Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED June 25, 2019.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For July 2019 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).


CHINOOK SALMON - Non-retention of chinook in, Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait and Northern Strait of Georgia until July 14; a daily limit of one (1) chinook per person per day from July 15 until August 29, and two (2) per person
per day from August 30 until December 31.
Non-retention of chinook in the Juan de Fuca Strait and Southern Strait of Georgia until July 31; retention of one (1) chinook per person per day from August 1 until August 29, and two (2) per person per day from August 30 until December
West coast Vancouver Island inshore waters the limit remains two chinook per day.
West coast Vancouver Island offshore areas (seaward of one nautical mile from the surfline) will have non-retention of chinook until July 14 followed by a limit of two (2) chinook per day from July 15 to December 31. West Coast Vancouver
Island inshore waters will remain at two (2) chinook per day.
Fraser River recreational fisheries will remain closed to salmon fishing until at least August 23. After that date, opportunities for species other than chinook will be informed by in-season abundance and other conservation issues (coho,
steelhead, etc).
An overall reduction in the total annual limit for chinook that can be retained per person in tidal waters from 30 to 10.

Halibut are open coast-wide until further notice the maximum length for halibut is 126 cm (head-on). The daily limit for halibut is one (1). The possession limit for halibut is either of: one (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 126 cm in
length (head-on), OR two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (head-on). The annual limit is six (6) halibut per license holder, as set out on the 2019/2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.
The exceptions to these openings are: Areas 121: No person shall fish for or retain halibut, rockfish and lingcod in Area 121 outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line that begins at 48 degrees 34.000 minutes and 125 degrees
17.386 minutes W and continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48 degrees 28.327 minutes and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes W.
Area 121: Closed to all finfish, year round in the waters of Swiftsure Bank, inside a line from 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 125 degrees 06.00 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 124 degrees 54.20 minutes W, thence to
48 degrees 29.62 minutes N and 124 degrees 43.40 minutes W, thence following the International Boundary between Canada and the U.S. to 48 degrees 29.55 minutes N and 124 degrees 56.20 minutes W, thence in a straight line to the point of

A warm dry spring combined with diminished snow packs mean challenging conditions for salmon and trout in Island rivers. Many south Island rivers reached critically low flow levels in April.
The BC River Forecast Centre warns, “In coastal British Columbia, including most areas of Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, and lowland rivers in the South Coast, streamflow is extremely low... This is the result of rivers having minor
influence from snowmelt, and both short-term and persistent long-term dry conditions. Most rivers on Vancouver Island are currently flowing at between 2nd and 5th percentile flows for early-June, and many rivers are beginning to approach
or exceed record low for this time of year.
“With lower starting snowpacks and dry spring weather, overall freshet volumes are well below normal this year. With the influence from snowmelt waning, rivers are vulnerable to extremely low flow.”

