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|Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Autumn 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).
DFO catch information indicates that the recreational share of the Total Allowable Catch for halibut was achieved by early September. Therefore, recreational fishing for halibut under the BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License closed September 6, 2017 for the balance of the year.
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 – chinook fishing has slowed down. The pink salmon run was fair with larger than usual pinks being caught. Coho fishing is improving. Due to the net pen collapse in Washington State, some Atlantic salmon escapes are being caught in local waters. Halibut fishing was excellent, until the closure.
PORT RENFREW – Springs averaged 10-20 lb. with the occasional larger fish into the upper 20s. Off shore there were lots of coho, pinks and springs. Inshore, it’s been best from East Point to Camper Creek. Anchovies, cut plug herring and 6" Coyote spoons have been the most productive lures recently. Bottom fishing has also been good. Hunter Grant landed a 20 lb. chinook and a 25 lb. lingcod, while filling our his limit in Port Renfrew.
BECHER BAY– The springs are spread out from the Bedfords to the Trap Shack at depths from 40 to 70 feet. Pink salmon were 7 to 9 lb., and best fishing for them has been far out on the tide lines. Anchovies are the most popular bait. Good teaser heads have been the Bloody Nose, Mint Pearl and Chartreuse. The best colour combinations for spoons have been Nickel/Blue, Outfitters and No Bananas. Anglers casting off the rocks are also getting into some nice fish. Cheanuh Marina now has rental boats available.
PEDDER BAY– All areas from Church Rock to William Head produced some chinook salmon, but there was no real hot spot. More fin clipped coho came in and they, as well as the pinks, were mostly caught in 500+ feet of water. With the coho and the pinks, you were either in them or not. You just had to search for the schools and then try to stay with them. For chinooks, trollers are doing best trolling close to the shore and the kelp, from 30 – 70 feet on the downrigger with anchovies for bait. Jiggers were also doing well fishing near the kelp beds and by Bentick Island in the Race.
HALIBUT– Most anglers that were fishing for halibut are using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well are the 8" Powerbait Grubs and Delta Hali Hawgs.
VICTORIA – The most productive area was from Esquimalt to Clover Point. Most of the salmon caught were chinooks running from 8 to 15 lb. However, a run of 4 to 7 lb. hatchery coho came through on Saturday. Some pink salmon are also being caught and they have been from 4 to 9 lb. The best fishing for pinks was way off shore. Anchovies have been the best bet with 12 and 14 pack anchovies the best sizes. The best teaser heads have been the Bloody Nose, UV green or red or Army Truck. Spoons have been somewhat successful in getting hook ups with 4" AP Tackleworks Moonglow Herring spoons, Irish Cream Skinny Gs and Green/Glow Coyote spoons good choices.
HALIBUT– The halibut have been very deep with depths of over 300 feet the most productive.
OAK BAY– There were a few salmon coming in from the Flats and the Gap but not very many. Anglers jigging have been catching more and larger salmon than those trolling. Good jigging lures have been 2¼ oz. and 3 oz. Point Wilson Darts, Deep Stingers and the Delta Mac Fish. Salmon are feeding on needlefish and have been at 40 to 135 foot depths, depending on where feed is located. Most anglers have been either bottom bouncing or jigging close to the bottom.
SIDNEY– There were some large pink salmon off Pender Island at 90 feet, and an Atlantic salmon was also caught there. Anglers reported lots of small grilse in the area. A few springs were found much deeper at 150 - 180 feet. Hambley Point also held springs with fish up to 12 lb. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons the most productive. Suggested colours are Trap Shack and Bon Chovy. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good producers with teaser heads in UV Purple. Anglers jigging were also catching some fish. Good jigging lures were 2¼ oz Point Wilson Darts, GIBBS Minnows and the Delta Mac Fish.
Freshwater - Trollers should fish at the thermocline, where the fish are suspended during the day. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or 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 micro leech patterns on full sink fly lines to get into the cooler water levels. Trollers are catching trout with worms fished behind Gang Trolls and on Wedding Bands. 2" Tomic Plugs have also been working for trout.
BASS – There have been catches of fish as large as 6 lb. Soft plastics rigged Carolina style and crank baits are working well. The most productive colours in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Top water plugs are fun and effective in the summer, especially at dawn and dusk. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local bass lakes.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969
SOOKE FISHING REPORT
It is coho time, so gear up with spoons and hootchies for lots of action fishing for these guys.
