West Coast Vancouver Island, Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound – Winter Report and Outlook for 2021 Salmon Fishing
Written by Doug Lindores 250 731 7389
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
Winters on the West Coast of British Columbia often seem especially long and uneventful. During the past months most people are likely tired of all the bad news concerning the pandemic, joblessness and economic crisis. In the late winter and early spring of 2021 many avid fisher people can only “hope” that 2020 is behind us and there is brighter news in health and politics and that there will be some excellent sport fishing opportunities for the coming salt water sport fishing season. For many avid salt water sport fisher persons who spend many wonderful hours and days fishing the pristine waters of Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet from early March to September the 2021 early sport fishing outlook is quite favorable. Returning Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho numbers in pre forecasts look much better and/or similar to 2020 returns. Sockeye salmon returns and Coho returns are predicted to be much improved. Chinook returns are predicted to be much like 2020 and 2019. With these predictions summer fishing should be fantastic in this area.
Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet should be two very opportunistic geographical areas on Vancouver Island for salmon sport fishing this spring and summer. These two areas should be like the last couple of years with reasonable retention limits of salmon. Chinook numbers in 2021 will resemble the excellent returns of 2019 and 2020. Coho returns to the big watersheds to the south and also West Coast Vancouver Island are more favorable in early season forecasts for 2021. The Sockeye sport salmon fishing in the Alberni Inlet has been curtailed the last few years. In July of 2020 some sport Sockeye fishing did occur with good results. The indicators regarding Sockeye returns to the Somass River system are looking very promising for a sport fishery this June and July.
Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound, Nahmint, and the Inlet has been great during January and early February of 2021 for those that have been able to get out on the water and brave cooler air temperatures. Most of the salmon landed by anglers have been in the six to nine pound range in seventy to one hundred and thirty feet of water. A variety of spoons are working best. The Bamfield Harbor, Scotch Bay, the Whistle Buoy, and Fleming Island (Sanford) are often fantastic winter and early spring locations to fish. The first Weekend of March often triggers the beginning of the sport fishing salt water season in this area with the Sproat Loggers Derby. Due to Covid 19 organizers have decided well in advance that the Derby for 2021 will officially be cancelled.
As we get closer to the early Spring the feeder Chinook will range on average from Eight to Fifteen pounds and are mostly hatchery clipped fish. Most anglers are fishing depending on the area in Pacific Rim areas, which include areas near Ucluelet, in depths from sixty to one hundred and fifty feet. Anchovy on the troll with a six-foot leader or better with various glow teaser heads work very well. Small spoons in Irish Cream, TKO cookies and cream, the three-inch coyote sardine, and a variety of Skinny G spoons are effective. Hootchies in Purple Haze, green Spatter-back and needlefish hootchies work well. Flasher choices in green, blue, or black glow are normally a great choice.
The sport salmon fishing season in Barkley Sound, the Alberni Inlet, and up to a mile offshore in late April, May, June and the first part of July often rely on the return of Chinook and Coho to the very large watersheds to the south. The big watersheds are the Columbia, Kalama, Willamette, and Sacramento river systems. Puget Sound over the past few years has also had some early summer run returns. Salmon that are migrating along the west coast of Vancouver Island often come into Barkley Sound or stay on the Sandy Banks just off the surf line and gorge themselves on the rich resources of bait fish. The salmon come in runs and will feed and rest before continuing their long journey to their spawning grounds. In July Chinook salmon can often be up to twenty-five and thirty pounds depending on the age class of the return. Late July, August, and September the West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook and Coho arrive and peak in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound the second half of August. The sport fishing can be very eventful and provide for what can be termed “first class sport fishing”.
Trout fishing on a variety of lakes in the area has been reasonable. Two of the lakes frequently fished are Sproat and Great Central Lakes. On Sproat Lake the Willows and over by Dog Mountain and the top end of Taylor Arm there have been some tremendous days of maximum success and other days where one might say the fishing is reasonable. Around the Willows some anglers are shore or bar fishing at twelve to fifteen feet and are having their best success using power bait or salmon eggs. Those angling enthusiasts trolling seem to be having success using a gang troll or Willow Leaf. Great Central Lake has had some great fishing with anglers having their best success using power bait or worms. Fishing on the troll has been the best. When trolling the best lures are flat fish in darker patterns with a trailing dew worm. Gang trolls are also a good choice. During the winter months Cut Throat and Rainbow range from two to four pounds.
The new year will be a breath of fresh air. The sport fishing opportunities will certainly give many something very “positive” to look forward to. Our 2021 sport fishing outlook is “Good News”. Salmon fishing should be “FIRST CLASS”.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER REPORT—LATE FALL 2020
SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING——–DOUG LINDORES
The 2020 summer sport fishing season has come to an end for most saltwater sport fishing locations in mid and West Coast Vancouver Island locations as well as the many other saltwater angling areas around the rest of the scenic Province of British Columbia. The weather during the fall in the Pacific Rim areas has been unbelievable. There has been ample rainfall to help the migration of the returning salmon to their spawning grounds. There have also been many wonderful sunny warm afternoons in many parts of the west coast and Barkley Sound sport fishing areas. Right up to the beginning of November those very keen anglers have been able to enjoy the last salmon fishing opportunities for 2020 in many local rivers and also saltwater locations where there have been ample Coho and Chum salmon which are still migrating to their natal streams, creeks, and rivers. The East Coast of Vancouver Island has had some excellent beach Coho fishing. There has been some very good Chum sport fishing in Brown’s Bay which is close to Campbell River. The Chum fishery is very popular and the nineteenth annual derby was held and was termed the “Covid-19 non derby”. Three hundred tickets were sold for this fantastic charitable event which is often the last fishing “derby” on Vancouver Island each year.