Saltwater – Good currents made halibut fishing good. Anglers are doing well with lingcod, rockfish and prawns. Only a few boats were out for catch and release salmon fishing.
For the latest details on recreational fishery openings and closures in your area: A) Call 1-866-431-FISH or 604-666-2828 (24-hour phone line); B) Visit find applicable fishery
notices; or C) Follow our sport fishing Twitter account
PORT RENFREW – Salmon fishing has been good from Bonilla Point west. There have been lots of fin clipped springs from 8 lb. to the mid-twenties. The springs have been caught at 60-95 feet on the downrigger in depths up to 100 feet. Gold
Nugget Coho Killers and Skinny Gs and Wee Gs in chartreuse chrome or Herring Aid were producing lots of action and limit catches. Halibut fishing has been excellent as well, on the bank as well as it continues to stay good inshore.
BECHER BAY – Anglers reported springs at 40-90 feet between Creyke Point and Beechey Head and towards the Trap Shack. Several large springs have been caught and released recently. Anglers were mostly using spoons for lures. Good spoons
have been Skinny Gs, Coho Killers and Coyotes with green in the colour mix. Anchovies were working too and good teaser heads colours were chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Needlefish hootchies in white, glow/green and Purple Haze
are the top choices in plastic baits. The GIBBS Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, the Bon Chovy, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers had been working well.
Other anglers were out for halibut and lingcod. Halibut fishing was good, and some nice lingcod were taken as well.
PEDDER BAY – No one has been salmon fishing due to the chinook retention closure. The only anglers that we know of fishing here were out for halibut, lingcod and crabs. Halibut fishing was excellent with most boats having at least one
halibut on board. Lingcod fishing and crabbing were good. Coyote style spoons had been working well for springs when people were fishing for them. Anchovies in green glow teaser had also been effective. Good choices for teaser head
colours are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good colour choices. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Bon Chovy and Lemon Lime.
VICTORIA – Salmon fishing was good at Constance Bank for catch and release chinook fishing. That said, most anglers that we know were fishing out for halibut, rockfish and lingcod. The halibut fishing was excellent, especially out at the
Mud Hole. Closer in along the waterfront it had been slow for catch and release springs with the most productive area being from Esquimalt to Brotchie Ledge. Anglers had been trolling close to the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water.
Anchovies and herring had been working the best and glow teaser heads were better than the non glow colours. Spoons had been working very well with Skinny Gs and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP Tackleworks 3” herring
spoon good choices.
OAK BAY – Catch and release chinook fishing was good in Oak Bay. Springs in the 10 lb. to 25 lb. range were caught both jigging and trolling on the Flats. Trollers were catching the salmon bottom bouncing spoons in 90-120 feet of water.
Coho Killers, Wee Gs and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons have been the spoons of choice. Squirts will also work with Jelly Fish and Electric Chairs good bets. Jiggers had been having great success near Brodie Rock using Deep Stingers and
Point Wilson Darts. Halibut fishing was good.
SIDNEY – Sidney Spit was the hot spot for spring salmon for anglers doing catch and release fishing.
Good reports from the powder wharf. The fish were of good size, with many in the 10-15 lb. size range. Salmon fishing was fair near the Powder Wharf for anglers working jigs.
Prawning has slowed down in Saanich Inlet. More anglers were prawning than fishing for finfish. Before the closure, anglers trolling for salmon had been using Skinny Gee spoons or anchovies. Suggested spoons are Coho Killers, Gibbs
Skinny G and Wee G spoons and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons. Suggested colours are Cop Car and Trap Shack. Anchovies and Tiny Strip were also good in glow or UV purple teaser heads.
Freshwater – Trout fishing has been good at local lakes. Shore anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, and worms while fishing close to the bottom. Pink, chartreuse and fluorescent yellow have been good choices recently for
Powerbait. Fly anglers are mostly fishing Wooly Buggers, leeches and chironomid patterns. Chironomid fishing has been very good. Trollers are catching trout with worms fished behind Gang Trolls and on Wedding Bands. Tomic Plugs in 2”-3”
sizes have also been working well for trout.
Bass fishing is excellent on Island lakes as the water temperatures rise and the bass move into the shallows prior to spawning. Bass from 2-5 lb. are being taken on a regular basis from most lakes. Anglers are having success on a variety
of lures. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics are all producing well now. Black Yum Dingers have been very effective. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver lakes are the best 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

Salmon fishing has been excellent for coho and pink salmon.
It has been non-stop action for bluebacks or coho salmon. You will find these guys anywhere from to 200 ft. inshore and as far out as the shipping lanes. Best fishing depth has been 10 to 30 ft. Coho Killers, small Gibbs spoons, Skinny
G spoons all have been working great in various greens and blue colours.
Pink salmon seem to be more out in the third and forth tide lines. The best depths for these guys have been 40 to 80 feet. Of course pink or red squirts with a 18 or 24 inch leader trolled with a red or green Hot Spot flasher is the
ticket for these guys.
Non-retention of chinook in the Juan de Fuca Strait until July 31; retention of one chinook per person per day from August 1 until August 29, and two per person per day from August 30. This has put more focus on halibut fishing.
Halibut fish has been good out in the Jordan River and Muir Creek areas. Big herring and octopus seen to be working the best. If you are having problems with dogfish try 9”Jumbo Squid in green glow.
Until next time happy faces and tight lines.
Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
email: fishing@

