Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED September 24, 2018.


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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Autumn 2018 From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Becher Bay, Lake Cowichan, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, Quennell Lake (Cedar), French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum Beach, 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, Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet, Port Hardy.

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) asks the public to report suspicious fishing activities by contacting your nearest DFO office, or by anonymously calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477),, or by texting TIP190 and your message to 274637 (crimes).

Saltwater – Coho fishing is picking up. Chinook is spotty around the south Island. Salmon seem to be moving with the recent rains. Halibut was slower.
PORT RENFREW – Both chinook and coho are moving into the bay in preparation to running up the river and anglers have been catching them in close as well as near Logan Creek. Halibut fishing is still good.
BECHER BAY– Coho fishing was steady off Beechey Head and in the shipping lanes. There have been good bites early in the morning as well as late. Hot spots for springs were Aldridge Point and the Trap Shack. Springs as large as 33 lb. The
best depths for springs were 40 to 60 feet on the downrigger. Ten-year-old Luke Campbell caught a 28.6 lb spring near the Trap Shack. Anchovies are the bait of choice. Good colours for teaser heads are Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody
Nose. Spoons were Coho Killers and Gibbs Skinny G in green/glow and green/silver especially for coho. The Gibbs Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, the Betsey, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers have been working well. Needlefish hootchies
in white, glow/green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits.
PEDDER BAY– Good salmon fishing both inside Pedder Bay and near Church Rock. Coho are out numbering chinooks. Anglers are getting most of the coho out in 400+ feet of water. The best times have been early in the morning or late afternoon
and evening. For springs, the best trolling depths have been 20-40 ft. and 70-85 ft. Anglers jigging in the bay are still catching springs. Gibbs 4 to 8 oz. anchovy jigs have been the best here. Most anglers are using teaser head colours
Mint Pearl, Chartreuse and Bloody Nose. Squirts are still working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good choices. Spoons have been producing well and the Skinny G, Wee G, AP Tackleworks and Coho Killers are the top choices.
Green with either silver or glow has been the colour in spoons. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and lemon/lime. Good teaser head colours are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze.
HALIBUT - East Race and William Head were the most productive spots.
VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was fair off Constance Bank. Anglers tolling with Skinny G and Wee G in Irish Cream and blue/silver are catching springs. In closer, it’s been fair for anglers trolling the harbour area. There were some good
bites in the late morning for fish into the 20s. Anchovies have been the most productive bait and the Bloody Nose teaser has been working well. Successful spoons are Skinny G and Wee G in green/glow, AP Tackleworks 3” Neon Army Truck
Herring spoons and green/glow Coyote spoons.
HALIBUT - Fishing has been best at Constance Bank and the Mud Hole.
OAK BAY– Winter springs have moved onto the Flats and anglers were getting limits to 10 lb. The salmon are feeding on needle fish close to the bottom. Most anglers have been either bottom bouncing small anchovies, squirts and spoons or
jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay trolling lures are Wee G and Skinny G, Coho Killers and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons. Squirts in Jelly fish and Electric Chair are good bets. Jiggers are doing best with Deep Stingers
and Point Wilson darts.
Fishing was slow for halibut.
SIDNEY– The best areas were Hamley Point and near the James Island ferry dock. There was a large run of squid near the James Island ferry wharf and anglers were taking advantage of it, either fishing for squid and/or salmon. Anglers
using spoons found that Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and Wee G spoons and AP Sandlance spoons were productive. Suggested colours are Herring Aid and Irish Cream. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good in glow or UV Purple teaser heads.
Freshwater – Trout fishing was fair in most lakes and good for bass.
Until October 5, a fin fish closure to allow chinook to migrate upstream and to allow the hatchery to collect brood stock, will be in effect in the San Juan River from the hatchery counting fence downstream 150 meters to white boundary
signs, and that portion of the Fairy Lake tributary 5 meters downstream of the hatchery holding pens, indicated by white boundary signs.
TROUT – The mornings and evenings should produce surface action for fly anglers. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, and worms while fishing close to the bottom. Pink, chartreuse and fluorescent yellow have been
good choices for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Wooly Buggers, leeches and Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines to get to lower water levels. There have been some chironomid hatches. Trollers are catching trout with worms
fished behind Gibbs Gang Trolls and on Gibbs Wedding Bands, and 2” Tomic Plugs.
To find out about fish stockings all over the Island click on
BASS– Bass fishing is EXCELLENT on Island lakes. Soft plastics are a great choice when fishing structure close to shore. The most productive colours in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be effective this
time of year if you find fish in deeper water. During the day, spinner baits and crank baits are working well at times. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary Lake on Salt
Spring Island is also a great bass lake.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969


