Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED September 23, 2019.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For Fall 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).

This edition marks 30 years of publishing Island Angler. The fishing world has changed a quite a bit in that time, and the publishing industry has been shaken to its core by new media technology.
Publishing is an unusual business; a combination of a public service and a for-profit enterprise. We take it seriously and try to get things right, but over three decades there has been the odd foul up. For instance, on the cover of our last edition the obviously wrong caption identified a 35+ lb chinook (caught and released from the Campbell River) as a pink salmon. I hate when that happens, but at least no one got hurt.
As Island Angler moves toward into our fourth publishing decade the climate of sport fishing remains uncertain, with salmon stocks in jeopardy and punishing government regulations that put the industry in danger of collapse. But, 30 years ago as the first edition was prepared, there were also crises: summer steelhead stocks were critically endangered, coho salmon were returning in ever diminishing numbers, and fingers were pointed at every group that used or interacted with fish resources. Today we have new and slightly different problems, but there are positive developments, and areas of great improvements.
Public awareness of the importance of wild salmon has reached the national and international consciousness. Most resource user groups acknowledge their share of responsibility and habitat restoration efforts, volunteer work, corporate contributions and participation by all levels of government are at an all time high. Some of the problems of 30 years ago have been acted on, for instance some coho salmon stocks have begun to rebuild and spawning habitat is being restored. Those are reasons to remain optimistic, while staying vigilant and ready to call attention to hazards to our precious fisheries.
Island Angler continues to serve the sport fishing community and works towards improving our fisheries. None of this is possible without the ongoing support of the writers, advertisers, distributors, subscribers and readers. Thank you all.
Andrew Kolasinski, publisher

Saltwater – Most of the coho are being caught in Juan de Fuca Strait. The number of unclipped coho greatly out numbers the amount of clipped fish. Chinook salmon fishing has been hit and miss but, some of the largest salmon of year were caught in mid-September.
BECHER BAY – Coho fishing has been good in the strait and lots of clipped fish have been seen at the marinas. The number of clipped fish is low regarding the total number of coho, so if you are targeting them be prepared to release most of your fish. Some nice springs are still being caught. A 34 lb. spring was caught on Sunday by the Head. A 23, a couple of 17s and some smaller springs were also caught. The best spot to catch a spring has been between Aldridge Point and Beechey Head. A few springs have also come in from the Bedfords. Good spoons for chinooks have been Skinny Gs, Coho Killers and Coyotes with green in the colour mix. 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.
PEDDER BAY– Coho fishing has really picked up and it is worth going out for them. However, only about one in 10 are fin clipped. Most of the hatchery coho have been in the 3 - 5 lb. size range, with the odd larger one to 10 lb. The most consistent coho fishing has been out in deep water. Church Rock to the Bedford islands has produced most of the chinooks. The springs have been in the mid-teens. Spoons have been very effective for coho with Skinny Gs, Wee Gs and AP Tackleworks spoons catching fish. The smaller spoons have been working the best. Green and glow or green and silver have been the best colour combinations. Anchovies and herring were also best baits for salmon. Good choices for teaser head colours were Glow Chart, UV green and Bloody Nose. Hootchies and squirts were working with pink, Purple Haze or UV green good colour choices. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Bon Chovy green/silver Hot Spots. Halibut fishing was good during the slower currents this past week.
VICTORIA – Some very nice springs were being caught, but many anglers are getting skunked. Gerry Nugent caught a 28 lb. spring off the breakwater on anchovy on Sept. 11, and is now in fourth place on our salmon leaderboard. Peter Sherk caught a 23 lb. 6 oz. spring off Macauley point on Wednesday. A 23 lb. 2 oz. spring was caught on Thursday off Clover Point. The springs are mostly in the teens. The most productive spots have been off Macauley Point and the breakwater. Anchovies and herring are the baits of choice. Good choices for teaser head colours are chartreuse, UV green and Bloody Nose. Spoons had been working very well with Skinny Gs and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP Tackleworks 3” lemon/lime or neon Army Truck spoons good choices. Peter Crowe landed a 52.2 lb. halibut at Constance Bank on Friday and is now in fourth place on our halibut leaderboard. Peter was using herring as bait.
OAK BAY– Most of the action has been close to shore and in the shallower waters. That said, a 15 lb. spring was caught on the Flats on Sunday. Wee Gs and AP Tackleworks Sandlance spoons have been the spoons of choice for trollers. Squirts will also work with Jellyfish and Electric Chair good bets. Jiggers had been having great success near Brodie Rock using Deep Stingers and Point Wilson Darts. Halibut fishing was good in this area.
SIDNEY – We’ve only heard of a pair of legal springs being caught. The largest was a 15 lb. spring caught near Sidney Spit on the flood tide. There were some undersize springs. Suggested spoon now 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. Dale Whittaker caught a 5 lb. 1 oz. rainbow trout from Langford lake on a rainbow finish Rapala on Sunday to take over the lead on our trout leaderboard. 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. 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 great on Island lakes. 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