Saltwater - Halibut fishing off the banks at Port Renfrew is going strong: try spreader bars with a 2 lb. of weight bouncing the bottom to attract their attention. Top baits are octopus and XL herring. Best artificials are Berkley 8”
Power Grubs.
Eight to 30 lb. chinook salmon are showing at Port Renfrew. A lot of anglers are running their boats west out of Port Renfrew, outside the closed area towards Nitinat to be able to catch these chinooks. The best lures have been Bon Chovy
flashers with chrome teaser heads and small anchovy.
Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing is going strong. Try trolling creek mouths and paralleling the shore line staying within 30 feet. Keep your line back from the boat by at least 150 ft. Top lures are ever faithful Tomic plugs in 231
finish. We’re stocking all the best colours.
Also working well is the ever popular Gang Troll in green rainbow finish with a Wedding Band tipped with worm.
Fly fishermen have been doing well with #4 olive Rolled Muddler, brown Wooly Buggers or Clouser Minnows trolled on a full sink fly line especially around creek mouths and rock shoals.
Cowichan River trout fishing: The river is already low and warm, but by August the water level comes down even lower and usually fish are trying their best to survive. Releasing fish in dry season, no matter how hard you try, often ends
up with the fish not surviving. That’s when the float tubers take over the river and it’s time to fish elsewhere. The provincial fisheries made a good decision to close the river from July 15 to August 31.
Move to the beaches: Every sloping beach with a freshwater stream entering will hold sea-run cutthroat trout at different points of the tide. Try a #6 silver bead silver Rolled Mudler. Come on by the shop, we will be happy to fill you
Bass Fishing: Bass fishing is hot! Lakes to note: Shawnigan, Fuller, St. Mary, Quesnell, Elk and every other lake around Greater Victoria.
Try fishing with large Wooley Buggers or dragon flies. Target outside and inside corners of docks, all large rocks, logs or any other obstruction. Cast in then strip your fly back slowly, watch for your line to move to the side then set
hard and hang on tight. The rest is up to you.
Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store!
Stop by the store for an up to date fishing report.
May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.
Gord March,
Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies
170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742
Lake Cowichan


Saltwater - Fishing has been great but catching is terrible. Some anglers are catch-and-releasing 10-30 chinooks each day. Lots of deep bellied Columbias, and lots of unders and smaller fish. Springs are hitting Evil Eye, Pink Sink and
Herring Aid spoons in 3” and 3.5” sizes.
Here in Area 17 we can start to keep one chinook per day as of July 15. We’ll see more large springs arriving from August, September and October.
There are coho salmon also being caught. Unfortunately a lot of wild ones being released. Many fishers are going to be releasing wild fish improperly, and many will not survive. Learn to identify your salmon and try to release wild coho
without taking them out of the water.
Into July there’ll be more and and bigger coho. Target them trolling 3” Pink Sink or small plastics. If you’re only catching wild fish, set your lines up or down 30 ft. Later into August you can bucktail them in the wash of your kicker.
Try finding coho as they school up a bit north of Neck Point and between Balenas and Chelsea islands (mind the closed area off Balenas)
Enormous pressure is being put on the lingcod and bottomfish stocks. Many people still are not used to releasing them safely with a descending device.
There has been heavy pressure in recent years on the crab stocks. Too many people are taking the wrong sex or undersize crabs. Prawning post the commercial opening will be a bit slower.
Freshwater - Central and south Island rivers are really low, don’t fish them. The lakes are producing now. With the hotter weather trout will be deeper. Fish deeper, and/or in mornings and evenings. The bass will still be feeding in the
shallows, so try poppers and surface lures.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726


The 20th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament, hosted by Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake on June 16 attracted 225 participating anglers, and lots of friends on shore cheering them on. The derby awards hundreds of draw prizes from local
sponsoring companies plus three top fish cash prizes.
This is a year of bigger fish and lots of bass weighed in.
In first place for $2,200 was “Zipper Rigler” with a 4.7 lb. smallmouth bass. In second place ($1,300) was Bob Anderson with a 4.5 lb. bass. Tyler Fwinton’s 4.4 lb. bass won him third place for $900.

