Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED JUNE 23, 2015.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For JULY 2015

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, Port Hardy.

SALTWATER - The daily limit for coho is two, hatchery marked only until December 31. In Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and 20-5 (Cadboro Pt. to Sheringham Pt.) until July 17, the daily limit is two chinook salmon, wild or hatchery, between 45 cm
and 67 cm or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm.
BECHER BAY - Most chinooks were coming from Beechey Head to the Trap Shack. Although, Beechey Head had bigger fish on average (Cheanuh reported a 39.2 lb. salmon). Most springs were running from 10-21 lb., and have been caught between
60-100 ft on the downrigger. Anchovies were the most productive bait and Bloody Nose and green glow were the best teaser heads. Spoons, in 3 or 4 inch size such as G-Force in Outfitter or Trap Shack were effective. Squirts are working
too with Pistachio, Purple Haze and white the best patterns. For flashers, the Lemon Lime and the Purple Onion have been good.
PEDDER BAY - Whirl Bay and Church Rock produced salmon catches steadily but Pedder Bay came on strong. (Brian Fraser caught a 19 lb. hatchery). There were several wild fish over 20 lb. caught in Whirl Bay ranging from 9-15 lb. Anchovy
was the most productive bait for springs with green, Special Red, Purple Haze and Bloody Nose being top teaser heads. G-Force spoons in both glow and green have been working as well. Also, Skinny-G looks like it will be very popular this
year. We have had good feedback from the anglers who have already tried them out. Popular flashers include Madi and the Purple Onion.
Most halibut anglers were using mackerel, extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs
or other large jigs if you want to stay away from the dogfish.
VICTORIA - Fishing for winter springs was good off Constance Bank but spotty along the waterfront. Hatchery fish weighing into the high teens were caught at Constance. Salmon were feeding on needlefish that were schooled on the bank.
Needlefish spoons and squirts were effective. Anglers have not done as well closer to shore but there were a few fish near Brotchie Ledge and Clover Point. Anchovies and Tiny Strip have been working well in glow colours. Good choices in
plastic baits are the Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and Glo Below squirts. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in green and glow colours have been effective. The Lemon Lime flasher with the Glow Green Splatter Back Coho Killer has
been a very effective combo out on the bank.
OAK BAY - There was a good mix of feeders and mature springs. The fish were hitting 3”-4” spoons as most of the needlefish in the area were small. Anglers did best using 3-3.5 inch G-Force spoons. No Bananas and Outfitter colours have
been the most popular. Anglers that were jigging in the afternoon in the Gap, reported catching fish up into the 20s in the evening. Also, Coho Killers in Gold Nugget and Green Splatterback have been pretty productive. The best flasher
has been the Gibbs Lemon Lime and the Bon Chovy.
SIDNEY- Fish were coming from all areas of Sidney, ranging from 9-22 lb. James Island, near the powder wharf and Sidney Spit had the most success. Carl Trepels caught a 22 lb. hatchery. Many anglers are fishing using anchovies in Bloody
Nose and UV green teaser heads. Squirts have been out-producing hootchies and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, J-79 and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and Gold
Freshwater - The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC released thousands of rainbow trout from the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery. Thetis Lake received 750 and Poirier Lake 500 rainbow trout averaging 242 grams; Elk Lake got 5,000
yearling trout averaging 32.53 grams and Langford Lake got 2,500 trout averaging 64.46 grams.
Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing right on the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good choices for Powerbait. Fly anglers are using Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro
Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well with Gang Trolls and Wedding Bands. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers and Flatfish and/or Kwikfish. The biggest trout have come from Langford Lake.
BASS – Most of the bass are in the shallows. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina Style work well and crank baits can work well too. Soft plastics rigged Carolina Style is also a good choice when fishing drop-offs and docks. The
most productive colours in 4” Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Langford, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best bass lakes. St. Marys Lake on Saltspring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969

ishing has been great for spring salmon good around Otter Point, Muir Creek, and pretty soon I expect Possession Point, Secretary Island and the Trap shack should turn on also.
A nice 42 lb. spring salmon was weighed in on June 13 plus a couple other 30+ lb. chinook salmon. So it looks like there are some nice size springs starting to show up.
Fishing depths have varied for these guys, from 50 feet to 100 and 120 feet on the downriggers.
For anchovy holders good colour combinations to try are Bloody Nose glow, Tigerprawn Glow, and glow white. Good flasher include red Hotspot, Super Betsy Gold glow, Silver Betsy, and Chartreuse glow. Also Coho Killer spoons have been
working pretty good - try the Cop Car, purple chrome and variations of green glows.
Pink salmon should be showing up pretty soon. Of course they like red or pink squirts. Trolled with red flashers behind short leaders. You will find the majority of these guys out in the second and third tide line.
On the halibut side Jordan River is still producing some nice catches. But make sure you take lots of bait and artificials with you because there definitely are lots of dogfish to contend with.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines.
Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters

The Cowichan is a legendary salmon, steelhead and trout river. The Cowichan’s fish populations, as well as its beauty and accessibility have attracted anglers from around the world. However, the river’s flows are extremely low much
earlier this year. The lack of rain and no snow pack have unbalanced the system. The water temperature is rising and trout and young steelhead are staging up early in the few cold deep pools and riffles. River guide, Joe Saysell speaking
for Friends of the Cowichan said, “Fishing for them in these conditions is both unethical and not conservation-minded as most fish caught under these conditions will die from stress when released.
“We are urging all anglers to please not fish the Cowichan River when the flow is at seven cubic meters per second (250 cubic feet per second) or lower and when the water temperature of the river is 18 degrees Celsius (64.5 degrees
Fahrenheit) or warmer.
“In our opinion, a complete angling closure for the Cowichan River from June 15 to October 1 should be in the fishing regulations synopsis.
“We would appreciate your help in educating fishermen about the problem so they can help protect their fisheries resource and ensure there will be future high-quality angling opportunities.”
Most Vancouver Island rivers are suffering the same conditions, and should be treated with consideration.


altwater - Halibut fishing is going strong for those venturing out to the banks. Try spreader bars with a 2 lb. of weight bouncing the bottom to attract their attention. Top baits are: Octopus and XL herring. Best artificials are
Berkley 8” Power Grubs. Salmon are showing at Port Renfrew 8-30 lb. chinook. Best Lures: Crushed Ice flasher with Jo-Anne teaser heads and small anchovy.
Cowichan Bay: Jerkers doing well in the Sansum narrows on holographic jigs by P-Line, fish to 25 lb.
Trollers doing excellent with small anchovy, fish to 30 lb.
Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing is going strong. Try trolling creek mouths and paralleling the shore line staying within 30 feet. Keep your line back from the boat by at least 150 ft. Top lures are 3” Tomics. Best colours right now
are 231, 800 and 801. Try out the new iridescent colours. We have over 300 Tomic plugs in stock with over 75 different patterns.
Also the ever popular Gang Troll in green rainbow finish with a Wedding Band tipped with worm.
Fly fishermen have been doing well with large minnow patterns, brown Wooley Buggers or Clouser Minnows trolled on a full sink fly line especially around creek mouths and rock shoals.
Cowichan River Trout Fishing: The river is extremely low and warm. Highly recommend not fishing until the fall rains raise the water levels and the water cools. The fish are trying their best to survive through this. Releasing fish no
matter how hard you try usually ends up with a fish not surviving.
Move to the Beaches: With the low rivers this year - WOW - Fun Fun Fun! Yesterday I landed three smallish sea-run cutthroat. Two on minnow pattern. Start of season - where? Every sloping beach with a freshwater stream entering will hold
sea-runs at different points of the tide. Come on by the shop, we will be happy to dial you in.
Bass Fishing: Bass fishing is hot! Lakes to note: Shawnigan, Fuller, St. Marys, Quesnel, Elk and every other lake around the south Island.
Try fishing with large Wooley Buggers or Dragon Flies. Target outside and inside corners of docks, all large rocks, logs or any other obstruction. Cast in then strip your fly back slowly, watch for your line to move to the side then set
hard and hang on tight. The rest is up to you.
Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store! Stop by the store for an up to date fishing report.
Gord March, Gord’s Fly Box,
170C Cowichan Lake Rd, Beside Irly Bird Lumber, Lake Cowichan,