Chinook and Coho salmon returning to the many streams, creeks, and rivers have been excellent to date. The return of Somass River Chinook salmon stocks up to the 23rd of October were at 38,582 pieces. Included in this number is 38,304 Chinook escaping through Stamp Falls and 278 escaping in the Sproat River. Coho returns have remained at a very “Low Status” with a total of 15,644 Coho returning with 12,013 to Stamp Falls and 3,632 to the Sproat River. Chinook and Coho will continue passing through the counters until early December.
Barkley Sound areas and those areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor had mediocre fishing in the later part of September and into October. Wya Point was likely one of the best spots as were a few areas offshore. The Big Bank was on fire for many days with plenty of hatchery Coho dominating the sport fishing in rather shallow water for several days. In Barkley Sound the best fishing during the Fall months was the Bamfield Wall, Fleming Island, and Swale Rock.
Now that we are into the month of November most sport fisher persons only have fond memories of the 2020 season and look forward to the 2021 sport angling season. Hopefully the Sockeye fishery in the Alberni Inlet becomes what it historically was. Chinook returns to West Coast Vancouver Island in 2021 should be relatively good and we are hoping that the Coho returns get back to at least forty to fifty thousand to the Somass River system and also excellent returns to the many streams located in the rest of West Coast Vancouver Island. One very important positive is that Ocean conditions have been favorable over the past year. The mortality rates have been lower. Food sources for salmon stocks in the North Pacific Ocean have been relatively good. The sport fishing season in 2021 on British Columbia’s West Coast should be very exciting with plenty of opportunity for everyone.
Stamp River Fall Fishing
For those fisher persons that know the Stamp River the sport fishing especially for Chinook during the fall has been very good. Sport Anglers and also guides who are taking guests out on the river have been having some great success. There has been enough rain to keep the river at a reasonable level for salmon migration. Those on the river will likely continue to fish for the late Chinook and Coho coming into the system but will also begin to fish for Fall Steelhead. This time of the year is normally a fantastic time for fly fishing enthusiasts. Fly fishing usually occurs on the Stamp River from mid October to about the 20th of November. The best fly fishing to date for those on guided trips in jet boats or for those walking has been the Lower and Upper River. Entering the river close to the gun range or driving out to Service Road which is just off Hector Road and walking to Dolan’s Pit is another terrific fishing spot when the water levels are at a normal level. The key is finding an area where the water is not moving too quickly. The river has had just over 15,000 Coho migrate into the system. This migration should continue into December. The Coho in the Lower River have been fresh and very bright and are averaging eight to twelve pounds. The best method of fishing Coho salmon has been conventional using roe, spinners, blades, and the Gibbs Coho spoon. The late Chinook and Coho are in a natural spawn and are dropping their eggs. With the fresh egg drop the Steelhead have become very active as they search for loose eggs. Fly Fisher persons can of course use a variety of flies of choice. Anglers who are wishing to fish conventionally can use gooey bobs, or wool that is white, pink, or orange. Other popular areas to fish when water conditions are normal are Stamp Falls Park, Eagle Rock, Black Rock, Moneys Pool and the Slide Pool. The Stamp is still referred to as a very healthy river system and is fishable twelve months of the year. There is still plenty of time for Coho salmon fishing and of course Fall Steelhead.
Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet
The 2020 fishing was quite good in both the Sound and Inlet. There were more Sockeye that returned to the Stamp River than originally forecast. This made for a sport fishery of two Sockeye salmon per person per day at the beginning of July. The Chinook fishing in the Inlet and also the Sound was great for many up to the end of the Labor Day Weekend. The return of Chinook salmon to West Coast Vancouver Island was very strong in 2020 and 2021 should be similar. Coho were termed “Low Status” and it is unclear what the 2021 season in terms of returns will look like. One of the best sport fisheries and enjoyed by all in the Inlet is Sockeye fishing. It is a great family fish and is fantastic for all ages. Sockeye Fishing when numbers are high in terms of returns can last from mid-June through until the beginning of August. Most years Chinook Fishing historically gets well underway by the tenth of August and continues through until Labor Day.
There have been some wonderful fall days on the water in Barkley Sound, areas around Ucluelet and for some as far away as the Big Bank and South Bank. There were many wonderful afternoons that were gorgeous with great warmth from the sun and water that was magically smooth. The sport season has dramatically ended but a few anglers took opportunity to search for some of those late Coho in the Sound and some also fished for Chum Salmon in the Sarita Bay area.
We look forward to another Fantastic Sport Salmon season in 2021. In late May, June and July we will target the migratory salmon headed to the southerly watersheds to the south. In late July, August and September we will target returning West Coast Chinook and Coho.
We offer great day trips in the Inlet, Barkley Sound, and West Coast offshore fishing. WE ALSO OFFER FANTASTIC lodge accommodation where people take opportunity to experience extended trips in Barkley Sound, West Coast, and offshore for sport fishing. Take advantage early and organize one of these extended trips for the summer of 2021. These trips are often for three or four days and nights. You will not be disappointed. Join us in a comfortable and fun environment in the 2021 summer from early June through early September.
For More Information contact:
1 888 214 7206—–toll free
250 731 7389——-mobile
Doug Lindores Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
September is upon us and it is that time of year when some of the largest Chinook and Coho are migrating in the waters of the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. West Coast Vancouver Island salmon fishing in saltwater and a variety of fresh water locations is predicted to be very good in September as over one hundred and seventeen thousand Chinook are estimated to make a return to the Somass River system. To this date there has been a relatively high catch rate by all of the various groups targeting the salmon returning to the area. Escapement up to the 12th of September is approximately fourteen thousand Chinook and close to seven thousand Coho. Into Stamp Falls 13,985 Chinook and 5,000 Coho have passed through the counters. The Sproat has had 15 Chinook and approximately 1,800 Coho return.
