Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED May 25, 2016.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For SPRING 2016From: 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.



During B.C.'s Family Fishing Weekend (June 17-19) residents of Canada can go fishing in most of B.C.’s thousands of lakes and streams, compliments of the provincial government. You do not need to buy or carry a Freshwater Fishing License for the weekend.

Get your free copy of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis from tackle shops and Government Agents throughout the province.


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 - Salmon and halibut fishing has been good in most areas but at times the wind made for difficult conditions.

BECHER BAY – At Beechey Head and Aldridge Point most chinooks were running from 7 to 12 lb. but there were some larger hatchery springs up to 15 lb. There were some good size unclipped springs caught and released too. Most anglers are switching over to bait. Anchovies in glow teaser heads have been effective. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Cop Car, Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were also effective. For flashers, the Madi, Lemon Lime and Purple Onion have been good. Only a few halibut were caught.

PEDDER BAY – There were lots of 7-9 lb. springs and a smattering of hatchery springs in the mid teens. Both whirl Bay and Pedder Bay held fish. Many anglers are fishing close to bottom, bouncing the downrigger balls, in 120-150 feet of water, while others are getting fish at 60-80 feet along the kelp beds and rocky shore lines. The tide change from ebb to flood has been the best. Most salmon have been feeding on small squid, so white hootchies and small spoons, such as the G-Force, Coyote and Gypsy, in glow colours were effective. Popular flashers include Glow green, Lemon-Lime and Madi.

HALIBUT – A 130 cm 64 lb. halibut was the largest lately. Best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom reef and Constance Bank. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work well. Use Mudraker, Lucky or other large jigs if you want to stay away from dogfish.

VICTORIA – The best fishing was out at Constance Bank when it wasn’t unfishable due to wind. Not many fish come from close in. There were some large unclipped chinook that have to be released. Anchovies were a good bait and Bloody Nose and Purple Haze have been the most popular colours for teaser heads. Spoons and squirts were successful. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and White Glow. Coho Killers, AP Needlefish, G-Force and Coyote spoons in Green Splatterback, Moon Glow and Cop Car colours have been good. Lemon Lime and Madi have been effective flashers lately.

HALIBUT – The best areas have been Constance Bank, Border Bank and the Mud Hole.

OAK BAY – The Flats have been holding some springs up to 20 lb. but most are less than 10 lb. Salmon have been feeding heavily on needlefish on the Flats. It’s been best in 90-130 depths and jigging is working just as well as trolling. The main bite has been at the end of the ebb and the start of the flood. Good trolling lures have been Green Splatterback Coho Killers, Skinny-G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons. Drift anglers have been getting fish on Needlefish Darts.

SIDNEY - The winning fish in the Sidney Anglers’ Association Spring Derby in May was a 15.9 lb chinook caught by Larry Dalziel. Second place was Max Harris’s 15.4 lb. Third Mark Kosick’s 13.4 lb. All areas around Sidney produced springs into the teens, but there was not one real hot spot. Many trollers were fishing with tiny strip or anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV green teaser heads. Others were catching fish on Coho Killer, Gibbs Needle-G and AP Tackle needlefish spoons. Jiggers have also been catching a lot of springs using Needlefish Darts and Deep Stingers. The Powder Wharf and Shag Rocks areas has been good for jigging salmon.

Freshwater - Warmer weather has really made the fish more active and the insect hatches have increased. Bass fishing is closed to retention until June 15.

Trout fishing is good on most south Island lakes. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms close to the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good Powerbait choices. Fly anglers are using Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, leeches and micro leech patterns on full sink lines. Trollers are catching trout with Gibbs Gang Trolls and Wedding Bands. Apex Trout Killers, Flatfish and Kwikfish in sizes 5-7.

Ron Flower caught a 3 lb. 9 oz. rainbow trout at Quamichan Lake on a black Wedding Band spinner.

This time of year some bass are moving into the shallows and many are on spawning beds. Look for the fish suspended by drop offs close to shore along docks, branches, and overhanging structure. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style and crank baits work well. Crank baits have been effective when fished with a fast retrieve. Plastics rigged Carolina style is also good fishing drop offs and docks, most productive in 4" Yum bait colours Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Langford, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the bass hot spots. St. Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great bass lake.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,

Victoria, ph: 475-4969



The 20th Annual Just for Halibut Derby, April 30-May 1 was another great success. Fabulous weather and light wind conditions contributed to making this derby one of the best ever. There were 480 tickets sold and 168 halibut entered in the derby.

