Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED JANUARY 2, 2016.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Winter 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.


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),, or by texting TIP190 and your message to 274637 (crimes).


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 :

Quick Facts

- 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.



Saltwater - Salmon fishing was good for feeder (winter) springs up to 12 lbs for those hardy anglers who braved the weather. Halibut fishing was fair as the season ended. Halibut fishing closed on January 1.

SOOKE – The salmon fishing had been GOOD for springs with most of the fish under 10 lbs in size. The area around the basin entrance was best but the fish are moving around more on the outside now. Most of the anglers have switched over to artificial lures and are trolling close to the bottom. The top spoons for Sooke anglers have lots of green, glow or Moon Jelly as the primary color. Anchovies are still a good choice for bait though and good choices for teaser head colors are UV Green, Chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. For flashers, you can’t go wrong with a Super Betsey, Madi or Bon Chovi Flasher. Hootchies in White, Glow/Green and Purple Haze have been effective recently. Shrimping has been very good in Sooke Basin.

BECHER BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Small winter springs up to 8 lbs were caught in the bay by the few anglers who went out fishing. Most of the anglers have switched over to artificial lures and trolling close to the bottom. Spoons, especially G-Force and Skinny G spoons, in Bon Chovy or Outfitters’ colours have been very effective. Anglers using bait are finding anchovies in glow teaser heads have been working best. For flashers, the Betsey, Lemon Lime and Green/Silver Hot Spot have been good. Halibut fishing was SLOW this past week.

PEDDER BAY – Salmon fishing was GOOD this past week in the bay. The bay entrance has held lots of winter springs from 3 to 8 lbs. Most of the anglers have switched over to artificial lures and trolling close to the bottom. Spoons, especially G-Force and Skinny G spoons in Brass/Silver, Bon Chovy or Outfitters’ colours, have been very effective. Hootchies and squirts with a green and glow color combination have been good plastic baits to use, especially with a 28" to 32" leader. Anchovies were still working this past week. Good choices for teaser head colors are UV Green, Chartreuse, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. Flashers that are popular include the Betsey, Lemon-Lime and Madi.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. The best areas were Race Rocks, William Head, 27 Fathom reef and Constance Bank. Anglers that were fishing were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use Mudraker, Lucky or 9" Jumbo Squids if you want to stay away from the dogfish.

VICTORIA – Fishing for salmon was GOOD. The most fish have come from out at Constance Bank where springs up to 9 lbs were caught. Closer in, springs up to 11.8 lbs were between Albert Head and Clover Point. The fish have been moving around with the tides, so you might have to do a bit of searching before finding them. The 130 foot depths have been good off the waterfront and you lure should be close to the bottom. Spoons have been very successful in getting hook ups but you have to check you line often for shakers. Green Spatter Back UV Coho Killers, 3.5" Cop Car spoons or AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons have brought good results at Constance Bank. The seals are once again a problem for anglers.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR with lots of dogfish. Some anglers have done well with Powerbait grubs. Also working well, and discouraging to dogfish, was the 9" Jumbo Squid in Green Glow. Anglers that were fishing were mostly using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait.

OAK BAY – Salmon fishing was FAIR to GOOD recently but very few, if any, anglers were out fishing. There were some springs up to 10 lbs caught on the flats but not too many. Most of the springs are too small for retention. The coho haven’t been running strong in this area as well. Good trolling lures have been Coho Killers, Bon Chovi or Outfitters Skinny G spoons or AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons. Anglers jigging have been using Needlefish Darts, Point Wilson Darts or Deep Stingers.

HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was FAIR this past week. 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- Salmon fishing was FAIR this past week. Springs continue to be caught near Deep Cove and Wain Rock. The Sidney Channel was slow but a few fish up to 7 lbs were caught near Sidney Island. Anglers using spoons found Coho Killers, Gibbs Needle G and AP Tackleworks needlefish spoons the most successful spoons this past year.

OVERVIEW – Fishing was SLOW in most lakes for trout and SLOW for bass during this past week’s cold spell. Some winter run steelhead are just starting to enter the rivers..

COWICHAN RIVER – Water levels in the river are close to 1 meter near the lake and near Duncan. Some steelhead have entered the river but it has been spotty so far this winter. The Riverbottom area has been best for steelhead. Not many steelhead have reached the upper reaches of the river yet. Fishing for trout with egg patterns in the fly only area has been quite good. Anglers fishing egg patterns have been catching browns, rainbows and cutthroat trout.

TROUT – Trout fishing is FAIR on most lakes in the South Island area. 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. Brent Mockford caught a 5 lb 2 oz rainbow trout at Langford Lake on Pink & White Powerbait. Fly anglers are fishing Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers are catching trout with Gang Trolls and Gibbs Wedding Bands. 2" Tomic Plugs have also been working well for Trout.

BASS - Bass fishing is SLOW. During the day, soft plastics rigged Carolina style work well and crank baits can work well too. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style" are also a good choice when fishing drop offs and docks. The most productive colors in 4" Yum baits are Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,

Victoria, ph: 475-4969



Winter spring fishing has been pretty good lately. The majority of the fish have been caught between the Sooke Bluffs and Otter Point. The best fishing depths have been between 120 to 150 ft. working the bottom.

For bait, anchovies and herring trolled in various glow teaser heads have been working good with about a 5 ft leader. Spoons have been working great like the Coho Killers with glow, and the Gibbs 4" green and glow, and Cop Car Coyote spoon. For hootchies try Purple Haze, Cloverleaf, Peanut Butter, and glow white.

On the halibut side Muir Creek and the Sooke Buffs have been producing some nice halibut from 20 to 70 lb. Large herring has been the ticket fishing in about 200 to 260 ft. of water.

Quick reminder Sooke annual Box Day Derby ticket sales will be at Eagle Eye Wilderness, Crabshack and Wise Buys. For more information phone Ron at 250 213 2118 or250 642 7983.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines. Al Kennedy,

Reel Excitement Salmon Charters





Sooke Coho Derby winners

The Sooke Coho Derby (Number two of the three part Sooke Saltwater Series), October 8 had good participation and lots of nice salmon weighed in. The Series is the amalgamation of three popular, well established Sooke derbies beginning the season with the Sooke Halibut Derby followed by the Sooke Coho Derby, and wrapped up with the Sooke Boxing Day Derby. The Sooke Saltwater Series is a season long points race, which encourages fishers to take part in all three derbies to win the Sooke Saltwater Series and take the title of Sooke Fishing Champion.

A portion of proceeds from each derby is donated to either the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society, The Charters Creek Interpretive Centre, or the Sooke Food Bank. Fishers are always encouraged to donate all or part of their catch to the food bank to be entered into draws for chances at extra prizes.

Here are the top ten winners, and weights of their coho - over $4000.00 in cash!

1- Sean Hutchinson - 17.54 lb.

2 - Mark Purdy - 17.34 lb.

3 - Scott Schick - 14.62 lb.

4 - Zac Homer - 13.38 lb.

5 - Greg Horn - 13.30 lb.

6 - Mike Green - 13.06 lb.

7 - Brian Dennis - 12.36 lb.

8 - Dave Homer - 12.18 lb.

9 - Rick Kasper - 12.16 lb.

10-Mike Mc Gregor - 12.01 lb.

Thanks to all participants. The Sooke Saltwater Series has so far raised $5200.00 to be shared with Sooke Food Bank, Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society and Charters Creek Interpretive Centre.

The next stage in the series is the Boxing Day Derby, December 26. See



Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing has picked up. Try trolling creek mouths with 3" Tomic plugs in the new amazing iridescent colours. Also good success with Gang Trolls (The larger the better.) 24-30? leader and size 5-7 Kwikfish or Flatfish chrome blue and frog patterns are best. Fly casting at creek mouths with Wooley Buggers or leeches. Remember bait ban and single barbless hooks until April 15. Cutthroat and rainbow trout over 50 cm must be released.

Kissinger and Lizard Lakes to the west, good rainbow trout fishing, try corky and single egg rig off the docks and beaches. Trolling with small Spratleys leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons.

Fuller Lake, Chemainus Lake, Dougan’s Lake, Quamichan Lake and Somenos Lake also producing well. These seven lakes have been recently stocked.

Cowichan River salmon - Effective until December 31 the daily limit of chum salmon is four and coho salmon one (hatchery or wild) in the lower river from the 66 Mile Trestle downstream to Silver Bridge.

Cowichan River Trout Fishing - Mid river resident rainbow and brown trout. Single egg copies.

Skutz Falls to 70.2 Trestle excellent for browns and rainbows. Single egg copies and minnow or Rolled Mudler flies. Greendale Trestle to 70.2 Trestle loaded with rainbows that have dropped from the lake to dine on the salmon eggs and prepare for spawning. The largest browns in the river are found in this section. Flies of choice: single egg patterns, Rolled Mudlers, Prince Nymphs, Hair’s Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies - the river is still quite high and it is important to get down deep.

Best flies for coho are blue Rolled Mudlers, Micky Fins or Jim Humphrey’s famous river salmon flies.

Best spinning lures for Coho: Vibrax, gold/orange size 3 or silver/pink in size 3 also Gibbs Croc spoons in hammered brass or copper with fire stripe.

Steelhead Fishing - Cowichan River - Try Silver Bridge area for early steelhead. Pink worms (we stock 17 shades), blades, Spin ‘n Glows are your best bets. Mid river (Riverbottom Road area) try pink worms, blades and smaller roe imitations. December/January yields the largest fish of the season followed by the February/March run of smaller but more plentiful fish.

Nitinat, San Juan, Harris Creek - All excellent rivers for late summer runs and winter steelhead. Best fished when coming off of high water.

Fly Fishing - Heavy sink tip lines are necessary when the rivers are running in winter conditions.

Flies of choice: Always popular egg and roe copies, the best of the best are Jim Humphrey’s Intruder Flies that could entice a strike at any time. Put your time in and as the weather improves the odds of landing a winter steelhead will only get better.

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

Stop by the store for current fishing report. View our webpage

Gord March,

Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies

170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742


Lake Cowichan



Saltwater - At this time there are still a few chum salmon being caught but just about over.

By late December we should be catching winter springs, fishing down deep with anchovies and small spoons (Irish Cream, Kitchen Sink and Homeland Security finishes). Entrance Island, Thrasher Rock, the Fingers and Ballenas areas are winter hot spots trolling at 150+ depths.

Lingcod and rockfish closed at the end of September, but halibut remains open until the end of December.

Crabbing is usually good in the winter. A lot of areas may be closed for prawns so check with DFO (1-866-431-3474). Winter closures will be in effect to protect large, mature, egg-bearing females as their eggs prepare to hatch before the four-year life cycle ends

Chum and coho fishing in the Nanaimo River is open until December 31, but the fishing is tapering off. The lower portion between the bridges should later be open for steelhead.

Trout fishing in local lakes is good in the fall and should stay productive for now because of the warm weather. The bigger lakes around Nanaimo are good all winter for trout. Fly fish deep with sinking line and wet flies - local favorites like the Pumpkinhead Wooly Bugger or troll a Flatfish.

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



Winter chinooks... The best way to winterize your boat is to keep fishing! A great way to break up a wet winter is to find a day when the wind and sun cooperate and head out on the saltchuck. Nothing like a crisp day, flat seas, backdropped with fresh snow on our local mountains.

Last winter was very productive for winter chinooks in local waters. At time of writing this report (early November) we are having a huge return of chum salmon to our area. It's been a few years since there's been a commercial fishery for salmon in Area 14. A welcomed sight after our lower than expected chinook salmon return.

Winter chinooks" (two to three-year-old resident salmon) will hold in our area providing there is bait (usually herring) to satisfy their hearty appetite.

Winter chinooks tend to be deep so keep the downriggers just off the bottom, troll a bit faster than usual (2 1/2-3 as well. 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"-60") leader with a crushed ice/glow flasher work well. Having some glow material on flashers, spoons, hootchies, and teaser heads can help to grab their attention in low light conditions.

Now is the time to try bait again (anchovies, herring, herring strip) as the dogfish have moved out seeking warmer water. A glow teaser head (48"-60") leader with a green/glow flasher should do the trick.

Chinook salmon tend to feed near structure so areas like Out Front on the humps, Mistaken Island, Gerald Island, and Ballenas Islands are good starting points. These salmon are some of the best eating, with cooler water temperatures they have more fat content and beautiful red flesh.

Winter is a nice time to prawn and crab as well. Keep an eye out for spawning female prawns (eggs attached) during the winter months, recommended to return these, or better yet move to another area if you feel your getting a lot of females in a paticular spot. Crab is nice and fresh with less molting (soft shell) crab in the winter. It's also a great time of year to harvest some oysters and clams too.

As far as the boat goes, It's a good idea to stabilizer your fuel in the off season. Running the boat up once a month keeps your batteries up and things moving so you might as well take an extra step or two and find that perfect day and hit the water! The taste of fresh seafood in the winter will always bring a smile to your face, so what are you waiting for?

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters,

(250) 951-5927

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



The height of the fishing season is largely over. After a difficult early summer with very little water, which eventually led to closure of nearly all of the rivers on the south of the island, fishing got better with the rainfall of late summer. In fact as I write this in early November I hear that last month has been the wettest October on record ! Right now the local rivers are in flood and totally unfishable. Feast or famine!