Spring salmon fishing has slowed down, but Possession Point, Sooke Bluffs and Secretary Island are still producing some nice ones.
Best fishing depth has been between 40 and 65 ft. Anchovies trolled in various glow teaser heads like Bloody Nose, glow white, Peanut Butter and Speckleback green. For flashers try gold Betsy, glow red, or purple glow Hot Spots.
Lots of coho showing up now. You can find these guys anywhere from Secretary Island to Otter Point in 300 to 500 ft. of water. Best fishing depths range from 30 to 75 ft. For plastic try Purple Haze, Irish Mist, and Coverleaf.
For spoons try Coho Killers in various green colours with glow and Coyote spoons in green and silver and blue and silver.
A reminder the Sooke Annual Coho Derby will be held on October 6. For more information call 250 642 7085.
Until next time happy faces and
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters



The Sooke Saltwater Series is the amalgamation of three popular, well established fishing derbies beginning the season with the Sooke Halibut Derby, followed by the Sooke Coho Derby, and wrapped up with the Sooke Boxing Day Derby.
The Sooke Saltwater Series is a season long points race, which encourages avid fishers to take part in all three derbies to win the Sooke Saltwater Series and take the title of Sooke Fishing Champion. Some big cash prizes are awarded.
Top prize in the upcoming Coho Derby is $3,500.
A portion of proceeds from each derby is donated to good causes related to plentiful salmon and the marine environment, and also to the less fortunate citizens of Sooke.
One of the organizers of the Sooke Saltwater Series, Ron Neisch said, “Last year we were able to donate $2000 each to Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society, South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, Sooke Food Bank, and Juan De Fuca
Restoration Society.“
Fishers are always encouraged to donate all or part of their catch to the food bank, and then to be entered into draws for chances at extra prizes.
Scheduled so far this year are Sooke Saltwater Series: Coho Derby October 6, 2018. Boxing Day Derby Dec 26, 2018.
For more information see or call 250-642-7983.

Cowichan Lake: Trout fishing will continue to improve as the temperature cools down.
Currently trout are holding at 40-60’ during mid day. First light and last light fish are cruising shoreline 20-30’. Gang troll with a red Wedding Band tipped with a worm is a good bet until the bait ban goes in to effect on November 15.
Tomic plugs are the most productive lure on Lake Cowichan. Recommended depth 50', best area is the narrows in front of Gordon Bay. Kwikfish or Flatfish K7 black/silver flake (Michael Jackson), slow trolled on an S pattern along the
drop-offs during dim light or dark days fished with or without a Gang Troll has been extremely successful. During brighter periods switch over to a K5 Coachdog with or without a troll, add more weight and troll just over the drop-off
paralleling the shore. This fishery will only improve as fall progresses.
No boat, no problem - There are 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) salmon paste, pink salmon eggs, roe or worms
always worth a try.
Cowichan River opening for fishing on November 15.
Nitinat River: Wow! Lots of salmon. 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 and B.H. flies. Top picks - Rolled Muddlers and 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 are your 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, summer steelhead will be on the move.
Top rivers - Cowichan, Sooke/San Juan/Harris, Nitinat and Stamp.
Always check your regs before heading out.
Stop by the store for an up to dated fishing report.
May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.

Gord March, Gord's Fly Box & Goodies, 170C Cowichan Lake Rd., 250-932-9309

There is still good fishing for chinook and coho salmon off the Nanaimo waterfront. Jigging has been excellent, and trollers have done well with squirts and Blue Meanies, and spoons in Pink Sink, Kitchen Sink and Herring Aid finishes.
Trolling depths have been up and down like a yo-yo, anywhere from 60 to 240 feet. There has been a good mix of clipped and wild coho, but lots of way undersized chinooks as well as keepers.
Shore casters have been having a decent season at Rocky Point with a couple of chinooks in the 30s landed and rumours of one into the 40s taken from the rocks.
The pink salmon are either over one month late or will not show up at all in our waters this year.
The chinooks will be done by the end of September, and we’ll be into the coho until mid-October. We should start to see some chum salmon in early October. Most people troll too fast for chum; keep it slow as you can go and still have
lure movement.
Lingcod and bottomfish will close for the season at the end of September.
Freshwater - There should be our usually opening for chum salmon on the tidal portion of the lower Nanaimo River in late October. Catch them with big marabou flies or casting big spinners and Buzz Bombs. Generally use bright coloured
flies or lures.
Trout fishing in the lakes always picks up with cooler weather. Troll Wedding Bands, Flatfish or Kwikfish. Fly fishers will be using leech patterns, caddis and Tom Thumbs.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