Having spent spring and early summer chasing trout in several Vancouver Island rivers my thoughts now turn toward the arrival of millions of pink salmon which normally show up on the north east coast of the Island mid-month. The last two
years have proved to be disappointing in terms of the number of returning fish on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Who knows what 2019 will provide? These fish will gradually make their way south and gather off the beaches close to
the mouth of the river of their birth. These fish offer fantastic sport for the fly fisherman and for those who like to use gear, as well as the opportunity to take some fish to eat.
Ideally your fly rod should be a 6 or 7 wt. with an appropriate quality reel loaded with a floating or clear sink tip line. There has been a large increase in the number of anglers using Switch Rods (short double handed handers) off the
beach although there is no more challenging environment if your casting technique is not up to scratch! There have been huge developments in fly line design over the past few years and there are now types such as the Airflo 40+ and Rio
Outbound which make casting 60 feet as easy as possible. If you target pinks in rivers the main thing to understand is that the fish will be on the bottom so the need to get the fly down deep is an essential ingredient for success. Sink
tips attached to a floating line with a short tippet is the easiest way to achieve success. You will lose flies this way but you will also get a lot more hook-ups.
One thing I see all the time on the beach is the tendency for anglers to wade too far out too quickly, pushing fish that, very often, will be very close, away into deeper water. Understand also that, for the fly fisherman, the deeper you
wade the more difficult it becomes to cast. Effectively you are shortening the distance between the water and the rod tip.
Pink salmon like pink flies and they normally work extremely well. However don’t be afraid to use other colours such as green, blue and purple when the fish won’t bite on the patterns that are normally successful.
For the gear angler pink Buzz Bombs and Zzingers are consistent fish takers. Another very successful method is to cast a water float with a fly suspended below and retrieved slowly as you would if you were fly fishing!
Lake fishing has been generally good with Spider, Horne and Cameron producing fish to a variety of methods. If you fly fish lakes both a sinking line and a floater should be part of your equipment. The sinker will get you down to where
the fish are lying and for trolling is mandatory. The floating line for when the fish are on the top taking bugs either on or just under the surface film.
In the salt chuck sport has been generally good through May and June and should improve further as the summer progresses. With the chinook closure, not that many people are salmon fishing, but that fishery will open (one per day) on July
15. Large numbers of bluebacks (small coho) are especially prevalent at the moment and can give great sport on light tackle either trolling or jigging in relatively shallow water. Mac Deeps or L’ll Nibs are by far the most popular lure.
As ever the rule of thumb is find the bait and you will find the fish!
Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right tackle and advice to help.
Tight Lines
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,

Catch tagged trout for prizes

Anglers in Horne Lake have a chance to get gift cards for catching tagged cutthroat trout.
Provincial fisheries staff are partnering with the BC Conservation Foundation and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC in a three-year study on the health of Horne Lake’s cutthroat trout population.
Two hundred area cutthroat trout have been tagged with brightly coloured “Fly T-bar” anchor tags and released.
The study began in 2018 and will continue until April 2021. The study measures the health of the population by looking at mortality rates and tracking fish movements into the surrounding tributaries during spawning.
The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is offering $100 gift per fish to those who catch and report a tagged trout. Anglers will need to remove the tags from the fish using nail clippers
or scissors. They can then be delivered to the ministry office front desk at 2080A Labieux Rd in Nanaimo.
Anglers can also take a picture of the tag and send it to


Saltwaer - Chinook salmon fishing in Barkley Sound has been steady and it’s getting better.
There have been lots of salmon in the teens, in the 20s and a few 30+ lb. chinooks already. Those salmon are coming in on anchovies as well as lures like Skinny G and Herring Aid spoons and on UV white hootchies. Productive depths have
been anywhere from 60 ft to 150 ft. so watch your sounder closely to find the bait and the salmon.
The sockeye salmon fishery has been off and on. Both fisheries, in the out in the Alberni Inlet and in the river at the Paper Mill Dam, have been spotty. The sockeye may be a bit late, or they may not be running in the numbers forecast.
Usually by this time in late June the sockeye fishery will have really taken off.
Bottom fishing has been good in the inside waters. Find your favourite rockpile or secret reef and drop some jigging lures to entice the lingcod. If you’re new to the area study a chart to try to locate some likely spots.
We’re seeing more traffic coming, as tourist season kicks into gear, and a few more anglers coming from the other side of the Island where chinook restrictions are in place.
Freshwater - The local lakes are still producing nice catches of trout for anglers trolling in boats and fishing from shore. The lakes were all stocked with catchable sized rainbow trout this spring, and those fish have been growing. The
warmer weather will drive the trout deeper as the summer progresses. On hot days fish in the mornings and evenings for best results. In Sproat, Great Central and Cameron lakes troll Flatfish or plugs, a gang troll and worms, or use a
small downrigger to get down to the cooler depths. Some of th higher elevation lakes should be in great shape for fly fishing.
Good luck .
Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni, ph: 250-723-1172

