Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED July 25, 2016.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For AUGUST 2016 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.

NEWS

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).

DRAUGHT FORCES RIVER CLOSURES

Throughout 2016 Vancouver Island’s exceptionally low precipitation levels resulted in rapid deterioration of the snowpack. Water levels in many Vancouver Island systems are lower than normal and forecast to continue to drop over the summer. These low levels coupled with warm water temperatures will create challenging migratory conditions for salmon and will likely result in increased salmon mortality in these southern Region 1 systems. Until September 1, 2016 all Vancouver Island rivers are closed to angling except: Big Qualicum River, Puntledge River, and the Quinsam/Campbell rivers.

Rockfish - To reduce fishing impacts on yelloweye rockfish in south coast waters (Areas 11, 20-1 to 20-4, 21 to 27, 111, 121 and 123 to 127) until further notice the daily limit for rockfish is three per day in the aggregate of which only one may be yelloweye rockfish.

Shellfish - In summer there’s more shellfish contamination hazard. Before harvesting shellfish check BOTH sanitary and marine biotoxin closures. If there is either the area is closed to harvesting all bivalve shellfish. www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/contamination/biotox/index-eng.html

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                    

VANCOUVER ISLAND FISHING REPORTS

SOUTH ISLAND REPORT - VICTORIA, SIDNEY, SAANICH

Saltwater - Some hatchery coho are being caught in Juan de Fuca strait as well as the chinooks.

The 11th Annual Consultants Invitational Fishing Derby, hosted by the civil engineering community of Victoria to raise funds for the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society, was held July 16. The winning salmon was a 30 lb. 3 oz. chinook caught by Lorne Mitchell. In 2nd place salmon David Bonella with a 25 lb. 6 oz. chinook. Scott Adams was 3rd with a 24 lb. 10 oz. chinook. The largest bottomfish was a 3 lb. 3 oz. rockfish caught by Hayden Earle. All told, there were 32 chinook, 2 pink salmon and 3 rockfish weighed in.

BECHER BAY – The Trap Shack, Beechey Head, and Aldridge Point were the most productive locations. Most of the chinooks were less than 10 lb. but there were few larger ones. Anglers using bait are finding anchovies in glow teaser heads have been working. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G, in Bon Chovy or Outfitters’ colours were also effective. For flashers, the Purple Onion, Lemon Lime and Bon Chovy have been good.

PEDDER BAY – Almost all the salmon were caught near the entrance of Pedder Bay. There was a lot of bait in the bay and anglers jigging near the bait schools were hooking the most. Many jiggers were getting limits while anglers trolling were getting skunked. Through most of July the springs were mostly on the small side, but fish up to 20 lb. were taken. Anchovies also caught fish. Good choices for teaser head colours are UV green, chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. Popular flashers include the Betsey, Lemon-Lime and Madi.

HALIBUT – The best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom Reef and Constance Bank. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work well. Use Mudraker, Lucky or 9" Jumbo Squids to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – The best fishing was out at Constance Bank. There were a few caught along the waterfront near Esquimalt. Anchovies have been a good bait to use and glow green and Purple Haze have been the most popular colours for teaser heads. Spoons and squirts have been successful in getting hook ups as well. good choices in plastic baits are the Pink Haze and white glow. Green Spatter Back UV Coho Killers, Outfitters or Bon Chovy Skinny-G trolled behind a Moon Jelly flasher has also brought results in Victoria.

HALIBUT – The best areas were East Constance Bank, Border Bank and the Mud Hole.

OAK BAY – There has been a lot of bait, but the salmon just hadn’t shown up in any numbers. Anglers fishing with bait have been using anchovies or tiny strip in glow teaser heads. Good trolling lures have been Coho Killers, Bon Chovy or Outfitters Skinny-G spoons and APT Needlefish spoons. Drift anglers have been using Needlefish Darts or Deep Stingers.