Last chance...We are having an excellent salmon fishery around French Creek. It was nice to see our local waters so alive with humpback whales, orca pods, huge bait balls, and lots of salmon.
The coho return was good with solid fishing through the summer, a few sockeye salmon were even caught in local waters. The migrating chinook salmon early season was nothing short of spectacular! One concern would be the return of larger
chinook salmon. Not as many over 30 lb. as in past years. Hopefully there will be a late run of big chinooks.
Salmon returning to the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will be staged in front of their river mouths. Hopefully we'll get some rain to help them up, as the snow pack is getting low. Since these chinook aren't feeding at this time, you
need to get their attention with bright colours and shorter leaders. Try a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader), with a green/silver flasher. Keep in mind these are the salmon of tomorrow, it doesn't hurt to 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 should do the trick.
Coho salmon start to make their way closer to the beach in the fall, giving beach fishers good opportunities. Bottom fishing closes September 30, so now is the time to get a few of these tasty fish. A 2-1/2 oz. jig bounced off the
bottom on a rocky, shelfy ledge in 40'-120' of water should do the trick.
For the hearty fisherman winter chinook (2-3 yr. old resident salmon) will hold in our area. They tend to be deep so keep the downriggers just off the bottom, troll a bit faster than usual (2-1/2 to 3 mph). Covering lots of water is key,
as these salmon are on the move looking for food. Brighter 4" spoons in neon glow/pink strip (48") leader with a crushed ice/glow flasher work well. Now is the time to try bait again (anchovie, herring, herring strip) as 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 visit the Big and Little Qualicum Salmon Hatcheries to watch all the returning salmon completing their journey, it really is a amazing spectacle!  
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,

High temperatures of summer have been replaced by rain, although not enough to bring river levels up for spawning salmon. The last four months left east coast rivers with no flow, and the Little Qualicum in particular was the lowest I
have ever seen in my six years in Canada.
Lakes, of course, have remained open, but the high water temperatures have made fishing difficult as the fish retreat to the depths to find cooler water.
The pinks, first of the Pacific salmon on the east coast have not arrived locally in any great numbers. Fishing at Nile Creek, in particular, has again been disappointing to date with small numbers of fish showing. Fly fishermen have
been travelling north to Campbell River to find pinks. However the fishing has been tough with the need to work hard to tempt salmon to bite. One must never forget that salmon are in the river to spawn and the longer they adapt to
freshwater the more reluctant they will be to show any interest in a lure or fly. 
Some pinks are in local rivers supplemented with small numbers of chinook salmon  If you chase these large powerful fish make sure your equipment is up to the task. An 8 or 9 weight rod is appropriate. Use a reel with a good disc drag
and tippet material of about 15 lb. I have observed fly fishermen on the Big Q chasing chinooks with 5 and 6 weight trout rods which don’t have the strength to play and land these fish quickly. Worse case this will result in either a
broken rod or a fish with a fly and leader trailing from its mouth. Respect the fish and use tackle that matches the quarry, so that if you want to release it the fish will be able to recover relatively quickly.
The Stamp is just starting to have runs of coho and chinooks and the lower river should offer opportunities to both the fly and gear fisherman.
In September and October anglers eagerly look forward to the arrival of coho salmon off local beaches. It is considered the most sporting of the Pacific salmon. Jumps and long runs typify this species. The gear guys will score using Buzz
Bombs or Zzingers especially when the fish are out of casting range for the fly. Coho spoons and Gibbs Crocs also work in the salt chuck. Fly fishers should be equipped with baitfish patterns fished fast to replicate normal behaviour.
Smaller krill and shrimp type flies are also effective in green, blue, red, and copper when conditions are calm and the water is like glass.
Whether you are chasing trout, pinks, coho, steelhead or chinooks we have all the right tackle and advice to help you be successful.
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,

