Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
April 4th 2017
The spring and summer salmon sport fishing season for 2017 is closing in on us ever so rapidly. March on the Vancouver Island’s West Coast has been a rather wintery month with a lot of snow, especially in higher elevations, and below seasonal average temperatures. We are now turning the calendar over to April which is very much a welcoming thought. April on the rugged but scenic West Coast coastline is most often looked at by a variety of sport anglers as the true beginning of saltwater fishing opportunities. The last two summer sport fishing seasons for Chinook and Coho outside the protected harbors of Ucluelet and Tofino, along the surfline of beautiful Barkley Sound, and also the protected waters of the Sound itself were relatively good in terms of salmon fishing. The 2017 season according to the many indicators in pre-season forecasts are predicting that the current years fishing opportunities for salmon along West Coast Vancouver Island will be what can be termed average sport fishing in May, June, and July and better than average opportunities in August and September. Many of the indicators in the preseason forecasts expect that returns to the Columbia River and Puget will be relatively good. With this in mind those returning fish do stop on the various banks outside of Ucluelet and Barkley Sound and of course also migrate into the various Barkley Sound areas and feed on the rich resources of bait fish. Of course as the summer movers into July and August returns of migrating Coho salmon really adds to sport fishing opportunities. The big migratory return of salmon normally arrives in three large waves. They are termed as being early summer, mid-summer and late summer runs. The early summer run often begins in April off the west coast of Vancouver Island and continues into June and creates some early fishing very tight to Ucluelet, Tofino and the pristine waters of Barkley Sound. The transient salmon feed aggressively on the rich resources of bait fish as they make their long journey to their natal streams. The late summer run in late July and running through August and early September usually produces for avid anglers some beautiful Tyee in the high thirty pound range.
West Coast Vancouver Island pre season forecasts for Chinook and Coho are looking relatively good. Good returns of Chinook in the four and five year old class are forecast in 2017 which means there will be some very nice salmon in the high twenty to mid thirty pound range. The Chinook often begin to show the first week of August in the Port Alberni Inlet and actually peak in the third or fourth week of the month. The Coho follow the Chinook and begin showing in the later part of August and continue well into September. Chinook returning to West Coast Vancouver Island are often showing up in Barkley Sound in the second half of July. The salmon come in close to the surf line and feed heavily on bait fish in the waters of Barkley Sound. Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet should have a fantastic sport fishery during the summer of 2017 for those who enjoy fishing in calm, pristine and relatively scenic water. Anglers world-wide will be treated to some world class salmon fishing along Vancouver Islands West Coast and Inlet areas. The Port Alberni Inlet, the inshore and offshore water of Ucluelet and Tofino and Barkley Sound will be all fantastic areas for sport fishing in those so called “hotspots” in 2017.
Port Alberni Inlet
Barkley Sound has recently provided some great winter Chinook fishing. The fishing in the Sound has been quite good through the full month of March. The Sproat Loggers Derby occurred during the first weekend of the month and produced some nice feeder Chinook up to TWENTY pounds. Local angler Morgan Steede had the winning salmon which weighed in at Twenty and a half pounds. Morgan won a fantastic prize dontated by Port Boat House which was a Yamaha Power Washer. Wayne Crossfield finished second landing a sixteen and a half pound Chinook. Gone fishing donated a Scottie Prawn Puller and two traps. Third place went to Brent Rose another local angler who landed a fifteen plus pound Chinook at Sandord using needle fish. Brent won an Islander Reel donated by JW Berry Trucking. Derby organizer Don Deforest was very happy with the weekend. Don remarked that “The overall weather was great and many anglers landed some nice feeder Chinook”. This was the derby’s twenty-ninth year and four hundred and seventy-seven entrants participated. In 1988, the derby’s first year, forty fishermen joined Don in that first winter derby. Don described the fishing for himself as “quite good”. Even though he did not win one of the top three derby prizes he landed four or five very nice Winter Chinook using anchovy in a chartreuse Rhys Davis Teaser Head. In early March and April anchovy often seem to work very well. Needle fish hootchies in blue and green, silver hordes, and a variety of small three and a half and four inch spoons also work well. All of these favorite lures were definitely working well in the derby and also throughout the full month of March. The best Winter Chinook fishing in the Sound has been along the Bamfield Wall, the Whistle Bouy, Vernon Bay, the Bamfield side of Fleming Island and Sanford, and the “Back Door”. The salmon have been in one hundred and thirty to one hundred and eighty and even up to two hundred feet of water with the bigger fish in the deeper water. Fish have been coming in daily feeding heavily during the herring spawn. The best fishing has occurred between tides as of late. April should really turn on as residential fish will continue to be in the area and the first of the migratory salmon should begin to show as they make their way to the southerly watersheds in the Pacific North West. Look for fantastic fishing from May through September. Always carry bait and ones favorite summer spoons and hootchies. As the summer moves on switch to bigger spoons but also remember to adjust to the size of the bait.