HALIBUT – Most anglers that were fishing for halibut were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Also working well was the 9" Jumbo Squid in Green Glow. Also working well, and discouraging to dogfish, was the 9" Jumbo Squid in Green Glow.

SIDNEY- Anglers jigging been catching springs using Needlefish Darts and Deep Stingers. The Powder Wharf and Shag Rocks area are popular for jigging salmon.

FRESHWATER – All streams except the Big Qualicum River, the Puntledge River and the Quinsam river are closed to fishing until further notice.

TROUT LAKES – On the lakes shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms fished close to the bottom. Fly anglers are using Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, leeches and micro leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers are catching trout with Gang Trolls and Wedding Bands.

BASS - This time of year most of the bass are in the shallows. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can also work. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Marys Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,

Victoria, ph: 475-4969

 

SOOKE REPORT

Spring salmon fishing was a little slow through most of July but should pick up in August.

Possession, Secretary, Trap Shack, Otter Point have all been producing nice fish. Best fishing depths have been 50 to 100 ft.

Anchovies are the most productive bait. For teaser heads try glow white, Bloody Nose, Purple Haze. For flashers try purple glow, red glow, Silver Betsy, Purple Onion. Coho Killers and Coyote spoons are working also good.

Halibut fishing has slowed down some but anglers sure are getting some nice ones up in the Jordan River area.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines.

Al Kennedy,

Reel Excitement Salmon Charters

www.salmonexcitement.com

email: fishing@salmonexcitement.com

250-642-3410

 

LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT

Saltwater - Port Renfrew - Halibut fishing is excellent. Top Baits are XL herring, mackerel, octopus. Top artificials are Berkley 8" Power Grubs. Fish these off your spreader bars as you drift. Bouncing the bottom periodically is like ringing a dinner bell. When jerk fishing try adding strips of octopus off of your large jigs. Octopus is extremely tough and will add scent to your jig.

Fish showing at Port Renfrew, 8 to 30 lb. chinook. Best flashers and lures: Gold Betsy, Footloos or Bon Chovy UV flasher and chrome Jo-Anne mint pearl head or Halloween Candy UV or green/gold Monkey Puke.

Gibbs Skinny-G and Needle-G spoons. Copy smaller baits perfectly.

Cowichan Bay and Sansun Narrows - Jerkers doing well on new Holographic Jigs of P-Line at 60 to 80' depth. Fish to 25 lb.

Trolling with a purple glow flasher and small anchovies.

Nitinat - By mid-month should be going strong for cut pluggers on the bar. The lake should kick into high gear around the end of the month.

Beach fishing - Salmon Point, mouth of Oyster River, Nile Creek mouth, Departure Bay, Cowichan Bay. Pinks will be staging and ready to play. We carry a large selection of beach flies. Pinks are great fun on light tackle and excellent eating if you dress fish and put on ice right away.

Freshwater - Cowichan Lake - Fishing good. Fish holding 30-60’ level. Top producers are large Gang Trolls with a red Wedding Band tipped with a worm. Also try F7 Flatfish or a K7 Kwikfish in Frog patterns or K5/6 Coachdog. Troll these well behind your boat (100') doing an S pattern over drop-off paralleling the shoreline.

Cowichan River - Closed

Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store!

Stop by the store for an up to dated fishing report.

May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear

Gord March, Gord’s Fly Box,

170C Cowichan Lake Rd, Lake, Cowichan, BC

250-932-9309

gordsflybox@shaw.ca

www.gordsflybox.ca

 

NANAIMO FISHING REPORT

Saltwater - There are definitely a few chinook salmon off the Nanaimo waterfront, but it has been spotty in July. The fish being caught have been mostly in the low teens with a few in the twenties.

They’re deep, 160-220 feet. A reliable lure is a glow hootchie behind a Super Betsy or green flasher.

We’re seeing more and more coho with lots of hatchery fish in the mix. Anglers are doing good on Coho Kill Golden Nugget spoons or anything gold. Cop Car spoons are always great lures for the coho.

The pink salmon are just now making their appearance up north around Campbell River (at press time), so we’ll see them, as usual, in the first or second week of August. Departure Bay and the Millstone estuary are the in-town hot spots where shore casters will use small pink BuzzBombs or pink flies. This will be a good year for pinks with higher numbers than last year.

There’s some good lingcod being caught out at Entrance Island.

Freshwater - Early mornings and evenings are the time to fish for trout. Divers. Long and Brennan lakes are getting most of the effort from local anglers. Worm and bobber or Powerbait are still catching fish from shore and trollers are getting results on Wedding Band with worm.

Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

 

PARKSVILLE / FRENCH CREEK

Big chinooks are coming. August truly is the month saltwater anglers in local waters await with great anticipation.

We are seeing a great coho salmon return this year, a good mix of hatchery (adipose fin missing) and wild (adipose fin attached). I've caught a few up in the 6 lb. range already! No word yet on wild coho retention for 2016 in Area 14.

Mature chinook salmon heading for the Big and Little Qualicum rivers will provide all sorts of excitement for trollers and jiggers alike. In early to mid August these salmon will move in looking for lots of food to store energy for their spawning migration. Out Front, Ballenas and Gerald islands are good areas to try. A trip over to Lasqueti Island can also be productive. Finnerty and Sangster islands are also good areas. Make sure to check the marine forecast for the day before heading over to Lasqueti Island.

When targeting chinook salmon that are still feeding try using an Army Truck hootchie (42" leader) with a red/silver flasher, or a black/white spoon (60" leader) with a green/silver flasher. At this time of year the dogfish have moved in and using bait (anchovie, herring, herring strip) is pretty tough. In mid to late August things start to really heat up when these mature chinook salmon start to mill around the mouth of the Big and Little Qualicum rivers.

These salmon are not feeding at this time, so the gear choice changes dramatically. Try using a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie (32" leader) with a green/silver flasher. My personal favourite is a Bubblegum Pink Mini Plankton hootchie inserted into a Purple Haze hootchie with a Purple Haze flasher. Also try small 3-1/2" spoons in Bubblegum Pink (36" leader) with a green/silver flasher. You're usually fishing in 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 Salmon Slayer jig near the bottom should do the trick.

The bite seems to really take off at dusk, so make sure all your navigation lights are working properly to ensure a safe trip home.

The French Creek Salmon Derby will take place August 19-21. This is a fun event for all ages, with great prizes. All the proceeds from the derby go to the Marion Baker Fish Hatchery (coho enhancement) on French Creek. Early registration available call (250) 248-3713 ext. 21. Hope to see you there!

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,

& French Creek Harbour Store, 5 - 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville, 250-248-8912, www.frenchcreekstore.ca

 

MID-ISLAND RIVER AND BEACH REPORT

I just returned from an early fishing trip to Campbell River to chase the first run of pink salmon that had come into the river. Not huge numbers but larger than normal, fresh silver fish in the 6-7 lb. range. These pinks were not receptive to a vast range of flies that I put in front of them! However the larger run will start soon and these prolific fish give fantastic sport on a light fly or gear rod.

With nearly every other river closed to fishing south of Campbell River, apart from the Quinsam, Puntledge and Big Qualicum, fly fishermen will be chasing pinks off the beaches where they will be found close to the river of their birth.

I have written before about the large number of fish at Nile Creek in Bowser. This successful enhancement program at the hatchery ensures that fish return in vast numbers every year. Unfortunately it also, arguably, brings too many anglers as well, shoulder to shoulder they stand desperate to get into a fish.

Search out less popular spots and look for fish that are 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 to!

If you fish the fly the general mantra is pink salmon like pink flies, but other colors work well: green, blue and purple.

For those who use gear a popular method is to use a fly or spinner under a float. Obviously BuzzBombs, Zzingers and small Deadly Dicks can be very effective especially when the fish are a long way out!

Contrary to some opinions, pink salmon make excellent eating. Grill the fillets in butter for a few minutes. They are absolutely delicious.