Saltwater - Salmon fishing in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound is still going strong for both chinook and coho with lots of good sized fish. The chinook salmon will be going up the rivers soon and towards October there will be more
coho than chinook. As long as prolonged heavy rains hold off the fishing will remain good.
Lots of good coho are coming in. Catch them by trolling a bit faster, using bright green and chartreuse spoons. Coho Killers of other small spoons trolled at 20-30 feet should work on the coho.
Freshwater - The Stamp river has opened early. We’ve got full limits; you can keep four salmon per day: a couple of coho clipped or unclipped, and one big (over 77 cm) and one small (under 77 cm) chinook. Upstream of Beaver Creek the
bait ban remains in effect. In the lower river you can drift salmon roe for good results. Blue Fox spinners or yarn are working well where bait isn’t allowed. The coho should give us good river fishing all through October. The coho will
soon be joined by chum salmon, and will keep the river action going a bit longer.
The lakes are giving up some good catches of trout as the water cools down and the fish fatten up for winter. Fly fishers will do well using leeches, caddis flies and Tom thumbs. Troll with Leo’s Wedding Bands or Kwikfish or Flatfish.
After a good rain, try egg pattern flies near the mouth of any creek entering the lake. The trout will be waiting there as the salmon roe drifts downstream.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
ph: 250-723-1172

Overall winner with the biggest salmon caught over the three fishing days of the Port Alberni Salmon Festival was Chris Blace from Crofton. The first of the three fishing days was the best day for big fish. Winner standings are below.
Overall $10,000 Chris Blace of Crofton, 38.90 lb.
Saturday $5,000 1st place Chris Blace of Crofton, 38.90 lb.
$2,000 2nd place Chris Dittkowski of Port Alberni, 34.10 lb.
$1,000 3rd Place Kelly McDonnell of Ladysmith, 30.11 lb.
Sunday $5,000 1st place Kevin Pellet of Nanaimo, 30.14 lb.
$2,000 2nd place Lee Kielbiski of Nanaimo, 28.50 lb.
$1,000 3rd Place Danny Wilson of Nanaimo, 27.90 lb.
Monday $5,000 James Zsiros of Courtenay, 27.30 lb.
$2,000 2nd place Barrie Cozens of Ladysmith, 23.13 lb.
$1,000 3rd Place Jon Scotton of Port Alberni, 23.11 lb.
Other prizes included: Alice Kemper won the $1,000 rescue squad loonie draw, and local racer Bill Surry won the $10,000 Rotary draw. Gary Rooke Memorial Award went to Tori Johnson 26.0 lb. Sharon Swakum received the Egon Matheson
Memorial Award as volunteer of the year for Salmon Festival weekend.
Any hidden weight prize winners who were unable to pick up their prizes on Monday can do so at West Coast Aquatics or they can text Rob Cole at 250-720-6084.

Saltwater - Fishing is still rocking in the Campbell River area. Does it ever really stop? Large chinook are still around as well as lots of fresh feeder or winter springs.
Tiger Prawn, Blue Meanie and Lady Gaga hootchies are a good choice as well as Army Truck UV and many of the green/glow/UV colours. This the time of year when the needlefish size hootchie may be the best choice. Plugs are working well too
but the jiggers sometimes out-fish them all with their favourite Point Wilson Dart jig.
Chum start rolling in late September and fishing stays very good for the whole month of October, if you happen to hit the peak time, it will be fishing like you have never seen before; these fish are the scrappiest salmon pound for pound
of anything out there. Pink and blue, pink and black and other pink colours of Michael Bait hootchies on a blued/black hook work the best. Warm up your Bradley Smoker and get ready for the reward of the best smoked salmon ever! Sometimes
reluctant chum can be awakened by an anchovie rig when nothing else seems to work. Please talk to someone at the shop about how to fish for chum, it is very different than any other salmon and a whole lot of fun when you do it right.
A few northern coho may still be around too so make sure you have a few Rite Angle Salmon Lance spoons. These smack coho like nothing else will!
Lingcod fishing typically closes September 30 so be sure to get there for your last chance at this most delicious bottom fish. Berkley Powerbait large grub tails and Durabait grub tails are very productive.
Prawning and crabbing are still great so make sure you stock up for Christmas, Tyee Marine Ultimate Prawn and Crab Bait mixed with Carlyle Just Tuna cat food work the best for consistent catches.
Freshwater - Lots of good trout fishing in the 100s of lakes in this region. Lower Campbell and Beavertail produce some very large fish in the late fall and these smoke up nicely for an amazing treat that's a little different than
salmon. Powerbait and worms always work well and it never hurts to cast a brass and orange Krocodile lure this time of year.
Tight Lines and No Bananas!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641