September is the month when the Alberni Valley normally hosts the Labor Day Weekend Salmon Festival. This year the long time Derby was re-created and became (due to Covid 19) the Ultimate Fishing Derby. The number of tickets sold were just over 1,700. The Derby took place from Saturday September 5th to Monday the 7th and had local fisher person Adam Dombrowski win the three-day event with a 33.4-pound Tyee landed while fishing the Bamfield Wall. Local anglers Tanner Hodgson (33-pound Tyee) and Morgan Steed (31-pound Tyee) landed the second and third place salmon on the first day of the Derby which were also landed close to Bamfield. Day two had Davis Mayo land a 30-pound Chinook for largest fish of the day while local fisher person Colton Lloyd landed the largest salmon at 29 pounds on day three. Other local fisher persons finishing in the top three on each day were Ken Danroth landing a 25-pound Chinook for second place on day three and Robert Lindores landing a 27 pound Chinook and finishing third on Day two. Much of the money raised at this fantastic event has gone to salmon enhancement.
This is a beautiful time of year to be out on the water. The late mornings and afternoons are often long and very warm. The sunset of course is much earlier in the evening than what it was in late June and early July but the weather pattern on the west coast creates a sense of peace. September is often termed the month with no wind or fog. It is often the perfect sport fishing month. During the week days September is like the month of June with very few people out on the water fishing. The Chinook return is forecast to be predominately of the four and five-year-old age class. The Coho as they migrate toward their natal streams and rivers put on almost a pound per week. September 2019 sport fishing for Chinook and Coho for anglers who are fishing along the coast line of West Coast Vancouver Island, Barkley Sound, and the Alberni Inlet should be world class.
September is the month that has the final migration or “push” of salmon that are headed to their original streams, creeks and rivers. Barkley Sound fishing in areas such as Pill Point, Diplock, Assets Island, Gilbraltor and Swale Rock are wonderful hotspots where the fish in the early part of the month will hold if there are large quantities and rich resources of bait fish. The Bamfield Wall also provides some terrific sport fishing. September historically has good quantities of bait fish that the Chinook and Coho gorge themselves with before migrating to their final destination. The Nitnat, Sarita River, Robertson Creek and even the very late fall Columbia River fish fill the water from Cape Beale to Poett Nook. The salmon also stretch for a long distance along the opposite Barkley Sound coastline from Effingham Island to Assets. The salmon arrive in good numbers on a daily basis and as eager as they are to get to their spawning grounds they are as eager to heavily feast before making their way to their final destination. The salmon are in shallower water in September. It is not uncommon for Coho in the early morning and late evening to be on the water’s surface. Chinook are often in twenty to sixty feet of water. Sport fishermen using anchovy often have the best success. Anchovy in a Glow army truck, purple haze, cop car or green haze Rhys Davis teaser head with six feet of leader behind a purple and gold or a green and gold hotspot flasher are most often the best producers. Various hootchies in the AORL 12, green spatter back and army truck are also very good standbys. Tomic spoons and plugs in the six and seven inch size with no flasher also produce some great results.
The Alberni Inlet will fill with Chinook salmon during the last ten days of August and into the first half of September. Coho follow the Chinook migration and during September both species will be in a good mix as they migrate to the Somass River system. Alberni Inlet hotspots are Coulsons, Lone Tree, The China Creek Wall, Boy Scout property, and China Creek. The fish are in twenty to fifty-five feet of water and usually are most aggressive in the early morning and on tide changes. The top producers in the Inlet are anchovy in an army truck or green haze teaser head behind a green-gold, purple-gold or chartreuse glow hotspot flasher. In hootchies the O-15, O-2, O-16, purple haze, green spatter back and the mp2 and mp 16 are also great lures behind a hotspot flasher. The salmon are anxious to hit the river and if any rain occurs will hit the river mouth very quickly. Often there are many anglers right up to the boundary by Harbor Quay on a daily basis in September.
September will provide sport anglers with some fantastic world class fishing opportunities. The salmon migration in Barkley Sound and The Alberni Inlet will be in good numbers and a larger than normal weight class.
For More information
AUGUST 2020 DOUG LINDORES SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING ph# 250 731 7389
August is always a fabulous month to fish and this particular year there should be some spectacular salmon fishing on Vancouver Island’s West Coast surf line, all of Barkley Sound, and the Alberni Inlet. The Alberni Inlet for many anglers offered a huge surprise in July as Sockeye returns were a little higher than previously expected. About Three hundred and thirty Thousand Sockeye was an upgraded number of returning Sockeye to the Somass River with Two Hundred and Thirty-five Thousand making their way into the Stamp and Sproat systems. With the returning numbers higher than expected a two limit per day sport opportunity became available. Many anglers were more than delighted to get out on the local water to sport fish. Pre-season estimates of returning Chinook to the area are similar and perhaps even better than the last two years to the Somass River (Robertson Creek Hatchery) and the many other streams and rivers of West Coast Vancouver Island.
To date the sport fishing season in Barkley Sound and the inshore waters of Ucluelet is best described as “inconsistent”. Most of the salmon retained in June and July have been migrating to the big watersheds of the Pacific North-West. August however is the time when the mature local fish begin swimming to their natal rivers and streams to complete their lifecycle. Starting in late July and right into September migrating Chinook and Coho swim through the waters of Barkley Sound where they stop and feed heavily before completing their long journey into the Alberni Inlet and finally into the Somass River system or Sarita, Nahmint and Franklin.