LAKES - With water temperatures so high trout action has slowed with the hot weather. Best fishing will always be early and late when fish are likely feeding more actively.

SALTWATER - The salt chuck has continued to be fairly productive and reasonable numbers of chinook and lots of early coho have been taken both trolling and jigging. Ballenas Island seems to be a hot spot at the moment and the favourite spoon the Titan Water Melon

Whether you are fishing fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right equipment and advice to help

Tight Lines Keith Hyett,

Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,

 

ALBERNI & BARKLEY SOUND REPORT

Saltwater - It was a good sockeye season but we’re at the tail end of it now.

We’re expecting a strong return of Stamp River chinook salmon. The run is forecast at 125,000 fish (last year we had about half of that). We will be about to catch and keep two adult chinook salmon with no maximum size limits. It should be a good salmon derby on Labour Day weekend with likely some bigger fish.

To catch them, anchovies in teaser heads behind a (chartreuse) flasher should be the ticket in Barkley Sound. In the inlet half the fish are usually hooked on hootchies similar to those used for sockeye, but on 38 leaders. Some people will do well using white or Army Truck hootchies. They won’t be that deep, 40-50 feet or shallower.

Those fish will be in Barkley Sound at the usual hot spots (Pill Point, Kirby, Cree Island, Swale Rock, etc) early in August and a little later in the inlet (Lone Tree Point, the Narrows, Cous Creek, etc).

We haven’t seen them yet but coho salmon will start to show up later in August. To target them troll a bit faster, shallower with smaller lures.

Bottom fishing in Barkley Sound can be productive through the summer, Look for rock piles and jig your favourite lures.

Good luck. Gone Fishin’

4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,

ph: 250-723-1172

 

45th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival, Labour Day Weekend, Sept 2 - 5

The 45th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival, 2016 has total prizes of $55,000 with the winning fish catching a whopping $15,000! There are also lots of hidden weight and draw prizes. Your chances at catching a winner have gone up again this year. Tickets remain only $40. per rod.

The 45th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival will be held on the Labour Day Weekend, September 2, 3, 4, 5. There’s lots of fun for the whole family, on the water and in town.

Great numbers of returning chinook are predicted for the 2016 season. The highest forecast returns in 10 years, with 250,000+ expected to return to hatcheries along with chinooks returning to U.S. river. Over one million springs will be feeding and traveling the Island’s west coast! Hopefully this year lots of big salmon will be weighed in at the Salmon Festival. The Labour Day Weekend is peak season for chinook salmon running through Alberni waters. The largest ever caught was Art Berlinski’s 60 lb. 8 oz. chinook in the 1982 Festival.

On each of the three fishing days there is a $5,000 first prize for the biggest salmon, $2,000 for the second biggest and $1,000 for third place. The overall largest salmon of the derby will be worth $15,000. Additional draw prizes of all sorts will ensure that this derby has plenty of winners.

Derby doers with their eyes on the big fish and the prize money start honing their skills and local knowledge by fishing the hot spots in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. Among the locations that have produced winning fish in past years are Pill Point, Bamfield, Headquarters, and San Mateo Bay.

A Friday night fireworks display will open the Salmon Festival. There will be continuous free entertainment on the grounds and a wide range of fun activities and attractions for the whole family, including a bullhead derby for the kids, Bavarian gardens for adults, a dunk tank for the local celebrities, salmon barbeque, and a fishermen’s breakfast each morning from 5 am -10:30 am.

For complete Salmon Festival information visit the official derby website: www.salmonfestival.ca

The action will be broadcast live on local radio 93.3 FM, the Peak.

Salmon Festival rules are subject to Fisheries and Oceans regulations.

Clutesi Haven is the weight station for major prizes. 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 $40 per rod. Prize presentations will be at Clutesi Haven Marina at 4 pm, Monday. Tickets can be purchased by calling 250-723-5223.