Chomp chomp! The rocks are packed with hungry salmon. Wya Point is at the center of the action producing days with 10-20 chinooks from 10-25 lb. The early part of the day can be the fastest though the past couple days have seen a fast
bites all day. Be prepared for lots of them to unhook as many anglers are seeing a 30-50 percent catch rate for fish hooked. For those who want to fish flat water, Barkley Sound is seeing chinooks caught in volume from Cree Island all
the way back to Pill point.
The offshore fishery has seen the volume of chinooks decline while enormous amounts of coho continue to pass through the grounds. The remaining chinooks on Big Bank are being taken on the ground underneath the swaths of coho. Try
trolling the floor with big hootchies for chinooks and halibut.
Halibut are still being taken off big Bank although the catch effort has lessened with the majority of the rod time taking place inshore for chinooks. Halibut anchor sessions in the shallows are producing fish from 10 to 40 lb., however
not with the consistency of prior weeks. Try trolling the ground up around The Whale's Tale as it seems to be holding good volume of chicken halibut from 8-15 lb.
If you still want to come fishing we have a few 8 hour trips in September. We are also booking for 2019.
For more fishing reports check out
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
Fishing Charters,


It's been one hell of a fishing season down here, at the end of the road.
It started out slow for salmon fishing at the beginning of the season compared to the other side of the Island, but it picked up fairly quickly. the fish got bigger and bigger as the season carried on.
August was on fire not just because of the fog of forest fires nearby, but the fishing was on like donkey kong! Everyone seems pleased with the season; local fisherman, fishing guides and their guests, and the visitors that made their
way down here.
Coho fishing was really good over the summer. They give such a good fight and put on quite a show at the surface, jumping everywhere and peeling line. Cohos are everywhere, either you catch em' off the beach and rocks using a Buzz Bomb
or casting flies with a fly rod. Trolling with bucktail flies along the beaches will do the trick (such a great fight on the fly rod). Some big coho have been caught while trolling for chinooks. I heard specimens ranging from 16-18 lb.
have been caught by local fishermen. A popular spot to fish for coho over the summer was on the other side of Vargas on Tibbs island; Hobbs and Burgess island were also very productive all summer.
The fishing for chinooks was just too good throughout the summer. Some of the hot spots remained the same, Wilf Rock and the Glory Hole all the way to Tree island. Then the fleet moved to Lennard Island "Lighthouse", there are more
boats over there than there are people at co-op during the rush hour. Salmon are biting left and right, double headers all around ! You just can't beat that. The sizes vary: a very small number of them reach 30 lb. (The elusive TYEE.)
, a few 20+ lb. and a lot around 10-20 lb.
The techniques remain the same for chinook: trolling with a spoon or a hootchie/needle fish or anchovies behind the flasher works like a miracle. At the beginning of the season Coyote spoons and Coho Killers were also used a lot. A good
hootchie to use when the squids are around is The Turd, an all time local favorite.
Some of the local guides and fisherman are bringing cut-plugging back - really "old school", cutting the head off a herring with an angle to make it turn just perfectly and sending it down with no flashers, just like they did back in the
day. This method works really well and its pretty awesome to bring back a classic that never stopped working.
When it comes down to which spoons or which colours to use, it may vary. It more-or-less goes by trends, if someone catches a big one on a Coyote Cop Car colour, the next day I sell 20 of them down at Method Marine Supply. Watermelon
and Cop Car were on fire in the beginning and so were the green glow spoons, and generally just any little spoons. And for those using bait such as herring and anchovies, the UV teaser heads and the glow ones work like a charm, every
time. As for the flashers the orange/silver is hard to beat along with the green/silver, and my personal favourite, the purple/gold. I found that the Black Footloose flasher work really well, there is a green and purple Footloose as
well, which also works wonders.
Halibut seemed to be harder to catch over the summer, but they are out there. Some nice ones have been caught. You can catch them trolling off long beach/lighthouse or at Cleland/Sea Otter Rocks area. you can also try jigging with bait
such as herring/squid/octopus, and the best bait to use is the good old salmon belly, hard to beat that with a herring on a spreader bar. Lingcod and rock fish were on the menu over the summer. It's always nice to stock up the freezer
with those delicious fish. jigging off rock islands and reefs with big jigs will do the trick. P-Line offers a wide variety a nice jigs, grubs are used as well.
It's been an awesome fishing season and it's not over yet, I hope you all enjoyed it has much as I did. Such beautiful scenery and incredible fishing. Remember to have your boat safety equipment on board and check the fishing regulations
before you head out.
Be safe out there, tight lines
Mathieu Barnes, Method Marine, 380 Main St., Tofino, 250-725-3251