In August the returning salmon often school and feed heavily at Cree and Austin Island as well as Whittlestone, Fleming Island, the Bamfield Wall, Gilbraltor, Swale Rock and Pill Point. The early morning, later evening, and tide change are often the best bite times. These areas are fantastic sport fishing locations. August in the Sound is often the month when Anchovy in a variety of teaser head colors work well. Green and Purple Haze as well as Army Truck Glow and Cop Car anchovy teaser heads with at least a six-foot leader attached to a purple gold or green gold flasher. Other colors of choice “Flasher” seems to work for many anglers. Depending on the size of the bait a variety of hootchies and spoons are also great lures. The AORL 12 is a great standby as is the Jack Smith and Green Spatter back for both Chinook and Coho. The various Skinny G and Big Eye spoons are excellent lures to have in the tackle box. The Herring Aid Skinny G have been working very well. The bait is very small in the Cree, Austin, Meares, Swale area and smaller spoons in the three-inch size or even less and also a variety of Coho Killers are working well. On the Bamfield side there seems to be some squid around so some of the various cuttle-fish hootchies are working as is anchovy. The salmon are often found in shallow water in August. Fishing from twenty-five to sixty feet is the best depths.
The Chinook fishing in the Alberni Inlet often begins in early August. Hotspots in the Inlet and Harbor are Lone Tree Point and Coulson Mill. The China Creek Wall, the Narrows, and Underwood Cove often hold a good number of Chinook salmon as well. Sport Anglers fishing the Inlet will have the best success using Octopus Pink (O-15) and Red hootchies (O-16) as well as AORL12, Purple Haze, Army Truck and Spatterback. Anchovy is also a very good idea in August especially for Chinook when they are just coming into the area from Barkley Sound.
August also will have some great days offshore for halibut and salmon. The Big Bank, South Bank and Long Beach can have some spectacular action for both Chinook and Coho. The Tomic Plugs and six-and seven-inch Road Runner Spoons are often the best gear. We are looking forward to a fantastic month of fishing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island especially in the Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet areas.
Some other exciting news for avid anglers. The Labor Day Weekend Salmon festival was cancelled in April. Some avid Port Alberni anglers and residents however have put the derby together and for this year will name it “The Ultimate Fishing Derby” which will take place on September 5th, 6th, and 7th. This is great news for the Alberni Valley and those fisher people who look forward to a derby with this magnitude close to the seasons end in many salt water locations.
Tight lines and Good Fishing
DOUG LINDORES SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING
Sockeye Salmon Sport Fishing Opens in The Alberni Inlet—–“BREAKING NEWS”
July 2020 should provide excellent opportunities for many fishers. The runs of migrating mature Chinook combined with decent schools of Coho travelling the Vancouver Island West Coast surf line to the large southerly watersheds should give endless opportunities to sport fishing enthusiasts fishing Barkley Sound and areas close to Ucluelet. “Sockeye Sport Fishing” on July 1st opened in the Alberni Inlet. This has come as a great surprise for many fishermen who appreciate fishing locally and close to Port Alberni. Sockeye fishing is a great opportunity for everyone and is a very comfortable angling opportunity for people of all ages. The run size was slightly increased and over a ten-day period in June the return into the Stamp and Sproat Rivers increased dramatically. As of July 2nd the total escapement of Sockeye was close to 141,000. The Stamp count was on this date was approximately 61,300 pieces and the Sproat 79,700. The current regulations for sport retention is two Sockeye salmon per person daily with a two day possession limit of four. If the run size is increased the retention limits “could possibly” be four sometime later in July. The best fishing areas to date have been from Hocking Point to Lone Tree. Underwood, the Narrows and Cous Creek have provided some excellent angling.
Current sport fishing regulations provided by the DFO will allow sport fishing for Chinook salmon within one nautical mile of the coastline until the fifteenth of July. After this date anglers will be permitted to fish offshore waters for Chinook salmon. Pacific Rim areas are often a feeding station to these transient salmon. The islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor mouth and up the coastline to Wya Point and Florencia and the many areas of Barkley Sound often hold vast quantities of bait fish in herring, anchovy, squid and needlefish. To date Sail Rock, Great Bear, The Alley, which are all close to Ucluelet and Barkley Sound locations such as Cree Island, Meares, Kirby, Bamfield Wall, and Swale Rock have experienced tremendous sport fishing. This trend will continue in July and will likely improve two-fold in late July and into early September when the West Coast Vancouver Island salmon begin returning to their natal streams and rivers.
Historically the most common gear and consistent salmon producer when fishing Barkley Sound has been trolling with anchovy behind a variety of colored flashers. However that trend has changed over the past couple of years with fish hitting various Herring Aid spoons as well as Skinny G’s, Coho Killer spoons, and a variety of octopus, cuttlefish, and needle fish hootchies. Anchovy teaser head colors that work well are Green Haze, Glow Army Truck, Herring Aid, and Cop Car. Flashers in blue, green glow, chartreuse, and even red with at least a six-foot leader are best. Spoons behind a flasher can vary from forty-two inches to five feet. Hootchie leader lengths behind a flasher are thirty-eight to forty-two inches. Favorite hootchies are the AORL 12, J-79, Jack Smith, and Purple Haze. The salmon have been feeding on small immature herring around Meares, Austin and Cree Island. Smaller Spoons have been working very well. In areas around Beale, Whittlestone and The Bamfield Wall there have been mature squid and Octopus hootchies and cuttle fish have been working very well. The best cuttle fish have been tiger prawn UV, army truck and a variety of white cuttle fish.
