Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED May 29, 2019.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For June 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).


In April the federal Department of Fisheries (DFO) announced chinook salmon fishing restrictions to conserve Fraser River stocks. These restriction have had immediate impact on the economies of many Island and coastal communities
especially those where sport fishing is a financial cornerstone. Businesses are announcing closures, layoffs and failures and distress.
In part the fishing restriction are intended to have benefits for endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.
Chinook salmon populations have been in decline for years as a result of many factors including habitat destruction, over harvesting, and the effects of climate change. Of the thirteen wild Fraser River chinook salmon populations
assessed, only one is not at risk.
Restrictions to fishing for, and retention of chinook salmon have been imposed to most areas of the coast across recreational, commercial and First Nations fisheries.
The new limits apply to all inside waters around Vancouver Island, and limit total recreational chinook retention to 10 fish, down from 30 per year.
In Johnstone Strait and northern Strait of Georgia there is no retention until July 15, then one per day until August 29, then two per day.
In southern Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca there is no retention until July 31, then one per day until August 29, then two per day.
Off the Island’s west coast in offshore waters there is no retention until July 14, then two per day.
In the Island’s west coast inshore waters the limit remains two per day.
While DFO arranged public consultation meetings, the recommendations put forward by citizens and fishing advocacy groups were ignored.
Fishing for the four other salmon species has not been curtailed in these restrictions.

Saltwater – Halibut fishing was slow in most areas, but anglers were doing well with lingcod, rockfish and prawns. Chinook retention is now prohibited in all areas covered by this report. 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-hours); B) Visit; or C)
BECHER BAY- Anglers reported lots of springs at 40 to 90 feet between Creyke Point and Beechey Head. Several of the springs released were in the high 20s and one around 30 lb. Anglers were mostly using spoons like Skinny Gs, Coho Killers
and Coyotes with green in the colour mix. Anchovies were working too and good teaser head colours were chartreuse, Tiger Prawn and Bloody Nose. Needlefish hootchies in white, glow/green and Purple Haze are top 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 slow, but some nice lingcod were taken.
PEDDER BAY - Anglers were out for halibut, lingcod and crabs. Lingcod fishing and crabbing was good. Whirl Bay was slightly better than Pedder Bay. For catch and release chinook fishing Coyote style spoons have been working well as the
fish are targeting herring more than needlefish. Anchovies in green glow teasers had also been effective. Hootchies and squirts were working with green and glow, Purple Haze or UV white good choices.
VICTORIA - Most anglers that we know of fishing were out for halibut, rockfish and lingcod. The halibut fishing was slow. Closer in was slow for springs with the most productive area from Esquimalt to Brotchie Ledge. Anglers were
trolling close to the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water. Anchovies and herring were working best and glow teaser heads were better than the non-glow. Spoons, like Skinny G and Coho Killers in Irish Cream, Outfitters and the AP
Tackleworks 3" herring, were working well.
Some anglers have reported success with lingcod and Bob Deslippe brought in a 22 lb. 14 oz. lingcod.
OAK BAY- Catch and release chinook fishing was good in Oak Bay. Some springs in the 10 lb. to mid-teens size were caught both jigging and trolling on the Flats near Brodie Rock. 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 slow in this area. That said, Ian Bishop caught a 51.9 lb. halibut in Haro Strait using herring for bait. Ian now takes over fourth place on our halibut board.
SIDNEY - Cole Island was the hot spot for catch and release spring salmon fishing. The fish were good sizes, many 12-18 lb. Salmon fishing was slower near the Powder Wharf for anglers working jigs. Prawning has been good in Saanich
Inlet. More anglers were prawning than fishing for finfish. Before the salmon closure, anglers were trolling Skinny G spoons or anchovies.
Freshwater - Trout fishing has been good. 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 for Powerbait. Fly anglers
are fishing Wooly Buggers, leeches and chironomid patterns. Chironomid fishing has been 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.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has been stocking catchable triploid rainbow trout into southern Island lakes.
Bass fishing is excellent as the water temperatures rise and bass move into the shallows prior to spawning. Bass over 4 lb. are being taken on a regular basis. Anglers are having success on a variety of lures. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits
and soft plastics are all producing. Yum Dingers have been effective when fished with Texas rigging. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect, Elk and Beaver lakes are the best locally. St. Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great bass
Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,
Victoria, ph: 475-4969


