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|Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For August 2018 From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Becher Bay, Lake Cowichan, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, Quennell Lake (Cedar), French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum Beach, Spider Lake, Cameron Lake, Nile Creek, Courtenay / Comox, Oyster River, Campbell River, Gold River, Oyster River, Salmon River, Port Alberni, Bamfield, Ucluelet, Tofino, Barkley Sound, Nootka Sound, Moutcha Bay, Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet, Port Hardy.|
REPORT POACHERS AND POLLUTERS
has been excellent especially around Possession Point, Secretary Island
and Otter Point.
Fishing depths has been pretty good between 45 to 70 ft. Six or 5-1/2 inch anchovies trolled in Bloody Nose glow, glow white, Peanut Butter glow, and Purple Haze teaser heads have been working great. For flashers try Silver Betsy or red
or purple glow Hot Spot. For spoons various Coho Killer and Gibbs have also been productive.
Halibut fishing has slowed down some in the Sooke area and at Race Rocks, but is still producing some nice ones. Herring, salmon bellies, salmon heads and mackerel are the baits of choice. Make sure you take lots of bait with you because
there are lots of dogfish.
Until next time happy faces and
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT
.Saltwater - Port Renfrew - The top baits for halibut are XL herring, mackerel, and 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, it’s extremely tough and it adds scent.
Chinook to 30 lb. showing at Port Renfrew. Best flashers and lures: Gold Betsy, Footloose 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 Aid 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. Pink salmon 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 the fish and put on ice right away.
Freshwater - Cowichan Lake - Fishing good. Fish holding 30-60’ level. Top producers are 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.
Gord March, Gord's Fly Box & Goodies, 170C
Cowichan Lake Rd., 250-932-9309
NANAIMO FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - There’s been lots of springs caught at the usual hot spots, from Portlier Pass and Thresher Rock to the Fingers and the Brickyard. Go deep 150-200 ft. They’re biting on Herring Aid Skinny Gs and Bob Marley
(greenish/silver/smokey) spoons and on anchovies.
The shore casters out at Rocky Point have been getting some good chinook salmon into the 20s. The Lil McNibbs and MacDeeps are catching most of them.
The coho are down deep now, but soon they’ll be shallower, in the top 100 ft. They’ll go for greens and blues like Kitchen Sink, Nickel Blue and Sardine Coyote spoons. Or use hootchies in the same kind of colours and troll a little bit
Pink salmon are starting to arrive up-Island and should be in local waters by late August and early September. If you can’t wait that long, they’ll be plentiful at Nile Creek in August, but so will the anglers. The Eve is a bit farther
but less crowded.
Trout fishing will have slowed with the hot weather. Mornings and evenings will be best. Troll black and olive Wooly Buggers or black sparkle Flatfish. Fly fishers try leech patterns and Muddlers. The bigger and deeper lakes will still
be fishing well for trout. Check with Island Timberlands 250-755-3500 as the Nanaimo Lakes back country may be closed due to fire hazard.
Quennell Lake has been great for bass fishing. The hotter it get the better the bass fishing will be. Casting surface lures like poppers around weed banks and shoreline structure, logs, docks, rocks, etc. works pretty well in the summer.
Fly fishers can catch them on large Wooley Buggers and dragon Flies.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726
FRENCH CREEK / PARKSVILLE / QUALICUM REPORT
We are seeing a good coho salmon return, a mix of hatchery (adipose fin missing) and wild (adipose fin attached). I've caught a few up in the 6-7 lb. range already! No word yet on wild coho retention in Area 14.
The sockeye salmon are on their way, I have heard there are large schools off northern Vancouver Island heading our way. If the return is healthy we may see an opening for sockeye. Sockeye are currently non-retention in Area 14.
Mature chinook salmon heading for the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will provide excitement for trollers and jiggers. In early to mid August these salmon will be looking for 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, as can Finnerty and Sangster islands. Make sure to check the marine forecast before heading over to Lasqueti Island.
When targeting chinook salmon that are still feeding try 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 mature chinook 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 a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader) with a green/silver flasher. My 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. MacDeep 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.
The French Creek Salmon Derby is August 17-19 . All proceeds from the derby go to the Marion Baker Fish Hatchery (coho enhancement) on French Creek.
Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,
MID-ISLAND RIVERS AND BEACH FISHING
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. Hopefully the 2018 run will be good, the last two years being poor to average.
Initially numbers 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 that normally appear off the beach at Nile Creek in Bowser. This successful enhancement program at the hatchery ensures that fish normally return in prolific 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 jumping or head and tailing in 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!
For those who use gear a popular method is to use a fly or spinner under a water float. Obviously Buzzbombs, Zzingers can be effective especially when the fish are a long way out.
Pink salmon make excellent eating. Grill the fillets in butter for a few minutes. They are absolutely delicious
LAKES - With water temperatures so high trout action has slowed. 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 productive and reasonable numbers of chinook and lots of small coho have been taken both trolling and jigging. Hopefully this will result in good numbers of coho returning to our beaches and
local rivers later in the season. These fish are considered to be the most sporting of all the Pacific salmon and for many fly fisherman this is the cream of the Vancouver Island fishing experience.
Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right tackle and advice to help.
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,
PORT ALBERNI / BARKLEY SOUND
Saltwater - The 2018 sockeye salmon fishery never really got going and was shut down in Mid July. The cold June didn’t help. They never schooled up and just shot up the river as soon as the oxygen level was high enough (related to water
On the positive side chinooks are now inside the canal (Alberni Inlet). Fishing is good at Underwood Cove (China Creek) and Bell’s Bay which is just on the right side of the closure as of August 1. Troll anchovies or white hootches. A
good depth has been 60 ft. Farther out, especially the outskirts of Barkley Sound at Cape Beal, Austin Island and Cree Island, the chinook fishing has been very good. Troll at 50-100 ft. depths with Skinny G Herring Aids or 3-1/2” Bob
Marley spoons. This great chinook salmon fishing bodes well for the Labour Day Salmon Festival derby.
Offshore the halibut fishing has been very good at 5 Mile Bank and Big Bank.
Farther still the warm current is still too far away, but it’s reportedly moving in closer so by late August hopefully the yellowfin tuna will be within fishable range.
Freshwater - The bigger lakes, Cameron, Great Central and Sproat, and the alpine lakes will still be fishing well for trout. On the big lakes troll a gang troll with Flatfish, Wedding Band or plugs. Fly fishers can do well in the high
lakes with dry flies like Tom Thumb and elk hair caddis patterns. Otherwise the smaller, lower elvation lakes will be effected by the heat and trout will go deep. Your best bet is to fish in the early morning and evenings.
The rivers have now got a few summer steelhead showing up. Catch them on spinners and spoons. If you’re fly fishing try Intruder patterns and stone flies.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
ALBERNI SALMON FESTIVAL - LABOUR DAY WEEKEND
The 47th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival, 2018 has total prizes of $55,000 in cash with the biggest fish worth 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 47th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival will be held on the Labour Day Weekend, August 31, September 1, 2, 3. There’s lots of fun for the whole family, on the water and in town.
The timing, as always, is for the peak numbers of returning chinook coming into Barkley Sound. Hopefully this year lots of big salmon will be weighed in at the Salmon Festival. The largest ever caught was Art Berlinski’s 60 lb. 8 oz.
chinook in the 1982. Festival. 2016’s overall winner, Dan Weatherby’s 53.2 lb. fish. In 2017 the winners were 1st place Jeff Addison of Nanaimo 34.5 lb. (Swale Rock); 2nd place Chris Standish of Elkford 32.4 lb. (China Creek); 3rd place
Justin Kumagai of Port Alberni (Bamfield).
The overall largest salmon of the derby will be worth $15,000. The second and third largest salmon caught on each of the three derby days will also be worth thousands of dollars. Additional draw prizes of all sorts will ensure that this
derby has plenty of winners.
Derby contestants 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 sponsored by Quality Foods 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
Bavarian gardens, a dunk tank for the local celebrities, and a salmon barbeque.
For complete Salmon Festival information visit the official derby website: www.salmonfestival.ca
Live updates will be posted on Facebook “Port Alberni Salmon Festival.”
The action will also 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 (3300 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 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.
Come down and enjoy the 47th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival. There’ll be live music and entertainment. Have BBQ salmon while sipping on a cold beer with friends and help support the local non profit groups that benefit from this
CAMPBELL RIVER AREA FISHING REPORT
Saltwater - August fishing is continuing like the rest of the year so far - red hot! Anglers are starting to head up the Narrows and fishing more in the Brown’s Bay, Deepwater Bay, Chatham Pt. and Greensea Bay areas.