 

COURTENAY / COMOX REPORT

Saltwater - Kitty Coleman started to pick up at the end of July and should continue to fish well right through the summer. Tribune Bay and Denman have also been productive. The Powell River area is also very good right now. Coho Point and Grants Reef have been fantastic with lots of larger sized springs, plus a few halibut in the area. Troll with Oil Slick hootchies or Point Wilson King Kandy at 120-200 feet.

Beach fishing for pinks has started. Casting off shore, from Oyster River to Royston with pink casting lures, BuzzBombs, Zzingers or Krocs is the key. Pink or chartreuse flies also work great.

All of the local lakes are productive. Casting from shore With Mepp's or Blue Fox spinners works well as does the bobber and worm trick.

Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave.,

Courtenay, 334-2942

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.

CAMPBELL RIVER AREA REPORT

Saltwater - The Green Can and Hump are always productive in August for chinook salmon, ling and halibut, as well as a good numbers of coho salmon.

For salmon, troll with Pesca Spoons, Coho Killers, King Kandy, or Tomic Plugs. Hootchies are always hot with a UV or basic green flasher.

Jigging around the Hump can also be fantastic. Use a Point Wilson Dart and follow the bait balls. Try jigging for halibut or lingcod with 8 oz. white or green Darts, or Powerbait with a jig head. Make sure to watch for the usual Lighthouse closures and special gear restrictions in front of the Campbell River area.

Brown’s Bay, Chattam and Greansea Bay will flood with pink salmon, and as always coho and springs will be in with the mix.

The Campbell River has a generous showing of pinks this year. Anything pink will do - BuzzBombs, Zzingers, or pink flies.

The local lakes are full of trout. Fishing from shore in the evening is a guarantee. Trolling with Leo's Wedding Bands or Tomic Wee Tads always works well. Muddler and leach patterns are the flies of choice.

Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,

Campbell River, 250-287-2641

 

WEST COAST, UCLUELET, LONG BEACH

Some nice average size fish being taken at Outside Lighthouse Bank (through July). The bite seems good one day and slower the next, but this is where most of the better fish are coming from. Sometimes the bite starts slow and it just takes figuring out what the fish are going to take. Sizes here have been mostly 12 to 25 lb.

Big Bank has also been producing chinook, though average sizes have been smaller. Coho have not been showing up yet as much as in past years. There have been a few fish on South Bank, but not enough to spend much time there.

Halibut have been showing up well on Big Bank and at least when the chinook bite is slow you can find your white meat there. There is usually enough action to keep you entertained.

Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye

Fishing Charters,

877-777-4344, www.salmoneye.net

 

NOOTKA SOUND - MOUTCHA BAY - KAYAK FISHING DERBY and TUNA FISHING DERBY

On Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, 2016 Nootka Marine Adventures will be holding its 13th Annual two-day Kayak Derby, in the waters of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet.

The goal is to raise funds for salmon enhancement and habitat restoration projects within the Nootka Sound watershed, benefiting not only the salmon fishing community but also the local natural environment.

Moutcha Bay Resort will serve as headquarters for the derby where the fish weigh-in and prize ceremonies will take place. This year there is a $60 per contestant entry fee and participants are encouraged to register in advance of arrival.

Sponsors have the option to support our derby through donations of cash, merchandise or a combination of both. This year's total cash prizes are $3,500, in addition, the are some high value products, from a variety of sponsors, to be featured on the prize table

Nootka Marine Adventures hosts the first annual four day Tuna Derby on August 19, 20, 21 and 22. The Tuna Derby will take place in the waters off of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet.

Newton Cove Resort will serve as headquarters for the derby where the fish weigh-in and prize ceremonies will be held. There is a $500 per boat entry fee and participants are encouraged to register in advance of arrival.

As with all of Nootka Marine Adventures derbies the goal is to raise funds for salmon enhancement and habitat restoration projects within the Nootka Sound watershed, benefiting not only the salmon fishing community but also the local natural environment.