Since there is no chinook salmon fishing for the next couple of months our focus will be on halibut fishing. (In Sooke waters chinook are non-retention until August 1, then one per day until August 30, then two per day.)
Halibut hot spots are Jordan River, Magdalina, and Muir Creek, and they have all been producing some nice fish.
Large herring, salmon bellies and octopus for bait all have be working well. 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


Saltwater - Right now if you want to fish for salmon, you’d better bring your tacklebox and your lawyer.
Halibut fishing at Port Renfrew is going strong for those venturing out to the banks. Try spreader bars with 2 lb. of weight bouncing the bottom to attract their attention. Top baits are: Saury, Octopus, XL Herring. Best artificials are
Berkley 8” Power Grubs.
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 Tomic plugs in colours 231, 800 and
801. Try out the iridescent colours. We have hundreds of plugs in stock with over 75 different patterns.
Also 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.
If your boat is equipped with downriggers, troll the narrows in front of Honeymoon Bay. Fish are holding between 40 and 70 ft. Top lure: Kingfisher spoons in colours UV Redeye Herring Aid, UV Purple Haze, and UV Blueberry Muffin. Fish
those spoons and you’ll be driving home talking pounds instead of inches.
Cowichan River trout fishing: The river is extremely low and warm. Highly recommend not fishing until the fall rains raise the water levels and the water cools. The fish are trying their best to survive through this. Releasing fish, no
matter how hard you try, usually ends up with a fish not surviving.
Move to the beaches: With the low rivers this time of year it’s fun, fun fun. In my day off right now I’d head for the beaches to catch sea-runs on flies like #6 silver bead silver Rolled Mudler. Looking for specific locations? Try every
sloping beach with a freshwater stream entering, they’ll all hold sea-runs at different points of the tide. Come by the shop, we will be happy to dial you in.
Bass Fishing: Bass fishing is hot! Lakes to note are Shawnigan, Fuller, St. Mary, Quennell, 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!

Gord March, Gord's Fly Box & Goodies, 170C Cowichan Lake Rd., 250-932-9309


20th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament- June 16
Smallmouth bass fishing is a great way to spend Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16 at the 20th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament, hosted by Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake near Nanaimo. The derby is catch-and-release, with big prize
There are thousands of dollars in cash, plus a chance to win a brand new car if you can catch the tagged fish.
Last year in first place for $2,200 was Dennis Pridge with a 4.3 lb. bass. In second place ($1,300) was Jason Seabrook with a 4.1 lb. bass. John Dennis and Ken Ward both caught 3.9 lb. bass and shared third place for $450 each.
There are lots of local companies contributing a variety of draw prizes of products and services.
The gates at Zuiderzee Campsites open at 7 a.m., the tournament begins at 8 a.m., final weigh-in is at 3 p.m. Public access and boat launch is at Zuiderzee, 2575 Enfer Rd., off Yellowpoint Rd. For tickets call 250-722-2334.
Quennell Lake, 20 minutes south of Nanaimo, has one of BC’s best smallmouth bass fisheries, plus good numbers of trout, and pumpkinseed sunfish. The derby host, Zuiderzee Campsites is a full service campground with lakeshore RV and
tenting sites, a sandy beach, boat launch and picnic and day use areas.

