1 877 314 6800
September 1 st , 2009
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
The 2009 sport fishing season on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the Port Alberni and Barkley Sound area to date has been absolutely terrific. June and July were two months where the Coho and Chinook swimming Vancouver Islands west coast and surf line of Barkley Sound and the Sockeye in the Alberni Inlet just never seemed to quit being around in big numbers. There have been many days of fishing (true of August also) that sport fishermen just continually had a salmon slamming whatever bait or lure they offered. The season is not over and there should be many more great days of fishing into mid September. When ocean fishermen are thinking about wrapping up their season of fishing those that enjoy spending a day on a drift or jet boat in the Stamp River are just getting underway. The Stamp River will have incredible fishing opportunities in the fall.
We are nearing the end of August which is often Prime Time for Chinook and Coho fishing in the Port Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. This is also the time of year when the Somass-Stamp River begins to see Chinook and Coho enter the system and the Summer Steelhead begin to return in bigger numbers. The last week saw great numbers of Chinook come into the Alberni Inlet and for the sport fisherman there were a couple of days where anglers were limiting (2 per day) on Chinook and sport fishing guides were landing 4 or 5 Chinook for guests. However the outlook for Chinook returns to the Somass River was increased by the Department of Fisheries and a two day and two night Seine and gillnet commercial opening deteriorated the sport fishing. The numbers of Chinook taken by the commercial fleet were not big in numbers but it was enough to slow the sport fishery in the Inlet down for a day or two. There currently is another push of Chinook and some Coho coming in from the surf line and Barkley Sound,which should once again create some fabulous fishing in the Port Alberni Harbor and Inlet.
Sockeye escapement into the Somass River has really picked up over the last few weeks. It was hoped that escapement into Great Central and Sproat lakes would exceed 340,000. The number is getting close. The latest report showed that 160,000 Sockeye have made their way through the fish way into Great Central and just over 140,000 into Sproat Lake. Sockeye will continue returning into September. Daily returns have been as low as 183 fish and as high as 3,010. The return looks very good for 2009 which is very good for conservation.
Port Alberni Inlet
The Inlet has had some great morning and evening fishing. Lone Tree Point, Dunsmuir and the Bells Bay area are three locations which has had the best Chinook fishing. Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing guide Mel to date landed the heaviest fish for Slivers Charters guests at 31 pounds with guide John not far behind landing one at 29 pounds for guests from Alberta. Both Mel and Johns’ fish were landed around Lone Tree Point. One salmon was picked up on the O-15 bubblegum hootchie and the other on an army truck hootchie. Many of the salmon charter fishing guides and sport anglers, on the best days of fishing are finding that all of their favorite lures are working. For some an O-15 (bubblegum) hootchie has been working very well while others choose the O-2 or the mp (mini-plankton) 2 or 15. Some fishermen are trolling with the favorite standby spatterback or AORL 12 hootchie. Some anglers will fly three or four anchovy in a purple haze, clear, or army truck teaser holder. Those fishermen flying hootchies find that leader lengths from 38 to 42 inches are working well. Those flying bait are using leader lengths from five to six feet. Robertson Creek Hatchery is expecting just over 60,000 Chinook to return to Barkley Sound and the Port Alberni Inlet. Coho returns to the hatchery and the River are expected to exceed 40,000. With 80% of the predicted Chinook return to be four year olds there should be many salmon in the mid twenty pound range and there will be fish returning in the 30 and 40 pound range but only 10% of the return is expected to be in the five year old or better age category.
