Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED March 27, 2018.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Spring 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.

REPORT POACHERS AND POLLUTERS
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), www.canadiancrimestoppers.org, or by texting TIP190 and your message to 274637 (crimes).

SOME IMPORTANT OPENING NOTICES AND REGULATIONS.
Fishing for halibut opened coast-wide on March 1. The maximum length for halibut is 133 cm; The daily limit is one; The possession limit is two, only one may be over 83 cm in length; The annual limit is six halibut; All halibut retained must be immediately recorded on the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing license, along with the area where each halibut was caught and its length. At press time it was rumoured the maximum length for halibut would go down to 115 cm. Note: Area 121 no fishing for or retention of halibut, rockfish or lingcod outside 12 nautical miles of Swiftsure Bank (closed to all fin fish, year round). For map coordinates see www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm?pg=view_notice&DOC_ID=205540&ID.
Until June 15, Subareas 19-1 to 19-4; and, Subareas 20-4 to 20-7 (near Victoria between Cadboro Point to Sombrio Point) you may retain two chinook salmon per day. These chinook may be either: wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm; or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length. The minimum size limit in these waters is 45 cm in length. In light of conservation concerns for Fraser chinook further changes could be considered for the 2018 fishery. Watch for updates.

SALMON FORECAST FOR 2018

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) predicts, “Overall, the outlook for salmon in 2018 has decreased slightly from last year.” But there are some bright spots.
For sockeye salmon, DFO forecasts the Somass system will have average returns of sockeye with the run expected to be near target numbers. For the Fraser River expect below average sockeye returns for many “Outlook Units.” 2018 will be a summer run dominant year.
For chinook salmon the predictions are mixed for Vancouver Island fisheries. Georgia Strait chinook numbers are expected to be improved where the stock originates from the large hatcheries. In the Cowichan, for example, strong returns in the fall of 2017 should signal improved conditions. The Cowichan Stewardship Roundtable reported, “The preliminary estimate of 26,482 fish is a new record and is literally off the charts. On top of this we also had 187,000 chums. Though not a record this does amount to about two million pounds of nutrients distributed throughout the system. This is very good news for the entire riparian ecosystem. This is also something all of the many groups working to protect and preserve the Heritage River can be proud of.”
Fraser River chinook are expected to be lower. On the west coast of Vancouver Island wild chinooks remain a concern. Some west coast areas expect near target levels and others lower numbers.
Coho, while of concern and in decline in some areas, remain a strong return to Northern BC. In Southern BC DFO’s expectations, so far, are for lower returns with possible fisheries restrictions.
Pink salmon in 2018 (as always in even numbered years) will return in minimal numbers to the Fraser River. Returns to mid and north island rivers should be average.
Chum salmon are expected to return in good numbers to the Fraser and to Vancouver Island Georgia Strait rivers with commercial and sport fishing opportunities. West Coast of Vancouver Island chum should be improved.