First place and winner of a $7,500 cash prize was Jeff Brohman who caught a 73.9 lb halibut off the Sooke bluffs. Second place, $2,500 cash, went to Marty Antcil who caught a 71.3 lb halibut near William Head. Third place, $1,000, was Kevin Hicks who caught a 38.9 lb halibut south of Trial Island. Kinglsey Grant was the winner of the oversize release halibut and winner of a Port Renfrew charter fishing trip. He released two big halibut, one at 184 cm in length and an estimated 200 lb. Gary Fiege also released a 180+ cm long halibut.



Spring salmon fishing has been pretty good around Otter Point and Muir Creek. Best fishing depths have been between 75 to 140 ft.

Anchovies trolled in various glow teaser heads like the Bloody Nose, Peanut Butter, frog, Double Green and Cop Car have been working good. For flashers try Silver Betsy, gold Super Betsy with glow strip, purple glow and green glow. Coho Killers are working good also in Cop Car, speckled green glow, and purple and silver.

On the halibut side, the Jordan River area has been good along with Point-no-Point. Try anywhere around 200 to 60 ft. of water. For bait try herring, octopus or salmon bellies.

One little reminder keep a eye out for the new fisheries regulations for salmon for June and July.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines.

Al Kennedy,

Reel Excitement Salmon Charters





Saltwater - Port Renfrew - halibut fishing going strong. For those venturing out to the Banks: Berkley 8" Power Grub or jumbo herring. Octopus, squid and saury working best. Try bouncing the bottom to kick up silt, this draws them in. Glow jigs tipped with strips of octopus have been hot this season.

Salmon fishing: lots of small feeder chinook (5 to 15 lb.) being caught. Try glow flashers with Bloody Nose teaser heads and tiny achovy.

The bulk of the bait fish seems to be needle fish which Gibbs Skinny G'S and Needle Fish spoons copy perfectly.

Freshwater - . Cowichan Lake - Fishing is coming on strong! Trolling with 3" Tomics in the new iridescent colours (dark days dark plugs, bright days bright plugs) are very effective. Rig your rod with a good chain swivel and a leader the length of your rod. Try the plug at the side of your boat before you let your line out. You want to be trolling fast enough that your plug kicks from side to side. Once you have your trolling speed perfect then let your line out 100 to 150 ft. Experiment with different amounts of weight. Also popular right now are the green rainbow Gang Trolls with black (because of ant hatches) Wedding Bands tipped with worm. No boat no problem. Fishing at the creek mouths with eggs, paste, worms or roe on the bottom with a Corky rig by far the fastest action. Producing mainly rainbows with the odd lunker cutthroat. .

Cowichan River - With the warmer weather this spring trout fishing has been fantastic. Every afternoon there has been great hatches of March brown, Mays, tent caddis and quite often flying ants. Stripping minnows or buggers producing large browns, rainbows and the occasional cuttthroat. When things slow down fishing with bead head Prince Nymphs will always produce rainbows in the riffles.

Local Lakes - Kissinger and Lizard to the west, Quamichan and Somenos to the east, Fuller and Chemainus to the north, Dougan and Shawnigan to the south. (So many good lakes, where to go?) All producing well. Early or late day best for bait fishing from the shore. Hot bait this year - Powerbait Mice Tails.

Fly fishing - Nymphs (Prince Nymph) damsels or dragons. Small Doc Spratleys. Dries: Tom Thumbs, caddis or Mays. June is damsel month, fish these nymphs casting out with a floating line. Slow strip towards shore. This can produce teeth jarring strikes. A wet line with a slow troll and a small Doc Spratley will always produce fish.

Trollers - Try smaller gang trolls with Flatfish size F4 - or Wedding Band topped with bait, or a small black fly.

Bass fishing - Hot! June being the best month of the year. The larger males will be guarding their nest at this time. They will attack any intruding lure. Large Wooly Buggers or dragons, crank baits, tube baits, spinner baits all work well. Please release these fish quickly and as close to where you hooked them. Once they are removed from their nest their eggs or fry are very vulnerable.

