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|Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For August 2017 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).
Pacific salmon in the Atlantic!
Vancouver Island anglers are not too surprised when they catch Atlantic salmon. These are farmed salmon that have escaped their net pen enclosures. Now the tables have turned, and Pacific salmon are being caught in the Atlantic, in Irish salmon rivers. Pink salmon from the Pacific have become an invasive species in the Moy, the Carrib and the Cong rivers in Mayo and Galway. Some rivers in Scotland are also turning up Pacific pink salmon.
Irish and Scottish fisheries scientists are concerned about the impacts on native Atlantic salmon. Dr. Greg Forde head of Inland Fisheries Ireland ruled out the possibility of these salmon making their own way naturally from the Pacific.
If this is the result of deliberate human intervention, it was done with expert knowledge of salmon biology.
Fire hazard restrictions
All open fires (including campfires) are prohibited throughout Vancouver Island and the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as the "Fog Zone".
The Fog Zone is a two-kilometre strip of land along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy. This strip extends inland two kilometres from the high tide point. A map of the Fog Zone is available online at: http://ow.ly/bCJc30caIul
This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 21, 2017 or until the public is otherwise notified.
The ban includes campfires, open fires, burning woody debris in outdoor stoves, tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages, exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice).
Details of banned activities can be seen at www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs
Exempt are approved cooking gas, propane or briquette stoves, or to portable campfire apparatus that use briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
Anyone contravening open burning prohibitions may be issued a ticket for $1,150, pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone. For wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
HAVE YOUR SAY IN CHANGES TO THE FISHERIES ACT
The Government of Canada is inviting Canadians to join in a conversation about the protections needed to ensure our fish have a healthy environment to live, feed and reproduce, and healthy corridors to migrate between these places.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the launch of an online public consultation to seek Canadians’ views on recent changes to the Fisheries Act.
This online public consultation is part of the Government’s Review of Environmental and Regulatory Processes.
Canadians can share their views and have their voices heard by visiting :
- The Fisheries Act gives the government the powers to manage Canadian fisheries and to protect habitat that supports them. It is an essential tool to conserving the sustainability of our fisheries.
- Gaining royal assent in 1868, the Fisheries Act is one of Canada’s oldest pieces of federal legislation. It was most recently amended in 2012. This current consultation is seeking Canadian’s views on whether any lost protections from the latest amendment should be restored.
SOUTH ISLAND REPORT - VICTORIA, SIDNEY, SAANICH
Saltwater – Wind put a damper on fishing but the maximum size restriction ended and that cheered up local anglers. Salmon catching was very good in area 20, spotty in Victoria and Oak Bay and "the best in 30 years" in the Sidney area. The pink salmon run has started in the Sooke area. Halibut fishing was slower.
BECHER BAY– There were lots of spring salmon into the teens from Aldridge Point to the Trap Shack. Pinks have also been showing up. The best depths have been 40-70 feet. Anchovies are the most popular bait. Good teaser heads have been Bloody Nose and Mint Pearl. Trolling Skinny G spoons on a 36" leader has been working great. The best colours: nickel/blue, nickel/gold and Bananas. Try Homeland Security and Raspberry Jelly flashers.
Anglers casting off the rocks are also getting into nice fish. Edison Frando landed a 23 lb. 7 oz. spring July 15 casting from the rocks at Beechey Head.
PEDDER BAY– The bay was fishing well again, and it was out of the wind. Trollers are doing best around the can buoy from 45-70 feet on the downrigger and/or just off bottom. Church Rock to the Bedfords has picked up. Jiggers were doing better than trollers near the Race, where hatchery springs have been running 8-15 lb. Anchovies are the most popular bait. Good teaser heads have been Bloody Nose and Mint Pearl. Smaller, 3.5" spoons are also producing. Needlefish spoons worked best: Skinny G’s, Left Coast Hammers, AP Tackleworks needlefish and Coho Killers. Hootchies and squirts with a green and glow, or UV white have been popular. Popular flashers were Madi, Bon Chovy and Betsey.
Halibut fishing was slow plus it’s been too windy for most boats. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus or 8" Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.
VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was spotty when the wind didn’t keep you off the water. Constance Bank and further out were most productive. Albert Head to Trial Island has been slow. Pink salmon are being caught offshore. Nickel/blue Skinny G’s and blue/silver Coyotes, Coho Killers, 3.5" Cop Car spoons have been getting hook-ups,
Halibut - The halibut have been very deep, over 300 feet.