Fishing has been excellent between Secretary Island and the Sooke Bluffs, anywhere between 250 ft. to 550 ft. of water. Otter Point has been very good also. Fishing depths will very from 25 to 90 ft. Various spoons like Coho Killers. Cop Car, glow green, Splatterback and Purple chrome. Coyote spoons, and Skinny Gs have been working great. For hootchies try Army truck, Cloverleaf, Purple Haze, Witch Doctor and Peanut butter.
There is still the odd chinook salmon around also. Try Possession Point and the Sooke Bluffs they are still been producing some nice springs.
A reminder that the Sooke annual Coho Derby will be held on October 7th this year. You can purchase tickets at Eagle Eye wilderness or Crab Shack.
Good luck with the coho season everybody. It looks like it is going to be a good one is year.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines.
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT
Cowichan Lake: Fishing will continue to improve as the temperature cools.
Currently trout are holding at 40-60’ during mid day. First light and last light fish are cruising shoreline 20-30’. Gang troll with a red Wedding Band tipped with a worm is a good bet until the bait ban goes in to effect on November 15.
The new Best Lure plugs are the most productive lure on Lake Cowichan, especially in Cowichan Killer finish (only available here at Gord’s Fly Box). Recommended depth 50', best area is the narrows in front of Gordon Bay. Best Lure or Kwik Fish or Flatfish K7 black/silver flake (Michael Jackson), slow trolled on an S pattern along the drop-offs during dim light or dark days fished with or without a gang troll has been extremely successful. During brighter periods switch over to a K5 Coachdog with or without a troll, add more weight and troll just over the drop-off paralleling the shore. This fishery will only improve as fall progresses.
No boat, no problem - There are always fish biting when bait fishing at the creek mouths. Use sliding weights and a Corky rig. Top baits (now that the salmon are migrating through the lake) salmon paste, pink salmon eggs, roe or worms always worth a try.
Cowichan River opening for fishing on November 15.
Nitinat River: Wow! Lots of salmon. Generous retention of chinook, chum and coho make this a true harvest fishery. (Check regs.) The art of angling is to entice a fish to take your fly or lure. These fish will bite. All foul hooked fish must be released. Deliberate snagging is illegal and unethical.
Recommended techniques: Fly fishing - sink tip lines and B.H. flies. Top picks - Rolled Muddlers and Wooly Buggers. Stop in at the store for best colour picks. Over 30,000 flies in stock. It is heart stopping to see a 20-30 lb. chinook chasing your fly across the shallows and then slam your fly.
Float fishing - chartreuse or peach wool ties best bet.
Spin fishing - go small - small spoons or spinners produce well. Too large a lure spooks them.
As the leaves turn crimson and float to the ground, the rivers start to rise with the first fall rains. Coho, chum, summer steelhead will be on the move.
Top rivers - Cowichan, Sooke/San Juan/Harris, Nitinat and Stamp.
Always check your regs before heading out.
Stop by the store for an up to dated fishing report.
May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.
Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies
170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742
NANAIMO FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - Steady fishing for chinook and coho salmon with lots of teens. Coho were fishing good but then slowed down. A fresh rain will drive them in closer. Pinks have arrived late, and shore casters were catching just a few of them in Departure Bay and off the Millstone estuary downtown beginning in September. A bigger run came in late in September, and are now in Departure Bay, but haven't been seen in the Millstone estuary yet. Some decent chinook and coho have been taken by casters off the rocks at Rocky Point using Buzz Bombs and MacDeeps
Anchovies or Irish Cream, green Splatterback or Blood and Bones hootchies, and Skinny G spoons should attract the chinooks as well as the coho. Use smaller lures and troll a bit faster for those. Jughead teaser head hootchies or bait have been working great. The same set up should catch the chum salmon when they arrive late in September and October.
Freshwater - There should be an opening for the chum salmon in the tidal portion of the Nanaimo River late in October. Big flies like marabou jigs, or Vibrax or other spinners or Buzz Bombs should work on them. Blues greens, yellows, anything with a bit of flash will catch chum.
Portions of the upper river will be open to fly fishing only and the trout fishing should be pretty good with egg patterns after the salmon entered the river.
Trout fishing will really pick up in the lakes as soon as we get some rain. Right now it’s been okay with Powerbait or worms on the bottom. Troll Wedding Bands or Kwikfish (Coachdog or Skunk Patters). Fly fishing will be best using leech patterns, caddis and Tom Thumbs.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726
Pink salmon have finally arrive (September 28) at Departure Bay Beach in Nanaimo.