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

Gord March, Gord’s Fly Box,

170C Cowichan Lake Rd, Lake, Cowichan, BC




Saltwater - Salmon fishing was going really good earlier in May with quite a few feeder chinook caught. There were a few into the 20s. Anchovies were catching lots of fish along with the usual blue and green hootchies, Army Truck, Green Gator, etc., trolled deep (170-200 ft.) behind green glow flashers.

In June there should be more and bigger chinooks, with good results on the same kind of gear and depths. The Fingers, Entrance Island and Thrasher Rock should continue to be hot spots.

Check for red tide closure if you’re going to do some clam digging.

Freshwater - Lake fishing has been heating up as the water warms. Divers and Fourth lakes have really stood out for good trout fishing, but all the local lakes have been stocked and are full of hungry trout.

Bass fishers have been having good success at Quennell Lake and up at Spider Lake for catch-and-release fishing. Bass fishing is closed to retention until June 15. The 17th annual bass derby will be held at Quennell Lake on June 19 at Zuiderzee Campsites. There’s lots of draw prizes and big cash prizes for the top three fish.

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



Smallmouth bass fishing is a great way to spend Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19 at the 17th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament, hosted by Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake near Nanaimo. The derby is catch-and-release, with big prize money.

There are thousands of dollars in cash, plus a chance to win a brand new Toyota Tacoma from Nanaimo Toyota if you can catch the tagged fish.

Last year’s first place winner for $3,000 was Tyler Zadworney with a 4.0 lb. bass. In second place was Tony Chapman for $1,800 with a 3.8 lb. bass. Dennis Pridge was in third place with a 3.7 lb. bass for $1,200.

There are lots of local companies contributing a variety of draw prizes of products and services.

The gates at Zuiderzee Campsites open at 7 a.m., the tournament begins at 8 a.m., final weigh-in is at 3 p.m. Public access and boat launch is at Zuiderzee, 2575 Enfer Rd., off Yellowpoint Rd. For tickets call 250-722-2334.

Quennell Lake, 20 minutes south of Nanaimo, has one of BC’s best smallmouth bass fisheries, plus good numbers of trout, and pumpkinseed sunfish. Derby host, Zuiderzee Campsites is a full service campground with lakeshore RV and tenting sites, a sandy beach, boat launch and picnic and day use areas.



Bring on the coho! For a lot of recreational fisherman June is when saltchuck adventures start. Now is the time to look over the fishing gear before your first trip out. Replace old monofilament mainlines, tie some new leaders on your "lucky" lures, sharpen hooks, and shine up your flashers. You should be set now, spend your time on the water fishing and not fixing!

Coho salmon usually start to show up in Area 14 in early June. Last year we didn't see a lot of returning coho salmon, hopefully this year will be better. When targeting coho salmon It's really quite simple, use your go-to chinook salmon gear and bring one side up to 70'-90' on the downrigger. I have caught coho trolling as deep as 200' on the downrigger, but generally they're more abundant in 120' range and shallower in our local waters. Try using a black/white spoon (60" leader) with a green/silver flasher, or Army Truck' hootchie (42" leader) with a red/silver flasher. One of the better areas for coho salmon can be right Out Front of the French Creek Harbour, making it really accessible, and small boat friendly.

You can usually tell when you have a coho on your line, as they tend to make your rod tip pump up and down vigorously. As they get closer to the boat you will notice their gaping mouths when they surface. This is a good time to watch for the white gums to make sure it's a coho. The next thing you want to try and do is bring the fish carefully alongside the boat for a closer look. If the tail is squared off, silver in colour with scattered spots it's a coho salmon. Now try to see if the adipose fin (between dorsal and caudal fins) is missing. Area 14 coho size limit is 12", two hatchery (adipose fin missing) per angler/day. Coho are open June 1-December 31. No word yet on wild coho retention for 2016 in Area 14.

It's always a good idea to check with Department Of Fisheries and Oceans on retention limits for the area you'll be fishing prior to heading out. Practice safe releasing methods. Keep them in the water and use a gaff or pliers to get the hook(s) out. You'll give the fish a better chance at survival. Try to avoid netting the fish and having it flop around in the boat losing scales, only to discover it needs to be released. With a little practice you can release salmon with relatively little harm done to them.