It is close to July and the fishing at Port Renfrew right through June has been good for both salmon and halibut. We have been blessed with good weather, which makes our offshore trips more comfortable for fishing. There have been some
hit and miss days for salmon along the shore in early to mid-June, but now with more pelagic salmon angling in towards Vancouver Island from the open pacific, fishing is more consistant.
Since June 7 there have been some quaility chinook to 40 lb. and big coho moving down-Island from Haida Gwaii, so that all means excellent fishing in July, August and September at Port Renfrew. With the mix of our offshore fishery of
Pelagic chinook which normally improves around Father’s Day we are in for an awesome season at Renfrew.
Small Coho killers, Titan, Tomic and Coyote spoons are doing the trick for the fiesty springs. Needle fish hootchies, and anchovies in your favourite teaser head and flasher combo is the old stand by.
If you want halibut, lingcod, and bottomfish, Renfrew is the place. We have fantastic fishing right through to September. Don’t forget about our famous coho fishery in the fall.
Port Renfrew is an easy access place to fish with world class fishing. If you want an awesome fishing adventure or any info in helping you put together a trip of a life time call Pacific Sport Fishing Charters 1-250-954-3997.
Check out my website: for more details and awesome fishing pictures. Email:
Dan Harvey, Pacific Sport Fishing Charters, Port Renfrew 1-250-954-3997

altwater - For most of June it was very windy, but whenever anglers could get out they were catching some nice chinook salmon. Hot spots have been out by Entrance Island and a mile off Neck Point, trolling in 150-180 feet. Anchovies
have been the best bait, with lures in Cop Car and Kitchen Sink also catching fish. Springs up to 28 lb. have been caught plus plenty of spring salmon in the 20s and teens.
The orcas have been going back and forth, dispersing the fish, so you have to go looking for them. Fishing will pick up if the wind goes down a bit. Even getting out to go prawning has been a challenge.
Some anglers have been doing well targeting lingcod around Entrance Island and around Thrasher Rock. A very few halibut are also being caught.
Late in July we should start to see pink salmon. That always provides good beach fishing on the fly and on spinning gear at the Milestone River estuary downtown and around Departure Bay.
Freshwater - Good trout and bass fishing continues in area lakes. Colliery Dam and Divers lakes were fishing well on Pautze Yellowjacks. Fly fishing downstream of the Bungy Zone on the Nanaimo River has been productive.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

The 16th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament, hosted by Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake June 21 was a fun day for 300 participating anglers, and everyone on shore cheering them on. The derby awards hundreds of draw prizes provided by
local sponsoring companies plus three top fish cash prizes.
In first place for $3,000 was Tyler Zadworney with a 4.0 lb. bass. In second place was Tony Chapman for $1,800 with a 3.8 lb. bass. Dennis Pridge was in third place with a 3.7 lb. bass for $1,200.

Sockeye time! If you're looking for sockeye salmon this should be the year. Alberni Inlet is expecting an estimated return of one million. With the milder winter, and warmer spring it should make the fishing quite favourable in Port
When fishing for sockeye having lots of gear in the water is key; running four rods is the preferred method. You can even run a dummy flasher (no gear attached) off the cannon ball to create more flash to grab their attention. Small Mini
Plankton hootchies in Bubblegum pink, glowhead/pink, and pink/blue work, a 27'' leader is common. Small 3.5'' spoons in pink/blue, black/orange, and pink/pearl work well too, 27'' leader also. Try using two 3/0 black hooks tied in tandem
on their own, yes it does work! I usually run all green/silver flashers with the gear.
Keep your hooks good and sharp as well, with their soft mouths and acrobatic fight you want your hooks to be at their best. Stagger your gear 10' apart on each downrigger, starting with your dummy flasher attached 6'-8' off the
cannonball. Drop down 10' and attach your deeper rod, drop down another 10' and attached your shallow rod. I usually run the deep rods off the downrigger rod holders, and the shallow rods off the back of the boat 90 degrees to the deeper
Fishing depths range from 20'-70', and deeper by mid morning. Have one downrigger fishing 5' deeper, so when your deep side is reading 50' your gear is at 40' and 30'. Your shallower side will read 45' your gear is at 35' and 25'. This
will pin-point the striking depth of biting sockeye.
At first light start up high, and gradually work the gear deeper. The bite is usually better in early morning, so have the gear in the water by 5:00 a.m. It's quite common to have multiple hook-ups, which makes for some great excitement.
Keep some ice on board to keep the catch nice and fresh.
There should be some good sockeye opportunities in our local waters too. Sabine Channel would be a good place to try. The biggest difference when targeting sockeye in the Sabine is you fish a lot deeper 60'-120' is common. In late July
early August there should be some sockeye moving through the central Strait of Georgia. I remember in 2010 we were catching sockeye Out Front of French Creek Harbour!
It's a good idea to check with your local Department Of Fisheries (DFO) on salmon species retention before you head out fishing, it's not uncommon to have in season changes. I'm definitely going to target some sockeye in our local
Fisheries and Oceans Canada website:
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,
(250) 951-5927
& French Creek Harbour Store, 5 - 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville, 250-248-8912,