Casting for salmon from Rocky Point
PARKSVILLE / FRENCH CREEK REPORT
Last chance... We really are having an excellent salmon fishery this year. At the time of writing (early September) the salmon fishing around French Creek has kept fishermen busy most days.
It was nice to see our local waters so alive with humpback whales, orca pods, huge bait balls, and lots of salmon! The coho and pink salmon return was good with solid fishing through the summer. The migrating chinook salmon early season was spectacular! Maybe one concern would be the return of larger chinook? Not too many over 30 lb. weighed in as in past years. Hopefully heading into September there will be a late run of big chinooks.
The returning chinook salmon to the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will be staged in front of their river mouths waiting for the water to rise. Hopefully we'll get some rain to help them up, as the snow pack is getting quite low. Since these chinook aren't feeding at this time, you need to get their attention with bright colours and shorter leaders. Try a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader), with a green/silver flasher. Keep in mind these are the salmon of tomorrow; it’s better to limit your catch, than catch your limit. Jiggers do well at this time of year too, a 2-1/2 oz. Mac Deep or Lil Nib jig should do the trick.
Coho salmon start to make their way closer to the beach in the fall, giving beach fly and gear fisherman good opportunities.
Bottom fishing closes September 30, 2017 so now is the time to get a few of these tasty fish to enjoy over the winter months. A 2-1/2 oz. jig bounced off the bottom on a rocky, shelfy ledge in 40'-120' of water should do the trick.
For hearty fishermen winter chinook (2-3 yr. old resident salmon) will hold in our area. Winter chinook tend to be deep so keep the downriggers just off the bottom, troll a bit faster (2-1/2 to 3 m.p.h.). Covering lots of water is key, as these salmon are on the move looking for food. Brighter colour 4" spoons in neon glow/pink strip (48") leader with a crushed ice/glow flasher work well. This is the time to try bait again (anchovie, herring, herring strip) as the dogfish have moved out seeking warmer water. These salmon are some of the best eating, with cooler water temperatures they have more fat content and beautiful red flesh.
Also in the fall pay a visit to the Big and Little Qualicum Salmon Hatcheries to watch all the returning salmon completing their journey, it really is an amazing spectacle!
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,
(250) 951-5927 email@example.com
MID-ISLAND RIVER AND BEACH REPORT
As I write this temperatures have hit 30 degrees and essentially we have had no rain for over three months! Rivers on the east coast have virtually no flow and will make the fall run of spawning salmon difficult for the fish until conditions change for the better.
Lakes, of course, have remained open, but the high water temperatures have made fishing difficult as the fish retreat to the depths to find cooler water.
The pinks, first of the Pacific salmon on the east coast have not arrived locally in any great numbers. Fishing at Nile Creek, in particular, has again been disappointing with small numbers of fish showing sporadically. Fly fishermen have been travelling north to Campbell River to find fish. However the fishing has been tough with the need to work hard to tempt salmon to bite. One must never forget that salmon are in the river to spawn and the longer they adapt to freshwater the more reluctant they will be to show any interest in a lure or fly.
Some pinks are in local rivers supplemented with small numbers of chinooks If you chase these large powerful fish make sure you are using equipment that is up to the task. An 8 or 9 weight rod is appropriate. Use a reel with a good disc drag and tippet material of about 15 lb. I have observed fly fishermen on the Big Q chasing chinooks with 5 and 6 weight trout rods which don’t have the strength to play and land these fish quickly. Worse case this will result in either a broken rod or a fish with a fly and leader trailing from its mouth. Respect the fish and use tackle that matches the quarry, so that if you want to release it the fish will be able to recover relatively quickly
On the west coast the Stamp will have runs of coho and chinooks now and the lower river should offer opportunities to both the fly and gear fisherman.
September and October will see anglers eagerly looking forward to the arrival of coho salmon off local beaches. Also called the silver salmon it is considered to be the most sporting of the Pacific salmon. Jumps and long runs typify this species. The gear guys will score using Buzz Bombs or Zzingers especially when the fish are out of casting range for the fly. Coho spoons and Gibbs Crocs also work in the salt chuck. Those that fly fish be should be equipped with baitfish patterns fished fairly fast to replicate normal behaviour. Smaller krill and shrimp type flies are also effective in green, blue, red, and copper when conditions are calm and the water is like glass.