Coho salmon fishing can be a great way for young anglers and families to be introduced to our great sport. Lots of hook-ups and action will keep everyone's interest level high. I hope to see them back again this year!

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,

(250) 951-5927

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



The sun is shining and the temperature is forecast for 20 degrees. Now is the time to get the boat out of storage and prepare for the season ahead whether you are chasing trout in rivers and lakes or salmon in the salt chuck !

Fry patterns in rivers work well this time of year representing young pink and chum that are dropping downstream to begin their short lives at sea, where they will feed voraciously, for two years in the case of pinks, and 2-3 years for chum, before returning to the rivers of their birth. Survival rates are low with only 2-3 per cent making it back to spawn after an incredible journey defying the odds of being eaten by a host of predators.

Essential fly patterns for river or estuary are bead head Rolled Muddlers, brown or epoxy minnows and Micky Finns. Fish them on a sink tip line or attach a sinking polyleader to a floating line to get down to where the cutthroats will be lying on the bottom. You should also carry some Prince and Pheasant Tail Nymph’s and Stoneflies.

The Little Qualicum River has produced some cutthroats in fine condition and occasional steelhead. Now the river is only open from the hatchery down to the sea but the upper river opens June 1 offering opportunities to explore new pools. The ability to roll cast competently is a definite advantage on this river because there are so many places where a conventional backcast is not possible because of overhanging bushes and trees.

Early summer trout fishing on Island rivers and streams is a wonderful experience with many opportunities to find wild fish in fantastic scenery if you have the appetite to explore! Be aware that it is mandatory to release all wild trout caught in Vancouver Island rivers or streams.

Lakes - Fishing has been good as the lakes warm and trout become more active. Spider Lake has been stocked and chironomids have been successful. There are many wilderness lakes to explore with stocked and wild fish. For those new to the Island we have an excellent Island Lake and River guide map book at our store which is an essential tool to help you find where to go and how to get there.

Saltwater - Fishing for boat anglers continues good with consistent 8-15 lb. chinook salmon with some fish 20+ lb. Salmon are generally being caught deep but I have heard of good fish caught jigging in 60 ft. of water. Lingcod retention opened May 1.

Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right tackle and advice to help.

Tight Lines Keith Hyett,

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



We’re waiting for the sockeye salmon run (forecast up to one million fish). Usually they show up in mid June but everything is early this year. Troll slow at 30-70 ft. (deeper as the water warms), use short leaders and pink hootchies. Look for bait and you’ll find the sockeye.

There’s good chinook salmon fishing in Barkley Sound with a mix of feeder springs inside, and early returning salmon near the outside. We’re expecting a good return of chinook salmon to the Stamp/Somass system with lots of 20+ lb. fish.

Halibut, lingcod and bottom fishing has been good, with halibut caught as close in as Vernon Bay. They’ll move out further into Barkley Sound now.

Be aware of red tide advisories if you’re harvesting clams or other bivalve shellfish. With warm water the risk is higher especially in low flow waters.

Trout fishing in the lakes is great, but access to the back country is restricted with closed gates due to the early fire hazard and vandalism.

Good luck. Gone Fishin’

4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,

ph: 250-723-1172



Saltwater - Bates Beach and Grants Reef are fishing great right now and will continue on through the summer.

Use Blue Meanie, Pistachio, Tiger Prawn or UV green hootchies with a UV flasher at 160-180 feet. The Kitty Coleman Hump is also very productive. G-Force Spoons, King Kandy Candlefish, and 700 Tomic Plugs are working great. The Hump can be a good place to try for halibut. Spreader bars with bait, Powerbait and Mudrakers all work well as do herring and Bottom Ticklers. Make sure to use plenty of scent on all of your bottom fish lures.

Later in June, we will start to see some pink salmon showing up. Shorelines and river mouths are hot spots for pinks. Make sure to use pink Buzz Bombs, Kit-a-Mat spoons, Zzingers, or pink fly patterns. Point Wilson Darts are the perfect all round jigging lure that all fish love to hate!

The outside of Denman and Hornby islands have many hidden prawning holes. You might need to do some snooping around. Find a deep hole at about 300" and give it a try, you might find the lucky spot. Make sure to use lots of pellets with fish oil or Carlyle Cat Food. Quadra Island Prawn Traps are the best producers and are locally made.