Fishing/catching this autumn will be the best late season fishery in Esperanza/Nootka in years. Chinook and coho are inside in huge schools waiting on the rains to move them up the rivers to spawn.
Rosa Harbour, Inner Black Rock, Double Island, mouth of Birthday Channel, and all around Centre Island are all staging areas where the fishing is good in Esperanza. In Nootka in the newly opened areas in Muchalat Inlet in Gold River where the Burman and Gold River stocks are holding, it really is “like catching fish in a barrel”. These fish are holding on large schools of bait fish which explains why we are seeing lots of humpback whales in the inlet.
Anchovies remain the top bait with Coho Specials, 3.5” Coyote, 4” Titan and Skinny G lured scoring big. Also hootchies/cuttlefish/squid in glow, flashing, and Purple Haze are all working well.
There are still plenty of springs around in the 20-25 lb. range. But the coho are quick to jump the bait.
Outside waters remain your best bet for fish boxes full of halibut and lingcod.
Good things come to good people - Frank Collin - Local Volunteer Hero and President of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society boated a 20 lb. coho last week while fishing with Bishop Gary Gordon. That is the largest coho weighed in at Westview Marina & Lodge to date. We will soon see lots of 20+ lb. coho on the cleaning tables. FUN, FUN, FUN!
All in all it has been the best season in Area 25 (Esperanza Inlet/Nootka Sound) in recent years.
It started early in May with large schools of chinook right inside Nootka at Camel Rock and across to the other side of Tlupana Inlet.
In June it lit up Maquinna Pt, Beano Ck., Bajo Reef and the world famous Ferrer Point. Esperanza Inlet and the Highway from Esperanza Reef (4 mile reef) and out to the Whale’s Tail were in the hot spots.
July was the month for larger chinook. The springs on the top chinook board for July were all over 20 lb. For 21 days in July the top fish weighed 25-29.5 lb. For five days the top fish were Tyee 30+ lb. (13.6 kg.) - 16 Tyee in total in July. The top Tyee 38.5 lb. (17.5kg) was caught by Gordy Brusatore on July 27, at the Whale’s Tail on the Highway off Esperanza.
August was the month to be here for the best fishing weather and the most fish caught in Esperanza. The Annual Salmon Enhancement Fishing Derby was a roaring success raising $54,782. All of which will go to six volunteer hatchery programs and the Conuma federal hatchery. This annual derby will support the release of an additional two million salmon fry. This regional derby is now in its 15th year. It has put over $450,000 back into the fishery. It is just one of many reasons the fishing/catching is so good in Nootka Sound & Esperanza Inlet.
We are looking forward to great 2019 chinook and coho returns.
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis 800-992-3252
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5
Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.

 We had a good season, decent numbers of chinook salmon, and lots of tourists fishing our two springs per day limit, and filling their limits. We had a batch of bigger fish in August, all of them over 25 lb. One day I got a 32 and a 42
pounder as we were filming a Big Coast TV show.
There was a good batch of sockeye salmon right inside the bay.
Halibut fishing got better late in the summer and fall. Some big ones moved in from the north, lots of over-size fish. There’s still a good halibut fishery, weather permitting.
Until our next great season we’ve got river fishing for coho, then steelhead, and trout in the lakes.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982

Jessica Rodgers with a November Vancouver Island steelhead. Photo courtesy Tyee Marine

Jasmine from Campbell River caught her very first fish (at Point Holmes) on her pink Barbie rod with a blue BuzzBomb. She was persistent in wearing her pink princess dress to match her rod.










This Atlantic salmon was caught in the Salmon River on Vancouver Island. The faceless angler is a federal fisheries employee who fears for his job security if he is perceived to be making an anti-aquaculture statement in his off duty fishing.










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.

To buy your tidal waters fishing license on-line click here.


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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