Whether you are chasing trout, pinks, coho, steelhead or chinooks we have all the right tackle and advice to help you be successful.
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,
ALBERNI & BARKLEY SOUND REPORT
Saltwater - Salmon fishing has been really good. There are still good numbers of chinooks in the inlet and Barkley Sound, and decent size coho are showing up. That fishery looks like it will be good all through September. The coho are mostly along the Bamfield Wall and Deer Group side. Target them with faster trolls, spoons in brighter greens and chartreuse and Homeland Security. Skinny G spoons are also perfect lures for coho.
Freshwater - We have a river fishery that opened in late August. You can keep one big spring and one jack plus two coho, clipped or unclipped. Drift roe in the lower river where it’s allowed. Elsewhere use yarn, or in slower water use spinners like Blue Foxes. Even after the springs have moved on the river will provide a good fishery for coho until the end of October.
On the lakes the trout fishing will get better as it cools down. Fly fishing will be great using leeches, caddis or Tom Thumbs. Troll Leo’s Wedding Bands or Flatfish.
After a good rain, fish with egg pattern flies near the mouth of any creek that enters the lake where the trout are waiting for salmon eggs to drift down.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
PORT ALBERNI SALMON FESTIVAL WINNERS
Winners of the 46th Annual Salmon Festival on Labour Day Weekend were: $5,000 1st place: Jeff Addison (largest fish for a total of $15,000) of Nanaimo, with 34.5 lb. caught at Swale Rock; Chris Standish of Elkford, 32.4 lb. at China Creek; Justin Kumagai,of Port Alberni, 29.3 lb. at Bamfield. $2,000 2nd place: Robin Hayes, 28.2 lb.; Mike Marlatt, Maple Ridge, 26.11 lb.; Darren Simpson, Port Alberni, 27.6 lb. $1,000 3rd Place: Reid Johnson, Kelowna, 26.8 lb.; Bryce Sparks, Campbell River, 24.5 lb.; Brian Greenaway, Nanaimo, 26.8 lb.
UCLUELET / LONG BEACH
Chinook salmon fishing in close has been consistent the past 25 days and most coming in the 15-25 lb. range. There have also been a few bites at Outside Lighthouse and Southwest Corner.
The odd coho is showing up in close to shore and we expect coho numbers to increase. There are quite a few coho and smaller chinook on Big Bank. We expect the inshore fishing will be good for both chinook and coho.
Lingcod are a favourite of mine and those can be caught in close to shore.
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
ESPERANZA INLET/NOOTKA SOUND REPORT
Sept. and early Oct. may turn out to be the best fall fishery in Esperanza in years. The coho/silvers are inside in huge schools waiting on the rains to move them into the many rivers and streams to spawn.
Inner Black Rock, Double Island, Mouth of Birthday Channel, Otter Island and the north side of Centre Island are all staging areas where the fishing and catching is good. These fish are holding on large schools of bait fish which explains why we are seeing lots of humpback whales in the inlet.
Anchovies remain the top bait for catching, with Coho Specials, 3.5"Coyote, 4" Titan and Skinny G lures scoring big. Also hootchies/cuttlefish/squid in glow, flashing, Purple Haze are all working well. There are still plenty of chinook/king/spring around in the 20-25 lb. range. But, the coho are quick to jump the bait. Outside on the highway remains your best bet for boxes full of springs and lings.
Good things come to good people - Frank Collin, local volunteer hero and President of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society (TSES) boated a 19 lb/ coho September 7; the largest coho weighed in at Westview Marina & Lodge to Date. His crew also landed 4 other coho 14.5 to 18 lb. All were caught near inner black rock.
We will soon see 20+ lb. coho on the cleaning tables. FUN, FUN, FUN!
All in all it has been the best fishing/ season in Area 25 (Esperanza Inlet/Nootka Sound) in recent years.
It started early in May with large schools of chinook right inside Nootka at Camel Rock and across to the other side of Tlupana Inlet. In June it then lit up Maquinna Pt, Beano Ck., Bajo Reef and world famous Ferrer Point. Into full summer Esperanza Inlet and the Highway from Esperanza Reef/4 Mile reef and up Island were in the spot light as the places to be for catching fish. July was the month for larger chinook.
No spring on the top chinook board for the 31 days of July were under 20lb.