OAK BAY – There were some fish pushing 20 lb. from the Flats and the Gap. Anglers jigging caught more salmon than trollers. Good jigs have been Point Wilson Darts, GIBBS Minnows and the Delta Mac Fish. Salmon are feeding on needlefish at 65-135 feet, depending where the feed is. Most anglers have been either bottom bouncing or jigging close to the bottom.
HALIBUT– Halibut fishing was slow on the big tides and it was way too windy as well for most boats.
SIDNEY– Salmon fishing was "THE BEST IN 30 YEARS". There have been fish coming from all areas; both jiggers and trollers were getting limits of springs into the 20s, and releasing lots of 8-12 lb. fish while waiting to hook the bigger ones. Terry Finnigan caught 21 and 22 lb. springs jigging near Sidney Spit on July 16. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons the most successful. Suggested colours are Trap Shack and Bon Chovy. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers of fish with teaser heads in UV purple.
Freshwater - Trollers should fish at the thermocline, where fish are suspended during the day. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms close to the bottom. Pink, chartreuse and fluorescent yellow have been good Powerbaits. Fly anglers are using Wooly Buggers, leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink lines to get into cooler water. Trollers are catching trout with worms, Gang Trolls and Wedding Bands or 2" Tomic plugs.
BASS – There have been fish as large as 6 lb. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style and crank baits are working. Productive colours in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Top water plugs are effective, especially at dawn and dusk. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local lakes. St. Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great bass lake.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969
SOOKE FISHING REPORT
Spring fishing has been excellent the past month. All local hot spots have been producing nice fish.
There has been a pretty good bite lately between 5 am and 7 am and the late flood tide in the afternoon. Best fishing depth seems to be 50 to 80 ft. on the riggers. Anchovies are working great in various teaser heads like the Bloody Nose, Peanutbutter, Betsy and Purple Haze. Coho Killers are working good in glow patterns.
Also a lot of pink salmon around in the first second and third tidelines. Depths for these guys range from anywhere from 20 to 60 ft.
Halibut fishing is still pretty good in the Jordan River area. Bring lots of bait because there’s lots of dogfish around.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines.
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT
Saltwater - Port Renfrew - Top Baits for halibut are XL herring, mackerel, octopus. Top artificials are Berkley 8" Power Grubs. Fish these off your spreader bars as you drift. Bouncing the bottom periodically is like ringing a dinner bell. When jerk fishing add strips of octopus off your large jigs, extremely tough and add scent.
Chinook to 30 lb. showing at Port Renfrew. Best flashers and lures: Gold Betsy, Footloos or Bon Chovy UV flasher and chrome Jo-Anne mint pearl head or Halloween Candy UV.
Cowichan Bay and Sansun Narrows - Jerkers doing well on new Holographic Jigs of P-Line at 60 to 80' depth. Fish to 25 lb. Kingfisher in Herring Aide colours is the hot new spoon. Try the five new colours of Skinny-Gs.
Nitinat - By mid-month should be going strong for cut pluggers on the bar. The lake should kick into high gear around the end of the month.
Beach fishing - Salmon Point, mouth of Oyster River, Nile Creek mouth, Departure Bay, Cowichan Bay. Pinks will be staging and ready to play. We carry a large selection of beach flies. Pinks are great fun on light tackle and excellent eating if you dress fish and put on ice right away.
Freshwater - Cowichan Lake - Fishing good. Fish holding 30-60’ level. Top producers are new Best Lure hand-carved plugs. Gang Trolls with a worm tipped red Wedding Band, F7 Flatfish or K7 Kwikfish in or K5/6 Coachdog. Troll these well behind your boat (100') doing an S pattern over drop-off paralleling the shoreline.
Cowichan River - August 1 the top end will be fly fishing only. The bottom, below 66 Mile Trestle will be closed.
Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store!
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’s Fly Box & Goodies
170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742
NANAIMO FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - There’s a mixutre of coho and spring salmon out there. The springs are averaging 15-20 lb.
The Five Fingers, Entrance Island, Porlier Pass and Thrasher Rock are all good for fishing. Troll at 130-180 feet, even 220 if you’re in deep water.
For spoons troll Homeland Security, Irish Cream, Cookies and Gream, either 3.5 or 4" Goldstar Brand, or Skinny Gs in No Bananas or Kitchen Sink finishes. Hootchy colours are green speckle back double glow, Army Truck double glow, and Cop Car double glow.