SOUTH ISLAND REPORT - VICTORIA, SIDNEY, SAANICH
Saltwater – Chinook fishing has been fair to good around the south Island with most of the chinooks running from 3 to 8 lb. Halibut fishing was slow recently with less favourable tides.
BECHER BAY– Anglers have been having the most success on the top of the flood tide in Whirl Bay. It’s been slower inside the bay and near the marina. Most anglers are fishing close to the bottom in 100 to 140 foot depths. We haven’t heard of any salmon over 10 lb. The majority of anglers are using spoons with Coho Killers, Gibbs Skinny Gs in green/glow and green/silver colours the favourites. The Gibbs Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, Madi, lemon-lime and green/glow Hot Spot flashers have been working well. Hootchies in white, glow/green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits.
PEDDER BAY– The largest salmon last week was an 18 lb. hatchery spring caught by Bob Gicas in Whirl Bay on anchovy. It’s been slower near the Green Can at the mouth of the bay. Most of the fish have been caught close to the bottom in 100 to 140 feet of water. The majority of the salmon have been from 3 to 6 lb. with the occasional larger chinook. Skinny Gs, AP Tackleworks and Coho Killers are the top spoon choices. Green with either silver or glow has been the colour choice in spoons. Hootchies and squirts with a green and glow, or UV white have been popular colour choices for plastic baits. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Outfitters and Lemon-Lime.
VICTORIA – Most of the fish are still small, from 3 to 7 lb., but a few larger ones have been caught. It was best for numbers of fish out at Constance Bank. In closer, there were springs from the Flagpole to Trial Island. Wayne Zaccarelli landed a 13.5 lb. spring near the harbour. In most locations the best depths to fish were 90-140 feet but we’ve heard of some larger fish being caught at mid-water depths. Spoons have been successful in getting hook ups with Irish Cream Skinny Gs, green/glow AP Tackleworks Anchovy 4” spoons and green/glow Coyote spoons popular choices. Most of the boats out fishing were not after salmon this past weekend as the emphasis was on halibut.
HALIBUT - Constance Bank produced the largest of the few taken as Brian Dow landed a 73.8 lb. (131 cm) halibut with herring for bait while on the bank.
OAK BAY– There are salmon coming in from the Gap and from the Flats but they were mostly small. The salmon are feeding on needle fish and have been close to the bottom where the feed is located. Most of the anglers have been either bottom bouncing or jigging close to the bottom. Best bets for Oak Bay lures are needlefish spoon and squirts.
SIDNEY– Some keeper springs were being caught near Moresby Island and just south of James Island. Anglers using spoons found that APT Sandlance spoons, Coho Killers and Gibbs and Needle G spoons were the most productive. Suggested colours are Kitchen Sink and Irish Cream. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish with teaser heads in glow or UV purple.
The Mill Bay Marina held their annual salmon derby this past Saturday. Mark Lister won the derby with his 13 lb. 8 oz. salmon and took home the first place prize, $1,000 cash! Four fish over 10 lb. and roughly 18 fish were weighed in. The weather was great and a good time was had by all.
Freshwater - Fishing was slow through the winter in most lakes for trout and bass and good in the rivers for steelhead.
The Elk and Beaver lake fish inventory prepared for the Capital Regional District by Hemmera Envirochem Inc. is now available for those interested in what’s in the lake. You can download the report at
http://colquitzcoalition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/171106_CRD_Fish_Inventory_Report.pdf
TROUT – 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 recently for Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Muddler Minnow patterns on full sink fly lines most of the time to get into the lower water levels. There have been some chironomid hatches though. Trollers are catching trout with worms fished behind Gibbs Gang Trolls and on Gibbs Wedding Bands. 2” Tomic Plugs have also been working well for trout.
Bass fishing has been slow. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina-style work well and crank baits can work well at times. Soft plastics rigged Texas-Style are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and deeper structure. The most productive colours in 4” Yum Baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Drop shot fishing can also be very effective this time of year. Langford, 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

SOOKE REPORT
Fishing had been pretty good for spring salmon especially around Possession Point, Secretary Island and the Sooke Bluffs.
The majority of the fish have been caught around 120 to 130 feet, right on the bottom.
Spoons have that been working great are Gibbs Skinny Gs, the Trap Shack and other colours in glow, Coho Killers in Speckleback chartreuse glow, Cop Car glow and purple glow. Hootchies to troll include glow white, Electric Chair, Purple Haze and Cloverleaf. For flashers glow red, glow purple and Super Betsy silver and gold have been working good.
On the halibut side of things Jordan River, Point no Point and Muir Creek have been producing nice catches of halibut. Extra large herring, salmon bellies, mackerel and octopus have been working good for bait. If you are having problems with dogfish try salmon heads, Power bait, Berkley Gulps - they all work pretty good.
Reminder keep updated on DFO regulations. There is size limit change starting April 1 and and there might be some area closures later on in the year.
Also the Sooke Saltwater Series annual Halibut Derby is being held on May 5 and 6. Tickets sales are at Eagle Eye Wilderness and the Crabshack. $3,500 for first place, $60 per rod. For more information phone 250 642 7983.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines. Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
www.salmonexcitement.com
email: fishing@salmonexcitement.com
250-642-3410

LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT
Saltwater - Nanaimo to Sooke has been excellent for winter chinook fishing. Try trolling just off the bottom with glow flasher, glow anchovie head and and anchovie. Bold Bluff out of Cowichan Bay has also been excellent with fish ranging from 8 to 12 lb.
Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing is going strong. Troll creek mouths and paralleling the shoreline staying within 30 feet. Keep your line back from the boat by at least 150 ft. Lures of choice are the New Best Lures carved wooden plugs are catching way more than their share of trout in the lake .
We have A good selection of Best Lure plugs and all together over 400 - 3” plugs in stock with over 80 different patterns.
Also working well are the ever popular Gang Troll and Flatfish.
Starting April 16 until November 14, bait, barbs and trebles are allowed in the lake. Fishing the creek mouths with bait (single eggs, roe, paste) and a Corky rig can produce large numbers of fish including the odd lunker.
Kissinger and Lizard lakes to the west, good rainbow trout fishing, try Corky and single egg rig off docks and beaches. Troll with small Spratleys, leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons.
Fuller Lake, Chemainus, Dougan’s, Quamichan and Somenos lakes also producing well. All of these lakes have been recently stocked.
Cowichan River trout Fishing - Mid-river resident rainbow and brown trout on single egg copies/stoneflies and Mudler Minnows.
From Skutz Falls to Greendale Trestle excellent for browns and rainbows. Single egg copies and Minnow or Rolled Mudler flies. The largest browns in the river are found in this section. Flies of choice: single egg patterns, Rolled Mudlers, Prince Nymphs, Hair’s Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies.
Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store!
Also remember that all cutthroat trout in streams and rivers must be released from October 1 to May 31 to protect brood stock All wild trout must be released all year.Gord March, Gord's Fly Box & Goodies, 170C Cowichan Lake Rd., 250-932-9309

