Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED August 9, 2019.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For August 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.

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 – Catch and release fishing for spring salmon in Victoria has been excellent. Port Renfrew is now open for retention of spring salmon under 80 cm. but not smaller than 45 cm. Hatchery coho has been great out in Sooke and Port Renfrew and pink salmon have arrived! Halibut fishing was great in all areas.
PORT RENFREW – There have been lots of springs into the mid-twenties along the shoreline. The springs have been caught at 60-95 feet on the downrigger in depths up to 100 feet. Out near Swiftsure Bank the fishing for springs was excellent. White hootchies have been the top producing lure. Also, Gold Nugget Coho Killers and Skinny Gs and Wee Gs in Chartreuse Chrome or Herring Aid were producing lots of action and limit catches. Those anglers cut plugging are also catching lots of fish. Halibut fishing has been excellent on the bank.
BECHER BAY– Anglers were catching and releasing springs at 40 to 90 feet between Beechey Head and towards the Trap Shack. Hatchery coho have been caught between Beechey Head and the Trap Shack on the flood tides. Good spoons have been Skinny Gs, Coho Killers and Coyotes with green in the colour mix. Anchovies were working too and good colours for teaser heads were Chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Needlefish hootchies in white, glow/green and Purple Haze are the top choices in plastic baits. The Highliner Guide Series Outfitters, the Bon Chovy, and Gold Fever Hot Spot flashers had been working. Other anglers were out for halibut and lingcod. Halibut fishing was slower, but some nice Lingcod were caught, and crabbing has been excellent.
PEDDER BAY– Salmon fishing has been excellent at the mouth of the bay. Halibut and 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 colors are Bloody Nose, Chartreuse and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good choices. Flashers that are popular include the Guide Series Madi, Bon Chovy and Lemon Lime.
VICTORIA – Most anglers were out for halibut, rockfish and lingcod. The halibut fishing was only good. Closer in along the waterfront it had been fair for 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 well along with glow teaser heads. Spoons had been working well with Skinny Gs and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP Tackleworks 3” herring spoon good choices.
OAK BAY– Springs 10 lb. to 20 lb. 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 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 fair.
SIDNEY– At Sidney Spit, the Powder Wharf and Cole Island, springs into the mid 20s were being caught by trollers and jiggers. Jiggers are continuing to do very well especially near the Powder Wharf. The lures working the best were the Deep Stingers and Gibbs minnows in 3 oz. blue nickel, chrome and green nickel. Prawning has slowed down in Saanich Inlet. 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 - With the summer weather the trout will be found near the thermocline or the bottom where the water is colder with more oxygen. 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 Gibbs Gang Trolls and on Gibbs Wedding Bands. Tomic Plugs in 2”-3” sizes have also been working well for trout.
Bass fishing is great 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 on fire in the Sooke area with lots of pink, coho and spring salmon.
You can find the pinks and coho anywhere from the first tide line to the shipping lanes.
Coho seem to be mostly around 35 ft. on the downrigger. Coho Killers, and Skinny Gs in greens and purple colours with a 36 inch leader seem to be working good.
Pink salmon have been hanging out around 35 to 70 ft. Of course pink or red squirts with a 18 to a 24 inch leader works the best.
Fishing for spring salmon have been excellent at all the local hot spots. Best fishing depths have be from 35 to 70 ft. Everything seems to be working good from spoons, bait to hootchies. Definitely lots of nice size spring salmon in the area.
Make sure to check with DFO website for up coming regulations on spring salmon.
Halibut has been slow lately, but still some nice ones coming from the Jordan river area.
Until next time happy faces and
tight lines.
Al Kennedy,
Reel Excitement Salmon Charters
email: fishing@

Salmon fishing has been on fire in the Sooke area with lots of pink, coho and spring salmon.
You can find the pinks and coho anywhere from the first tide line to the shipping lanes.
Coho seem to be mostly around 35 ft. on the downrigger. Coho Killers, and Skinny Gs in greens and purple colours with a 36 inch leader seem to be working good.
Pink salmon have been hanging out around 35 to 70 ft. Of course pink or red squirts with a 18 to a 24 inch leader works the best.
Fishing for spring salmon have been excellent at all the local hot spots. Best fishing depths have be from 35 to 70 ft. Everything seems to be working good from spoons, bait to hootchies. Definitely lots of nice size spring salmon in the area.
Make sure to check with DFO website for up coming regulations on spring salmon.
Halibut has been slow lately, but still some nice ones coming from the Jordan river area.
Until next time happy faces and
tight lines. Al Kennedy,
Gord March,
Gord’s Fly Box & Goodies
170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742
Lake Cowichan