Lorne, Wolf, Maple and Comox lakes are all great lakes for summer trout fishing. Troll with blue, green, or red Wedding Bands and a worm (check for bait bans). Casting with Crocs, Panther Martins, or Blue Fox in the early mornings or evenings is usually the most productive. If you are fly fishing, you will want to use ant or Muddler patterns.

Tsable, Puntledge and Trent rivers all have resident trout. Use flies such as May flies, Caddis, or attractor patterns. Please make sure to take a quick look at the regs before heading to your local river.

The beaches and estuaries can be productive spots for sea-run cutties. Minnow patterns such as Mickey Finns in various colours work very well as do fry patterns.

Now’s the time to get your gear serviced. Avoid the rush!

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


Courtenay Fish and Game 24th Annual Outdoor Show

June 4-5 (Saturday and Sunday) the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association presents the 24th Annual Outdoor Recreation Show at the clubhouse on the shores of Comox Lake, 3780 Colake Rd (Comox Logging Rd.) in Courtenay. Come out for kids’ trout fishing, target shooting, archery, paint ball, cowboy action, indoor and outdoor exhibits, entertainment and prizes.

Exhibitor space is for next year's show available. Call 250-338-2544 or visit, or email:



Saltwater - The Hump has been a hot spot so far this year with an amazing show of spring salmon in the teens and twenties.

Trolling with Lady Gaga, Christmas Tree or Purple Haze hootchies and a green or UV flasher has been productive. 700, Jack Smith or Lady Gaga Tomic Plugs are also working well. Coho salmon should be starting to show up in the area very soon. Try targeting them with green Gibbs G-Force or Coyote spoons.

As summer approaches, the pink salmon will begin to show up in the Brown’s Bay area and will be mixed in with springs and coho.

We’ll keep you up-dated on facebook with current reports and openings on all species and hot spots. You can find us on facebook at

Halibut and lingcod are open. Use jigs such as Gibbs MacFish, Point Wilson Darts or Power Bait with a jig head.

The Salmon, White and Gold rivers will soon start to show sea-run cutties, summer steelhead and resident rainbow trout. For steelhead use attractor fly patterns and naturals and for cutties use fry or Muddler patterns.

Many of the local lakes have been stocked with cutthroat trout which can make a great day at the lake with the family. You can target the larger trout by trolling deep with Leo’s Wedding Bands, Wiggle Wood Lures or Flatfish and a bit of weight. Muddler, ant and leach patterns work great in all of our local lakes.

Our free Customer Appreciation Salmon Derby runs May 15 to Sept. 15. All you have to do is weigh in a salmon caught in areas 13 or 14, the same day you caught it, during regular store hours. Everyone gets a prize! We also have four days at Critter Cove, Scotty Prawn Puller, Islander Reel, Trophy and Shimano combos, and a Kumma SS barbeque as well as door prizes from Gibbs, Tomic, Airflo and a hidden weight prize from Mussels and more.

Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,

Campbell River, 250-287-2641



Fishing continues to be good out of Ucluelet. We have been getting limits of chinook salmon with halibut showing up as well. We have mostly been fishing Outside Lighthouse Bank, South Bank, Inside Lighthouse and Long Beach Bank.

Small blue and green Coyote spoons have been hot along with needlefish hootchies. Fishing has been heating up after 9 a.m.

The fishing has been very good since March and we expect it to continue to stay hot right up until mid September. The weather has been getting better and allowing us to have a greater range to fish and also get out for halibut.

Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye

Fishing Charters,




Saltwater: Fishing remains consistently good from the light house at Friendly Cove up to Maquinna Point, and across from Burdwood up to Escalante Point. When the weather permits, Bajo Reef and beyond to the 350 foot contour has also been excellent.

The majority of the chinook we are catching have been in the 16 to 23 lb. range. At least 60 per cent of these are clipped fish migrating south to rivers in Washington and Oregon. Our top bait producers have been needlefish hootchies, four inch spoons and anchovies trolled behind flashers that mimic the small needle fish which they are primarily feeding on at this time of year. We have found fish at depths from 30 feet in the mornings down to 95 feet and just off the bottom later in the afternoons. For the best results, look for suspended bait balls and run your gear 15 to 20 feet above them. Smaller coho are starting to show up in sporadic numbers and have been found in the 45 to 65 foot range and are taking the same gear as the chinook.