Summer is for wet wading in just boots and quick drying shorts, but for river fishermen things look pretty dire. River levels are low and with little snow on the mountains things are likely to get worse unless we have rain in quantity.
LAKES - As the lakes warm up fish will retreat to the depths where water temperatures are lower. For fly fisherman this means using sinking lines to get down to where fish are lying. Trolling a fly is successful on big lakes because a
lot of water is covered searching for fish. Varying trolling speed, as well the length of line you have out, will alter the depth your fly swims. Early morning and evenings should give dry fly action as bugs are active this time of year.
Cameron Lake has produced some big brown trout, mainly to spinners and spoons. The Len Thompson Five of Diamonds spoon has worked well on this lake. Spider Lake is also fishing consistent trout and bass.
RIVERS - With so little water in the rivers fishing is tough. Fish can be stressed in high water temperatures and I urge you to be aware of this when you catch a fish. Play and release trout as soon as possible and keep any catch in the
water to unhook it. Your must release all wild trout and steelhead from any Vancouver Island river or stream.
BEACHES - Many anglers look forward to the run of pink salmon which can show up on the north east coast of the Island as early as mid-July. These fish will make their way south and gather off the beaches, close to the river of their
birth. If you have not fished for pinks off the beaches you are in for a real treat! Weighing between 4-8 lb. they offer fantastic sport. Call into the store for more information.
Sea-run cutthroat are present all year round at the mouths of many rivers. They move in and out with the tides searching for food and offer excellent sport on fly and small spinners if you can find them. Look for showing fish and target
them with small baitfish patterns.
SALTWATER - Chinook fishing has been consistently good from early spring. Things will really heat up as more fish arrive in July with coho showing up as well. Considered to be the most sporting of the Pacific salmon coho fishing is a lot
of fun if you scale down your tackle when targeting them. Let’s hope they show up in the the same numbers as last year !
Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right tackle and advice to help. Tight lines !
Keith Hyett, Coast Sportfish,
202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville,

Saltwater - Sockeye salmon fishing is going really well and should continue productive to the end of July and into August. The river has been slower fishing with high temperatures and lack of water flow, so the Inlet has been a better
To catch sockeye in the Alberni Inlet troll lots of gear. If you catch one keep going and you’ll get more. Trolling depths have been 50-60 feet, deeper as it warms in the day and as the season progresses. Use small spoons, MP, MP-12 or
MP44 or other pink squirts.
Barkley Sound has also been fishing well for chinook salmon and there’s some coho showing up on inside waters as well. It’ll greatly improve for both coho and springs later in July. Most of the chinooks returning are three-year-olds.
Halibut fishing has been good inside and out on the banks. Lingcod in Barkley Sound is usually productive when you jig your favourite rock piles and drop-offs.
Freshwater - People are still catching trout in both the bigger lakes and the alpine lakes. Lots of insect hatches and all kinds of feed for trout to fatten up on. The area rivers are low and warm.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,


Fishing for springs has really picked up on inside waters as well as outside of Barkley Sound. The springs at Meares Island are hitting from 87 feet right down to the bottom, inside waters they’re at 69-120. They’re full of needlefish.
They’re hitting on anchovies and needlefish spoons in green and white finishes. They have been averaging 10-22 lb. The bigger springs will start to arrive in July.
Lots of nice halibut on the outside waters at 7 Mile Bank and offshore. Most are being jigged up or trolled off the bottom on white glow hootchies.
Dan Bishop, Bish’N’Son Fishing Adventures, Bamfield
250-722-2256, cell (250) 714-5989

Anglers off Tofino have had excellent success, whether targeting frisky cohos that are just showing up, stubborn sulking halibut or reel spooling chinook.
Chinook fishing seems to be getting better and better as the season progresses. Stop by Method Marine to pick up some squid hootchies!
Fish are also being taken on Coyote spoons behind flashers or larger spoons fished naked for clean fights. Popular colours are blue nickel, green chrome and Watermelon. Larger 6 and 7 inch plugs now come into play and trolling speeds can
be increased. Herring fished in chartreuse and Purple Haze teaser heads either behind flashers or naked have started to produce as well.
Most halibut are being taken while bottom bouncing or jigging, so think Berkley Grubs and large jigs tipped with herring or salmon belly.
Tight lines
Shawn Counts, General Manager - Method Marine Supply Ltd., 219, 380 Main St., Tofino 250-725-3251, 250-266-2384