Ucluelet (West Coast)
The offshore and inshore fishing during the spring is often very good around a variety of areas in the Ucluelet and Tofino areas. As the herring spawn approaches in mid to late March the local Chinook or more commonly known as feeder or winter Chinook move close to the beach and are abundant in local areas such as Great Bear, Mara Rock, Sail Rock, Forbes, the Alley and Beg Island. Over the last few weeks it is these spots that have been quite good for the local sport fishermen and guides. Small three and three and a half inch coyote spoons in army truck, chartreuse, glow green and knight rider have been working in deeper water from 90 to 160 feet. Also a variety of regular octopus hootchies and needle fish hootchies are working quite well behind green glow and purple haze flashers. It is important to find the bait which is becoming more abundant. Those out on the water will do relatively well when finding the bait balls. This past three weeks Vancouver Islands west coast has had some good fishing for a few local guides and avid fishermen. Great Bear had some good sized bait balls and some good sized feeders up to sixteen pounds. Needlefish hootchies and the three and a half inch green glow coyote spoon were working very well and should be two items in ones tackle box over the next few weeks. This summer’s fishing is expected to be very good as migrating salmon make their way to the big watersheds to the south. Chinook beginning in the middle of April and continuing through August will swim right outside the Ucluelet Harbor and will feed out on the various sandy banks before continuing their long journey. Coho salmon should also be in good numbers and will add variety for many sport fishermen those guests on many guide boats. The summer of 2017 should definitely be a time when all fisher persons will have an opportunity to land a salmon.
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Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
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Alberni Inlet, Barley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island
It has been a relatively long and colder than average winter in all areas located in Central and West Coast Vancouver Island. Spring and summer are coming and when finally arriving we can expect the weather conditions to improve and allow for some productive days out on the water. Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound and close to the Bamfield Harbor has been slow but should improve if the herring spawn is anywhere like 2016. Over the past six weeks there has been some opportunity for a few avid anglers to get out salmon fishing in the afternoons when there has been some warmth from the sun. There have been reports of a few feeders being landed around Kirby Point and all the way up to Edward King Island. There have also been a few feeders landed around Scotch Bay and up at the whistle buoy. Those few anglers on the water have been fishing depths from sixty to one hundred and fifty feet. Anchovy and herring on the troll in various glow teaser heads with a six foot leader have been working. Three and a half inch spoons in Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream, cop car, and a four inch Gibbs green glow are great choices. Hootchies in purple haze, green spatter back and glow whites should also be excellent choice of lures. The key regarding Winter Chinook fishing is finding the bait. When one finds bait there should be some success. There are herring balls close to Bamfield and many areas of Barkley Sound. The Herring spawn normally occurs in March which should provide for some greater improvement in the Winter Chinook fishing.
The first weekend of March will see the areas first salmon fishing derby. The annual Sproat Loggers Derby will be hosted out of Poett Nook (also derby headquarters) which is located at the far end of the Bamfield Wall and in Sarita Bay. The last few years have seen over 400 entrants and there have been fish historically weighed in over twenty pounds. The derby is usually marked as the beginning of the saltwater season in Barkley Sound and has some wonderful prizes. Information can often be found online and derby entries can be obtained at Gone Fishing Stores.
At the time of this writing we are still waiting for an update on projections for Sockeye returns to the Somass River. The various indicators and early pre season reports are not looking favorable for a good return. The last two years have been from 1.2 to over 2.3 million pieces returning to the Somass River system. On the other hand West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook returns where stocks have been enhanced have a fairly good outlook status for 2017. The 2012 and 2013 salmon stock that went to sea have done very well in terms of survival and the return of a good number of four year olds and some five year olds to the West Coast should provide for some relatively big fish in what is termed “TYEE” size.
The 2017 Chinook returns to the big watersheds to the south were released in December 2016. The returns of what might be termed “early summer and mid-summer” are not bad and are on par with the TEN year average. The big watersheds are the Columbia, Kalama, Cowlitz, Sacramento, and Willamette. The Chinook travel as if on a highway along the coast of West Vancouver Island and sit out on the many sandy banks and feed on vast amounts of bait fish. These salmon also migrate into Barkley Sound and rest and feed on the rich resources of bait in many of the favorable Barkley Sound salmon fishing areas. With this in mind the salmon fishing for Chinook in late May, June and July should be relatively good for all anglers fishing the sound and offshore.