Saltwater - Chinook salmon opened for retention (one per day) on July 15 and there are plenty of fish out in front of Nanaimo, but DFO imposed slot size restrictions on chinooks between 62 and 80 cm in length. That leaves a narrow window of opportunity and plenty of bigger and smaller fish have been released. Unfortunately many anglers don’t know how to properly release fish, so many have died. The 80 cm limit of that was supposed to be lifted August 1.
Those springs are hitting Pink Sink, Evil Eye, and Herring Aid as well as CJ spoons (black and white and chrome and red) in 3” and 3.5” sizes, at the usual hot spots: the Fingers, Porlier, Thresher Rock and the Brickyard. White hootches fished deep have also done well. Fish have been from 40 to 180 feet.
There’s not much effort by shorecasters at Rocky Point; with the slot closures the odds of catching a keeper that way are minimal.
There are quite a few coho salmon out there in the 5 to 8 lb. range. We have about 20 percent fin clipped fish, and they are everywhere in the water column, sometimes at only 40 ft. They will get shallower, and later you should be able to catch coho by bucktailing in the wash of your kicker.
The pink salmon have so far been conspicuous by their absence, hopefully we will have a beach fishery this year.
Lingcod are fishing well with Swim Tails catching their share of them. Look for slopes and structure. If you’re not catching lings after five minutes move on. There’s still the odd halibut being caught incidentally.
Prawning is productive in a few spots, and the attack on clams, mussels and crabs is enormous, with a lot of effort at the crab dock downtown.
Freshwater - The higher elevation lakes will be producing good catches of trout. Fish will go deep in the afternoon heat. The shallower lower elevation lakes will really be slowing down except for the bass fishing. It’s a good time of year to fish for bass among the shoreline structure with top water lures like poppers.
Most rivers in the south and central Island are in drought water conditions and closed to fishing.
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726


With most southerly east coast rivers closed to fishing from July 15 to August 31 fly and gear anglers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the pink salmon which typically start to show up off the northern beaches and rivers about now. Hopefully the 2019 run will be good, the last two years being very average. Initially numbers will be sporadic. However the larger run will start soon and these prolific fish give fantastic sport on a light fly or gear rod. Pinks average 3-6 lb. so using lighter tackle will give more enjoyment. A 6 or 7 wt. fly rod is perfect for these fish and if you spin don’t use a really stiff rod as they are not designed for smaller species.
If you fish the fly the general mantra is pink salmon like pink flies, but other colours work well. Green, blue and purple are other favourites. In the ocean use an intermediate poly leader and in the rivers a fast sinking tip. The pinks love to hug the bottom when they come into freshwater so the closer your fly is to the fish the greater the chance of a hook up.
The exceptions to the rivers closures are the BIG QUALICUM, PUNTLEDGE, QUINSAM and CAMPBELL. All these rivers have controlled flow. Please check the regulations before fishing anywhere. Also be aware that low flows and high water temperatures stress fish hugely so be mindful of this when landing and releasing fish.
I have written before about the large number of fish that normally appear off the beach at Nile Creek in Bowser. This successful enhancement program at the hatchery ensures that fish normally return in prolific numbers every year. Unfortunately it also, arguably, brings too many anglers as well, shoulder to shoulder they stand desperate to get into a fish.
Search out less popular spots and look for fish that are jumping or head and tailing in shallow water. And don’t be tempted to wade too deep too soon, as the fish will come in really close if you allow them!
For those who use gear a popular method is to use a fly or spinner under a water float. Obviously Buzzbombs and Zzingers can be effective especially when the fish are a long way out.
Pink salmon make excellent eating. Grill the fillets in butter for a few minutes. They are absolutely delicious
LAKES - With water temperatures so high trout action has slowed. Best fishing will always be early and late when fish are likely to be feeding more actively.
SALTWATER - The ocean fishery on the east coast of Vancouver Island opened on July 15 with retention of one chinook per day. I hear that there are lots of fish around this year. Reasonable numbers of chinook and lots of wild coho have been taken both trolling and jigging. Hopefully this will result in good numbers of coho returning to our beaches and local rivers later in the season. These fish are considered to be the most sporting of all the Pacific salmon and for many fly fisherman this is the cream of the Vancouver Island fishing experience.
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