Barkley Sound areas that have traditionally been hotspots at this time of year have been rather unpredictable. Pill Point, Diplock and Swale Rock on one side of the Sound and Kirby Point, Edward King, and Fleming Island on the other side have had their bright moments but they have really not been hot. There is a lot of bait in Barkley Sound and fish are feeding but not staying long. When the Chinook and Coho swim into these areas, sport fishing guides and sport anglers are hitting 8 to 10 salmon during the morning and doing the same on tide changes. This type of fishing has definitely not been as predominant as most years. The best and most consistent fishing has been on the surf line and offshore three to seven miles. Doug and John of Slivers Charters have been fishing these areas and finding many hatchery Coho and Chinook. If the fish are thick they almost will hit anything thrown their way. This is most true of the Coho which are getting up to 15 and 16 pounds. On a recent trip guide Doug had four guests from Los Angeles California land 14 salmon. The area fished was just five mile straight out off Cape Beale. A black and white hootchie and a five inch cop car coyote spoon were all it took for some spectacular sport fishing. The Coho were in 20 to 100 feet of water and the Chinook from 60 to 150 feet. Guide Wayne on the 27 th of August had a similar day landing 15 salmon with the biggest coming in at 29 pounds. There seems to be a lot of fish sitting on the various banks from three to twelve miles off the surf line. Evening fishing close to the Bamfield Harbor has offered some success. Anglers have landed some nice fish along the Bamfield Wall. Others have discovered that Whittlestone Point can be quite productive as can Kirby and Sanford Point. There will be a big surge of Chinook and Coho come into the sound as many of these fish will be headed to Port Alberni and Robertson Creek Hatchery and of course many of the nearby rivers, creeks, and streams. Late August and early to mid September should have some remarkable fishing days.
Ucluelet (West Coast)
Favorable reports are still coming out of Ucluelet. The Wreck, Big Bank, the shallows, and southwest corner have all been producing some great fishing. Guide Al had a two day trip for Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing with Ontario guests. One of the guests, Mardie, wrote “I have fished all over North America and Mexico and this has been the best fishing trip I have ever been on.” The Ontario guests limited on halibut, which has recently been upgraded to two fish per day. They also limited on a two day possession limit of hatchery Coho and landed eight Chinook with the biggest coming in at 26 pounds. Guide Al hs had some great fishing most of the summer at the south west corner but chose the Deep edge for this group. The Deep Edge is just west of the shallows out by The Wreck. The halibut were all picked up on the troll from 200 to 225 feet. A brown and a UV glow big turd has been doing extremely well for halibut and some of the salmon are also hitting them. The Chinook are also hitting a T-Rex hootchie and a UV tiger prawn hootchie. The Coho have been very abundant and are hitting everything. Surprisingly some of the Coho have been picked up at the 180 to 200 foot level and the Chinook have been in 45 to 50 feet of water. The inside water around Great Bear and Beg Island and the Lighthouse Bank have not been that good over the last week. Robertson Creek fish should start pushing down along the beach and the migratory flow of late summer Coho and Chinook should remain strong into mid September.
The River is now open and guide Nick has been fishing for summer run Steelhead. On Wednesday and Thursday Nick hit 11 Steelhead each day, fishing with conventional gear. There is a good number of Steelhead in the river and the salmon are also beginning to show up. The September, October and November Stamp river fishing in the Upper and Lower River should be remarkable. We are offering a wonderful fishing-accommodation package. More information on river fishing will be available by contacting Doug at 1 877 314 6800. The river fishing will really pickup by the 10 th of September.
Port Alberni Salmon Festival (38 th Annual Derby)
The salmon festival which takes place on the Labor Day Weekend will kick start on Friday September 4 th with a fireworks display at Clutesi Haven Marina. Salmon Fishing begins on Saturday September 5 th at 6am and continues until Monday September 7 th with final weigh-in at 3pm. The winning fish will claim the lucky person with the overall biggest fish $10,000. This would come in the form of $3,000 for the days’ biggest fish and $7,000 for the derby’s largest salmon. The daily second place fish each day will win the lucky fisher person $2,000 and the daily third place winner will win $1,000. There are many daily hidden weight prizes. Derby headquarters will once again be at Clutesi Haven Marina on River Road in Port Alberni
For more information