Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED SEPTEMBER 13, 2014.


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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For FALL 2014

From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Lake Cowichan Area, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum,  Spider Lake, Cameron Lake, Nile Creek, Courtenay / Comox, Oyster River, Campbell River, Gold River, Oyster River, Salmon River, Port Alberni,  Bamfield,Ucluelet, Tofino, Barkley Sound, Nootka Sound, Moutcha Bay, Port Hardy.


ROCKFISH CONSERVATION AREAS are closed to all fin fishing. Descriptions of these closures, and other recreational fishing information, can be found on the Internet at:

SHELLFISH SANITARY CLOSURES - Over the summer shellfish sanitary closures are common in Island waters due to warmer temperatures leading to blooms of dangerous micobal life. Detailed bivalve shellfish closure information and maps are available at:

Contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans For fishing regulations, to report violations, or just give your opinion: Website: Phone: Port Hardy 250-949-6422, Campbell River 250-850-5701, Comox 250-339-2031, Port Alberni 250-720-4440, Tofino 250- 725-3500, Nanaimo 250-754-0230 , Duncan 250-746-6221, Victoria 250-363-3252. \


Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.

Great Canadian Shoreline Fall Cleanup
It began in 1994 when a small team of employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a beach in Stanley Park to help protect the city’s shorelines. By 1997, 400 volunteers were participating in 20 sites across British Columbia as part of the Great BC Beach Cleanup. In 2012, the Shoreline Cleanup celebrated its 19th anniversary with more than 57,000 volunteers.
Interested in contributing to the Shoreline Cleanup, but limited on time? Or, would you like to meet new people while doing something meaningful? Whatever the reason, becoming a cleanup participant is an easy, fun way to get outside, meet other locals, and make a difference. There are many cleanups that would love to have an extra pair of hands on their team. Find a cleanup in your area and learn more at:

SOUTH ISLAND FISHING REPORT - Victoria, West Shore, Sidney, Saanich

Salt Water - Salmon fishing has been picking up as fish head towards their home rivers. Halibut fishing was good. There are new openings for halibut and coho. For regulation updates go to

PORT RENFREW - Fishing was slower out at Swiftsure Bank, for salmon and halibut. Along the beach some good days and slow fruitless days. Most springs are 10 - 20 lb. a few high twenties. Logan Creek has been a hotspot. Anchovies have been best for fish down 35 to 45 feet.

BECHER BAY - Most springs weighed in the teens to low twenties. Best salmon fishing was near Beechey Head, Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack between 40 to 90 feet on the downrigger. There are coho, especially farther out into the strait, close to the US border. Most of the coho have been wild fish. Most anglers are having best results with anchovies. The most productive anchovie teaser heads were blue green chrome and Bloody Nose. Good flashers were Madi and the Purple Onion. Smaller G-Force spoons were working.

PEDDER BAY - Springs have been mostly 8 to 20 lb. Many caught between 100 to 120 feet on the downrigger at the mouth of Pedder Bay with a 27 pounder the largest. Anchovies were productive with Chrome Joanne, UV green and Purple Haze the best teaser heads. Anglers are still getting fish trolling 3.5" spoons. Coho Killers and G-Force spoons, both glow and green have been best. Squirts are working in UV Jellyfish, Purple Haze and Electric Chair. Best flashers have been Silver Betsey, green/silver Hot Spot and Purple Haze.

Halibut fishing was good with fish up to 54 lb. There weren’t as many dogfish.

VICTORIA - Some days good numbers of salmon are being caught from Ross Bay to Esquimalt, other days are slow. Springs to 32+ lb. have been caught in close, most of the fish are in the low teens. The salmon seem to be passing through quickly and not stopping to feed. Some coho salmon have been caught as well. Constance Bank was quiet with a few 9-15 lb. fish. The better springs were close to bottom and biting most frequently on the tide change. Most anglers at Constance are using artificial lures, Coho Killer (yellowtail or green/glow), and G-Force spoons in Outfitters or No Bananas colours. Good plastic baits are Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Blow. Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in all colours have been effective. Closer in, anchovies are the best choice in green, Purple Haze or Bloody Nose teaser heads.

In the the James Bay Anglers’ Association annual salmon derby first place went to Kevin Creelman for a 22 lb. 4 oz. spring. Second place went to Katie Mac for a 22 lb. spring. Third place went to Ted Kniipstrom for a 20 lb 14 oz spring. The largest salmon caught by a junior was a 4 lb 10 oz

Halibut fishing was good. Kingsley Grant and Mike Fekette caught a 52 lb. (121cm) and another 65 lb. (130cm) halibut one day. One was taken on salmon belly with a herring and the other on a Mudraker jig in 420 feet of water.