Well it is time to dust off the coho gear. There are lots of coho salmon in the Sooke area now you can find these guys anywhere from the first tide line all the way out to the shipping lanes.
The best fishing depths for coho have been between 40 to 80 ft. Spoons have been producing well like the Skinny G, Coho Killers and Coyote spoons. Various hootchies are working pretty good also, in finishes like J-79, Cover Leaf, Peanut Butter, and Army Truck.
Also there is still the odd spring salmon still around. Possession Point and Secretary Island are still bringing in a few nice ones.
Until next time happy faces and
tight lines. Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters

Cowichan Lake: Trout fishing will continue to improve as the temperature cools down.
Currently trout are holding at 40-60’ during mid day. First light and last light fish are cruising shoreline 20-30’. Gang Troll with a red Wedding Band tipped with a worm is a good bet until the bait ban goes in to effect on November 15.
The new Kingfisher spoons in 3.5” size are kicking the crap out of every other lure. I can’t get them in fast enough. The hottest colours are Herring Aid with Redeye in UV, second pick is Blueberry Muffin UV, third is Two-Eye Glow, then Ultra Violet Purple Haze. These lures are copying the Kokanee (very well) that the cutthroat are feeding on. Tomic plugs are also productive on Lake Cowichan. Recommended depth 50', best area is the narrows in front of Gordon Bay. Kwikfish or Flatfish K7 black/silver flake (Michael Jackson), slow trolled on an S pattern along the drop-offs during dim light or dark days fished with or without a Gang Troll has been extremely successful. During brighter periods switch over to a K5 Coachdog with or without a troll, add more weight and troll just over the drop-off paralleling the shore. This fishery will only improve as fall progresses.
No boat, no problem - There are always fish biting when bait fishing at the creek mouths. Use sliding weights and a Corky rig. Top baits (now that the salmon are migrating through the lake) salmon paste, pink salmon eggs, roe or worms always worth a try.
Cowichan River opening for fishing on November 15.
Nitinat River: Wow! Lots of salmon. Generous retention of chinook, chum and coho make this a true harvest fishery. (Check regs.) The art of angling is to entice a fish to take your fly or lure. These fish will bite. All foul hooked fish must be released. Deliberate snagging is illegal and unethical.
Recommended techniques: Fly fishing - sink tip lines and B.H. flies. Top picks - Rolled Muddlers and Wooly Buggers. Stop in at the store for best colour picks. Over 30,000 flies in stock. It is heart stopping to see a 20-30 lb. chinook chasing your fly across the shallows and then slam your fly.
Float fishing - chartreuse or peach wool ties are your best bet.
Spin fishing - go small, small spoons or spinners produce well. Too large a lure spooks them.
As the leaves turn crimson and float to the ground, the rivers start to rise with the first fall rains. Coho, chum, summer steelhead will be on the move.
Top rivers - Cowichan, Sooke/San Juan/Harris, Nitinat and Stamp.
Always check your regs before heading out.
Stop by the store for an up to date fishing report.
Over 30,000 flies in stock at the store!
Gord March,
Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies
170C Cowichan Lake Rd.
Lake Cowichan
Cell 250-709-4090