NANAIMO FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - The herring spawn came early and finished quickly this year. The herring arrived in decent numbers and were average size; it could be good for salmon fishing if the killer whales don’t eat them all. Lots of locals have been going after them casting with herring jigs, both to stock up as bait and to eat.
Winter spring salmon fishing has been okay. In recent years the fishing has really picked up later in April with a spurt of bigger fish. Troll anchovies or Point WIlson Darts (herring), skinny G spoons in gold, green or Bon Chovy.
Troll at 150-200 ft. at the Fingers or a few miles out, at Thrasher Rock, Neck Point and Porlier Pass.
People have also been catching coho salmon in local waters. Coho are not open yet but it’s a good sign for the coming season.
Rockfish open April 1. Wait for announcements on lingcod. Halibut opened March 1. Rumour is the maximum halibut size goes down from 133 cm, to 115 cm April 1.
Freshwater - Area lakes will be turning on providing great fishing for trout and bass. Insects and other feed will stir back to life and liven up the fishing. Island lakes have been stocked with catchable size trout.
Fishing from shore on or near the bottom with Powerbait or worms is a sure way to catch trout any time of year. Fly fishers will do well fishing deep with sinking lines and wet flies like Pumpkinhead or bead head Wooly Buggers, leech and chironomid patterns. Trollers especially on the bigger lakes, like the Nanaimo lakes, Cowichan, Horne can do well with Flatfish tipped with worm (where allowed), or 3 or 4” Tomic or Best Lure plugs.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

FRENCH CREEK / PARKSVILLE / QUALICUM REPORT
The local herring spawn was early this year. The commercial harvest happened quickly, leaving lots of herring uncaught, which should provide future bait for local salmon.
Winter chinook salmon will hold in our area providing there's some bait for their hearty appetites. Out Front of French Creek Harbour on the humps and Ballenas islands are good areas to try for early season chinook salmon.
In May and June we can have great fishing as migratory chinook begin to pass through our waters heading for their native rivers, such as the Columbia River chinook run. Sangster Island and Young Point can be productive areas for migrating salmon.
We hoping to see lots of sockeye salmon in the 2018 season on the second anniversary from 2010.
Don’t miss out on the steady bottom fishing for lingcod, and rockcod open from May 1-September 30.
Crabbing and prawning are also productive in our area.
There’s a new salmon derby, the French Creek Spring Reeling Salmon Derby May 5-6. Tickets are $25 with proceeds going to the Marion Baker Hatchery in French Creek.
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,
(250) 951-5927 westernstar@shaw.ca