Saltwater - Salmon fishing is going into high gear with lots of good sized chinooks being caught all over Barkley Sound and in the inlet also.
Many of the usual hot spots like Vernon Bay, Swale Rock, Cree Island, Bell’s Bay and China Creek are producing catches of chinook, but the fish are really spread out everywhere.
There are also lots of coho salmon being caught in the 8-9 lb. range. They’re fishing shallow at 30-50 ft. The springs are being caught a bit deeper around 80 foot depths.
The springs are beginning to stage up in the Inlet and will be in position for the 48th Annual Port Alberni Salmon Festival on Labour Day Weekend. Salmon in the mid 20s and 30s are being caught regularly so that is a good sign for the derby.
The chinooks are being caught on anchovies as well 3.5 inch spoons in greens, Herring Aid and Skinny Gs, and on UV white hootchies.
The sockeye salmon fishery was shut down a bit early and numbers of returning fish were less than the preseason prediction.
Bottom fishing remains good inside Barkley Sound with good catches of lingcod coming off those secret reefs and rock piles. Halibut fishing offshore has also been good.
Freshwater - A few summer run steelhead are being caught in the Stamp River, but you really have to work at it and you would be better off fishing in the lakes. The steelhead would hit on spinners and spoons or intruder fly patterns.
The higher elevations lakes are doing well for trout on the fly.
Lots of people are trolling in boats as well as fishing from shore. The warmer weather will drive the trout deeper as the summer progresses. On the hot days we’re expecting in August, it’s best fish in the mornings and evenings when the water is cooler. 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. Most of the higher elevation lakes should be in great shape for fly fishing.
Good luck .
Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni, ph: 250-723-1172

Chinook fishing saw some fairly impressive peaks last month mixed with a couple of weather days that slowed production. The fleet was split between Florencia and Wya Point. The most consistent producer has been deep off the west side of Florencia Island. Volume fisheries of 10 to 20 chinooks a day were being seen regularly out at the 80 foot mark. The smaller the spoons the better as the primary feed was tiny bait fish. Coho Killer is another obscure small spoon in white and chrome dominated the landscape.
The 90-foot fishery off Florencia slowed and the mature fish moved back into the bays and onto the squid. Not in significant volume but some real good quality came out of Flo Bay for those with patience.
Coho have come in spurts close to shore, but every day you will likely be into some in the 5-10 lb. range, while fishing for chinook .
Two very different tales on the halibut front. The near-shore halibut fishery within 10 miles came to a stop this week with low volumes of halibut and high numbers of dogfish. The Big Bank on the other hand is producing volumes of chicken halibut. If you want production at the moment there's only one place to go, straight south to the Bank. Chickens (hali from 8-15lb.) are being taken everywhere from the shallows all the way to Hali West. With the offshore chinook fishery opening we expect to see good volumes of incidental halibut being taken while trolling for chinook offshore.
We don't have much inventory left for fishing trips or accommodation on our fishing packages so book right away!
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
Fishing Charters,

Saltwater - August fishing is continuing like the rest of the year so far - red hot. The abundance of chinook salmon is at levels not seen in decades! Ardent anglers are starting to head up the Narrows and fish more in the Brown’s Bay, Deepwater Bay, Chatham Pt. and Greensea Bay areas. Lots of coho and pink salmon are being intercepted as well as chinook as they head down the nutrient rich waters of the Inside Passage.
Many nice fish are being caught on the Pt. Wilson King Kandy lure as well as some of the newer spoons like the Big Eye, the AP Sandlance and the CJ Special from Peetz. The Ross Shimmer Tail has turned out to be a secret weapon for monster chinook salmon. These “hootchies” have multi-layered skirts with lots of UV flash that a passing fish won't be able to resist. The Blue Meanie hootchie with a black or Purple Onion Lighthouse flasher has been extremely productive as well in all areas. Best results occur when using a 39.5" leader length measured from hootchie to flasher.
People are finding more than their fair share of lingcod at the Hump, Seymour Narrows and other spots with good bottom structure. The Amundsen Mega Tail 14 oz. jighead and the always productive Point Wilson Dart are your tickets to landing one of these tasty fish.
The Campbell River Fishing Pier is having another good year, finally, after the late July 15 opening. The myopic lunacy of the federal Liberal government and their malicious, politically motivated non-retention of chinook salmon regulation killed what would have been a banner season for the Pier. The Point Wilson Dart 2 oz. and 3 oz. lures are once again out-fishing everything else.
Freshwaer - There are nice fat trout being caught in any of the hundreds of lakes in this area. Wedding Bands with a bit of worm attached always produce. Trolling this set-up at mid-depth, 20-40', may also land you some Kokanee if present in the lake system you are fishing. If targeting these fish, use a small trolling snubber as Kokanee have soft mouths. Small Krocodile and Deadly Dick casting lures are always effective. Fly fishers will have luck using damselfly, dragonfly nymph and any of the many Muddler Minnow patterns, always trying to "match the hatch".
July has seen some early returns and by mid August the pink salmon will be thick in the Campbell River. Tyee Marine has some exclusive and very productive flies for this fun fishery.
Equip your fly line with a super fast sinking poly leader so your fly sinks quickly in the swift moving water. When salmon enter a river to spawn they stop feeding, so selecting brightly coloured flies that will grab their attention is a must.
If spin casting, use the same flies with split shot, or a bit of pink wool rigged with pencil lead and a float.
The most important part of pink fishing in the river is lure placement. Annoyed fish will bite at your lure if it’s in front of their face, but may not be inclined to chase it across the river. Also, remember to fish the lower part of the water column, this is where the fresher more aggressive fish will be located.
Tight lines, have a great summer!
Tight lines, have a great summer!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641

