some fresh fish late last week. Heading out with a combination of coho gear and egg eater gear (rainbows/bulltrout) is still worth it.  

This weekend, we will see a good dump of water, and this should move fish into feeding lanes and warm up water temperatures. Even though we will see a bunch of rain today with cold day time temps much of this will come as snow in the upper mountains, so I do not expect a big blow out.  

With this forecast it could be a good weekend to get out. Be safe, always check water levels but if you are itching to get out with the light rods for some egg eaters or late coho I think it is a good bet.  

Matt Sharp  


Local Lakes Fishing Report 
Bundle up and grab a hot beverage for some relaxing trout fishing on the local lakes. Most urban lakes have had a few rounds of fall fish stockings, making for some decent late season fishing. 

Gear anglers fishing bait under a float or on bottom have been doing well. Shrimp, worms, salmon eggs and paste type baits all will generate hits. Keep your tackle light to detect the delicate bites. 

Surprisingly fly fishing has also been effective late this season. Most fly anglers have found success using longer leaders and balanced leeches and blobs under an indicator. 

For gear and fly I like to add some subtle movement to my presentation. This might be a little bounce now and then on my float or bottom rig, or a few strips to move my fly under an indicator. Stocker rainbows are curious so a little movement can draw in a fish and trigger a bite when it’s slow. Depth has also been a big factor with most successful anglers fishing closer to the bottom. 

As with all fisheries please obey all posted catch limits and leave your fishing area cleaner than when you left it. 


Eric Peake 


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report 
It’s December!  That came fast and with it seems to be all the storms and rain that we usually get in November.  Time to talk about that rain and how it affects your boat if you are going to keep it in the water this winter so you can experience the excellent winter chinook fishing in Vancouver. 

The main thing is check on your boat, at least every second week.  Wash it, check the bilge pump float switches, check your battery levels, and make sure no critters have taken up residence inside the cabin.   

Washing your boat will keep the debris and bird poop off your boat which can stain your gel coat, metal, or your boat top.  In fact, the acid in the poop can eat up fabric, so get down there and give your boat a wash.  It will also help reduce bacteria on your bolsters, and that is where those annoying pink stains come from.     

A lot of boats “make water” and by that, I mean water gets in the bilge from drink holders, cracks in the floor panels or caulking, and all sorts of other places.  Your bilge pump float switch should take care of this, but with extended and frequent use it will drain your battery.  Solutions are to periodically charge your batteries or be hooked up to shore power and keep your battery charger on if you have one built into your system.  This will keep those batteries topped up to keep those bilge pumps flowing when needed.  Every winter boats sink at the dock, so don’t think it can’t happen to you, it’s happened to a lot of people I know. 

If you can, keep a little heat in your boat.  There are low amp space heaters available that are specifically designed for boats.  Keeping one of these going in your cabin will reduce moisture build up.  The moisture can lead to mildew.  I’ve also found taking the time to wipe down the interior of the cabin with a disinfectant cleaner in the late fall really goes a long way in reducing mildew in the boat during the winter. 

The winter chinook fishing so far this season has been great! 

On the fishing front, looks like we have a fair bit of wind and rain in the forecast, especially mid next week.  Keep an eye on the weather and if you can get out to lower Howe Sound the fishing for winter chinook has been very solid.  Seems to be good numbers of fish around this year.  We have been fishing the Harbour as well, and it’s been a bit slower, but it should pick up soon as it usually does later in December. 

This is a great time to get out, get some nice chinook and get some prawns!  If you want to book a holiday season charter for yourself, family or friends, the fishing has been good, so give us a call at 778-788-7852.  Charters also make great gifts! 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli