Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED November 24, 2015.

            OUR NEXT PRINT PUBLICATION DEADLINE IS March 10, 2016.           

 ADVERTISE in Island Angler This Year ... Phone 250-753-2227 , Email:

Get The Marketing Edge For Your Business

Fishing at a Glance - Fishing Photo Gallery - Fishing Articles On-Line - Fishing Reports - Subscribe NOW  - Book Store: Fishing Guides  - Advertising Rates & Press and Editorial Schedule - Win FREE Tackle Prizes  -  Fish Recipes -    LINKS 
Fishing LINKS On-Line LINKS - Fishing LINKS - Back to Island Angler Home Page

salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Winter 2015-16From: 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.

Calling salmon artists
The Pacific Salmon Foundation is calling for artists to enter work in the 2016/2017 Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition. This is the 28th anniversary of the Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition and the winning image will be
selected to produce the 2016/2017 stamp. Fisheries and Oceans Canada issues the Salmon Conservation Stamp, which is purchased and affixed to the license of each tidal water angler who wishes to retain salmon.
See more at

Report suspicious fishing activities
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).

Snag hazards in Saanich Inlet
Be aware of hook and line, downrigger and trap gear entanglement risks in the vicinity of the UVIC Venus project in Pat Bay, Saanich Inlet. Project VENUS is part of the Ocean Networks Canada. VENUS is a cabled ocean observatory located
in the Salish Sea. For more information, visit:

The BC government wants your input
The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource is inviting anglers to give their ideas and opinions about regulations and management. The ministry has launched the Operations’ Angling, Hunting and Trapping Engagement Website
The site states, “The public is invited to comment on proposed angling, hunting and trapping regulations and policies through this engagement website.”
Feedback will be provided to policy and statutory decision makers along with the recommendations from the in-person consultation process.”
Public review and comment on proposed regulation changes will be posted to the website.”

Saltwater - A few decent winter springs have been caught, but most were below retention size. The coho fishing is done for the year. Halibut fishing was good for those targeting this species.
For the latest openings and closures: Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line); or visit to
BECHER BAY – Anglers are concentrating their efforts inside the bay. There were a few winter springs caught, just not many and most were too small. G-Force spoons were the most productive lure, plastic baits have been popular as well in
UV and/or glow patterns. The Glow/Green Stripe hootchy has been effective, also spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G in the Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours. For flashers, the Lemon Lime and the Purple Onion have been good. A few
halibut were also brought into the marina in November.
PEDDER BAY – Winter springs up to 7 lb. were being caught inside the bay. Anglers are fishing right on the bottom and often bouncing the downrigger balls. There are a lot of shaker chinooks around. Anchovy was the most productive bait
when trolling for springs with Glow Green and Bloody Nose being top choices in teaser heads. Spoons, such as the G-Force and Skinny G in Bon Chovy or Irish Cream colours were effective Popular flashers include Super Betsey, Lemon-Lime
and Purple Onion.
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.
VICTORIA – Out at Constance and Border banks winter springs up to 9 lb. were being caught. There were also a lot of smaller ones on the banks. Anchovies, spoons and squirts were successful. Chartreuse and Purple Haze have been the most
popular colours for teaser heads. Good choices in plastic baits are Electric Chair, Purple Haze and glow white. Gibbs Skinny G in Irish Mist and Outfitters have been effective in catching the springs. AP Needlefish and Coyote spoons in
green, Moon Glow and silver colours have also been good. The Purple Onion and Bon Chovy flashers have been popular recently.
HALIBUT – Most anglers that were fishing were using mackerel, extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader
bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large jigs.
OAK BAY – Some winter springs have been caught. Most salmon were caught when fishing with lures right on the bottom (60-110 ft) on the Flats and by the Gap. The fish were hitting needlefish spoon and squirts. G-Force and Skinny G spoons
in No Bananas and Outfitter colours worked just fine. Coho Killers in Gold Nugget and Green Splatterback have been productive too. The best flasher has been the Gibbs Lemon Lime and the Bon Chovy.
HALIBUT – Halibut fishing was good out in Haro Strait and off Discovery Island. Sixteen-year-old Walker Grant caught a 50 lb. halibut in Haro Strait in 150 feet of water on extra large herring and octopus. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft
plastics also work very well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large jigs.
SIDNEY- There is a lot of bait around Coal Island and Sidney Spit, so there should be some fish there. Most of the winter springs have been short of the minimum retention size. Most anglers are using anchovies in Bloody Nose and UV Green
teaser heads. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in Double Glow and Gold Nugget. Prawning has been quite slow in Saanich Inlet.
Freshwater - Trout fishing has been fair on most lakes in the south Island. The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery is continuing the fall stocking program of catchable rainbow trout. On November 6 Spectacle Lake received 277 catchable
rainbow trout averaging 200 grams. On November 4 Prospect Lake received 700 catchable rainbow trout, Durrance Lake received 1,900 rainbow trout, Glen Lake received 500 rainbow trout and Elk Lake received 2,000 rainbow trout averaging
231 grams.
Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and right on the bottom. Orange Garlic and Pink Garlic have been good choices recently for Powerbait.
Fly anglers are fishing 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 in rainbow, green or black and white patterns. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in
Frog, Black with Silver Flake or Rainbow patterns.
BASS - Soft plastics rigged Carolina style are working well and crank baits 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 Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect and Elk and Beaver lakes are the top local bass lakes. St. Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great bass lake.
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969

Winter spring fishing has already picked up pretty good in this last month.
Lots of nice feeder chinook salmon have been caught between the Sooke Bluffs and Otter Point.
Fishing depths have varied between 100 to 150 feet. Anchovies and strip herring have been working great trolled in various glow teaser heads with a 54 inch leader.
For spoons try Coho Killers and Coyote spoons in glow colours also. For plastic, try J-79, Cloverleaf, Peanut Butter, Army truck, and glow white finishes.
Crabbing has also been pretty good right in the habour.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines.
Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters

Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing has picked up. Try trolling creek mouths with 3” Tomic plugs in the 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 best. Fly casting at creek mouths with Wooley Buggers or leeches.
Remember bait ban and single barbless hooks until April 15, 2015. 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 Spratley’s, leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons.
Fuller Lake, Chemainus, Dougan’s, Quamichan and Somenos lakes also producing well. These seven lakes have been recently stocked.
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 minnows or Rolled Muddler 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 Muddlers, Prince Nymphs, Hair’s Ear Bymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies
the river is still quite high as it is important to get down deep.
Best flies for coho are blue Rolled Muddlers, Micky Finns 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-Glo s 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,
170C Cowichan Lake Rd, Beside Irly Bird Lumber, Lake Cowichan,

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.
Cedar Beach Resort, Phone 1-888-537-4366
Salt Spring Cottage Resort

Saltwater - At this point (mid November) there is the odd winter spring being caught off the Nanaimo waterfront, but by late December we’ll be into a much better salmon fishery.
The usual hot spots should be productive: Entrance Island, Thrasher Rock, the Five Fingers and Ballenas. Troll deep at 150 + feet with bait, hootchies or spoons in green and white. Tomic 500 plugs (a pearl blue) are another good lure.
Winter salmon seem to like the basic colours and don’t respond to anything too crazy.
Freshwater - The lakes have been doing well with lots of nice trout coming in. Anglers have been catching them on worms or Powerbait, fished deep. Trolling slowly with a small Wedding Band and a worm should also get some action.
Fly fishers continue to do well with the local favourite, the Pumpkinhead Wooly Bugger - orange with a beadhead to get down quickly into deeper water.
The chum salmon fishery on the Nanaimo River is tapering off and is just about over for this year. Now the river will be ready for coho fishing. Many anglers are gearing up with Ironhead and Croc spoons.
Some anglers are targeting the late summer run steelhead in up Island and west coast rivers. The winter run steelhead will start to move into the Stamp, Cowichan, the Gold and other rivers in December and fishing will really pick up in
January and February.
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 salt chuck. Nothing like a crisp day, flat seas, back
dropped with fresh snow on our local mountains.
Last winter was very productive for winter chinooks in local waters. At time of writing this report (mid November) early reports are encouraging. Winter chinooks (two- and 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 to 3 mph) as well. Covering lots of water is key, as these salmon are on the move looking for food. Brighter coloured 4"
spoons in neon glow/pink strip, (48"-60") leaders with a Crushed Ice glow flasher works 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 (anchovie, 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 winter months, recommended to return these, or better yet move to another area if you’re getting a lot of females in a
particular 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 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 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 to 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 now over. After a difficult early summer with very little water, which eventually led to closure of nearly all of the rivers on the Island, fishing got better with the rainfall of late summer/early
The pinks eventually arrived off the beaches of mid-Island in early August, but not in great numbers, and ran rivers which normally don’t have a lot of fish. The Big Qualicum in particular had pinks in numbers never seen before. Coho off
the beaches were elusive and whether 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 fishers 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 will be the Stamp and the Cowichan. Fly fishermen will get some fish, using large marabou patterns and
Woolly 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-Glo’s, or pink worms under dink floats with
pencil lead.
Some hardy types will be out on the salt chuck 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 late runs of chum and coho 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 gift items that will please and gift cards if you don’t know what to give.
For anyone aspiring to get into fly fishing we have some great Echo Solo Kits which are great value and come, unusually, with a lifetime warranty on the rod. Priced at from $$219.99 for rod/reel/line/backing and leader.
In the New Year we are holding our Annual January Sale with a huge range of deals across the store. Check our website for more information closer to the time or call 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,