Fishing season is off to a great start in Tofino. Halibut fishing has been really good inshore and offshore. Even thought salmon is open (in Zone 24) fishermen are still targeting ground fish, lingcod and halibut.
The usual techniques all work here: A flasher and hootchie, bait, or jigging. For the hootchie, “The turd” is still an all time local favourite. Lots of halibut fishermen like to use a spreader bar and a cannon ball. Using bait is the
way to go with this method; you can bait with herring, salmon bellies, octopus, squid, and I’ve heard you can also use a piece of crab, too. You can also use a Powerbait grub on your halibut leaders. Scent, such as Berkley Gulp Alive, on
your bait or lures will increase your chances of attracting halibut. My personal favourite is squid, garlic and anise. You can also use bait brine to increase reflection of your bait and the scent.
When I get back to the dock to clean my fish I always look in the fish’s belly to see what they eat, and when it comes to halibut I often find crab in their bellies.
Another method is to jig for them using Powerbait Grubs and big jigs work really well. P-Line Laser Minnow 6 oz. and the Kodiak Jig 14 oz. are my two favourites. They work well on lingcod and big rockfish, too.
When it comes down to releasing rockfish there are a few different devices available. I’m most familiar with the Shelton Fish Descender. It works well and will save the rockfish. It might be obligatory in the near future for fisherman to
carry these devices aboard the boat to avoid killing the fish and saving them from suffering from barotraumas and descends the fish to recompress the air-bladder and re-oxygenate for quick recovery.
And for those who went fishing for salmon, some medium-sized fish have been caught in Zone 24. Moser, Wilf and the Lighthouse remain the nearby spots to try. A few slabs are out there, but the best is yet to come. By July 15 salmon will
be opened in Zone 124 “offshore”. Make sure you have all your safety gear before you head out, and check your weather forecast.
Best of luck out there. Tight lines!
Mathieu Barnes, Method Marine, 380 Main St., Tofino, 250-725-3251

To the applause of anglers, a new wave of chinook arrived on the south side of Barkley Sound in time for the weekend. We have been heading mostly off Mears Bluff to get in on the action. Try small non glow spoons fished at 80-115 feet
depending on time of day. Start up high in the column and look deeper as the sun makes its way higher in the sky. The fish have turned on and off gear abruptly so switch it up in periods of stagnation. They're probably still feeding,
just on something else. Try a white (55) needlefish as a good place to start.
Halibut continued to be taken in the 10-40 lb. range close to home on Inside Lighthouse Bank. Trolling was producing volumes of chicken halibut with some nice turkeys (20-40 lb. fish) coming on anchor. Lighthouse Bank has since slowed
down and most of the rod hours are spent a little more afar. We have been getting halibut in the 15-50 lb. range on fishing bellies at anchor. We are also getting some skate though we are releasing those as they are a bit hard to clean
and eat!
Lingcod has been slow with some success coming to those willing to put in the rod time among the offshore rock piles off the Broken Group. We expect a gradual improvement in the lingcod fishery over the coming weeks.
If you are looking for accommodation check out We don't have much inventory left for accommodation on our fishing packages so book right away!
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
Fishing Charters,

Saltwater - Campbell River is truly earning its title of Salmon Capital of the World this summer. Fishing has been excellent this year, the best we have seen in decades! Expect red hot fishing to continue all through July and August.
There have been multiple reports of chinook weighing over 30 lb. being caught around the Hump, Green Can and points further north like Thurston Bay and Hall Pt.
Early fishing in Nootka Sound has also been amazing, more large fish being caught earlier than what is typical.
The Sandlance spoon has been an absolute killer again this year, but good fishing results are showing with a properly fished hootchie/flasher combination as well as the latest hot colour in a Tomic plug. Top hootchie colours have been
the Tiger Prawn Haze, Army Truck Haze, Lady Gaga, Blue Meanie and the Shower Curtain. Coho are here again in good numbers and are hitting hard on the Big Eye spoons and the Sandlance spoons.
The Fishing Pier is off to its best start in recent years with some great action and multiple fish days. The Point Wilson Dart in 2 oz. and 3 oz. has been very productive especially in the Nickel Green colour. Make sure all your pier
tackle is prepared with single barbless hooks!
All the usual spots are producing fish, sometimes quite deep but at other times the shallows have been great. It is a real treat to catch a hard fighting salmon in 30-60 feet of water. Most anglers have switched over to spoons, plugs and
hootchies but if you are determined to use bait, troll a little faster to discourage dogfish and attract salmon. Most salmon are being caught deep (200 ft.), but watch for the bait in the shallows and take advantage of the opportunity
when presented. The “pesky” coho have been in abundance and sometimes it is hard getting through the coho to fish deep enough for a chinook.
Lingcod fishing has been great. Make sure you pick up a fish descending device to ethically and legally release the many rockfish you may catch while targeting ling.
Freshwater - Lots of the area lakes are producing trout, you literally have hundreds to choose from, but the hot weather means fish will be retreating to the deeper parts of the lake and may be a little lazy when it comes to feeding.
Getting out in a canoe/kayak or small boat will give you your best chance of success this time of year. However, if you find yourself stuck on shore try casting large Krocodile and Deadly Dick spoons into deep or sheltered parts of the
lake. Live bait such as worms should still be effective in the early morning or late evening as temperatures cool off and fish cruise the shallows looking for an easy meal. Many different fly patterns will work at times when nothing else
seems to be effective.
Tight lines, have a great summer!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641