There’s lots of lincod being caught, and very few anglers are catch and release fishing for salmon.
For the lingcod and rockfish Swimtails, and a few older tried and true lures are working. Don’t forget to have a bottomfish descending device to release fish alive after you’ve reached your catch limit.
Crabbing has been okay. There has been a lot of pressure on crab the last few years and a lot of theft of crab traps so keep an eye on your gear.
Prawning has been exceptionally good, but now that the commercial season is underway it would be wise to leave stocks alone for now.
Freshwater - As a result of the salmon closure there’s lots of attention on lake fishing for trout. With the warmer weather the Nanaimo lakes should provide good trout catches. Quite a few people are fishing Horne Lake and coming into
the store with gift certificates from catching the tagged trout released into that lake (See story page 15).
Smallmouth bass fishing is coming into the high season. Big cash prizes at the 20th Annual Zuiderzee Bass Tournament, hosted by Zuiderzee Campsites on Quennell Lake, June 16
Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy., Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

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


Now is the time to prepare for the season, whether you are chasing trout in rivers and lakes.
Fry patterns in rivers work well this time of year representing young pink and chum that are dropping downstream to the sea, where they will feed voraciously, for two years in the case of pinks, and two to three years for chum, before
returning to the rivers of their birth. Survival rates are low with only two to three percent making it back to spawn after defying the odds of being eaten by a whole host of predators.
Essential fly patterns for river or estuary are beadhead Rolled Muddlers, brown or epoxy minnows and Micky Finns on a sink tip line, or attach a sinking polyleader to a floating line to get down to where the cutthroats will be lying. You
should also carry some Prince and Pheasant Tail Nymph’s and Stoneflies with either brass or tungsten beads to get down deep.
The Little Qualicum River has produced cutthroat in fine condition recently and the occasional steelhead. Right now the river is only open below the hatchery down to the sea, but the upper river opens on June 1 offering opportunities to
explore new pools. The ability to roll cast is a definite advantage on this river because there are so many places where a conventional backcast is not possible due to overhanging bushes and trees. It really helps if you have a fly line
with a relatively short head. Many lines will make it difficult to roll cast especially if you are making quite short casts. Call into the store if you need advice.
Early summer trout fishing on Vancouver Island rivers and streams is a wonderful experience and there are many opportunities to find wild fish in fantastic scenery if you have the appetite to explore. Please be aware that it is mandatory
to release all wild trout caught in a river or stream on Vancouver Island !
Lakes - Fishing has been good as the lakes warm up and fish become more active. Spider Lake has been stocked and chironomids have been successful for many anglers. There are many wilderness lakes to explore with both stocked and wild
fish. For those new to the Island we have an excellent Island Lake and River guide map book at our store which is an essential tool to help you find where to go and how to get there.
With the closure of retention for chinook salmon in the ocean until July perhaps now is the time to consider getting into fly fishing for the first time. It is an absorbing pastime for a large number of anglers here, and there are
numerous opportunities to fish for salmon on the fly later in the season. 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,

There’s a few springs out there now, and we’re expecting good numbers starting in June, and through the summer. The limit here remains two chinook per day.
This year’s sockeye salmon run is forecast at 350,000+, enough for a sport fishery. You’re allowed two per day in the canal and in the Paper Mill dam. In the canal, troll slow (1.8 mph) with small hootchies in blue and pink combinations.
We’ve got rigged, ready to go set-ups at the store. We usually run four rods (with the flasher off the cannonball). The first rod will be 10 feet down and close to the the boat, the others stacked at 10 foot intervals. At Paper Mill Dam
catch the sockeye by flossing (casting yarn).
For those spring salmon in Barkley Sound troll anchovies in Purple Haze or Herring Aid teasers behind Black Onion or Super Betsy flashers at depths from 85 to 120. Until July 15 it’s closed offshore, one nautical mile outside Barkley
There’s a few halibut and lingcod being caught. It’s now mandatory to have a descending release device on your boat for bottom fish that you’re not going to keep.
Freshwater - With the warm spring trout fishing has been great and most high elevation lakes are accessible. They recently fixed the road to Duran Lake. The big lower elevation lakes have been fishing well. Trolling Flatfish near the
mouth of Sproat Lake has been yielding nice catches of trout.
Good luck. Gone Fishin’
4985 Johnston, Port Alberni,
ph: 250-723-1172