These spots continue to be hot, with King Kandy lures bringing in an abundance of fish as well as the old stand-bys and some of the newer spoons from Rite Angle, Lighthouse Lures, (the Big Eye), and Peetz. The advantage of trolling King
Kandy lures is that they mimic the action of real bait but don't attract as many dogfish. They also have a sponge insert you can saturate with scent to make the lure even harder to resist. The Ross Shimmer Tail has turned out to be a
secret weapon for 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 and other hot spots. White, glow, green glow and pink Durabait Grubs on a 12 or 16 oz. 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 sunniest months of the year. Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen as sunburns can quickly turn a relaxing day on the boat into a painful experience.
The Campbell River Fishing Pier is having another good year, the Point Wilson Dart 2 oz. and 3 oz. lures are again out fishing everything else.
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 are nice 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 fishers will have luck using damselfly and dragonfly nymph patterns, hatches occurring throughout the summer.
July has seen some early returns and by mid August the pink salmon will be thick in the Campbell River. Tyee Marine has some exclusive and very productive flies for this fun fishery.
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
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. Also, remember to fish the lower part of
the water column, this is where the fresher and still biting fish will be located.
Tight lines, have a great summer!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641
ESPERANZA INLET/NOOTKA SOUND REPORT
The best of fishing/catching for 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, Leiner and
Zeballos rivers in Esperanza Inlet are paying off big time. With over 4 million chinook fry and 2 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 Rocks. In Nootka at Coopte Pt., Fidalgo Passage and Camel Rk. All of these areas are
basically inside water. 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 Visibility 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 headers 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 your 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. at speeds of 2.5 mph +/- .5 mph.
Bottomfish - 2018 has proven to one of the best years ever for 35 to 55 lb. halibut, and 15 to 35 lb. lingcod. Stop by the Westview Marina & Lodge Tackle Shop and we will get the charts out and point you to the hot spots for these
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5
Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.
UCLUELET / LONG BEACH
Fishing has continued to impress us. We haven't seen consistent numbers of chinook salmon like this in a few years and it’s great to see so many bent rods and smiling faces.
Halibut fishing has also been good offshore and limits have been coming pretty quickly. The salmon seem to be staying mostly in close to shore and the halibut running 20 miles offshore, so it means we aren't getting limits of both in a
day that often. There have been some days where limits of both salmon and halibut were caught at Big Bank, but so far most of the chinook are on the beach.
The good news is that we are just starting to see some larger chinook roll through and we have been hitting more over 20 lb. in the last few days.
For more fishing reports check out www.salmoneye.net/site/fishing-with-us/fishing-reports.html
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
PORT HARDY AREA REPORT
There’s a reasonable amount of 15-25 lb. chinook salmon, averaging 4 to 6 per boat. The biggest one so far was 44.9 lb. They’re 40-65 ft. depths, at the usual hot spots, the Gordon Group, Duvall Point, the Mastermans.
Coho have shown up averaging 8-12 lb. with 2 or 3 fish per boat. They’re at all depths, mostly caught while fishing for chinooks. They’re getting bigger every week.
Pinks are here too, but in lower numbers than last year.
Halibut fishing is slow and steady. There’s good keeper fish, a few bigger ones being put back. We released one yesterday that was about 160 lb. Jigging at anchor is outfishing drifting. The airport and Taylor Bank have been good spots.
Trout - Lake fishing will slow down with the summer heat. Trout will be heading for the depths, so trolling Flatfish on a mini downrigger in Alice and Victoria lakes is one good way to reach them.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982
Jessica Rodgers with a November Vancouver Island steelhead. Photo courtesy Tyee Marine
Jasmine from Campbell River caught her very first fish (at Point Holmes) on her pink Barbie rod with a blue BuzzBomb. She was persistent in wearing her pink princess dress to match her rod.
This Atlantic salmon was caught in the Salmon River on Vancouver Island. The faceless angler is a federal fisheries employee who fears for his job security if he is perceived to be making an anti-aquaculture statement in his off duty fishing.
TIDAL WATERS FISHING LICENSES ONLY ON-LINE
In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.
As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.
The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.
Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.
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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