Some good success for shore casters at Rocky Point using BuzzBombs, Zzingers in green with red highlights, Lil Nibs in greens and yellows or MacDeeps. Chinook 10+ lb. have been landed and a few around 30 lb. have been brought up on the rocks.
Nanaimo Pink Salmon Beach Fishing Update
On the beaches at Departure Bay and downtown at the Millstone estuary the pinks have been slow to show up, but a few are holding close to shore near the yacht club.
Halibut and Bottomfish
Some halibut being caught, but those anglers are keeping their locations to themselves. Good lingcod fishing at Thresher Rock and at Neck Point, but scout around and find a nice reef and mark it. For bottomfishing Megabite (swim-tail) Jigs are working great. These come with extra tails and rigged with bigger hooks to keep the small ones off.
Freshwater - Trout in the lakes are diving deep, but throw some Powerbait to the bottom and sit back and wait. Westwood Lake has some good holes near shore, along the bluffs. It’s easier to hook a bass now than a trout.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726
Casting for salmon from Rocky Point
PARKSVILLE / FRENCH CREEK REPORT
Big chinooks are coming... August is the month local saltwater anglers await with great anticipation.
We are seeing a good coho salmon return this year, a mix of hatchery (adipose fin missing) and wild (adipose fin attached). I've caught a few up in the 8 lb. range already! No word yet on wild coho retention for 2017 in Area 14.
The pink salmon hopefully are on their way, I have heard of a few being caught, but no large numbers as of yet.
Mature chinook salmon heading for the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will provide all sorts of excitement for trollers and jiggers alike. In early to mid August these chinook salmon will move into our area looking for lots of food to store energy for their spawning migration.
"Out Front", Ballenas and Gerald Islands are good areas to try. A trip over to Lasqueti Island can also be productive, Finnerty and Sangster islands are also good areas to try. Make sure to check the Marine forecast for the day before heading over to Lasqueti Island.
When targeting chinook salmon that are still feeding try using an Army Truck hootchie (42" leader) with a red/silver flasher, or a black/white spoon (60" leader) with a green/silver flasher. At this time of year the dogfish have moved in and using bait (anchovie, herring, herring strip) is pretty tough.
In mid to late August things start to really heat up when these mature chinook salmon start to mill around the mouth of the Big and Little Qualicum rivers. These salmon are not feeding at this time, so the gear choice changes dramatically. Try using a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader) with a green/silver flasher. My personal favourite is a Bubble Gum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie inserted into a Purple Haze hootchie with a Purple Haze flasher. Also small 3-1/2" spoons in Bubblegum Pink (36" leader) with a green/silver flasher work well too.
You're usually fishing in water depths of under 100' keeping the gear 20'-80' on the downriggers.
Jiggers do well at this time of year too. A 2-1/2 oz. Mac Deep or 2 oz. Spring Slayer jig near the bottom should do the trick.
The bite seems to really take off at dusk, so make sure all your navigation lights are working properly to ensure a safe trip home. The French Creek Salmon Derby will take place August 18-20 this year. This is a fun event for all ages, with great prizes. All the proceeds from the derby go to the Marion Baker Fish Hatchery (coho enhancement) on French Creek. Early registration available call (250) 248-3713 ext. 21. Hope to see you there!
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,
(250) 951-5927 email@example.com
MID-ISLAND RIVER AND BEACH REPORT
Most fly and gear anglers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the pink salmon which typically start to show up off the northern beaches and rivers about now. 2017 is forecast to be a good, being an odd numbered year. Initially returns will be sporadic. However the larger run will start soon and these prolific fish give fantastic sport on a light fly or gear rod. Pinks average 3-6 lb. so using lighter tackle will give more enjoyment. A 6 or 7 wt. fly rod is perfect for these fish and if you spin don’t use a really stiff rod as they are not designed for smaller species.
If you fish the fly the general mantra is pink salmon like pink flies, but other colours work well. Green, blue and purple are other favourites. In the ocean use an intermediate poly leader and in the rivers a fast sinking tip. The pinks love to hug the bottom when they come into freshwater so the closer your fly is to the fish the greater the chance of a hook-up.
I have written before about the large number of fish off the beach at Nile Creek in Bowser. This successful hatchery enhancement program ensures that fish return in vast numbers every year. Unfortunately it also, arguably, brings too many anglers as well, shoulder to shoulder they stand desperate to get into a fish.
Search out less popular spots and look for fish that are showing by jumping or head-and-tailing in relatively shallow water. And don’t be tempted to wade too deep too soon, as the fish will come in really close if you allow them to!