Saltwater - There’s the last few chinooks out off the waterfront, with lots of undersize springs and a few good sized one as well. They’ve been moving around, following the feed. Their depths can also vary a lot this time of year, anywhere from the top 60 feet down to 240 ft.
There’s quite a few coho still arriving. A very few coho will be clipped. That fishery will go well into October. Try trolling big bucktail flies in the gap between Bellenas and Winchelsea islands. Bounce the fly in the wake of your boat for exciting action where you can often see them strike.
Chum salmon should arrive in decent numbers in October. The key to catching chum is to troll really slow, using small spoons or squirts. When they’ve moving in close to their spawning river you’ll likely hook them in the top 70 feet of water.
Pink salmon have finally arrived. They’ve been close into shore at Departure Bay beach and the Millstone estuary downtown. Fly fishers and spin casters have been catching them through early and mid September. They didn’t arrive in huge numbers like in the distant past, but enough to make it worthwhile.
Lingcod and bottomfish will close until the spring at the end of September.
Freshwater - The chum salmon will soon be in the Nanaimo River. The fishery in the lower tidal part of the river usually opens up late in October or early November. The fish are often pretty beat up by then, but some of them will still be in good enough shape and there’s often a few coho in the river at the same time. Catch those chum with big marabou flies, big brightly coloured spinners or Buzz Bombs. Rivers will be in prime condition after the bit of rain.
If there are still any pinks around remember to use maximum 15 mm gap hook (#2).
The lakes are going to continue fishing well with the cooler weather. Troll for trout with Wedding Bands, Flatfish and Kwikfish. Fly fishers will do well with Tom Thumbs, caddis and leech patterns and bead head Wooly Buggers.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo,
ph: 250-758-7726

High temperatures of summer have continued as I write this report although not enough to bring river levels up for spawning salmon. The last four months left east coast rivers with no flow, and the Little Qualicum in particular is the lowest I have ever seen in my seven years in Canada. The fish however have run through inches of water and are in deeper water in the lower reaches of the local streams. Whether anyone should target these fish however is, in my opinion, questionable.
Lakes, of course, have remained open, but the high water temperatures have made fishing difficult as the fish retreat to the depths to find cooler water.
The pinks, first of the Pacific salmon on the east coast have not arrived locally in any great numbers. Fishing at Nile Creek has again been disappointing to date with small numbers of fish showing. Fly fishermen have been travelling north to Campbell River to find pinks. I had a great day on the river four weeks ago after a run of fish had just come in. They were obviously very fresh, sea liced and taking flies aggressively. However the fishing has been tough recently as they get closer to actually spawning. One must never forget that salmon are in the river to spawn and the longer they adapt to freshwater the more reluctant they will be to show any interest in a lure or fly.
Some pinks are in local rivers supplemented with small numbers of chinook salmon If you chase these large powerful fish make sure your equipment is up to the task. An 8 or 9 weight rod is appropriate. Use a reel with a good disc drag and tippet material of about 15 lb. I have observed fly fishermen on the Big Q. chasing chinooks with 5 and 6 weight trout rods which don’t have the strength to play and land these fish quickly. Worse case this will result in either a broken rod or a fish with a fly and leader trailing from its mouth. Respect the fish and use tackle that matches the quarry, so that if you want to release it the fish will be able to recover relatively quickly.
The Stamp is just starting to have runs of coho and chinooks and the lower river should offer opportunities to both the fly and gear fisherman.
In September and October anglers eagerly look forward to the arrival of coho salmon off local beaches. It is considered the most sporting of the Pacific salmon. Jumps and long runs typify this species. The gear guys will score using Buzz Bombs or Zzingers especially when the fish are out of casting range for the fly. Coho spoons and Gibbs Crocs also work in the salt chuck. Fly fishers should be equipped with baitfish patterns fished fast to replicate normal behaviour. Smaller krill and shrimp type flies are also effective in green, blue, red, and copper when conditions are calm and the water is like glass.
Whether you are chasing trout, pinks, coho, steelhead or chinooks we have all the right tackle and advice to help you be successful.
Tight Lines Keith Hyett,
Coast Sportfish, 202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville, 250-586-6622,

Saltwater - There’s still salmon fishing out in Barkley Sound and in the Inlet. Some chinook are still coming in along with more coho all the time. Coho will keep up into October. Persistant rains will drive all those salmon into the river.
Catch the coho by trolling a bit on the fast side with bright green and chartreuse spoons at 20-30 feet.
Freshwater - Chinook and coho fishing is on in the Somass. The chinooks are starting to thin out, but the coho will run through October and a bit beyond. Chum salmon will follow the coho into the river to spawn, keeping the river action going almost until winter steelhead time. Catch those coho using Koho spoons or a #5 Blue Fox spinner (great for the chinook too). At Somass Park you can drift roe.
The lakes are starting to produce better catches as it cools down and the fish fatten up before winter sets in. October is usually a great month for lake fishing. Fly fishers should have success using leeches, caddis flies and Tom Thumbs. Troll with Leo’s Wedding Bands, Kwikfish or Flatfish.
After some heavy rain, fish an egg imitation fly near the mouth of streams that enter the lake. Trout will be waiting for salmon eggs to drift down.
Good luck Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
ph: 250-723-1172