Bottom fishing opportunities remain good with lots of nice lingcod, yellow eye, and halibut being caught for those who put in the time. Most anglers have been bottom bouncing with larger baits and jigs, as well as sitting on the anchor just off areas with structure and waiting for the fish to come to them.

Check local regulations for changes to coho, halibut, and yelloweye before angling in area 25 and 26 this season.

Glow needlefish, and Army Truck hootchies, as well as four inch Cop Car and Live Image spoons trolled behind flashers have been the hot tackle choice for the last couple of weeks. Anchovies with a six foot leader is always a good bet as well. Try whole or cut plug herring ten feet off the bottom when slow trolling for bottom fish.

We are hosting our third annual enhancement salmon derby this June 25 and 26 based at Moutcha Bay Resort with over $20,000 in cash and prizes. All monies raised are going to the Nootka Sound Watershed Society for coho enhancement and habitat restoration. All the details are listed on our web site

Freshwater: Trout fishing has been very good for both resident rainbows and cutthroat in most of the streams, rivers and lakes surrounding Nootka Sound.

Fly fisherman and troll anglers have been having success fishing during the first four hours of daylight and again just after sunset. These trout are targeting migratory salmon fry and early larvae hatches.

Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing

Gibran White, Marine Operations Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures




The largest run of chinook (springs) since 2000. Yes that is correct. Over 2 million salmon are moving down the coast as you are reading this article. Approximately 200,000 chinook will be entering Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound headed for the many rivers and streams of the area. This is twice the number of a normal year’s run size. The scientists are saying that the rivers were in excellent shape during and after the fall spawn and egg hatching season. As well as some of the best at sea conditions existed when the fry went to the ocean. This has resulted in a much higher survival rate hence the HUGE run size. It is all GOOD!

Sharpen your hooks, get the boat ready to go, or book a charter and head for the north west coast of Vancouver Island.

Westview Marina & Lodge in Tahsis is a beautiful two hour drive from Campbell River. We get the first crack at these fish as they come off Brooks Peninsula. Most of these salmon head straight to the mouth of Esperanza Inlet to rest and feast on the plentiful schools of bait. Yes it has already started. Hatchery marked chinook from the USA are already making up the majority of the fish in daily limits of two per day. If you have ever thought you might give the west coast of Vancouver Island a go for a salmon fishing/catching adventures this is the season to DO IT!

Lots more than salmon are abundant in our area. Halibut, lingcod, other ground fish, coho salmon and albacore tuna are plentiful. If you are fishing with us bring a BIG cooler to take all of your fish home you will need it!

Have a good summer and come join the fishing/catching fun! Email if you have questions.

Fish On, John aka FOJ fb

Owner Operators Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis, 250 934 7672



Halibut fishing has been good, largely tide related. June usually produces good catches of halibut. There’s a few springs coming in, 15-22 lb. They’re two and three year old feeders. They’re hitting whole herring or anchovies in Purple Haze or Castle Point Specials at 50-60 ft. Castle Point Specials are an opaque purple and pearl, and are exclusive to The Bait Shack, developed up here with Tom Davis.

We’re waiting on that early June run of white springs that average 30-50 lb. They fatten up in local waters for about three weeks before moving south.

Trout - In Alice and Victoria lakes the warm weather has produced a lot of bug hatches and activated all the feed. Troll black and silver or blue and silver Flatfish.

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




Fishing ST. MARY LAKE - Smallmouth bass and trout fishing picks up in the cooler weather. Top-water lures like poppers and buzz-baits work well until it cools down, then try rubber worms, jigs and other sinking lures. Shore casting

spinners and spoons to the edges of weed-beds is effective. Trolling a gangtroll with worms usually catches trout. Target submerged structure and shoreline overhangs.

St. Mary Lake is restricted to the use of rowboats, paddling or electric motors only. Deepest pockets are in the northwest: 55 feet (17 metres).

The bigger trout and bass will feed more actively as the weather cools. Target them with bigger flies. Large poppers and top water imitations are great fun when you notice insect activity on the surface. Bass will hit top water casting

lures like buzz baits. Fish around cover like sunken trees, overhanging branches and docks. In winter plumb the deep pockets for the biggest bass.



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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