Saltwater - There is not much salmon fishing in the canal right now. The winter spring fishing in the Alberni Canal will truly start up around the New Year and should be in high gear by late January. For winter chinook salmon try using
Coyote spoons in chartreuse or Army Truck finishes, and hootches in Alligator or prawn patterns. Right now there’s good prawning and crabbing, and people are out getting oysters. The prawn opening has been for the last two weeks of each
month, but check with DFO for changes.
Freshwater - In the river the coho are just about finished. The Falls Pool has just opened, and there are a few steelhead coming in now, but the winter-run fishery will begin in late December. Rubber worms in white and pink bubblegum
finishes are good steelhead lures in high water. New Trout Beads resemble a single drifting salmon egg. They make them with a realistic blood spot, and they’ve been catching steelhead as well as trout in the lakes.
Trout fishing in area lakes continues to be good. The bigger lakes, Cameron, Great Central and Sproat are all producing nice catches. Anglers are doing well with worms, Powerbait, and some are doing well trolling. Fly fishers need to get
down into deep water to find the fish.
Good luck.
Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,

Saltwater - Denman Island and surrounding areas are great places to explore if you are looking for winter spring. Kitty Coleman can also be very productive. Smaller lures such as 3.5” Coyote spoons and needle fish are common for winter
springs. Trolling close to shorelines and rock bluffs with deep drop-offs can produce some nice fish.
Prawning is usually good in the winter. Keep a close eye on your sounder for deep ledges as prawns congregate in these areas. Go deep and make sure you have lots of food available in your traps. A good mixture of pellets and Carlyle Cat
food works great!
Comox Lake has some fantastic winter trout fishing opportunities. Weetads, small spoons, or Wedding Bands work well. Don’t be afraid to get down nice and deep.
Egg patterns are always popular in the winter for the local rivers. Winter steelhead will be plentiful in many of our local rivers as well as trout. Pink worms, Muddlers, or bright coloured steelhead jigs and flies also work well.
Ladies Week Nov 30-Dec. 5.
Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942

Saltwater - Halibut will stay open till December 31 this year. The Hump has remained productive all year long. If the feed stays in the area, so will the halibut so why not give it a try?
Powerbait with a 16 or. 24 oz. jig head and Mudrakers are perfect for the Hump as are 8 oz. Point Wilson Darts.
Winter springs / feeder spring have been flooding the Hump and the Green Can already. Use 3.5”-4” Coyote Spoons or needlefish with a green or glow flasher. Finding a bait ball and jigging a 4-6 oz. Point Wilson Dart has also been very
You might find some late chum or coho hanging around the Brown’s Bay Area. They’ve had a great year and the coho have been plentiful in most areas. Use your standard pink Michael Bait with a Spin-N-Glo at about 60 feet.
Winter steelhead runs will be starting around November 15 on the Quinsam and Nimpkish rivers, mid December in the Gold River, and in January you will find them in the Salmon and Oyster rivers.
If you’re using gear for steelhead, try pink worms, Jensen Eggs, Maribou Jigs, yarn or spinners.
Fly fishermen should use Egg Sucking Leaches, Rabbit Fur Flies, bright coloured Maribou Leaches, or Practitioners.
Ladies Week will be November 30 – December 5.
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641