SIDNEY- Some springs and sockeye were caught near Moresby Island, and Hambley Point consistently produced springs. Many anglers are fishing springs using anchovies in UV green teaser heads. The channel has smaller, undersize chinooks holding in deeper water, but no good keepers. Squirts have out produced hootchies and hot patterns for springs are Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working, especially in double glow and 50/50 colours.

Fresh Water - Trout fishing was good on most area lakes. Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms right on the bottom. Yellow and Bubblegum have been good colours for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well with Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers, Apex Trout Killers, Flatfish and/or Kwikfish, Smaller Rapalas, and jointed Rapalas for larger fish. Larger Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a size 6 hook with a small 1-2 pieces of worm always produce fish. The biggest trout are from Langford and Elk lakes.

BASS are shallow in the mornings and evenings. There is good early morning fishing with spinner baits in chartreuse, white and black. In the day soft plastics rigged Carolina style or crank baits work well. Crank baits have been effective with a fast retrieve. Soft plastics Carolina style is good for drop offs and docks. Surface lures have produced evenings and mornings. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local lakes.

CARP - Carp fishing is good at Elk Lake with corn and carp. Boilies are the best bait recently.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,  Victoria, ph: 475-4969



It is time to dust off the hootchies and spoons - it is coho salmon time. It looks like it is going to be another good coho year.

We are picking up some nice coho around the Muir Creek area, and it should start to get pretty good around Secretary Island and out in the second and third tide line later in the month. Best fishing depths have been from 30 to 90 feet.

Most productive hootchies have been J-79, Army Truck, Purple Haze, Cloverleaf, and black and white. For spoons majority of the Coho Killers and Coyote spoons have been working great also.

A reminder we are now allowed to keep one wild coho. Also everyone is getting ready for our annual Sooke Coho Derby at Jock's Dock on October 11. Tickets will be sold at Eagle Eye and at Jock's Dock.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines.

Al Kennedy, Reel Excitement Salmon Charters email: 250-642-3410



Fresh Water - Cowichan Lake – Fishing will continue to improve as the temperature cools. Currently fish are holding at 40 - 60’ during mid day. First light and last light fish are cruising shore line 20 - 30’. Gang troll and worms best bet. Always popular 3" Tomic plugs, Kwik Fish or Flatfish. Top lure Dr. Minnow.

No boat, no problem.

There is always fish biting when bait fishing at the creek mouths. Use sliding weights and a corky rig. Top baits (now that the salmon are migrating through the lake) pink salmon eggs, roe or worms are always worth a try.

Cowichan River – from weir to the top of Marie Canyon fly fishing only. From Marie Canyon to Cowichan Bay closed to all fishing. This closure is necessary to protect returning chinook (numbers extremely low.) So dust off your fly roads and have some fun. Top flies - Egg flies, Rolled Muddlers, Pheasant Tail, Prince and Hares Ear nymphs, Caddis or American March brown dries.

Nitnat River: Wow! Lots of fish. Generous retention of chinook, chum and coho make this a true harvest fishery.

(Check regs.) The art of angling is to entice a fish to take your fly or lure. These fish will bite. All foul hooked fish must be released. Deliberate snagging is illegal and unethical.

Recommended techniques:

Fly Fishing - sink tip lines & B.H. flies. Top picks - Rolled Muddlers, Wooly Buggers. Stop in at the store for best colour picks. Over 30,000 flies in stock.

It is heart stopping to see a 20-30 lb. chinook chasing your fly across the shallows and then slam your fly.

Float Fishing - chartreuse or peach wool ties best bet.

Spin Fishing - go small, small spoons or spinners produce well. Too large a lure spooks them.

As the leaves turn crimson and float to the ground, the rivers start to rise with the first fall rains. Coho, chum and summer steelhead will be on the move. Top rivers - Cowichan, Sooke, San Juan, Harris, Nitnat and Stamp. Always check your regs before heading out.

May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.

Gord March, Cowichan Fly & Tackle, 98 South Shore Rd., Lake Cowichan 250-749-4964

We are closing our business Dec. 31, 2014 - New Hours: Friday & Saturday 8:00 - 4:00 Sunday 10:00 to 2:00



Fishing is full on for both salmon and halibut! Both shoreline and off shore fishing is excellent for pelagic chinook to 30 lb. Spoons, hootchies, plugs are all producing quality fish. Halibut fishing is also excellent. Sockeye are starting to flop around on the surface. We should have a sockeye fishery in full swing when the test fishery announces our opening in Juan De Fuca.