Halibut fishing in July is in full swing. Many sport-fisher people will either drift, jig or anchor. Halibut will often prefer salmon bellies as well as large herring or octopus. If jigging try a Gibbs Hali Hawg tipped with salmon belly. Lingcod fishing is also relatively good. How ever it is important that a good descending device is on board as any yellow-eye rockfish are to be released.
Once again for the 2020 saltwater season Sockeye sport angling in the Alberni Inlet opened on the first of July. The fish are in the top thirty to fifty feet of water and are hitting black-pink, blue-pink, bubble gum mp hootchies and black hooks. Leader lengths can vary from sixteen to twenty-four inches. Trolling with two dummy flashers on either side of the boat and spaced ten feet apart is a great idea as the Sockeye are attracted by color. This is a fun fishery for everyone of all ability and age.
Tight lines and Good fishing,
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
1 888 214 7206
250 731 7389 (mobile)
June is a wonderful month for salmon sport fishing in Barkley Sound and “most” years the Alberni Inlet. Many anglers enjoy fishing the areas of Barkley Sound not only because of the wonderful salmon fishing opportunity but also because of the breath-taking scenic views of rugged coastline. June is still a month unlike July and August when there are fewer fisher people on the water making fishing conditions much more relaxing. The Alberni Inlet can be quite the opposite in June when most years there are large gatherings of sport boats fishing for Sockeye Salmon. The 2020 sport fishing season at this time will likely not see any boat traffic in the Alberni Inlet as Sockeye migrating back to the Somass River system are expected to be very low in numbers. Pre-Season forecasts are predicting only 170,000 returning Sockeye which does not allow any user group to retain Sockeye during the 2020 sport season. There will be many test fisheries with a detailed report on June 26th regarding and change in returning numbers. On June 6th it was reported that approximately 2,500 Sockeye have gone through the counters with most of those fish going into Sproat Lake.
Salmon fishing during the spring months in the sound has been consistent. Anglers have targeted transient Chinook salmon headed to the big watersheds to the south and also local feeder Chinook. Barkley Sound has ample rich nutrient bait fish which bring the fish migrating down the coastline into rest and feed heavily before continuing their lengthy journey. June is also a time when the first migrating Coho are in the Sound and surf line locations. Coho at this time of year feed aggressively and often gain a pound per week before reaching their natal streams in the early fall. Often the best salmon fishing during June is along the many surf line areas. Cree, Austin Island, Sail Rock, Great Bear, Meares, Edward King, the Bamfield Wall and Beale can produce some excellent Chinook weighing from the mid teens to the mid twenty-pound range. The Bamfield Wall, Swale Rock and even as far in as the Pill Point area can have fantastic fishing opportunities for Chinook and Coho that average six to eight pounds. The salmon in June are feeding heavily as they do have a long journey in their migration to their natal streams, rivers and creeks. Many Anglers will use anchovy in a variety of different colored teaser heads. The best teaser head colors are usually chartreuse, green haze, army truck glow, cop car, and purple haze. Needle fish hootchies, octopus and cuttlefish hootchies in green, white and even blue and white colors are excellent choices. The salmon close to Bamfield have been feeding heavily on squid and bigger herring. White hootchies in Octopus or cuttlefish have worked well. Spoons in a variety of colors (cookies and cream and herring aid) in the three to four-inch size are also a wonderful choice. Many anglers who have been fishing Meares, Austin and Cree have found a variety of spoons as the best lure. For some the Coho Killers in Cookies and Cream have worked well for salmon in the eight to twelve-pound range and fishing from sixty-five to ninety feet. Others have done well on skinny G spoons and also spoons as small as the two-inch Silver Night Herring Aid.
Halibut fishing in June can be very productive. Fisher persons anchoring out will use Octopus, salmon bellies, and sardines. Others will back-drift and use Berkley Grubs.
2020 will be a great sport fishing year in Pacific Rim Areas.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
toll free 1 888 214 7206
mobile 250 731 7389
SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING DOUG LINDORES
The salmon sport fishing season for 2020 is closing in on us ever so rapidly. April has been a great month of warm sunshine and very little rain. April on the rugged but scenic West Coast is most often looked at by a variety of sport anglers as the true beginning of saltwater fishing opportunities. The 2020 season according to most pre-season indicators and forecasts for Chinook and Coho will be very much like the 2019 season which was “excellent”. Many areas inside the surf line close to Ucluelet and Barkley Sound should have some great fishing for feeder Chinook and then the early summer run of Chinook salmon migrating to the big watersheds to the south will begin to show up in later April, May, and June. Migrating salmon to the vast Columbia River system and even Puget Sound come into the islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor mouth and much of Barkley Sound and feed on the very rich resources of bait fish. As the spring months move forward into summer returns of migrating Coho to the south really adds to sport fishing opportunities in West Coast Vancouver Island fishing locations of which Barkley Sound is a primary area. In late July and the full month of August forecasts of returning salmon to West Coast Vancouver Island are forecast to be very “GOOD”. The return of Chinook in the high teens and into the twenty-five pound range is considered the average weight class of returning Chinook to West Coast Vancouver Island. The 2020 sport fishing season in Barkley Sound and Pacific rim areas will definitely rely on the waves of transient salmon headed to the large southerly watersheds and also the strong returns of salmon expected in August and September to West Coast Vancouver Island rivers, creeks, and streams. Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet which will have some excellent fishing during the second half of August will have wonderful salt water sport fishing opportunities in 2020 for those that enjoy fishing in calm, pristine and relatively scenic water. Anglers will be treated to some world class salmon fishing along Vancouver Island’s West Coast and Inlet areas. The Port Alberni Inlet, inshore areas of Ucluelet and Tofino and Barkley Sound will be wonderful areas for sport fishing in the many so called “hotspots” in 2020.