We are fortunate to be located in the migratory path of so many different runs of salmon. Our season begins in May primarily targeting US bound Puget Sound fish aggressively feeding on herring, needlefish, and squid. By June these fish
are consistent, and caught daily. Rolled baits and a variety of hootchies and spoons work best. The method is simple; locate the bait and you’ll find the fish. By late June we start to encounter decent sized coho while on the hunt for
Prime time shellfish opportunities are also best at the beginning of our season, with outstanding prawning starting as early as April 1. Oysters and crabs also are the best eating from spring into early summer while the ocean water
temperatures remain cold, and we have not yet experienced any warm water plankton blooms to raise health concerns. However always check local regulations and DFO postings for all shellfish before harvesting and consuming.
In July and August we begin to see a huge increase in off-shore Columbia River chinook, while on the inside waters local mature Conuma, Burman and Gold River fish are in full peak runs, and anglers easily catch their limits. These fish
soon stage for their run up local rivers to spawn and at times can become pickier than heavily feeding migratory fish from the months previous. Now coho are increasing in size, as they are ferocious feeders during these months, putting
on necessary weight and fat for the staging process while waiting to journey up river to their home spawning grounds and will continue to do so during these final months of summer into early fall.
Nootka Marine Adventures works with the Nootka Sound Watershed Society and the Conuma river hatchery through our annual salmon derby for increased coho enhancement from 70,000 to 250,000 fry released in fall 2015.
Nootka Marine Adventures also targets the large runs of Albacore tuna that migrate by our offshore waters, this is a short but action packed opportunity. Generally beginning early August and continuing on through mid-September. This
exciting fishery is dependent upon offshore water temperatures, chlorophyll levels, consistent food supply, and of course weather. If you haven’t tried this fishery yet you have no idea what you’re missing!
The bottom fishing in our area remains outstanding, from the first day we open until we close in mid-September. Halibut, lingcod, yelloweye and all species of rockfish are all readily available for those willing to invest the time to
target them. Areas 25 (Nootka Sound) and 26 (Esperanza) are the most consistent fisheries on the entire Pacific West Coast.
Both the Canadian and US preliminary outlooks are very similar to what we experienced in 2015, with the exception of our local rivers where we encountered many jack springs and three-year-old mature fish. This is a strong indicator of
larger averaged sized four-year-olds in 2016, and will be something we can look forward to in the waters of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet.
Columbia River = 10,000,000
Puget Sound = 86,000,000
Lower Fraser River = 15,000,000
Nitinat River = 3,500,000
Robertson Creek = 6,000,000
Conuma River = 3,500,000
Total chinook fry released = 124,000,000
2% are expected to return down the west coast of Vancouver Island as mature fish, which will be approximately 2,480,000 chinook passing by our front door!
Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing
Gibran White, Marine Operations
Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures

NOOTKA SOUND and ESPERANZA INLET season in review and 2016 outlook
2015 was the best fishing/catching season in years. The weather was helpful with mild temperatures and mostly wind free days from mid-April through nearly the end of August.
It was also exciting to see that after years of salmon enhancement efforts by local and regional organizations and individuals are producing results. In 2015 over 100,000 chinook and 45,000 coho returned to local rivers and streams.
These large returns are due to the efforts of volunteers, businesses and Department of Fishery and Ocean working together.
Catching salmon was all about being in the right place doing the right things. The right places in April and May were Beano Creek, Maquinna Pt. and Wash Rock in Nootka and Ferrer Pt., Pin Rocks and Outer Blk. Rock in Esperanza. In June,
July and August the highway was “on fire” but, so were inside water as thousands of salmon moved in. Trolling was the winner for catching these fish, and anchovies the # 1 bait from the mouth of the inlet/sound all the way inside.
Anchovies were followed closely by Ever Glo Flash Flies, White Glow Turds and King Kandy Candle Fish Glow. On the highway running false flashers and using 6 in. lures, Titian, Coyote, Tomic with glow, Image Green and Blue ruled.
Because of the abundance of local West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) coho on July 1 all the inside waters of Area 25 went from 2 coho to 4 coho per day / 8 possession, both hatchery and not clipped.
A typical day of fishing in Esperanza and Nootka means catching multiple species. It is usual to return to the dock with limits of chinook or coho and a variety of ground fish. Halibut are at the top of the list followed by lingcod and
yelloweye cod. Halibut run 25-65 lb. and ling 15-40 lb. Most ground fish are caught using a spreader bar baited with extra-large herring or salmon belly using a 24-36 oz. weight. Anchoring up in 150-300 ft. of water is gaining on the
drifting method over gravel areas 150-250 ft. The fun and interesting part is you never know what will hook-up until you get it to the surface. Six foot long wolf eels, huge cabezon, and greenling are every day events.
You may catch larger fish in some places but, Esperanza / Nootka offer the most variety and volume of fish in protected waters than anywhere else on WCVI.
Albacore tuna - Approximately five years ago a few WCVI fishers started pursuing these magnificent fish. Tuna fishing is the most exciting and fast paced fisheries. We are fortunate here because tuna are often found within 25 nautical
miles of shore, much closer than other places on Vancouver Island, Washington, Oregon or California.
2016 Outlook - Early Projections from DFO indicate that chinook runs should be larger (100,000+) and the number of age class 4-, 5- and 6-year-old fish will be much higher next season than in 2015. That means lots more Tyees. Coho
abundance will be slightly down but most likely there will not be any regulation changes. Robust harvest of halibut, ling and other groundfish will continue. 2016 is looking to be bigger and better for chinook with everything else the
same good stuff as 2015.
If you have any questions on fishing/catching in Esperanza Inlet/Nootka Sound email:
Fish On, John & Cathy Falavolito
Owner Operators Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis, 250 934 7672



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:



 Return to Island Angler Home page  salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report


Embroidered Fishing Hat

Striking full-colour logo on elegant taupe fabric

EXTRA: Canadian Maple Leaf design on side


Adjustable one-size fits all

LIMITED EDITION - A Unique Gift  $31.00