Saltwater - Fishing is still rocking in the Campbell River area. Does it ever really stop? Large chinook are still around as well as lots of fresh feeder or winter springs.
Tiger Prawn, Blue Meanie and Shower Curtain hootchies are a good choice as well as Army Truck UV and many of the green/glow/UV colours. This is the time of year when needlefish size hootchies may be the best choice. Plugs are working well too but the jiggers sometimes out-fish them all with their favourite Point Wilson Dart jig.
Chum start rolling in late September and fishing stays very good for the whole month of October, if you happen to hit the peak time, it will be fishing like you have never seen before; these fish are the scrappiest salmon pound for pound of anything out there. Pink and blue, pink and black and other pink colours of Michael Bait hootchies on a blue/black hook work the best. Warm up your Bradley Smoker and get ready for the reward of the best smoked salmon ever! Sometimes reluctant chum can be awakened by an anchovie rig when nothing else seems to work. The Durabait synthetic anchovy rigged in the Krippled Anchovy holder is a strong producer and a great way to save money as well. Please talk to someone at the shop about how to fish for chum, it is very different than any other salmon and a whole lot of fun when you do it right.
A few northern coho may still be around too so make sure you have a few AP Sandlance spoons or the Lighthouse Big Eye Spoon. These smack coho like nothing else will!
Lingcod fishing typically closes September 30 so be sure to get out there for your last chance at this most delicious bottomfish. Berkley Powerbait large grub tails and Amundsen Mega Tails are very productive.
Prawning and crabbing are still great so make sure you get stocked up for some Christmas treats. Tyee Marine Ultimate Prawn and Crab Bait mixed with Carlyle Just Tuna cat food works the best for consistent catches.
Freshwater - Lots of good trout fishing in the hundreds of lakes in this region. Lower Campbell and Beavertail produce some very large fish in the late fall and these smoke up nicely for an amazing treat that's a little different than salmon. Powerbait and worms always work well and it never hurts to cast a brass and orange Krocodile lure this time of year.
Tight Lines and No Bananas!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641

The salmon season is coming to an end, it went by so quick. Summer should get a speeding ticket.
I had the chance to speak to the fishing guides and "sporties" kicking around the harbour and got to pick their brains a little. They had a long jammed packed season. They are pretty pleased with this fishing season and so were the customers. From what I came to understand it started slow but picked up fairly quick. Rafael Point was good at the beginning, June had some drags, but July and August are the best months I believe. The fishing spots for chinook were similar to last year's hot spot, The lighthouse was lit alright!
Wilf Rock and Tree Island remained a classic spot. The average size for chinooks was 15-20 lb. and a few big slabs here and there "Tyee Bud".
For Coho, whether you are casting Buzz Bombs off the rocks or bucktailin' the beaches the coho were at the rendez-vous and they always put on a show, peeling line and jumping everywhere. They averaged 6-8-10 lb. and a few over 10 lb. Popular spots to fish are Wickaninnish Island, Happy Face and as the season comes to an end a lot of fishermen are fishing Bartlett islands, Tibbs, Burgess and Hobbs Island. Lots of actions and numbers.
Tuna has been popular lately with a week long "Race for the Blue" tournament in early September. Crazy fishermen going 25-30-35-40 nautical miles offshore to reach the heart of The Clayoquot Canyon.
Bottom fishing was good throughout the season, good size lings have been caught and rockfish is always on the menu.
When fishing halibut there is no secret. The lures and baits remain the same: salmon bellies, octopus, herring and those Powerbait grubs work really well on a spreader bar. If there's a secret it’s Location, location, location! You have to find those bad boys out there.
There are multiple fishing spots to try your luck. If you have Navionics on your boat or on your phone it will help. there's GPS Waypoints for the hot spots such as; Hali Hole, Bean "Portland", Panties, Chicken Ranch, Cock and Balls, Try me. There's the popular P.S off the lighthouse as-well. As funny as it may sound I can't make this up, these spots really do exist. I bet local fisherman could tell you funny stories behind those names. There's more characters out here per square foot than anywhere else in the world.
Best of luck out there. Tight lines!
Mathieu Barnes, Method Marine, 380 Main St., Tofino, 250-725-3251