Swiftsure Bank is alive, there are plenty of Orcas, humpbacks and grey whales around. We are now in the foggy season, with lots of freighter traffic. If you are planning a trip off shore, go prepared with the proper navigation equipment! There's lots going on out there. Better yet, hire a professional guide and focus on cranking in the fish, and let us get you there and back safely. Have an awesome fishing season!

If you want a guaranteed west coast fishing adventure phone me at number below or please visit on line at:

Dan Harvey, Pacific Sport Fishing Charters, Port Renfrew, 1-866-537-2838



Salt Water - Spring salmon fishing has been decent, but it’s starting to slow down. Anchovies and green glow and green and white at 150 feet on the downrigger have been a consistent formula for success.

There’s still pink salmon being caught downtown in front of the Milestone River, and a few pinks in Departure Bay. Those salmon are mostly being caught on pink flies. That fishery will wind when it rains and they shoot up the river.

Coho salmon are out there mixed in with the chinooks. It hasn’t been great but those coho will stay chrome into October. Then the chum salmon will start running around out there. The beginning of the heavy rain will get them all to run up the Nanaimo River.

Lingcod and bottomfish will close soon but it has been a pretty good season. There was a nice halibut caught at Neck Point where they have been rare.

Fresh Water - Trout fishing in area lakes will improve as the weather cools and the rains stir things up. Tidal portions of the Nanaimo River should open for salmon late in October

Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy. ,Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726



We are having an incredible salmon fishery this year. At the time of writing the salmon fishing around French Creek has been steady to say the least, and heading into September there should still be good opportunities.

Most of the returning chinook salmon to the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will be staged in front of their respectful river mouths waiting for the river water to rise. Hopefully we'll get some rain to help them up, as the snow pack is severely low. Since these chinook aren't feeding at this time, you need to get their attention with bright colours and shorter leaders. Try using a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader), with a green/silver flasher. Keep in mind these are the salmon of tomorrow, limit your catch, rather than catch your limit. Jiggers do well at this time of year too, a 2-1/2 oz. "Mac Deep" or "Lil Nib" jig should do the trick.

Coho salmon start to make their way closer to the beach in the fall, giving the beach fly and gear fisherman good opportunities.

Bottom fishing closes September 30 so now is the time to get a few of these tasty fish to enjoy over the winter months. A 2-1/2 oz. jig bounced off the bottom on a rocky, shelf ledge in 40'-120' of water should do the trick.

For the hearty fisherman winter chinook (2-3 year old resident salmon) will hold in our area. Winter chinook tend to be deep so keep the downriggers just off the bottom, troll a bit faster than usual (2 1/2-3 MPH) as well. Covering lots of water is key, as these salmon are on the move looking for food. Brighter coloured 4" spoons in neon glow/pink strip (48") leader with a Crushed Ice/glow flasher works well. It will be time to try bait again (anchovie, herring, herring strip) as the dogfish have moved out seeking warmer water. These salmon are some of the best eating, with cooler water temperatures they have more fat content and beautiful red flesh. Also in the fall pay a visit to the Big and Little Qualicum Salmon Hatcheries to watch all the returning salmon completing their journey, it really is a amazing spectacle.

It was a pleasure to provide the fishing report for the French Creek area as it continues to improve steadily.

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters, 250-951-5927,

& French Creek Harbour Store, 5 - 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville, 250-248-8912,



With so little rain over the summer fishing has been mainly concentrated on the pink salmon beach fishery. Massive numbers of fish have been seen in the ocean and the run is the largest seen in a generation. Anglers who have ventured to the north Island to the estuaries of the Eve and Cluxewe rivers experienced amazing fishing with stories of 50+ fish days on a regular basis. Closer to home Nile Creek delivered good beach fishing but some anglers found it difficult to find the pink salmon on occasions.

Campbell River is black with fish. So much so that retention in the upper river is allowed for the first time. The coho and chinooks are now starting to enter the river so if you get into these make sure you are using equipment that is up to the task. Typically an 8 or 9wt rod is the minimum weight and power necessary to land these powerful fish. Use a reel with a good disc drag and tippet material of approximately 15 lb.