MID-ISLAND RIVERS AND BEACH FISHING
Spring is here, and the clock change has given us another hour of light for fishing in the evenings.
A few avid anglers were out chasing the elusive winter steelhead and I have heard of a few fish being caught despite the snow and generally cold conditions. The Englishman and Little Qualicum rivers have a good flows and conditions should improve through April as it gets warmer and fish become more active. Make sure you are familiar with the regulations on these rivers as the upper parts of both are closed to fishing until June 1. Please also be aware that it is mandatory to release all wild trout and steelhead caught on any river or stream on Vancouver Island. A wild fish is determined by the presence of the adipose fin, a small fatty fin located between the dorsal fin and the tail. There is very little trout enhancement on Island rivers, the notable exceptions being on the Oyster and Quinsam rivers. So anywhere else catch and release is the norm. Make sure you handle the fish the bare minimum and always with wet hands.
I therefore encourage anglers who want to kill trout to fish lakes, which through the stocking policy, makes it completely sustainable.
Looking forward, the emergence of the salmon fry that bring sea-run cutthroats into the lower parts of rivers to intercept pink and chum fry that are heading downstream to start their lives at sea. These two species are unique in that they spend very little time in freshwater after they have hatched. The young migrate downstream shortly after they leave the gravel to start feeding in the estuary and then onward to a life in the ocean, typically two years for pinks and two to three years for chum.
Any pattern that imitates baitfish will tempt the trout, but the ubiquitous Rolled Muddler in its many forms is a pattern that never failed me in the past. At our store we keep this pattern in many colours and sizes.
In rivers this time of year it is important to get your fly down deep where the fish are. A sink tip line or the addition of a poly leader to a floating line is essential. Call into the store for advice if you want input as to how this works.
On the lakes, as the water gradually warms up, trout will become more active and fishing from shore or a boat will be productive. Lots of fish will be caught trolling with full sink lines using Wooly Buggers or leeches. High lakes could be frozen until late spring. The Freshwater Fisheries society of BC stock a large number of lakes with rainbow and cutthroat trout and the stocking program is available on their website www.gofishbc.com
Out in saltwater trolling for feeder chinook has been sporadically successful. Fish deep at 200+ depths out of French Creek. Within the next few weeks lots of boats will be put in the water for the first time since the fall. The herring have already spawned locally and a few hardy souls have had good sport with appropriate tackle for these game little fish.
The time to check your equipment for the new season is now! We are known for giving solid advice on any aspect of fly fishing on Vancouver Island, whether your quarry is trout, steelhead or salmon.
Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you, fly, gear or saltwater.
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,
www.coastsportfish.com

PORT ALBERNI AREA
Saltwater - Winter chinook fishing has been good in Barkley Sound and in the Canal around Ten Mile Point and even closer in. The 30th annual Sproat Lake Loggers Derby in early March produced lots of salmon with the top fish weighing in at 17.6 lb.
The winter spring salmon are coming from depths of 60-150 ft. on small spoons like 3” Kingfisher Silver Horde in the Bob Marley and Irish Cream finishes. Not a lot of anglers have been bait fishing on account of all the shakers. The steady fishing for feeder springs should keep up until the sockeye return in June. (An average run, near target numbers is predicted.)
Lingcod and prawning open April 1. Prawning continues until the commercial closure in May.
Freshwater - The Stamp/Somass was not bad for steelhead this winter and still has good numbers of fish coming in. The water is low and clear so small presentations like marabou jigs and small beads work best. Easy access points in the lower river include the rifle range and Stamp Falls Pool. Steelhead fishing will stay productive through April, then in May the upper river opens for some good trout fishing.
The lower elevation lakes will now be coming on for good trout fishing. The higher elevations may still be hard to get to until it warms up.
Fly fishers will do well with chironomids, leech patterns, Wooly Buggers, etc. In the bigger lakes, Sproat, Great Central and Cameron trollers should catch fish on Flatfish in 5FB, rainbow or skunk finishes tipped with worm (where allowed), or 3 or 4” Tomic or Best Lure plugs. Bottom fishing with Powerbait from shore is also a good method. After a heavy rainfall you get good results fishing near creek mouths with a Trout Bead.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
ph: 250-723-1172

CAMPBELL RIVER AREA FISHING REPOR
T
Saltwater - Spring salmon fishing remains consistent. Troll four or five inch Sandlance or Peetz spoons behind a flasher. The chillier spring months will continue to keep dogfish away, making it ideal to use anchovies and herring. The Hump / Shelter Point is still the best place to find salmon, but heading into April, Lewis Channel and Cortes bell buoy will become a good place to be.
Early spring is a great time to drop the prawn traps. Mix some of Tyee Marine's Ultimate Prawn & Crab Bait with a splash of liquid prawn oil to attract these tasty creatures. How you set up your traps can mean the difference between a bucket full of prawns and an empty stomach. The waves and current can pick up and bounce your float around, meaning your trap is doing the same thing. To correct this issue tie your line in a knot 20-30 ft. above the trap, then slide a 5 lb. weight down the line to your knot. Your float with pick up and drop the weight, leaving your trap nestled on the ocean floor. Prawns can be located between 250-450 ft. deep in many productive areas. Stop by our store before heading out to get the latest tips and to check for legal areas to prawn.
Freshwater - Mid-day lake fishing is best during the spring. Water temperatures are neither too hot or cold and numerous insect hatches are beginning. Beavertail Lake provides several different species to pursue, including wild cutthroat, Kokanee and Dolly Varden. The lake is also stocked with rainbow trout. Trolling lures like Leo's Rondell Flashers with a generous amount of worm attached in open water is great for Kokanee. Deadly Dicks are always, well, deadly. Fly anglers should use one of their favourite early season flies and be ready for the black ant hatch starting in early May.
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641