For those who use gear a popular method is to use a fly or spinner under a water float. Obviously Buzzbombs, Zzingers and small Deadly Dicks can be very effective especially when the fish are a long way out.
Contrary to some opinions, pink salmon make excellent eating. Grill the fillets in butter for a few minutes. They are absolutely delicious.
The larger king salmon or chinooks also appear about the middle of August in the Little and Big Qualicum rivers. If you target these fish use appropriate equipment. That means an 8 or 9 weight fly rod and tippet to suit, 15 lb. as a minimum to stand any chance of landing these incredibly powerful fish.
LAKES - With hot weather, water temperatures become so high trout action slows. Best fishing will always be early and late when fish are likely to be feeding more actively.
SALTWATER - The salt chuck has continued to be fairly productive and reasonable numbers of chinook and lots of early coho have been taken both trolling and jigging. Ballenas Island seems to be a hot spot at the moment and favourite spoons or hootchies work well at the appropriate depth. Find the bait and you will find the fish.
Whether you are fishing fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right equipment and advice to help you !
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,
ALBERNI & BARKLEY SOUND REPORT
Saltwater - Barkley Sound is fishing okay for spring salmon. So far in July we’re still catching 8-20 lb. fish, mostly feeders. There’s a few coho starting to come in.
Troll 85-120 feet with spoons in Cookies and Cream or Homeland Security finishes or anchovies in chartreuse green or Army Truck behind green or white flashers.
Pill Point and Diplock Rock have been producing nice catches. Bigger chinooks, passing fish on their way to other rivers, are being caught around the outside edges of the sound.
The big chinooks will start their return to the Robertson Creek hatchery by August. Expect fish in the 20s, 30s, 40s in time for the the big derby on the Labour Day Weekend. Catch those bigger salmon the same way on the same baits.
Sockeye fishing was opened on the saltchuck and fishing was very good, now the seiners are working and that would be the end of the sport fishery.
The river opened up for sockeye fishing at Papermill Dam and Somass Park. That fishery will be over by the time you read this.
Lingcod fishing has been pretty good. Find your own rockpile and don’t tell anyone where it is.
Halibut fishing continues off the banks and as the summer progresses there will be more halibut inside Barkley Sound. Troll the bottom with hootchies - they like to eat squid so use big lures.
The lakes have warmed up and the trout have mostly gone to deep water, so fish on the bottom.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
PORT ALBERNI SALMON FESTIVAL
The 46th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival, 2017 has total prizes of $55,000 with the winning fish catching a whopping $15,000! There are also lots of hidden weight and draw prizes. Your chances at catching a winner have gone up again this year. Tickets remain only $50. per rod.
The 46th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival will be held on the Labour Day Weekend, September 1, 2, 3, 4. There’s lots of fun for the whole family, on the water and in town.
Good numbers of returning chinook are predicted for the 2017 season. Hopefully this year lots of big salmon will be weighed in at the Salmon Festival. The Labour Day Weekend is peak season for chinook salmon running through Alberni waters. The largest ever caught was Art Berlinski’s 60 lb. 8 oz. chinook in the 1982 Festival. 2016’s overall winner, Dan Weatherby caught a 53.2 lb. fish.
On each of the three fishing days there is a $5,000 first prize for the biggest salmon, $2,000 for the second biggest and $1,000 for third place. The overall largest salmon of the derby will be worth $15,000. Additional draw prizes of all sorts will ensure that this derby has plenty of winners.
Derby doers with their eyes on the big fish and the prize money start honing their skills and local knowledge by fishing the hot spots in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. Among the locations that have produced winning fish in past years are Pill Point, Bamfield, Headquarters, and San Mateo Bay.
A Friday night fireworks display will open the Salmon Festival. There will be continuous free entertainment on the grounds and a wide range of fun activities and attractions for the whole family, including a bullhead derby for the kids, Bavarian gardens for adults, a dunk tank for the local celebrities, and a salmon barbeque.
For complete Salmon Festival information visit the official derby website: www.salmonfestival.ca
The action will be broadcast live on local radio 93.3 FM, the Peak.
Salmon Festival rules are subject to Fisheries and Oceans regulations.