The fishing season is off to a great start; the weather is good and the sun is out.
Since halibut and ground fish are open a lot of fishermen went out there to try their luck. Halibut fishing has been really good inshore and offshore. Even though chinook salmon is open for retention here (in Zone 24) fishermen are still
targeting ground fish, lingcod and halibut.
The usual techniques will all work here: A flasher and hootchie, a cannonball with bait, or jigging. For the hootchie, “The Turd” is still an all time local favourite. Lots of fishermen like to use a spreader bar and a cannon ball. Using
bait is the way to go if you are using this method. You can bait with herring, salmon bellies, octopus, squid, and I’ve heard you can use a piece of crab, too. You can also use a Powerbait grub on your halibut leaders. Using 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. I’ve tried baiting with crab and was happy with the results.
Another method is to jig for halibut using Powerbait Grubs with big jigs - works really well. P-Line offers a wide variety of these heavy jigs. The Laser Minnow 6 oz. and the Kodiak Jig 14 oz. are my two favourite jigs from P-Line. Great
for lingcod and big rockfish, too.
Amundson came out with the Mega Jig Swim Tail 14 oz., works like a charm. Amundson have other really good products such as halibut leaders, circle hook leaders, and they came up with Fat Shiver salmon trolling spoons in various patterns.
I am looking forward to trying out these pretty little spoons – these glow products glow more brightly than most others.
When it comes down to releasing rockfish after their suffered barotraumas, 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 will be obligatory in
the near future for fisherman to carry these devices aboard the boat to avoid killing fish and saving them from suffering from barotrauma, to descend the fish to re-compress the air-bladder/re-oxygenate for 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. The odd 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 you 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


We are expecting a good fish season. We should have about 2-3 times as many coho salmon swimming by us this year as 2018.
The forecast for the chinook returns to Barkley Sound is the best in 20 years. The past two years have had good runs in the 65,000 range. This year we are expecting runs in the 130,000-140,000 range. Most of those fish will come through
from August 10-September 10.
There were good amounts of squid in Florencia the past couple years and we are hoping we will have the return of those squid again which should mean good chinook fishing in shallow water. The squid could be expected to arrive late June
to early July. Fishing for chinook with live squid is one of the most sporty ways to catch salmon.
What about the rest of the summer?
We are expecting slightly better than normal numbers of chinook for early season and early summer. coho normally start late June or early July. We will start getting a few halibut late May and by mid June we would start expecting to get
our limits of one per day per person. Halibut fishing generally stays good until at least mid August and sometimes into early September.
Sam Vandervalk, Salmon Eye
Fishing Charters,


Saltwater - Salmon fishing is really heating up in Campbell River as schools of herring are finding their way into nearby waters and bringing hungry salmon with them. Good catches are happening in the Green Can and Hump area and
continuing across to the Cortes bell buoy. Great fishing can be had trolling the drop-offs on both sides.
Sandlance and Peetz spoons are bringing in more than their share of this year’s bounty, with many teen size chinook caught and a few in the lower 20s as well. Coho fishing has gotten off to a red-hot start and this looks like a great
year for these little bundles of energy! The King Kandy and the Durabait needlefish or anchovy rig are producing in all areas. Salmon jiggers are showing good results off the Hump and Grant's Reef with 6 oz. Point Wilson Dart candlefish
jigs, and also picking up a nice by-catch of lingcod and the occasional halibut. Shelter Point and areas to the south have been good and continue right on down into the Bates Beach, Kitty Coleman Hump and Sentry Shoals.
Prawning results have been very encouraging this year with stronger catches reported than at the same time last year. A good mixture of Carlyle Just Tuna and Tyee Marine ultimate pellets give you the best results. Depths of 350-400 feet
seem to be giving the best yield, especially if you are using a line anchor or weight to keep your traps in place on the ocean bottom.
Great lingcod fishing in all the regular spots north of Seymour Narrows and to points beyond. Try a few different colours of the Point Wilson Dart jig in 6 or 8 oz. sizes or 12 or 16 oz. jigheads with Durabait tails. The new 14 oz.
Amundson Mega Jig Swim Tails have been an early season favourite as well. Don't forget to pack along your "fish descending device" so you can safely release unwanted bottom fish back to the depths.
Freshwater - Mid-day lake fishing can be best. Water temperatures are neither too hot or cold and numerous insect hatches are beginning. Many local lakes provide several different trout species to pursue, including wild cutthroat,
rainbow, Kokanee and Dolly Varden. Trolling lures like Leo's Rondell Flashers with a generous amount of worm attached in open water is great for Kokanee. Deadly Dicks are always a great choice casting either from shore or your small
boat/canoe/kayak. Fly anglers should use one of their favourite early season flies and be ready to "match the hatch".
Tight lines!!
Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy.,
Campbell River, 250-287-2641