This is the best fishing/catching season in 25 years Yes, I have fished this area for over 30 years and we have operated Westview Marina & Lodge for over 20 years. This 2019 fishing season is over-the-top good across the board with all species, especially salmon.
Boats are limiting out on salmon before noon; 20 springs/chinooks/kings to the boat in a morning is the norm.
Coho/silvers are also showing in good numbers. A 12.5 lb. tops the board today but getting bigger every day.
There are huge schools of herring and sandlance bait on the 30+/- meter contour. This contour holding the bait runs from Grassi Is. to McQuarrie Is. on the north side of Esperanza Inlet down to outer Black Rk. at the mouth of Esperanza also at Ferrer Pt. The bait and salmon along with great fishing/catching continue south to Beano Ck. and Bajo Reef just outside of Nootka Sound. Salmon are moving into both Esperanza and Nootka in good numbers. In Esperanza, in normally calm water, you will find salmon at the Glory Hole at Catala Is., Double Is., Rosa Harbour, Pin Rks. and Garden Pt. In Nootka Maquinna Pt., Wash Rks., the Lighthouse, Boston Pt., Coopte Pt., and Hoiss Pt. are all holding salmon. “Match the hatch” is an old but accurate fishing slogan.
Lures that are working well: Skinny Gs, No Bananas, Peetz Hammer 3.25” chartreuse, Coyote 3.5” and 4” glo/grn/cht and Live Image in neon/grn, King Kandy, Candlefish, Watermelon. Any of these lures running behind a Highliner Guide Series No Bananas flasher works well. Anchovies are what all the above lures are imitating so you may want to leave the dock with a good supply of brined bait. Bait usually out fishes hardware.
Halibut and lingcod pile up on the cleaning table daily here. The new rule of one hali up to 126 cm/50” in possession is very popular. A 126 cm halibut can be up to 60 lb. of great eating flaky white fish ‘n chips. Lingcod to 30 lb. are also regularly boated in the bountiful waters of Esperanza and Nootka.
Recently several of the local guides have gone to trolling for lingcod. Again in and around the same contour areas where they are catching salmon they are tolling Rapala Otus soft tail jigs, Mega Bite Swim tail jigs and Westin Red Ed swim jigs just off the bottom. They are using their downriggers and halibut set-up to keep the swim baits very close to bottom. Moving the rigger up and down with the bottom contour. This up and down motion adds to the swim baits realistic action. Often as the green button on the downrigger is pressed to bring the jig up over a rise in the bottom, the jig is ripped out of the released clip. “Fish on!” This method brings a new dimension to lingcod fishing. It’s just you and the fish with the jig firmly stuck in its jaw. No spreader bar, no heavy ball weight just a straight strong pull directly to the fish. This improved system has seriously increased the productivity in bottom fishing/catching. More fish in the box.
Come join the fun, fun, fun of catching and retaining lots of fish in Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound.
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 salmon in the Port Hardy area now: lots of chinook (springs) and coho salmon.
The springs are now open to retention of one fish per day. Unfortunately DFO (federal fisheries) imposed slot size limits; fish between 62-80 cm are the only ones we can keep. That’s a very narrow range, fish between about 16 and 18 lb. There are plenty of chinook salmon in our waters, and we’re forced to release a lot of big fish. That restriction was announced just one hour before the chinook opening July 15. It’s another DFO blunder that we will not forget on election day.
Those springs are found between 40 and 60 ft. and are being hooked on anchovies. They are everywhere at every local spot that people fish.
The coho are up to 10 lb. so far, and getting bigger every week. They are also all over the place, right inside Hardy Bay, so it’s easy fishing for anglers in little boats. They’re biting on Skinny Gs and Coho Killers.
Lingcod fishing has been good. Halibut fishing is okay. They’re down at 240-260 ft, and biting on jigs and spreader bars. The halibut are much closer to Port Hardy this time of year.
Freshwater - Trout fishing remains good in the bigger lakes, Victoria and Alice. With the warmer water trout will spend time in deeper water. Trolling black and silver Flatfish will be effective. Fly fish with Wooly Buggers, Doc Spraleys, streamers and bucktails, and other wet flies deep on sinking line.
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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