This year Tyee Landing the new fuel dock facility (off Harbour Road ) is the weight station for major prizes and Festival Headquarters. Weigh-in stations for hidden weight prizes are China Creek, Bamfield at Seabeam Marina. Derby boundaries are Alberni Inlet line, Cape Beale to Amphitrite Point. Tickets are $50 per rod. Prize presentations will be at Clutesi Haven Marina at 4 pm, Monday. Tickets can be purchased at Gone Fishin’, Alberni Industrial Marine, Breakers Marine, Beaver Creek Market, Canadian Tire, Jax Store, Port Boathouse and Parksville Marine.
UCLUELET / LONG BEACH
Big Bank has had some decent bites lately near the Rat’s Nose and southeast on the Egg. Barkley Sound had some good bites earlier in July, though the fish were moving around from day to day, so it was a bit of a guessing game of where they would be. There have been some decent fish being taken in close to shore during both morning and afternoon trips. The bite has not been extremely fast, but the chinook are mostly in the 12 to 25 lb. range with a couple around 30 lb. taken. Offshore small spoons, needle fish and cuddlefish hootchies are working. Inshore #3 Kingfisher spoons from Silver Horde have been working the best along with anchovies.
Halibut fishing has been pretty good at Big Bank on the troll, bottom bouncing Hali West and also on anchor.
Coho are not showing up in great numbers yet, but are showing up both on Big Bank and in close to shore some days.
If you are looking to get last minute accommodation for Ucluelet or Tofino check out www.tofino-info.com. Accommodation has been tough to find for July and August so make sure you book right away.
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
ESPERANZA INLET/NOOTKA SOUND REPORT
The best of the best fishing/catching salmon is upon us! All the efforts of the federal hatchery at Conuma River and the many volunteer hatchery efforts at the Burman, Gold and the Canton rivers in Nootka Sound and the Tahsis, Liener and Zeballos rivers in Esperanza Inlet are paying off. With over four million chinook fry and two million coho fry being released annually, an average of 84,000 salmon are returning to Nootka and Esperanza annually. Come and get your share! Before the first fall rains arrive these fish will be stacked up and hungry at all the usual places.
In Esperanza the Glory Hole between Catala Is. and Double Is., Rosa Harbour and Pin Rks. In Nootka at Coopte Pt., Fidalgo Passage and Camel Rk. All of these areas are basically inside water fishing. While the outside water of Esperanza and Nootka remain productive it is usually not necessary to go outside to fill your fish box.
GEAR for the inside waters: Flashers high vis, UV reflective and glow patterns work best. Baits - Rapala FlashFlys, Double Glow Hootchies, Glow Cop Car Coho Killers, Glow Dark Green Lighthouse lures and the same colours with glow Coyote spoons will all get the job done. Have you noticed the theme glow? Whatever you use make it glow or double glow.
As always, all of the fore mentioned baits are imitating anchovies and needlefish bait. A properly rolling anchovy will normally out-fish most artificial baits. The trick is getting it to roll properly. Most of the anchovy heads out there will help with this. Again Cop Car glow scale pattern or green glow headers work well. Read and follow the instructions on the package then hold on FISH ON!
Depth and speed of trolling bait off your downrigger varies with location, time of day and tides, but generally you want to fish just above the bait you will be seeing on your sounder 30-50 ft. speed 2.5 mph +/- .5 mph.
BOTTOM FISH- 2017 has proven to one of the best years ever for 35 to 55 lb. halibut, and 15 to 25 lb. lingcod. Stop by the Westview Marina & Lodge Tackle Shop and we will get the charts out and point you the hot spots for these delicious fish.
John Falavolito Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis
800 992 3252 www.westviewmarina.com
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5
Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.
Saltwater - Trolling off the Kitty Colemon Hump is continuing to find anglers limiting out on salmon.
To find the large chinook salmon drop your gear down between 230 and 265 ft. These fish can be picky, so adjust your leader length until they start biting. So far, green and white hootchies on a 52" leader behind a green glow flasher seems to be the favourite. The occasional cod and halibut has been picked up in this area. If your planning on having fresh fish and chips for dinner, head down to Norris Rocks, just south of Hornby Island. Various species of cod love to gather here. Try jigging Point Wilson Darts, P-Line Hali-Drop jigs and large Zzingers in white and glow colours.
Freshwater - Lakes - There have been multiple reports of 18" or bigger cutthroat and rainbow trout being caught out of Comox Lake.