The first salmon fishing derby of the season took place during the weekend of March 7th and 8th. The annual Sproat Lake Derby held out of Poett Nook took place with 500 entrants taking part in a weekend with great weather and some very good salmon fishing. The top three fish came in at 19.6, 19.2, and 18 pounds with Betty Bodaly, Jason Belyou, and Colin East in order being the first, second and third place finishers. These were good sized fish but definitely did not beat out some past years when winning derby salmon weighed in at the mid-twenty- pound range. Local organizer Don Deforest was once again pleased with the number of people who entered the derby and also thanked the many sponsors. The top prizes were awarded by local Port Alberni businesses in Port Boat House, Gone Fishing, W Berry Trucking and Breakers Marine Port Alberni and Bamfield. Gone Fishing won the Amazing Volunteer or better known as the “Spirit of Jake” award. Rick Crema won the Suzuki outboard motor and Grant Kendrick won the raffle Spirit of Jake Islander reel. Many would say this early season derby is the start of the local sport fishing season.
Those avid anglers fishing the month of April and May will find that successful fishing trips often occur by finding the fish where one finds the bait. Using Anchovy in a variety of teaser heads and also needle fish hootchies in blue and green, silver hordes, and a variety of small three to four-inch spoons also work well. When fishing in Barkley Sound during April and May the best fishing can often be along the Bamfield Wall, Scotch Bay, the Whistle Bouy, Vernon Bay, Fleming Island and Sanford and also Swale Rock. Areas just outside the Ucluelet Harbor with good salmon fishing are Sail Rock, Mara Rock, Big Bear, The Alley, and Beg Island. The fish in most areas can be in water of ninety feet to one hundred and sixty feet. Currently some of the best fishing has been between the tides. There have been a good number of residential salmon and the migratory salmon are showing as they continue their long journey to the watersheds of the Pacific North West.
The spring and the summer months of 2020 should definitely be a year when all anglers will have an opportunity to land a beautiful salmon in one of the most wonderful and scenic places in the world which is the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
For more information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
1 888 214 7206 (toll free)
1 250 731 7389 (mobile)
WINTER REPORT FOR AlBERNI INLET, BARKLEY SOUND, BAMFIELD AND WEST COAST VANCOUVER ISLAND (2020 PRE-SEASON)
Winter on the West Coast of British Columbia often seem especially long and uneventful for many avid salt water sport fisher persons who spend many wonderful and adventurous hours on the pristine waters of the Alberni Inlet, scenic Barkley Sound and Vancouver Island’s West Coast from March through September. Spring and Summer in Pacific Rim west coast areas however will arrive and when finally coming we can expect weather conditions to improve and allow for some early productive angling days on the water. The remaining memory for many from a fabulous 2019 sport fishing season was the Alberni Valley Labor Day Weekend Salmon Derby. This is always a magnificent angling weekend and for many closes out the salt water season. The eventful Derby had many anglers enjoy some fabulous salmon sport fishing. The winning fish netted a prize of fifteen thousand dollars to Qualicum Beach resident Jim Boorman who landed a thirty-two-pound four-ounce Chinook salmon in the China Creek area located in the Alberni Inlet. We now look forward to the 2020 sport fishing season which is “seemingly” and “looking” to provide good opportunity for fisher people in this area targeting Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon. Returning Chinook and Coho to this area should remain stable while Sockeye returns to the Somass River system should be much better than returns in 2019 and 2018.
Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet should be two favorable areas on Vancouver Island for salmon sport fishing in 2020. These two areas of the west coast like in 2019 should provide ongoing sport fishing with reasonable retention limits. Chinook numbers in 2020 should resemble the return of 2019 while we are hoping Coho returns to be slightly higher. The Sockeye sport angling season in the Alberni Inlet in 2018 and 2019 was limited and hindered by poorer than expected returns. Early season predictions are showing average returns for 2020 which should result in a good sport opportunity. More data will be provided in April of 2020 which will be a good indicator of Sockeye returns.
Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound has been slow in early January but should improve dramatically as we get closer to the Herring spawn. The Bamfield Harbor mouth, Scotch Bay, Whistle Buoy, and Fleming Island close to Sanford are fantastic winter and early spring locations to salmon fish for feeder Chinook. The first weekend of March often triggers the beginning of the sport salt water fishing season with the Sproat Loggers Derby hosted out of Poett Nook located at the far end of the Bamfield Wall and Sarita Bay. This Derby has attracted well over four hundred entrants over the past few years. Most years the salmon that are weighed in range from eight to twenty pounds with fish up to twenty-five pounds winning the event. Most of the fish landed are hatchery clipped salmon and are found from sixty to one hundred and fifty feet deep into the water. Anchovy on the troll with a six -foot leader with a variety of glow teaser heads work very well. Small spoons in Irish Cream, TKO cookies and cream, the three-inch coyote sardine, and a variety of Skinny G spoons are effective. Hootchies in purple haze, green spatter-back, and many needlefish hootchies work extremely well. When there are lots of undersized salmon in any area it is best not to use anchovy. Excellent flasher choices are green and green glow, blue, or black glow.
The late winter months, March, April, and May there is some excellent Winter Chinook fishing just outside the Ucluelet Harbor. Beg Island, the red can, Sail Rock, Great Bear, Mara Rock, and Mayne Bay provide for some great fishing. By the end of May and/or early June the weather conditions do change and often people will begin sport fishing offshore if weather and water conditions are right and if the fishing regulations allow the opportunity. During the winter and spring anglers will fish very close to the bottom when fishing the Ucluelet area. A variety of coyote spoons, or spoons colors in Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream, blue or green nickel, in the three and three-and-a-half-inch size work very well. If using Anchovy the best teaser head colors are chartreuse, cop car, army truck glow, and green haze.