In the lakes the water temperature has meant that early morning or late evening are the best times. Good trout have been taken on dry flies from Cameron Lake. This fishery has big brown trout that run into double figures and a few of these monsters are caught every year !

September will see fly fishermen and spin casters eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the coho off the beaches from French Creek north to Campbell River. Also called the silver salmon it is considered to be the THE fish to target on the fly. Several jumps and long runs typify this species. Make sure you have enough backing on your reel !

Whether you fish gear or fly fish or saltwater we have all the right equipment and advice to help you whether you are a novice of an experienced angler

Keith Hyett, Coast Sportfish,  202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville,  telephone 250-586-6622,



Salt Water - We had good fishing for chinook salmon in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet, with a few big fish caught. The spring fishery will taper off by late September and then it will be all coho salmon, so troll a little faster with spoons.

The chum salmon will join the coho in the Inlet and in the river.

In the river the spring salmon will be running into October, and the coho will be good through the end of October, unless we get a ton of water and those fish move right on up.

Lingcod and bottom fish remain open on this side until later in the fall. The halibut quota has gone up to 2 fish.

Fresh Water - Trout fishing will get better as we get cooler weather. The higher elevation lakes are already starting to improve. Cooler nights will really help. The big lakes, Sproat and Great Central, will start to pick with the fall weather, and a bit or rain will liven up the river for trout fishing. Fly fishers can do well with wet flies like leeches and Wooly Buggers. After some rain you can do well fishing the mouth of any spawning salmon creek. The trout will be waiting to eat salmon eggs as they drift down in the high water, so try some egg imitations.

Gone Fishin’,  5069 Johnston, Port Alberni,  ph: 250-723-1172



The first place winner of the derby was Ray Ursel with the largest salmon, a 37.7 lb. chinook, for a prize of $15,000 ($5,000 day’s largest salmon plus $10,000 largest overall salmon).

Saturday winners

1st place, $5,000, Ray Ursel, 37.7 lb. caught at Bamfield.

2nd place, $2,000 was Dennis Granneman, 27.0 lb.

3rd place, $1,000 was Cory Jones with a 26.9 lb. salmon.

Sunday winners

1st place, $5,000 was Leon Joseph Kossaber with a 25.9 lb. salmon.

2nd place, $2,000 was Henry Clement with a 25.9 pounder.

3rd place, $1,000 was Wayne Salikin with a 24.6 lb. spring.

Monday winners

1st place for $5,000 was Bill Goorts with a 34.0 salmon.

2nd place, $2,000 was Dale Dame of Calgary with a 24.3 lb. salmon.

3rd place, $1,000 was Sue Hale of Port Alberni with a 22.9 lb. salmon.

The Gary Rooke Memorial Award and $250 for the largest hatchery chinook salmon went to Sally Watson.

A new one thousand dollar draw prize and four $500 draws as well as dozens of hidden weight and draw prizes of $250 and $150 were given out to participants.



Fishing was treacherous for a while, but it has picked up now. There’s tons of chinook salmon in Ucluelet Harbour. They’re hitting on glow hootchies at 40-60 feet. Lots of springs around Cree and Meares at 80 feet. The Big Bank is starting to pick up again. In August we’re going to be catching plenty of big chinooks. There’s plenty of coho, and we’re now allowed one wild coho and one hatchery coho outside the "coho line". There’s also lots of nice halibut on the banks.

Dan Bishop, Bish’N’Son Fishing Adventures, Bamfield

250-722-2256, cell (250) 714-5989



The Hlinas just finished their three day fishing marathon with Big Bear. The sea was nice and calm, they got full limits of salmon. and even spotted some humpback whales. The winning lures on this trip were anchovies and Turds.

The fishing's been killer! Give us a call and get in on it. We still have a limited number of dates available for August so book a trip of a lifetime with Big Bear Salmon Charters.

 Tight Lines, The Crew @ Big Bear  1-855-9- Salmon



by Danielle Francis

Central Westcoast Forest Society (CWFS), based in Ucluelet, is dedicated to restoring and conducting research in local forest and stream ecosystems. Lost Shoe Creek is within the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and enters the ocean at Florencia Bay in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

This creek historically supports anadromous and resident populations of coho, chum, pink, Dolly Varden, cutthroat and steelhead. In the late 1960s, 90 per cent of the creek’s riparian corridor was logged. Spawning gravel was removed for road construction and large volumes of wood waste were left in the creek degrading spawning and rearing habitat. Since 1997, CWFS has been restoring Lost Shoe Creek: stabilizing landslides, adding spawning gravel, making an off-channel and removing large wood debris.