Troll small Krocodile spoons between 45 and 60 ft. With summer temperatures steadily increasing it might be worth taking a hike up to Battleship Lake or any of the surrounding alpine lakes. Early July through August offers a perfect window to fish these lakes. The lack of feed through winter and early spring means these fish won't be picky when it comes to flies and bait. A traditional worm and bobber set-up will be effective along the shore of Battleship. Its resident trout will be receptive to an assortment of mountain flies such as Tom Thumb and Royal Coachman patterns. The network of trails through Paradise Meadows makes this an ideal lake to pack in a float tube.
Nicole, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942
CAMPBELL RIVER AREA REPORT
Saltwater - With the Lighthouse now closed to fishing, anglers will be flocking to the Green Can and Chatham Point to find their salmon.
Both these areas continue to be hot, with King Kandy, whole herring and cut plugs bringing in an abundance of fish. The benefit of trolling King Kandy lures is that they mimic the action of frozen bait but don't attract as many dogfish. They also have a sponge insert you can saturate with scent to make the lure even more enticing.
A chartreuse Jensen Flash Fly may turn out to be a secret weapon against monster chinook salmon. These "hootchies" have multi-layered skirts with lots of UV flash. A passing fish won't be able to resist. People are finding more than their fair share of lingcod at the Hump and Seymour Narrows. White or glow 8" Power Grubs on a jig head are your ticket to landing one of these tasty fish.
August is a month of plenty when it comes to finding fish, but it is also one of the hottest and sunniest months of the year. Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen as sun burns can quickly turn a relaxing day in the boat into a painful experience.
Freshwater - The two informal camping sites at Beavertail Lake make this a great spot to go for a weekend camping trip. The lake is deep enough that the resident trout and kokanee will be active through the warm summer months.
There have already been reports of fat trout being caught on Wedding Bands with a bit of worm attached. Trolling this set-up at mid-depth may also land you some kokanee. If targeting these fish use a small trolling snubber as kokanee have soft mouths. Small Krocodile spoons should also be effective. Fly casters will have luck using damselfly and dragonfly nymph patterns, as these hatches occur throughout the summer.
By early to mid August the pinks should be running through Campbell River.
Equip your fly line with a super fast sinking poly leader so your fly sinks quickly in the swift moving water. When salmon enter a river to spawn they stop feeding, so selecting brightly coloured flies that will grab their attention is a must. Small handle bar flies in pink, green or bright blue will work.
If spin casting, use the same flies with split shot, or a bit of pink wool rigged with pencil lead.
The most important part of pink fishing in the river is lure placement. Annoyed fish will bite at your lure if it’s in front of their face, but may not be inclined to chase it across the river.
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641
PORT HARDY AREA REPORT
Salmon - Fishing is very good with limits of 25-30 lb. chinooks for most boats. The pink salmon have shown up, and there’s lots of coho. There are plenty of hatchery fish in the mixture, both springs and coho salmon.
The hot spots are Duvall Point, Castle Point and the Gordon Group.
Anchovies are what you want to use, especially in the Castle Point Special finish. Otherwise spoons are also catching some salmon.
The halibut fishing is getting better all the time. We just weighed in a 77 lb. fish that measured 130 cm on the dot.
The FILOMI Days Derby (Fishing Logging, Mining) July 14-16 was a big success for the community. 320 spring and coho salmon were weighted as well as a dozen halibut. The winning salmon weighed 31 lb. 7 oz. There were over 200 rods entered in the derby.
Through August you can count on the fishing getting even better. The chinooks and the coho will be getting bigger and there will be lots of fish for everyone.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982
Brian Francis owner of Alberni Gear and Tackle offered some tuna fishing tips. His tackle shop (at Bute and Fifth St., Port Alberni) has a complete selection of tuna gear, and staff have the know-how to use it.
"Late August into September is time for yellowfin tuna (albacore) to come near to Vancouver Island’s west coast. Depending on how warm the offshore waters are each year, the tuna can be anywhere from 20 to 100 kilomters away from the Island. Only boats seaworthy for the open Pacific Ocean should venture out after these fish. Tofino, Ucluelet, and especially Bamfield are prime tuna fishing ports nearest to the action.
"Tuna travel in huge schools, to find the school first find the warm water. Sea birds feeding on the same bait as the tuna may help as a signal. Never go through the school, go around it. As soon as you troll through them they get spooked. Troll fast, 8 knots or more. These fish travel at 40 mph. Troll with Birds (winged wooden lures), Zuckers (big hard headed hootches), Mini Tuna Darts or Chrome Heads. All these lures are designed to dive down and up and bounce over the surface. Once you start getting hits, keep trolling around the school, there’s more where that came from."
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.
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.
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:
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