by CREW member MAX
Not many people know but there is a world class dungeness crab, spot prawn, and salmon fishery right outside of our Granville island and Sidney charter bases.
Chances are if you have talked to me on the phone you know that I spend many of my off days out on the water setting crab and prawn traps and fishing for salmon right here in our local waters. Not only is it a great way to get out on the water but it has been a fantastic source of food over the past year. Make sure to get your tidal fishing license online and check for any recent fishing closures and you will be good to go!
Opportunities for harvesting crab abound right here in English Bay as well as up into Howe Sound and over in the Gulf Islands. General rule is if you can find a sandy ledge in about 40 feet of water you have a good chance of finding some crab! Bait choices can vary; there are pellets you can purchase at almost any gas dock however I have found that nothing works better than a salmon carcass. These can be purchased right here at the Granville Island Market. Set your traps and let them soak for a few hours for best results.
Spot prawns are plentiful in Howe Sound as you can see from my fish well filled with over 20lbs of them! And from just one set! Finding them can be trickier than crab but when you locate them get ready for some good eating. Best places to look are in Howe Sound in depths of 200-300 feet alongside some deeper water. Make sure you have some willing hands as hauling up these traps can be tiring but if you ask me there is no better reward than a pan of prawns sizzling in butter and garlic to make you forget about your sore arms. Very effective bait for these guys is the same pellets used for crab trapping. Same idea as crab set the traps and let them soak for a few hours and then get ready for good eating!
By far the most sought after fishing in Vancouver’s waters is for the mighty chinook salmon. There are fishing opportunities available for these beauties year round as well as many smaller species of salmon that make their way into our waters every year. Fishing for them is generally done with downriggers and specialized equipment however one very effective way of catching these fish with minimal gear is to drift fish for them during the summer Capilano Run. All you need it a rod and some bait and you can join in the fun! Either take your boat down to the mouth of the Capilano River off of West Vancouver or anchor and zip over in your dinghy and then it is as easy as hooking a piece of herring onto your line and lowering it down to the fish waiting below. During the months of August and September and as early as July thousands of fish come into the area as they prepare to swim upriver so get out there after them!