In 2007 CWFS began to monitor salmonid populations using a smolt trap to measure the number of juvenile salmon heading out to sea. CWFS happily reported that this year nearly triple the number of coho were counted in Lost Shoe Creek since beginning this monitoring project, with 1,915 coho smolts heading out to sea!



Things are starting to heat up with good numbers of chinook (king) salmon showing up ranging from 18-25 lb. caught off-shore at 60-100 ft. on the rigger. Squid-like hootchies seem to be the weapon of choice now as we are seeing many of our chinook bellies plugged with squid.

In-shore of Clayoquot Sound is also fishing well. We are now seeing more chinook and the coho are coming in at the 7-9 lb. range. Bucktails and Coho Killer spoons are great choices to tow.

Anglers are catching halibut on the bottom close to the beach and around 3 to 7 miles out. For the best results fish around gravel beds with power bait grubs and herring and squid.

For more info on the hot spots fuel, bait and your weapons of choice visit Method Marine Supply. They are always happy to point you in the right direction and are keen to get you on the fish.

Shawn Counts, General Manager - Method Marine Supply Ltd., 219, 380 Main St., Tofino 250-725-3251, 250-266-2384



Salt Water - Off shore salmon and bottom fishing remains strong and steady, with the average coho now in the 10 to 12 lb. range, making it a bucktailer’s dream come true. Stinging (jigging) for salmon off of the kelp beds on the reef has also been very productive for both springs and coho. Try fishing after the high slack through the ebb tide for all species of bottom fish, especially for halibut which has been extremely good and will continue to be throughout September.

Inside fishing is sporadic from Strange Island to Cougar Creek, however it is phenomenal inside Moutcha Bay right in front of our resort with most boats reporting double digit hook-ups. First light in the mornings, late afternoon and through the evenings will be your most opportunistic chances for these staging Conuma River spawners.

Six inch 602 and 150 plugs are now out-producing all other terminal tackle, both on the outside as well as right here in Moutcha Bay! The Conuma fish will continue to school up here for the next couple of weeks before entering the river, so come on out and enjoy some of the hot action before they are gone!

For those of you on the adventure side, we have been fishing tuna as close as 20 to 30 miles off the Nootka Light House at Friendly Cove, and up north off Catella Island outside Esperanza. This fishery requires some solid info and specialized gear before heading out on your own, but it is seriously one of the most exciting fisheries our waters have to offer and is gaining in interest and popularity every season. We will be offering tuna seminars in 2015, check our web site or call us for more info if you are interested in learning more

Fresh Water - Some early opportunities for chinook and coho in the lower Conuma staging pools, but we really need some rain before they move up higher into the system.

Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing

Gibran White, Marine Operations, Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures, 1-877-337-5464

Gibran White, Marine Operations , Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures 1-877-377-5464



Fall fishing for late coho or springs, can still be productive in September at the Kitty Coleman Hump and Denman Island areas. Fish deep using 4-5" Tomic plugs or Army Truck hootchies and a UV flasher. Or try jigging Point Wilson Darts in the mentioned areas. Get as close to bottom as you can, then reel up a few feet. You will be surprised at what you might come up with.

Watch for retention openings on the Puntledge River. It’s not uncommon for DFO to open that system for chum retention in the fall, but you will have to keep an eye on the regs. If you decide to fish the Puntledge, whether it’s catch and release or for retention, you should try using pink or purple wool with a float, size 2-4 Colorado spoons, trout beads or egg patterns.

Beach fishing, for springs and coho, from the Oyster River to Qualicum River can be very good in the fall. Don’t forget, you can retain one wild and one hatchery coho this year out of the ocean. Kitty Coleman, King Coho, Salmon Point and the Oyster River areas are specifically good for fall beach fishing. Use blue, green or purple flashy patterns or try casing with Kitimats, Coho or Colorado spoons.

Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942



Salt Water - Campbell River has had an amazing summer for all species of salmon. Don’t forget that this year you are allowed to retain one hatchery coho and one wild coho. See below regulations for your area.

With the huge numbers that have returned to the area and the lack of rain, we might see some late chinook and coho hanging around in the deeper waters and also lingering around river mouths before heading up the river. The chum salmon will be moving into the Brown’s Bay and surrounding areas soon. These feisty fish can be caught using anchovies, Chum Mysters, or Michael Bait with a Spin n Glow and flasher. Don’t forget that you might have better luck trolling for chum on sunny days rather than cloudy days as the sunlight seems to have an effect on their eating patterns or simply how the bait is presented.