ESPERANZA INLET/NOOTKA SOUND REPORT
The first week of May is when it all starts to happen. Chinook in significant numbers come off Brooks Peninsula in huge schools headed south primarily to the Washington/Oregon Columbia River system.
One million + salmon traveling down Vancouver Island along the beach. Lots of these fish enter the mouth of Esperanza Inlet and Beano Creek area near the mouth of Nootka Sound.
The fishing/catching is fast, furious and great! Fill your fish box. These 16-28 lb. chinook/springs/kings are plentiful and foraging.
Why are the salmon here? The end of the large annual herring spawn is in play, as well as the beginning of the sealance/needlefish spawn starting in early April. This combination attracts lots of gorging chinook for your catching.
Other good news – halibut and lingcod move in close to shore to feed on these abundant schools of bait fish during May and early June.
How to catch them in May and early June – Troll 5 to 10 ft. off the bottom with bait (anchovies or small herring) with a slow roll. Then hold on – “fish on! You will be amazed at the volume and variety of fish you will put in the fish box: salmon, lingcod, halibut and many other bottom fish.
If you prefer to use artificial baits stop by our Westview Marina’s Tackle Shop and we will show you what is catching and limiting locally.
If you are looking for a fun, productive, relaxed fishing experience come to Westview Marina & Lodge, the gateway to both Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound.
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis
info@westviewmarina.com 800-992-3252
www.westviewmarina.com
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5
Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.

TOFINO / LONG BEACH
The seas were fairly calm over the winter, so even the smaller boats could make it offshore without bouncing around too much.
The fishing has been good inshore and offshore. For most fisherman, winter chinooks are the target fish. Most people like to use downriggers for trolling. Green or orange flashers seemed to be the popular colours, with a hootchie or needlefish. The needlefish pattern that worked best was blue and green with a glow strip; the glow strip makes all the difference. Some fishermen prefer using spoons, or even bait, like anchovies or herring with a teaser head. If you are using bait, the regular leader length is 24” to 72”. On the inside, fishing at around 60-80 feet usually works well, and on the outside, 100-200 feet.
On cold windy days, it is better to fish inshore in protected inlets. When the weather is good and the seas are mild is best to go offshore. There are a lot of fishing spots around, (I can’t spill the beans too much here), but it comes down to the classic spot that everyone knows. And the fishing guides have their own little secrets. Moser Point and Wilf Rock seemed to be popular this winter. If you can make it offshore, past the lighthouse and off Long Beach are pretty sweet spots.
Halibut opened March 1 and lingcod, rockfish and other species will open in April.
If you are from out of town, I would suggest hiring a local fishing guide for best results. It will increase your chances of catching more fish, as well as making the trip comfortable and safe with the benefits of local knowledge.
As always, make sure you check the regulations before you head out, and ensure you have all the necessary safety gear. Have fun out there, and tight lines to you!
Mathieu Barnes, Method Marine, 380 Main St., Tofino, 250-725-3251

UCLUELET / LONG BEACH
We plan to start fishing April 1. Last season we had good days (limits of salmon) and slow days (1-3 salmon). There were a few halibut in close to shore like normal, though getting one could mean sitting at anchor all day and not fishing salmon or lingcod. As usual, there were lots of lingcod around when salmon fishing was slow. April can have good and bad weather days and if coming then, it is always best to book a few days, especially if you are hoping to go back with your limit of salmon and lingcod.
In May there’s a much better than normal for a chance at a chinook over 20 lb., even over 30 lb. We had some really good days where the fish were jumping on the line and slower days when the fish started biting after 10 am - in fact we had quite a few days where the fish started biting later in the day. The trend has been that fishing has been pretty good in the early season.
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
Fishing Charters,
877-777-4344,
www.salmoneye.net

PORT HARDY AREA REPORT
Good weather in March allowed guys to go out after the abundant halibut in local waters. Rumour has it, March was the last month for 133 cm fish, and the maximum size will go down to 115 cm. Probably just a measure to slow down reaching our total allowable catch.
There’s good winter spring salmon around, up to 25 lb. but averaging 12-15 lb. with most boats landing 2-3 per day.
Herring showed up in decent numbers, a good sign for the coming season.
The last weekend of May we expect to see the first run of Columbia springs to pass through local waters. These are nice big chinook reaching 30-40 lb.
Trout - Alice and Victoria lakes are hot for trout, but the higher elevation lakes may still be frozen or snowed in. Troll Flatfish, or still fish with a worm and bobber.
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                

TIDAL WATERS FISHING LICENSES ONLY ON-LINE

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 www.rapp.bc.ca.

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

www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart

/bearsmintro.html.

                                                                                                                                                                       

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