The sport season in Barkley Sound, Ucluelet and the many Islands nearby, and up to a mile offshore in late April, May, June and July often rely on the return of Chinook and Coho to the very large watersheds to the south. The big watersheds are the Columbia, Kalama, Willamette, and Sacramento River systems. Puget Sound over the past few years has had some excellent early summer run returns. The salmon migrate along the west coast of Vancouver Island as if travelling on a highway. The many sandy banks off the west coast and the waters of Beautiful Barkley Sound are full of rich resources of many bait fish. The salmon come into Barkley Sound and Gorge themselves and rest before continuing their long journey to their spawning grounds. In July there can be Chinook up to twenty-five and thirty pounds and Coho over Ten pounds. The sport fishing can be very eventful and provide for what can be termed “first class sport fishing”. Late July, August and September West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook and Coho begin to show and peak the last half of August and into September. Early forecasts are showing returns very much like 2019 which resulted in excellent sport fishing.
Trout Fishing on a variety of lakes in the area has been reasonable. The two lakes frequently fished are Sproat and Great Central Lakes. On Sproat Lake Dog Mountain on the Taylor Arm side and areas close to the ski club have had to date some minimal success. Great Central Lake has been better fishing from shore using power bait and worms. Fishing on the troll has been much better. The best fishing was during the fall. As we approach the spring months there should be improvement. Cut throat ad rainbow during the winter months range from two to four pounds. Good choices for lures on the troll are flat fish in darker patterns with a trailing dew worm. Gang Trolls can also be a great choice.
SEPTEMBER 1st 2019 DOUG LINDORES
2019 Alberni Valley Labor Day Salmon FESTIVAL
Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means it is Salmon Festival weekend in Port Alberni. The Derby takes place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with fishing beginning each day at 6 am. The derby will close on Labor Day Monday at 3 pm with final weigh-in at this time. Derby Headquarters for the 2019 Derby and the official weigh-in center will be at Tyee Landing which is very close to Harbor Quay and Fishermen’s Wharf.
There is a total of $55,000 in prizes for those anglers participating in the Salmon Derby. The largest salmon landed is valued at $15,000. The largest salmon during the derby is $10,000. Daily prizes each day are $5,000 for first prize, $2,000 for second prize and $1,000 for third prize. All contending derby fish are to be weighed in at Tyee Landing. Other weigh in centers for qualifying hidden weight prizes are China Creek Marina and Mckay Bay Lodge in Bamfield. The cost per Rod this year is $50.00. From this $50 there is a donation of $10 given to local enhancement. The Derby for 2019 should be a great success. Returns for Chinook and Coho salmon are above average. Last year’s winning Chinook salmon landed by Chris Blace of Crofton B.C. weighed in at 38.9 pounds. Over the past few years the largest salmon landed was by Dan Weatherby in 2016 and weighed 53.2 pounds.
The Alberni Valley and all of Barkley Sound has experienced relatively warm weather conditions during the summer months. This past summer has had rain which has helped with some salmon migration. The Chinook and Coho will need fresh water before entering some of the smaller streams and creeks. There has been some migration of Chinook and Coho into the Somass system. Water on occasion has been released to help the migration for this year’s spawning fish. Fresh Chinook and Coho are moving into Barkley Sound daily. These salmon that have recently reached the waters of the Sound will migrate up into the Alberni Inlet or they will hold outside various streams and creeks in the Sound. The fresh Chinook and Coho will continue to be eager to bite the variety of lures put out by many anglers in the sound. There are currently plenty of Chinook and Coho Salmon in the system.
The best salmon fishing currently is in Barkley Sound. The Alberni Inlet over the last TEN DAYS has also had some very good days of sport salmon fishing. There has been some commercial fishing at the beginning of this current week which has slightly slowed the sport fishing opportunity. The Alberni Inlet should fill with fresh salmon in the coming days. Weather conditions are forecast to continue to be warm but there is a chance of a bit of rainfall. Warmer air is in the immediate forecast which will continue to slow the salmon migration. This will also be very true of the salmon down in Barkley Sound locations. The ample Chinook and Coho at Swale Rock, Harbor Entrance, Pill Point, and the Bamfield Wall should continue as new salmon come in from the ocean. The Bamfield Wall has been consistent for the last week. Pill Point, Swale Rock, Meares, Cree and Austin Island and Harbor Entrance have all had very consistent sport fishing over the past two or three weeks. The salmon in the sound have been feeding very hard around tide changes. The Chinook and Coho have also been active between tides. The same scenario has been true for those anglers sport fishing in the inlet. The salmon are in fairly shallow water in Barkley Sound and also the Alberni Inlet. Fishing between thirty and fifty feet has not been uncommon. The best lures in the Alberni Inlet are the O-2, 0-15, 0-16, spatter-back and AORL 12 hootchies. Anchovy in the Inlet is also working very well. In Barkley Sound anchovy in a variety of Teaser Heads seem ideal and for many is working the best. Cop Car, green haze, purple haze, army truck glow and bloody nose have all been working. Leader lengths from five and a half to six feet behind gold, green, or burgundy flashers with a gold or mirror face are working the best. The AORL 12 hootchie and the spatter back and purple haze hootchies with 38 to 42 inches of leader behind a burgundy and gold flasher or a kinetic flasher is ideal for Coho in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet.
Entries for this year’s Salmon Festival Derby have been remarkably encouraging. There will be many boaters on the water. Safety precautions are always of importance.