We are at full limits for chinook, halibut, coho and lingcod. From noon until well into the evening salmon, halibut, lingcod and much more are being filleted.
Big smiles and cold beverages are the norm for this activity. Lots of sharing of where, what and how is discussed and possibly some fish stories. There is a yellow hazard sign at Westview Marina & Lodge that says “Rubber Boots are
Mandatory – Fish Stories told HERE !!“
Lots of laughter, part of the vibe at Westview’s Pub/Deck. This is one of the reasons why fishers come to Tahsis. The other reason is because Nootka and Esperanza and their offshore areas are some of the most productive fishing/catching
on the entire coast.
There seems to be two distinct categories of fishers. Offshore fishers and inshore fishers. Both catch successfully. Yes, lots of boat go well offshore here But, there are lots of inshore waters that hold plenty of fish.
Blind Reef in Esperanza Inlet and Bajo Reef in Nootka Sound are prime examples. Both these reefs are just off the mouths of these two bodies of water. Both have prime catching waters for salmon just off the edges of the reefs. Both have
very productive halibut catching areas in the sandy/gravel shoals just of the reefs. Both have hugely abundant lingcod and many other bottom fish areas up on the reefs. You can literally limit out on all these species within an area the
size of a football field.
Offshore there is the famous salmon highway, the 250-300 ft/80-100 fm line. It is located 8-14 miles out depending on where you start from. The highway is exactly what it says. It is the place salmon move south to their final
destinations. Why are they there? Food! The steep up-swelling of the ocean contour attracts hundreds of schools of bait fish. Fishing/catching primary rule: Where there is feed there will usually be lots of fish.
Along the highway there are many contours that come up to 120-90 ft/30-20 fm these are prime areas for halibut, lingcod and all types of bottom fish. It is common for offshore fishers to come back to the cleaning tables with fish boxes
full of salmon as well as groundfish. So the whether you fish inshore or offshore is up to you, but the results are often the same.
Stop by Westview’s tackle shop and we will put you on to in- and offshore GPS spots to improve your catching.
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis 800-992-3252
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5

Saltwater - There’s lots of springs (chinook salmon) to catch and release, as well as a good number of coho that just started showing up.
Most the chinooks have been 18-22 lb., but yesterday we released a 32 pounder, and a 42 lb. fish was also caught and released recently.
Halibut fishing has been fair with abundant fish in the 20-30 lb. range. They’re right in close to Port Hardy harbour.
Starting July 15 we’ll be able to keep one chinook salmon per day in Area 11 and then two per day on August 30. There will be lots of big salmon around through July and August. The springs will move in closer to shore. Those coho that
just showed up recently are averaging 5-6 lb. now will get bigger every week, until in August they’ll be up to 20 lb.
Don’t forget to come up to Port Hardy for the Filomi Derby July 19-21.
Freshwater - The bigger local lakes, Victoria and Alice are always productive for trout fishing. The warmer weather triggers more action. When the water starts to heat up the trout will head for deeper water. Troll black and silver
Flatfish. Fly fishers can do well with wet flies like Wooly Buggers, Doc Strapleys, streamers and bucktails, but be ready to switch set-ups to match the hatch.
Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982


Jessica Rodgers with a November Vancouver Island steelhead. Photo courtesy Tyee Marine

Jasmine from Campbell River caught her very first fish (at Point Holmes) on her pink Barbie rod with a blue BuzzBomb. She was persistent in wearing her pink princess dress to match her rod.










This Atlantic salmon was caught in the Salmon River on Vancouver Island. The faceless angler is a federal fisheries employee who fears for his job security if he is perceived to be making an anti-aquaculture statement in his off duty fishing.










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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