The Brown’s Bay Chum Derby will be Oct. 17, 18, 19. Make sure to book

Fresh Water - The Campbell and surrounding rivers have been packed with pink salmon which has allowed for some fantastic late summer fishing. As the pink run ends, the coho will start to move up our local rivers. Try using; Rolled Muddlers, blue Handlebars, or any pattern that is shiny with a hint of blue or green. Egg patterns will also work well in the fall. Try casting in the rivers or off shore with Koho, Kitimat or Krocodiles.

Thanks, Kerry, Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy., Campbell River, 250-287-2641


PORT HARDY (From August)

Spring salmon are averaging 20-30 lb., and a few over 30 are now coming in. Into early August we’ll see more chinooks in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

The new Durabait and Coho Killer spoons are taking their share of big springs. Fishing depths up here are only 40-50 feet. These salmon are feeding on needlefish.

There’s lots of coho. The biggest so far was 11 lb. Expect 18-20 pounders by the third week of August. Fish for those coho right on the surface down to 40 feet. There’s also big schools of sockeye finning and jumping. We’re waiting on an opening. There’s tons of pink salmon too. There must be 100,000 or more inside Hardy Bay and kids are having a blast catching them right from shore.

Halibut fishing has been good with lots of 20-40 lb. fish. They’re shallower now in 200-260 feet of water and jigs have been working best on bigger fish.

Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982




Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.



In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.

As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.

The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell  licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.

Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.



While still awaiting approval from the federal government, site preparations and surveying has begun for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run through B.C. to deliver tar sands oil to fleets of tankers. The heavy crude oil will be refined in China and shipped to markets.

The pipeline will run through some of BC’s most sensitive habitat including prime fish bearing rivers. Chances of an oil spill along BC’s tricky reef studded coast pose another risk.

Enbridge, the Calgary company building the pipeline is confident they will finish the project by 2018.

Enbridge’s massive advertising and lobbying campaign makes it look like a done deal. The federal Harper government is fully behind the project, despite officially awaiting the results of public input and federal enquiry. The decision is expected in 2014. The federal government has added its voice to Enbridge’s cheerleaders with a multi-million dollar advertising campaign promising wealth and a pristine environment. The ads feature fly fishing scenes.

Enbridge V.P., Vern Yu said, "We expect that there would be some appeals to that decision and that would take us into early 2015 and at that point we would be able to start construction.”

The B.C. government initially opposed to the pipeline, but now supports it in exchange for yet to be disclosed benefits. Over 70 First Nations remain against it, and environmental groups are unanimous in their objections. But with the recent flurry of crude oil train disasters there seems to be no winning option.

Enbridge has a dismal history of pipeline spills and a poor record of response and remediation. The Watershed Sentinel tallied Enbridge’s spills since the year 2000 at 132,715 barrels, more than half the Exxon Valdez spill of 257,000 barrels. Spills occurred in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Montana. One spill in Wisconsin resulted in an explosion that killed seven people. A second pipeline explosion killed two people. In yet another incident the company deliberately set fire to 6,000 barrels of spilled crude oil to get rid of the problem. Enbridge’s 2010 Michigan spill was the largest inland oil spill ever on the U.S.A. mainland.

The authors of an online petition ( say the pipeline will cost  fisheries and tourism jobs in B.C. as well as factory jobs in central Canada, while it will  employs only a few Canadians. In addition the pipeline will bring 200+ super-tankers per year into our challenging and hazardous waters.

See the petition at


Be bear aware

A biological drive to put on weight for a long winter has B.C.’s bears on the move, seeking out the calories they need before heading to their dens.

In their desperation to get enough food, bears can get aggressive, especially in areas close to human habitat. That’s when most bear-human conflicts occur. If you’re fishing Island rivers there’s a chance you may encounter bears drawn to the same shores.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can zero in on food from miles away and can be single-minded to get at that food. For a bear, food comes in many forms, including garbage and over-ripe fruit in residential areas.

Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules.

If you meet a bear in the wild try to remain calm. Never approach or chase a bear; face the bear without making eye contact, back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear, but again, don't challenge the bear with eye contact.

If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Drop your pack to distract the bear; only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs.

Climb a tree as a last resort.

If a bear is persistent or aggressive, call the Report Poachers and Polluters hotline 1- 877-952-7277, or surf to

For more information about bears and bear-human conflicts, visit:



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