Before this recent dump of rain good sport was enjoyed on most of the local rivers with bright chinook, coho and chum being caught on both fly and gear. Earlier the pinks eventually arrived off the beaches of mid-Island in early August, but not in great numbers. Coho salmon off the beaches were elusive and whether or not you caught fish was based around being in the right place at the right time or just being plain lucky! The fishermen using gear could often get to the fish that the fly guys couldn’t reach.

In freshwater the steelheaders will be chasing this fantastic fish in a core of Vancouver Island rivers, the most famous of which are the Stamp and Cowichan. Fly fishermen will get some fish, using large marabou patterns and Wooly Buggers in a variety of bright colours. Large rubber legged nymphs also work well close to the bottom. However, the majority will be caught on gear using Jensen Eggs, Corkies, Spin ‘n’ Glows, or pink worms under dink floats with pencil lead.

Some hardy types will be out on the saltchuck after feeder chinook on the finer days of winter. These are young fish typically two- or three-years-old. In general they are more active feeders than summer fish. As a result you can fish faster and cover more water.

As I write this there are still huge late runs of chum and in many east coast rivers and several anglers had good sport on the fly on the Little Qualicum River and on fly and gear in the Englishman River.

Trout fishing can be good between now and the depths of winter. Fishing with egg patterns often finds the bigger fish that have followed the spawning salmon into local rivers.

At this time of year thoughts turn to the festive season ahead and perhaps what to get the fisherman or lady fisher in your life. We can help with a variety of appropriate equipment that will please and gift vouchers if you don’t know what to give.

For anyone aspiring to get into fly fishing we run regular learn to fly fish courses and have great Echo Base Fly Fishing Kits. Check out our website for more information.

Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you catch more fish.

Tight Lines Keith Hyett,

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



Saltwater - Winter chinook fishing will really get going around the New Year, but there are few fish out there now. Troll deep 100-200 ft. from Ten Mile Point out to Barkley Sound. Troll with anchovies and small spoons in chartreuse or Army Truck finishes or hootches in alligator or prawn patterns.

Pulse prawning restrictions are in place. You can prawn the second two weeks of the month until Dec. 31 then it’s closed until April 1.

Freshwater - The river fishing for steelhead should start any time now and go right into April. At first in the upper river mostly. Fish with egg patterns, imitations and marabou jigs. In high dark water use something bigger like pink and white rubber worms.

For something different toss a plug into the river off the Great Central Lake bridge and do some stationary trolling for the steelhead.

All the big lakes like Great Central, Cameron and Sproat will be productive for trout all winter, especially if it doesn’t get too cold. Troll big gang trolls with Flatfish, Wedding Bands (with worm) or plugs with no gang troll. Fishing on the bottom from shore with Powerbait or worms is another winter method. Fly fishers will do well on big wet patterns like leeches, Muddlers and Spratleys on sinking lines.

Good luck. Gone Fishin’

4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,

ph: 250-723-1172



Why is the fishing so good in Tahsis? The answer is Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound have been involved in an intense salmon enhancement program for six years. River and stream rehabilitation projects, volunteer hatchery programs and collaborative agreement processes with the local Conuma Federal Hatchery has increased the release of chinook fry by 25 per cent. All of this results in a release of approximately six million chinook salmon fry annually in local waters.

The three Ps – Projects, Programs, and Process have produced some of the best salmon fishing / catching on all of West Coast Vancouver Island.

Westview Marina’s Salmon Enhancement Derby has raised over $280,000. over the past 12 years in their annual derby. All of these funds have contributed to the three P objectives. Join in the fun and fund raising of next year’s Derby Friday Aug 25 and Saturday Aug 26. Entry fee $60. PRIZES – thousands of dollars of gifts and cash. for more details.

Limited to 200 entries! 250-934-7672. "IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FISH"

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is projecting a better return than the five year average to Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound. The enhancement efforts that have occurred over the past six years are seen as a reward in the form of increasing numbers of salmon returns.

DFO also anticipates that approximately 50 per cent of the springs / kings returning in the 2017 season in the region will be age four and approximately four per cent will be five- and six-year-olds. It is likely that the 2017 season will see lots of Tyees (30+ pounds chinooks) in the Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound fishery. So change out the old fishing line, lube up the reels, sharpen up all of the hooks and get ready for one of the better fishing / catching seasons!

