FEBRUARY 24 TH 2009
SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING
1 877 314 6800
It is almost the end of February and the saltwater fishing season is closing in on us very quickly. Winter Spring sport fishing out of Ucluelet and Barkley Sound has been on for almost a month. The weather has been absolutely unbelievable. We have had more hours of sunshine this year on the West Coast and the Alberni Valley than any other year that can be remembered (at least it seems that way).
One problem with having the great weather that we have had is that for this time of year there is very little snow pack which is not good for the summer. The preseason forecast for returning salmon to this area in August and September is quite good. The migratory fish swimming down the coastline of Vancouver Island is forecast to be one of the best years ever. According to various Fisheries officers in Canada and the US the return of salmon to the Fraser River and the Columbia River is very high. Many of these fish come into Barkley Sound during June, July, August and September to feed on the rich resources of bait fish. We are very excited about the fishing opportunities in June and July in Barkley Sound. In August Chinook and Coho returning to the Robertson Creek Hatchery in Port Alberni and salmon returning to the various rivers and creeks in the Sound area will also provide unbelievable fishing opportunities.
This Areas Sport Fishing Advisory Board has recently made a public announcement that there will be a sockeye opening in the Port Alberni Inlet this summer. This is great news as this will be the first opportunity to fish sockeye since the summer of 2006. There has been no formal announcement on run size, limits, or when the actual season will open but the news is fantastic for the sport fisherman, fishing charter guides, and the community as a whole in terms of tourism.
Port Alberni Inlet
Every February a few local sport fishermen and also local sport fishing charter guides fish the Inlet around Nahmintand Franklin River. This year is no different and with so many gorgeous days on the water some local sport fisher people have been out on the water. Finding bait in the Nahmint area local sport fishermen decided to troll the area with anchovy and hootchies. One local sport fisherman picked up one of the largest Winter Chinook of the season. In an area known s Bells Bay this sport fishing enthusiast hit a 22 pound fish that just did not want to come into the boat. This fish battled for well over twenty minutes until finally giving up. This fish and other feeder Chinook ranging in the 8 to 12 pound range hit an anchovy in a chartreuse Rhys Davis Teaser head. Leader length was five and a half feet. There has been a few other Winter Chinook in the area reported to be in the 20 to 22 pound range in the Bells Bay Nahmint-Franklin area. Most of the fish in the Inlet have been in 80 to 100 feet of water. The Barkley Sound area has many good areas to fish Winter Chinook. The weekend of FEBRUARY 28 th and March 1 st is the 21 st annual Sproat Loggers Winter Spring Fishing Derby. This Derby is based out of Poett Nook which is just on the other side of Sarita. (traveling toward Bamfield) This Derby has a cost of $15 per person. It is not $15 per rod. There are a lot of fantastic prizes that will be awarded on Sunday at 12 noon. There are only 500 tickets printed which can be picked up at the Port Alberni and Nanaimo Gone Fishing Stores and also Port Boat House. Launching and moorage etc. on this derby weekend at the Nook is free of charge. Sarita Bay, the mouth of the Bamfield Harbor, Samatao Bay, Pill Point and Diplock, Vernon Bay, Canoe Pass area, and Swale Rock to name a few can all be hot spots for feeder spring fishing. Of course these salmon are always found in good numbers in areas where there is bait. This past Saturday 3 guests from Alberta enjoyed a beautiful day on the water with Slivers Charters guide Al. Pill Point showed a few fish in the 100 to 130 foot depth but showed no interest to bite. There were fish around Diplock that were not that deep and there seemed to be quite a few shallow fish off of Swiss Boy. However Vernon Bay and the area just out from Canoe Pass had bait showing and salmon that were interested in biting. From noon to about 2 pm eight fish hit and four were taken at the boat. Anchovy in a green Rhys Davis Teaser head and hootchies in green and blue and white were also working well behind a green hot spot flasher. Guide Ken has been fishing the area of Samatao over the last couple of weeks had has found some smaller fish in the eight to ten pound range. The fish in Samatao have not been deep and have been hitting white hootchies (AORL12) with 40 to 44 inches of leader behind various flasher colors.
Those people interested in coming to Vancouver Island should be making their plans. Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing is currently booking summer trips for the Port Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and the West Coast.
West Coast (Ucluelet)
Most of our trips for Winter Chinook to date have been into Barkley Sound. We have fished Mayne Bay where quite a bit of bait has been found. Many of the feeders in the area are 6 to 8 pounds. The back area of Swale Rock has had some good days. Any fishing close to Ucluelet has been just outside the Harbor and close to Beg Island and the lighthouse. The Herring spawn is getting close and the herring should be headed toward the beach which should really pick up our fishing over the next couple of weeks. Do not miss out on our SEAFOOD SAFARI which features Salmon, Rock Fish, Prawns and Crab. We are also encouraging people to do some whale watching in March and April and at the same time enjoy some fishing opportunities. Late March and April is often beautiful with quiet water on the open Pacific Ocean.
We are still in the midst of steelhead fishing on the upper and lower Stamp. The guides are on the water everyday and have a bit of an advantage because of this. We usually have one or two boats in either area. Some days have been fantastic where guides are hitting up to 8 or 9 fish. Other days are slower where only 2 or 3 hit. The water levels have been low which can make it very difficult to fish. One of the guides recently hit a 15 pound Winter Steelhead for guests from Italy. The biggest fish of the season is still 18 pounds. We are hoping for some rain to bring water levels up. If this occurs the fishing will really improve. We have been happy to date with our results however. It does help to be on the river on a daily basis. Many who are just coming on their own have gone home fairly flustered and frustrated. We are expecting the Winter Steelhead fishing to continue right until the end of March.
We are expecting some great continued winter fishing. On the horizon it looks like a very good year for summer salmon fishing especially on the west coast and Barkley Sound. Port Alberni Inlet fishing should and will be much better than last year. Sockeye numbers are good enough to have an announced Sport fish opening. Chinook and Coho returns should be very strong.