The middle of March is now here and most enthusiastic saltwater fishermen are becoming increasingly excited about making plans and arrangements for their summer fishing trips.  Guides and sport salmon fishing charter businesses are doing the same.  Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing is now organizing spring, summer, and fall trips for the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Barkley Sound, the Alberni Inlet, and the Somass-Stamp River System.


       Vancouver Islands’ West Coast has much to offer.  The West Coast is extremely scenic with its rugged coastline and snow-capped mountains in the background.  This summer the West Coast and Barkley Sound will be a hotbed for returning salmon to nearby streams and rivers.  These two areas will also have many migrating salmon, (heading to their various spawning grounds) come in and feed on the plentiful bait fish swimming the tidal waters.


       Vancouver Island offers all five species of salmon.  People come to fish the number ONE and TWO sport fish, Coho and Chinook.  Returns of these two species should be rather healthy into the Alberni Inlet.  Barkley Sound and the Inlet are fortunate to have the Robertson Creek fish Hatchery which has great returns each and every year.  A fifteen pound Coho and a thirty pound Chinook at the end of ones line is absolutely exhilarating for any fisherman.  Fishing opportunities this summer can be investigated by e mailing or calling Doug of Slivers Charters.


       Current Fishing

Port Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound

      The Alberni Inlet is very quiet.  The first of the sockeye begin their return into the Somass River in April.   The main run begins in early June with schooling beginning often by mid June.  When the Somass River waters warm up to 18 degrees Celsius the sockeye begin to school in the Inlet, which makes it much easier for the avid sport fisherman to hook into the number one commercial salmon.  To date there has not been an announcement by the DFO on Somass Sockeye returns.

       By early August the first Chinook make their way into the Inlet.  These fish usually begin to peak by the last week of August and the Labor Day Weekend when the Port Alberni Salmon Festival and Derby take place.  Coho usually arrive in late August and school in various areas of the inlet during the month of September.  Early mornings and tide changes are often the best times to fish.  Many local fishermen and guides have found that the Chinook will hit various red, pink and white octopus hootchies.  Coho hit the smaller mp red and pink hootchies and the  usual white, green, and blue colored hootchies.

       Barkley Sound has had some productive days of winter Chinook fishing.  Areas such as Pill Point Samatao Bay, Swale Rock, Vernon Bay, Meares Bluff, and Mayne Bay have all reported some feeder springs.  The fishing however can often not be termed hot and a lot of the fish have not been big as most are seven to eight pounds.  Some sport fishermen and some guides have had success using different lures.  Guide Dan has been fishing Mayne Bay and Meares.  Most of his success has been on white hootchies at 85 feet in Mayne Bay and at 115 feet out at Meares.  One sport angler spent the past weekend fishing Pill Point, Diplock and finally Meares Bluff.  Most of his success was out at Meares, where at 120 feet, using anchovy in a glow teaser head three beautiful ten pound feeders were taken.

       The Sproat Lake Derby took place on the first weekend of March.  The Derby was hosted out of Poett Nook located a few miles from Bamfield.  Organizer of this Derby is Port Albernis’ Don DeForrest who has claimed that this was the first year in twenty that fish over twenty pounds were not hooked.  The largest fish was caught by a young lady from Vancouver which weighed in at fourteen pounds.  This fish was caught in the Sarita Bay area.  The second and third place fish were caught by Port Alberni residents.  Jason Tilley caught a thirteen plus pound winter Chinook  followed by Lance Terepockis’ twelve pound feeder Chinook.  Most of the salmon hooked came in on bait.  The regular Rhys Davis green and clear teaser heads seemed to be working.  White hootchies were also popular.  Organizer Don has stated that “the bait which is usually in the area at the time of the Derby just was not there.”  “Hopefully the bait shows up and the fishing in March and April will improve.”  We are expecting the winter Chinook fishing to improve and will begin feeder spring salmon fishing charters on March 18th.  Organized in this fishery will be some prawning.




       We have been fishing the Ucluelet area for the past seven to eight days.  Guide Mike has had some excellent days fishing the Red Can just outside the Lighthouse.  The feeders have been in 115 to 140 feet of water and have been hitting the army truck needlefish hootchie and the four inch cop car coyote spoon.  Most of the fish are in the eight to nine pound range.  We are putting out crab traps before each trip in the Harbor and have been picking up six beautiful keepers daily.  The Prawning has been excellent up Peacock Channel.  Usually up to four traps are out.  This is the beginning of our Seafood Safari.   By mid April we will be adding some bottom fishing.  Enjoy a memorable early spring day out on the beautiful Pacific relaxing in this fishery.  The boat is warm as the boat heater is turned on if you are worried about cool. 


       The salmon fishing should continue to be good this summer.   The Columbia River returns look fairly reasonable.  The Roberson Creek Hatchery return back to Port Alberni also looks healthy.  Some beautiful Chinook and Coho should be in the mix this summer. 


      Somass-Stamp River System


       The Steelhead fishing is still underway.  There still are a few fresh fish entering the system into the lower river.  They really do not seem to want to hang around for a long period of time and are heading into the Upper.   Guide Matt has been drifting and sticking to the Upper River where there seems to be more fish.  They are not quite as fresh as the Lower River.  A little rain which looks like it is going to happen this week will bring up the water which will help improve the fishing.  Matt and other guides have been picking up three to five steelhead per day averaging ten pounds.  Higher water could help in better results as we advance into the middle of March.   Guides have been using gooey bobs and various spin-n-glows.  We are expecting the fishing to continue in the river for another month.

All of the fishing in he upper is on the drift.

        Coho returns look very good this year.  We are expecting some excellent fall fishing in late September which will continue well into November.  These are very popular trips and are filling already.  Do not delay in calling if you wish to experience river fishing at its best in the fall of 2008.  Only so many boats and spots at once are available.


       Do not forget about the Port Alberni Salmon Derby which will occur once again this year during the Labor Day Weekend.  It is a fun time with some great prizes and most important excellent fishing.  There is some boat availability for those interested in being guided during this event.


For more information


Doug Lindores

Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing

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