Nineteen days in July the top fish weighed in 25-29.5 lb. Six days in July the top fish weight in at 30+ lb. On every day that there was a Tyee 30+ lb. There were 14 30+lb. chinook in total. The top hog at 39 lb. was caught by Cecil Ballard on July 23 out on Highway at the pins.
August had the best fishing weather and the most fish caught in Esperanza.
The annual Salmon Enhancement Fishing Derby was a roaring success raising $40,333 all of which will go to six volunteer hatchery programs and the Conuma hatchery. This annual Derby will support the release of an additional two million salmon fry. This regional derby is now in its 14th year. It has put nearly $400,000 back into the fishery.
It is just one of many reasons the fishing/catching is so good in Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet.
Looking forward to great 2018 chinook and coho returns. Come Join in the fishing/catching fun.
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 - September marks the end of monster chinook fishing, though smaller feeders can still be found all year long. If your green and white hootchies have lost their magic try sending down a pink or red pattern, as there have been multiple reports of chinook being caught around Baynes Sound and Kitty Coleman on these flavours. Five and six inch Tomic plugs are still slaying, so pick up some Jack Smiths, 407's, 602's and 727's at your local tackle shop.
Coho fishing should reach its peak in mid-September and continue well into October. This is a great time to troll small or skinny lures such as Peetz Holy Rollers or Coho Killer spoons. Fishing off the beach will be productive for both fly anglers and gear chuckers. Those using a spinning set up should try blue holographic Buzz Bombs or orange and brass coloured spoons. A wide range of flies such as Coho Buggers, California Neals, KCKs and blue over green streamers can be used to hook into these scrappy fish. Chartreuse green, blue or orange with white are great colours if you're casting Clousers. A floating line with a clear hover or intermediate polyleader should be the ticket to landing early coho.
Freshwater - October 1st signals the start of chum season on the Puntledge River, so clean up your smoker and dig out those secret smoked salmon recipes. Condensory Bridge is always a popular spot to fish for chum, with simple wool and pencil lead rigs being the go-to gear. Attractive colours would include red, cerise and purple. Spin’n’glows are also a popular choice to entice chum. These fish have a lot of brute strength so 15 lb. test line is a minimum.
Fall is one of the most productive seasons for trout fishing. Casting from shore at Maple Lake with a worm and bobber is almost guaranteed to land you some rainbow trout. Wolf Lake is always a good lake to fish as the weather cools down. Trolling small Tomic plugs or Wedding Bands with a worm are effective this time of year. Those using a fly rod should try Doc Spratley and leech patterns.
Nicole, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942
CAMPBELL RIVER AREA REPORT
Saltwater - In the Campbell River area September is still a prime time to catch chinook. Continue using green and white hootchies and Cop Car spoons off the Hump, Green Can and Stuart Island.
This is a great time of year to fish off of Discovery Pier. Several large chinook have already been caught on green or blue Gibbs casting spoons, as well as on small Tomic plugs that are allowed to drift with the current.
As mid to late September rolls around the large chinook disappear and chum salmon become the targeted species. Head to Chatham Point and Green Sea Bay if you want to stock your freezer. Small pink or purple Michael Bait hootchies trolled behind a purple or red flasher are chum favourites. This fishery should peak in mid-October and last into November, so you have plenty of time to fill your smoker with big chum. These fish can be mighty scrappers, and rival chinook in sheer strength, so continually check your gear for wear and tear.
The occasional coho may still be found, so make sure you have plenty of Goldstar Coho Killers in your tackle box.
Freshwater - As lower temperatures cool down shallow lakes, Gray and Echo Lake should provide productive trout fishing from shore. Cast and retrieve small silver or brass Krocodile spoons and Metric Pro spinners.
Echo Lake also has a wheelchair accessible dock, making this an easy place to fish for anyone. Campbell and Brewster lakes are also great for fall trout fishing. Letting a worm or chartreuse nugget of Powerbait sit on bottom is an effective way to fish all these lakes
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641
PORT HARDY AREA REPORT
There’s still a few chinooks around up here, and the coho have just shown up. Fly fishermen are having fun with them. Halibut was tapering off before the coast-wide closure, but we did have a good halibut season. We had lots of spring salmon in the teens with a few in the 40s and a couple in the 50s.
Now we can look forward to good coho fishing on the salt chuck and in the rivers as well as lake trout fishing and then winter steelhead.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982
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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