Salt water - The south end of Hornby and Denman islands and Kitty Coleman are fantastic now for coho and springs and will continue on through the summer. Troll at 180 ft. using Cop Car, Nasty Boy or silver spoons. Purple Haze hootchies
or green glow with a UV flasher also work well. Jigging Point Wilson Darts is great for all species of fish. The Kitty Coleman Hump can also be a good place for halibut. Spreader bars with bait, Power Bait and Mudrakers all work well.
Please read up on the 2015 halibut regs - a few changes have been made.
In July we will see pink salmon showing up. Shorelines and river mouths are hot spots using pink Buzz Bombs, Zzingers, or pink fly patterns.
The outside of Denman and Hornby have many hidden prawning holes. You might need to do some snooping around. Find a deep hole at about 300’ and give it a try, you might find the lucky spot. Make sure to use lots of pellets with fish oil
or Carlyle Cat Food.
Lorne, Wolf, Maple, Spider and Comox lakes are all great for summer fishing. Troll with blue, green, or red Wedding Bands and a worm (check for bait bans). Cast Crocs, Panther Martins, or Blue Fox. Early morning or evenings are most
productive. Muddler Minnows, Doc Spratley, Carry Specials and Leach patterns can be trolled or fly cast.
Fish for resident trout in Tsable, Puntledge and Trent rivers on dry flies: Stimulators, Tom Thumbs, and gnats.
The beaches and estuaries can be productive spots for sea-run cutties. Various coloured minnow patterns such as Mickey Fins work well, or spin cast Koho or Kitimat Spoons. Tyee Marine is hosting the 6th annual FREE Customer Appreciation
Salmon Derby until Sept 15.
Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942

Saltwater - The Green Can has been the hot spot so far this year with an amazing show of springs ranging from the teens into the 30+ lb. zone. Coho are starting to show at the Green Can as well. The Campbell River Hump, at the south end,
is also a target spot at 200 feet using Blue Meany, Michael Jackson or Jack Smith Hootchies with a green or UV flasher. Tomic Plugs are also hot.
As July approaches, the pinks will start to show up in the Brown’s Bay area and will be mixed in with springs and coho. Rumour has it that we’ll have a good run of sockeye this year.
Halibut is open however, the regulations have changed to avoid catching the larger females. Check out the new regs at
We’ll keep you up-dated on Facebook with current reports and openings on all species and hot spots. You can find us on facebook at tyeemarine@shaw.
Freshwater - The Salmon, White and Gold rivers will start to show sea-run cutties, summer steelhead and resident rainbows. For steelhead use attractor patterns and naturals and for cutties use fry or Muddler patterns.
Many of the local lakes have been stocked with cutthroats which can make a great day at the lake with the family. You can target the larger trout by trolling deep with Leo’s Wedding Bands, WiggleWood Lures or Flatfish and a bit of
weight. Muddler, ant and leach patterns work great in all of our local lakes.
Thanks, Kerry
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641

Saltwater - The big fish have arrived, both on the inside and outside of Nootka Sound. Nice sized chinook are coming from areas such as Strange Island, Tahsis Inlet, Hoiss Point, and Camel Rock. Fishing on the outside remains excellent
with coolers full of salmon and ground fish every day. The average spring salmon is in the 20 - 28 lb. range, mixed in with the smaller U.S. clipped chinook moving out to make way for our larger mature local fish that are just arriving
to the inside waters. We are also seeing nice coho mixed in with all the other fish. We are optimistic this will remain strong. If water conditions remain consistent we expect to see Albacore Tuna opportunities earlier than last summer.
Halibut fishing has never been better, with legal limits of 20 - 50 lb. halibut weighed in every day. Try fishing gravel piles and rocky up-crops, with both drifting and jigging or anchoring and bait fishing producing on each tide
change. Needle fish hootchies, glow cuttlefish, 3 - 4 inch spoons, and anchovies trolled behind flashers are producing salmon as the bait they are feeding on is still small. Trolling depths for salmon are 23 - 33 foot at first light, and
down into the 45 - 65 foot range later in the day. Whole herring, octopus, and heavy jigs are producing all species of groundfish.
*Always be sure to check your local Tidal Water Sport Fishing regulations before fishing Nootka Sound (area 25/125), as there are many different limit and harvest regulations that apply to the different sub-areas. DFO has been checking
and issuing tickets to anglers who are not in compliance with these in-season regulation slot size changes.
Freshwater - The summerr weather has warmed the water temperatures. Best opportunities are early mornings (first light) and late evenings (just before dark) for feeding trout. Trolling and spin casting small spoons, lures, and small dry
flies will all attract both rainbows and cutthroat routinely.
Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing
Gibran White, Marine Operations
Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures

Lots of good sized 8-10 lb. coho salmon have showed up. And chinook fishing is great with limit catches. A 35 pounder. came in yesterday plus a few 30+ lb. It’s just starting to get hot and heavy up here.
There were some awful winds making it hard to get out there, but things have calmed down. As soon as the barometer settled the fishing really took off.
The salmon hot spots are as close as Duvall Island and Daphne Point. They’re hitting anchovie and whole herring in 60-80 feet of water.
Halibut remains good and reliable. There’s enough fish that you can weed through them and pick a good one to keep. They’re everywhere up here from Pine Island to Port McNeill. Catch the bigger ones on jigs, the smaller fish on spreader
bar and herring.
The bait situation is still very good. There’s plenty of 5-6 inch herring keeping the salmon close. Plus there’s lots of needlefish and squid.
Trout fishing in area lakes remains good. This wave of cooler weather should keep the fish active. Alice and Victoria lakes are always productive if you’re trolling Flatfish in black and silver or blue and silver.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982




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.



While still awaiting approval from the federal government, site preparations and surveying has begun for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run through B.C. to deliver tar sands oil to fleets of tankers. The heavy crude oil will be refined in China and shipped to markets.

The pipeline will run through some of BC’s most sensitive habitat including prime fish bearing rivers. Chances of an oil spill along BC’s tricky reef studded coast pose another risk.

Enbridge, the Calgary company building the pipeline is confident they will finish the project by 2018.

Enbridge’s massive advertising and lobbying campaign makes it look like a done deal. The federal Harper government is fully behind the project, despite officially awaiting the results of public input and federal enquiry. The decision is expected in 2014. The federal government has added its voice to Enbridge’s cheerleaders with a multi-million dollar advertising campaign promising wealth and a pristine environment. The ads feature fly fishing scenes.

Enbridge V.P., Vern Yu said, "We expect that there would be some appeals to that decision and that would take us into early 2015 and at that point we would be able to start construction.”

The B.C. government initially opposed to the pipeline, but now supports it in exchange for yet to be disclosed benefits. Over 70 First Nations remain against it, and environmental groups are unanimous in their objections. But with the recent flurry of crude oil train disasters there seems to be no winning option.

Enbridge has a dismal history of pipeline spills and a poor record of response and remediation. The Watershed Sentinel tallied Enbridge’s spills since the year 2000 at 132,715 barrels, more than half the Exxon Valdez spill of 257,000 barrels. Spills occurred in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Montana. One spill in Wisconsin resulted in an explosion that killed seven people. A second pipeline explosion killed two people. In yet another incident the company deliberately set fire to 6,000 barrels of spilled crude oil to get rid of the problem. Enbridge’s 2010 Michigan spill was the largest inland oil spill ever on the U.S.A. mainland.

The authors of an online petition ( say the pipeline will cost  fisheries and tourism jobs in B.C. as well as factory jobs in central Canada, while it will  employs only a few Canadians. In addition the pipeline will bring 200+ super-tankers per year into our challenging and hazardous waters.

See the petition at


Be bear aware

A biological drive to put on weight for a long winter has B.C.’s bears on the move, seeking out the calories they need before heading to their dens.

In their desperation to get enough food, bears can get aggressive, especially in areas close to human habitat. That’s when most bear-human conflicts occur. If you’re fishing Island rivers there’s a chance you may encounter bears drawn to the same shores.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can zero in on food from miles away and can be single-minded to get at that food. For a bear, food comes in many forms, including garbage and over-ripe fruit in residential areas.

Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules.

If you meet a bear in the wild try to remain calm. Never approach or chase a bear; face the bear without making eye contact, back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear, but again, don't challenge the bear with eye contact.

If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Drop your pack to distract the bear; only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs.

Climb a tree as a last resort.

If a bear is persistent or aggressive, call the Report Poachers and Polluters hotline 1- 877-952-7277, or surf to

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



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