John Falavolito Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis

800 992 3252

N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5

Successfully serving the Fishing Pubic for 24 yrs.



S altwater - Throw on warm clothes and start the boat up! The chilly winter currents bring in feeder chinook. Follow the bait balls between Bates Beach and Grants Reef and you're sure to hook into these lively salmon. These fish are aggressive feeders, so don't be afraid to set a brisk pace when trolling. The colder currents drive away dogfish, making this a great time of year to try small anchovy or herring. Use a Hotspot Metallic Jelly or Purple Onion flasher in front of your bait. Salmon can be jigged using a chrome Point Wilson Dart around the edges of a bait ball.

Freshwater - Anglers looking to do a little catch-and-release can find resident rainbow and cutthroat trout in the Puntledge River. Colder water means the fish will be feeling lethargic, so proper presentation is a must. Make sure your line has sufficient weight to sink into deeper waters where the fish are lurking. Rubber pink worms and BC Orange Gooey Bobs are prime lures for anglers using gear rods. Fly casters will have luck using Puntledge Worm patterns, egg patterns and stone flies. If you're feeling lucky throw out a blue and black Intruder and you may tempt the occasional steelhead.

You'll have to work hard for your fish but Wolf Lake has been known to yield some monster trout when the colder weather sets in. Flatfish and black leeches are the go-to patterns when trolling. When casting from shore use chartreuse PowerBait or a worm and bobber. There's also a chance of hooking into a Kokanee when fishing Wolf Lake so keep some P-Line Kokanators on hand. Comox Lake is easily one of the most scenic places to fish. Troll Krocodile spoons in Perch or Brass Fire-stripe patterns or cast small Vibrax spinners from your boat. These trout can be finicky so adjust your depth frequently until you find them.

Nicole, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942



Saltwater - The Campbell River area boasts some of the best winter salmon fishing on Vancouver Island. The southern end of Quadra Island can be an exceptional location to muster up winter chinook.

The colder months provide crystal clear water, cutting down on the need to use flashers. Small Coyote or Kingfisher spoons and Tomic plugs around four to five inches in length will do the trick. Some favourable spoon colours include the Bad Attitude, Cop Car, Red Racer and Kitchen Sink. Using a 6 oz. blue or green nickel Point Wilson Candlefish is another great way to put salmon in the cooler.

Freshwater - Just because it’ s cold out doesn't mean it’s time to pack up the trout gear. Campbell River area is full of lakes capable of yielding cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Buttle Lake is known for trout eager to strike a Flatfish or Tomic Wee Tad plug. This is a deep lake so be prepared to use a trolling set up and fish its many drop-offs and ledges. Close to the highway, with multiple access points for the shore fisherman is Echo Lake. This lake is stocked in the fall with rainbow trout but it is also home to a few resident cutthroat and Dolly Varden. Old stand-by's like brass Krocodile spoons and Panther Martin spinners will work here, and you can never go wrong with a worm and bobber. Fly fishers can hook trout by using patterns such as the Carey Special and Doc Spratley. Try trolling them with a sinking line or using various retrieval speeds when casting.

Several rivers in the area provide big game fishing for those who have tucked their boats away for the winter. The Quinsam and Nimpkish rivers start seeing steelhead in mid November through to the end of January. Flies such as Egg Sucking Leeches or blue, black or pink Intruders will help you entice these silver treasures. For those using a gear rod, lures such as Gibbs Ironhead spoons and Delta Steely worms in bubblegum pink can lead to success. The Gold, Salmon and Oyster rivers are all worth investigating in the new year. Dress in warm layers and don't forget to put a steelhead endorsement on your your license!

Nicole, Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,

Campbell River, 250-287-2641

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.


PORT HARDY REPORT (This report from Sept 21, 2016)

The halibut finally showed up in big numbers. Guys are getting their limits without having to work too hard. They’ve been moving into shallow water, 100 feet or less. That’s giving us a good fishery that will last as long as the weather holds out.

There’s still quite a few coho around. They’ve been big, up to 18 lb. But only one in 12 has been a hatchery fish. Those fish will be in the estuaries of the Quatse and Keogh rivers.

The spring salmon are pretty well gone by now. We averaged one or two springs a day. They never did show up in the huge numbers that were predicted earlier in the season.

Trout - Fishing in the fall is great. When the weather cools off trollers get limits in Alice and Victoria lakes. Troll Baitrix Trout lures or Flatfish, or still fish with a worm and bobber. With the first frost those trout will head for the bottom.

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.


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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