Sponsors have the option to support the derby through donations of cash, merchandise or a combination of both. This year's cash prize will be based on a percentage of the entry fees received. In addition, there are some high value products, from a variety of sponsors, to be featured on the prize table.

For further information contact 1-877-337-5464

Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing

Gibran White, Marine Operations Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures

1-877-337-5464

www.nootkamarineadventures.com

 

NOOTKA SOUND and ESPERANZA INLET

It’s ALL true, fishing/catching salmon is usually very good here in Esperanza and Nootka, but this year it is over the top great. Limits of chinook/springs/king salmon are the norm for most everybody.

The new fishing regs. have also helped get access to these huge schools of chinook. For the most part you can retain 2 over 45 cm in most places. No over and under regs for 2016. There are a few No Fin Fishing areas to protect some stocks of concern but there are so many new open areas it really will not affect the overall fishing opportunities. Multiple Tyees (30 lb.+) springs are an everyday occurrence at Westview Marina’s cleaning tables.

TUNA, TUNA, TUNA - Yes, the most fun you can have in a boat with your clothes on! Yes it is the most exciting fishing on the West Coast Vancouver Island. Yes the daily limits remain 20 per day per person. Yes albacore tuna in August is the peak time for catching these fast, hard fighting fish. We have been fishing/catching this delicious species since 2007. They are caught regularly within 15 miles of the shore line in Esperanza Inlet. For nine years we have gathered a great deal of tuna ground intel: how, when and where to boat tuna. We often go fishing on the Super Salmon Highway and when the conditions are right, off we go tuna fishing. Double and triple headers are the norm when you get in them. Albacore tuna fishing/catching is one of the best adrenaline rushes you can have on a boat.

TUNA GEAR - A high end hali rod and reel will do the job nicely with 80-100 lb. braided line. Never set the drag at hali pressure for the first tuna strike. The boat is moving at 7-10 mph and the tuna at 30 mph. That initial strike/impact will break things you never thought would come apart. It is crazy, fast and fun.

Fish On John aka FOJ 250-934-7672

john@westviewmarina.com fb

Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis - 800-992-3252

 

PORT HARDY REPORT

Salmon fishing is getting really good as the chinooks and coho make their way to their home rivers.

The spring salmon are getting bigger and we’re now averaging three fish per day. August is when we can expect to hook into some really big chinooks in the 30’40s, 50s lb. and maybe bigger.

There’s lots of coho salmon, both hatchery and wild fish. Those fish will be getting bigger every day until, by late August, they’ll be in the high teens or better. Coho fishing is shallow, from right on the surface down to 40 feet.

The halibut fishing has been a bit slower the past week, but that could change any time.

Trout - In Alice and Victoria lakes the warmer weather is bringing a lot of bug hatches and activating all the feed. Troll black and silver or blue and silver Flatfish.

Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982

 

ST MARY LAKE, SALT SPRING ISLAND

Fishing ST. MARY LAKE - Smallmouth bass and trout fishing picks up in the cooler weather. Top-water lures like poppers and buzz-baits work well until it cools down, then try rubber worms, jigs and other sinking lures. Shore casting

spinners and spoons to the edges of weed-beds is effective. Trolling a gangtroll with worms usually catches trout. Target submerged structure and shoreline overhangs.

St. Mary Lake is restricted to the use of rowboats, paddling or electric motors only. Deepest pockets are in the northwest: 55 feet (17 metres).

The bigger trout and bass will feed more actively as the weather cools. Target them with bigger flies. Large poppers and top water imitations are great fun when you notice insect activity on the surface. Bass will hit top water casting

lures like buzz baits. Fish around cover like sunken trees, overhanging branches and docks. In winter plumb the deep pockets for the biggest bass.

                                                                                                                                                

TIDAL WATERS FISHING LICENSES ONLY ON-LINE

In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.

As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.

The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell  licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.

Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.

To buy your tidal waters fishing license on-line click here.

                                                                                                                                                      

Be bear aware

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climb a tree as a last resort.

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

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

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

/bearsmintro.html.

                                                                                                                                                                       

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