For More information
Contact Doug Lindores
250 731 7389 (mobile)
1 866 214 2706
August 2nd 2019
1 888 214 7206 or 250 731 7389
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
The summer months are quickly moving by and the salmon fishing in many areas of Vancouver Island just seems to be getting better as we move into the month of August. The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound and the West Coast out of Ucluelet and Bamfield for Chinook and Coho has been extremely good. Unfortunately the Alberni Inlet Sport Fishing for Sockeye during the second half of June and the month of July was uneventful as the returns to the Somass River were very low. The Chinook and Coho sport fishing on the surf line and all the way to Swale Rock and Pill Point has been absolutely fantastic. Many of the salmon during the month of July have been migratory salmon moving to the big watersheds well to the south. Some of the early West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook have been showing up during the last week of July on the outer edges of the sound and also in locations such as Kirby, Fleming, and Swale Rock. We are expecting the Chinook salmon returning to Pacific Rim rivers, streams, and creeks to appear in abundance over the next few weeks in many Barkley Sound locations before they make their way up into the Alberni Inlet. With the big returns of Chinook and Coho forecast to West Coast Vancouver Island a very strong sport fishing opportunity should be in order considering the continued migration of salmon to the southern watersheds. August and the early part of September should have fascinating sport fishing in most of Barkley Sound, and the Alberni Inlet. The Alberni Inlet is also expected to have a very large return of Chinook and Coho as these salmon migrate into the Somass River system. Usually by the 15th of August good numbers of these Chinook begin to show in Inlet areas close to China Creek and the Port Alberni Harbor.
Port Alberni Inlet
The sport fishing in the Port Alberni Inlet for Sockeye salmon was completely closed in early July. The Chinook return to the Somass system should begin with salmon showing in good numbers in Inlet areas by the 10th of August. Pre-season forecasts are showing well above average returns of Chinook returning to the terminal area of the Inlet. Most of these fish will be returning to the Robertson Creek Hatchery. The age class of this year’s return is predominately in the forecast issued four and five-year old salmon. With this in mind there should be a good number of Chinook in the twenty to twenty-five pound class and some weighing over thirty pounds. Coho numbers are expected to be above average. Coho returns to the Pacific Rim and the many creeks and stream tributaries of the Somass system through conservation have become very strong over the past years. We should see Somass-Stamp River Coho begin to show in Barkley Sound close to the middle of August and peak during the second week of September before moving into the inlet and the Somass River.
Parts of Barkley Sound have experienced some fantastic fishing through June and July. July was a fabulous month in Barkley Sound as there were plenty of Chinook and Coho coming into the sound and feeding heavily before continuing their long journey to their Natal streams and rivers. Meares, Austin Island, Cree, and especially Swale Rock have been very good and have provided the most consistent sport fishing to date with good Chinook and Coho fishing. The salmon have been out in the deep water on the low tide and often on the flood move in towards the rocks and feed on the huge quantities of rich resourced bait fish. Chinook have been in 50 to 100 feet of water and have been averaging from the mid-teens to a few in the mid-twenties in terms of weight. The Coho have been in twenty-five to eighty feet of water and are gorging themselves putting on a pound a week and are currently averaging a whopping eight to ten pounds. Most of the salmon continue to be migratory fish moving to watersheds to the south. Recently there has been a few West Coast Vancouver Island salmon landed. We are expecting the local salmon to begin to show in higher numbers in early August and peak during the last ten days of the month. This is not to say that some Somass Chinook and Coho have not already arrived as there have been some fairly early returns to the Somass system over the past ten days. When sport fishing out in Barkley Sound it is ideal if sport fishermen have anchovy on board. To this date anchovy has not been essential as the salmon have been hitting various coyote spoons, Coho killers, and hootchies behind glow and kinetic flashers. In Coyote spoons, silver glow, lime green, green and blue nickel, watermelon, and cop car have all been working. In Coho Killers the Herring Aid, Cookies and Cream and Kitchen Sink have all been good. Hootchies and cuttlefish however in white and green have been by far the best lure. The bait in the area has ranged from squid, anchovy, mature herring and as of late newly hatched herring. If using anchovy have at least a six-foot leader using teaser heads in army truck glow, purple haze, green haze and cop car. We are expecting Barkley Sound to have fabulous sport fishing as returns of Chinook salmon to West Coast Vancouver Island are forecast to be between eighty to one hundred and ten thousand. With the late summer run of migratory salmon and local salmon returning to their natural streams and creeks there should be some “First Class” sport salmon fishing right into mid-September in all of Barkley Sound.
The Alberni Inlet should experience some excellent sport fishing in August. Usually the best salmon fishing opportunity begins mid-August but with big returns expected to the Somass River system the sport fishing may very well get underway well before August 15th. Many areas in China Creek and the Alberni Harbor will be heavily fished by many anglers world-wide. The larger O-15, O-16, and O-2 red and pink colored hootchies are very popular lures. Also the dark green spatter back, AORL 12, white glow and army truck are very popular. Bait is often a sure bet especially at the beginning of the season.
The Alberni Inlet and much of Barkley Sound will be very busy at the end of August and the first few days of September as the Port Alberni Salmon Festival will take place on August 31st and September 1 and 2. Tyee Landing will once again hosting the big event.
The saltwater sport fishing in 2019 has been fabulous from the surf line into various Barkley Sound locations. We are expecting the inshore areas of Barkley Sound as well as the Alberni Inlet to pick up even more by mid-August. If you are thinking of a fishing trip there is still time to organize. August and the early part of September is a great time to travel to the Alberni Valley area.
The Stamp River September and October salmon fishing should be unbelievable again this fall. Coho returns are looking extremely good and Chinook returns are expected to be well above average. For those that enjoy fly fishing the 10th of October right through until mid-November is often the best time. Space for guided trips in the river during the fall is very limited so organize early so there are no disappointments.
For more information