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Chinook Salmon and Chinook Fishing on Vancouver Island

Chinook salmon, also known as spring salmon, king, or tyee (for those 30 pounds or bigger), is the largest of the Pacific salmon and the prize of the west coast angler. Like all salmon species, chinook are born in fresh water and live in their river birthplace for up to one year. Upon entering saltwater, chinook are voracious eaters, hunting whatever baitfish are abundant, most commonly herring, sardines, pilchards, squid, and needle fish. Chinook remain in the ocean for longest of all the salmon species, growing ever larger for up to 7 years, when their reproductive instinct eventually compels them to return to their home river to spawn. Chinook are the earliest spawning salmon, beginning their long journey in early spring upriver to their spawning grounds. And as the chinook pass by on their way to their spawning grounds, anglers up and down the coast get their chance to catch the king of all salmon.
On the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, anglers target chinook salmon from June to September, with the peak in July and August. At this time of year the fish are ready to spawn and generally weigh 15 to 30 LB. although fish up to 60+ LB. are caught every year. The predominant fishing technique for chinook is trolling using bait, typically anchovies or herring, or using lures such as spoons or hootchies that resemble squid. Medium sized chinook are found in abundance in the deep water, but the really big ones are generally found on reefs close to shore, as shallow as 30 feet.
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