June, 2019 will be the best on many levels. The best for chinook salmon returns and retention! We are at full limits, two per day with four possession. All of Area 25 Esperanza and Nootka inside waters from one nautical mile offshore all
the way into the inside inlets are OPEN for full chinook limits.
That means the hot spots in Nootka- Yuquot Point (the Lighthouse area), Wash Rocks, Maquinna Rocks and Point, Burdwood, Bajo Reef, Beano Point and much more are wide open.
Hot spots in Esperanza - Outer Black Rocks, Half Tide Rocks on the outside of Catala Island, Rosa Harbour, Tatchu Rocks and Point, McQuarrie and Grassy island, as well as the world famous Ferrer Point area are wide open.
Chinook catching - Anchovies with a green header, 5 ft. leader with an Ok’i Moon Jelly Guide Series flasher seem to be the ticket for filling the fish box. Troll at 2 mph +/-
Best for retention of coho salmon on ALL of Vancouver Island and significant increases in returning stocks.
Yes, Only in ALL of Area 25 Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet can you retain four coho per day and eight possession. We are anticipating a hatchery run of over 15,000+ coho returning here this season. DFO wants these fish caught. They are
available to catch in both Esperanza and Nootka. Do you want to help?
Area 25 coho fishing/catching waters also extend out to the one mile off the shore line.
Yes, again all the near shore HOT SPOTS above are in play. Retention is four coho per day only two of which can be wild.
Coho catching - Again anchovies. In a tight spin for coho. Also 3-4 in. lures like “The Hammer” by Peetz in chartreuse, Coho Killer double glow and Coyote glow/green chartreuse will again be working well.
For halibut, lingcod and other bottom fish we are very fortunate, in that all bottom fish in Areas 25/125 remain in good abundance and are relatively easy to catch. Stop by Westview’s tackle shop for coffee and to discuss local gear and
where these tasty white fish can be caught. See you soon !
Drive time to Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis BC from Vancouver Island cities:
Campbell River – 2 1/4 hours
Comox Valley – 3 1/4 hours
Nanaimo (ferry landing) – 4 hours
Victoria 5.5 hours
John Falavolito, Owner/Operator Westview Marina & Lodge, Tahsis 800-992-3252
N49* 55’ 13 W126* 39’ 78.5



Springs (chinook salmon) are showing up now and some people are catching and releasing them. July 15 we’ll be able to keep one spring per day.
Up here we can move around to different regions that are open for springs. I’ve always promoted catch and release anyway, so let’s use this for the positive. We can release salmon after taking some pictures, you can even get a replica
trophy mount. Plus we can fish halibut, lingcod and rockfish just like last year.
Coho salmon should be showing up later by early July, and we can keep a couple of those.
Halibut fishing is okay. Most are being caught 30 minutes out of Port Hardy, but I’m sure there’s some closer spots, and as the summer comes on they’ll move in.
By June 1 we’ll have towed the Bait Shack into the Marina and be open for business. We’ll still have a full stock of gear.
These chinook restrictions will be brutal on many businesses, only the fittest will survive. I won’t forget this at election time.
Freshwater - Trout fishing in the local lakes is getting good as the water warms up, triggering insect hatches and livening up the fish. At Alice and Victoria lakes troll black and silver Flatfish. If you’re fly fishing consider
switiching between wet flies like Wooly Buggers and dry flies to imitate any bug hatches you might notice.

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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