With all the talk surrounding the fishery closures, both fisherman and charters were wondering what was going to happen for the 2019 season out of Ucluelet. Were there going to be large numbers of boats from the other side of the Island making their way over before July 15? Were the charters going to be able to survive during the greater than one mile offshore closure up to July 15?
How much all the closures (that were supposed to help 1-4% of the chinook run into the Fraser River) hurt the BC economy will be found out after the season. Fortunately/unfortunately the predictions way underestimated the run sizes. There were many more chinook swimming by than any of the predictions. That meant that the day the offshore fishery did open boats were getting limits of chinook, coho and halibut within a few hours.
There were lots of chinook salmon off shore during much of the early season whenever our boats put down lines trolling for halibut. Halibut fishing surprised us by getting good mid-May and staying pretty consistent through the summer right up into September. Coho started to come in close to shore in late June and they stayed in Barkley Sound much of the summer. There were also lots of coho at Big Bank. The toughest thing is working through the wild coho to get the hatchery coho.
By July 15 most boats were heading off to Big Bank to get the full limits of chinook, coho and halibut. Big Bank stayed good right through most of August and into September. The prediction of the largest run of chinook into Barkley Sound in 20 years kept some of us chomping at the bit for the good inshore fishery.
By August the good inshore fishing started. I had more double hook-ups this year than any year prior. Almost every trip from August 5 to September 10 out of the harbour saw at least three double headers.
For more reports check out
Sam Vandervalk,
Salmon Eye Fishing Charters,

September was one of the most interesting and fun months of the entire 2019 season.
Yes, huge schools coho/silvers showed up both in Esperanza inlet and Nootka Sound. In Esperanza all around Center Island large (12-22 lb.) coho milled around poised to return to their spawning rivers and streams in Port Eliza, Espinosa Inlet and in Owossitsa Creek. Further into the inlet Saltery Bay was on fire with coho schooling to go up Zeballos Inlet.
Because the rainy season was late this year coho and chinook were stacked on the south side of Esperanza Inlet from Pin Rocks all the way into Saltery Bay. Same for Nootka with large runs of coho on both sides of the mouth of the sounds, on the north side at Wash Rocks. as well as the Lighthouse area and on the south side at Escalante Rocks/Point preparing to enter Escalante River. The largest schools of coho in Nootka were in the Tlupana Inlet area. The majority of these were Conuma River Hatchery stock. There are thousands of them and they, like all coho this time of the season, are easily caught. A Coho Killer, Wee G, 3-3.5 Coyote and Skinny G trolled in the top 20 ft. of water at 2.5-3.5 mph will load your fish box.
Tail Wagers and Coho Flies also are working well on the surface for these aggressive aerobatic fish. Limits are generous throughout Esperanza and Nootka, four per day only two of which can be wild with a total of eight in possession.
That is a lot of salmon to take home. Fun, fun, fun! Yum, yum, yum!
Yes, the chinook/springs as well as coho have returned to Esperanza and Nootka’s many rivers and streams in good numbers. The returning salmon more than met the needs for all the volunteers and Conuma hatcheries to fill their incubation egg traces to near capacity. It took lots of energy and effort by many to get the job done. Thank you to all who participated. Many hands make for light work and fun.
There were sufficient quantities of salmon for acceptable river and stream escapement for natural spawning in most water sheds. Standing back and looking at the big picture for chinook and coho, all user groups should be optimistic about the salmon fishing/catching in local Esperanza and Nootka waters for next season and beyond.
Westview Marina & Lodge opens March 15, 2020 for winter springs, halibut, ling and prawn openings.
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis 800-992-3252
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5

Saltwater - Spring salmon fishing went out with a bang even into mid September with lots of big chinook salmon.
We hooked and released 18 chinooks in three days while filming with a television crew. One day we released a 41 and a 42 pounder. Lots of 20s and 30s also let go. This season I released 25 fish from 25-45 lb. and didn’t kill a single spring over 25 lb. I caught, clipped and released 64 springs to prove to DFO that we don’t get nearly as many Fraser River chinooks as they suggest. This year’s fisheries decision was the most dishonest I’ve seen in 54 years of guiding. Don’t vote Liberal.
The coho salmon came in late (after everybody was gone). They were stacked up on the estuary waiting for rain. Good numbers returning in the creeks and rivers.
Pinks salmon look like they came up short in numbers this season.
The peak of halibut fishing was later than usual. June and July were relatively terrible for halibut. The best time was around the middle of August. The keepers were smaller than last year, averaging 12-25 lb.
The season on the saltchuck is about done except for some stray cohos. We closed the Baitshack on September 1 as usual
Freshwater - Trout fishing has been great and will remain productive through the fall. Victoria Lake, Alice Lake and lately Nimpkish have been producing plenty of big trout. We can also look forward to coho fishing in the rivers and then winter steelhead.
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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