Over the last few weeks Stamp River conditions have been favorable. The water has been at the time of this writing is clear and low. Anglers have been using longer leaders and very light tackle. Those in the river have been on average hitting a few fish per day. Steelhead fishing has been in both the upper and lower river. There are Winter and Fall Steelhead in the system. These fish will spawn in the spring. Hopefully when conditions warm up so will the Stamp River fishing.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
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November 9th 2016
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Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
It is almost mid-November and the great memories of the past salt water salmon fishing season are very fresh. The summer of 2016 had many memorable days of fishing in many of the local fishing areas. The Sockeye fishing in the Alberni Inlet from mid June through the first week of August was excellent. Barkley Sound had an abundance of salmon in August and the first part of September. Coho salmon which were forecast to be poor were actually in very good numbers and by mid August were weighing up to fifteen and sixteen pounds. Chinook numbers forecast to return to West Coast Vancouver Island were not what was expected. Returns to the Somass River system are currently close to fifty thousand. The forecast return was more than double that number and never materialized. However on the bright side there were definitely enough Chinook in the system to make the Chinook salmon season a success. The forty-fifth Labor Day Salmon Festival during the 2016 Labor Day Weekend was definitely remarkable. There were many registrants and plenty of salmon landed and weighed in. The fourth largest Chinook recorded in the history of the derby was landed. The fifty three pound salmon was the largest Chinook since 1991. The salmon derby was definitely a terrific boost for Port Alberni. With all of the great 2016 salmon fishing results still memorable we are now slowly preparing for the summer of 2017. The summer and fall salmon Season is now over and salmon returns, even though the Chinook were not as strong are still relatively healthy for conservation measures. Pre seasonal 2017 forecasts for local West Coast Vancouver Island Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, and the salmon runs migrating to the big southerly watersheds have not yet been forecast. The various fishing departments will likely begin to share returning numbers in the early part of 2017.
November and much of October has had more wind and rain than usual. The Stamp River has had very high water conditions through much of the fall and at the moment is at an above average level. There have been times that fishing the Stamp for Fall-Summer Steelhead has been difficult because of the very high water conditions but it is hoped that the rain will become less and the river will get to normal levels so that the Fall Steelhead will go into a feeding frenzy on the dropped naturally spawned river eggs. Less rain and less water entering Stamp River will reduce water levels and will allow for some great Steelhead fishing for the second half of November and into early December.
Salmon returns to the Somass system were better than what was forecast for 2016 especially for Sockeye and Coho. Over one million Sockeye Salmon returned to the Alberni Inlet with four hundred and forty thousand escaping to the Sproat and Great Central Lake systems. Coho which were looking dismal have had over thirty thousand pieces return to the Somass River. Chinook Salmon were not close to pre season forecasts but with a return of just about fifty thousand there are excellent egg counts for Robertson Creek Hatchery and for a natural river spawn. The Somass River system is a key stream for Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho. The Chinook numbers in terms of return still allowed for the necessary 57 million egg count at Robertson Creek Hatchery. Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with Hupacasath First Nations facilitate a counting operation from late May to early November. The fish way is open daily and the salmon are counted by video and computer and trained observers. The salmon migration in the River system as mentioned is video-taped and counts are better than 95% accurate.
Water levels in the Stamp are currently at an average level for mid-November. The Summer-Fall Steelhead fishing for the past few weeks could be described in two words as “mediocre” or slow. Water levels are too high and there is currently severe flooding along the Somass. The Upper Stamp fishing pressure is very “LOW”. The best angling opportunity when water levels come down will likely be just above the Ash River. The Chinook and Coho wild spawn has thinned out but there are plenty of eggs in the river system. The problem is that with the severe flooding the gravel beds and natural egg spawn may be washed out. The Lower River has seen little fishing lately but expectations are that in the next few weeks or when water levels decrease that some late Fall and Winter Steelhead will begin to show and pick up the Stamp River fishing.
With the Coho spawn being very strong with the fairly decent Coho returns anglers when it is possible to fish the river should mimick what the Steelhead are feeding on. A bait ban been in effect from “the bucket” so fish egg imitations are a must. Guides are using single egg imitations. Jensen eggs are the most popular. Also gorkies, and spin-n-glows will do well.
When the fishing in the Lower River picks up especially below the bucket sport fisher people should use gooey-bobs, pink worms, and spin-n-glows in bc orange and regular orange colors. We are expecting the Stamp River which is British Columbia’s premiere fishing destination river to have some terrific Steelhead fishing right through March of 2017
The Alberni Valley hosted the forty-fifth Labor Day Salmon Festival in early September. The fourth largest Chinook, in the derby history, weighed just over fifty three pounds was landed by Dan Weatherby of Chilliwack B.C. This big Chinook was landed close to the Bamfield Harbor mouth at Brady Beach. A small cookies and cream spoon in fairly shallow water landed this fish which won the Chilliwack residence fifteen thousand dollars. The Bamfield Wall was definitely a hot area to fish during the derby and most of the month of September. Daily first place finishes were Brian Lawrence landing a twenty-seven pound Chinook on Sunday and Justin Kumagai of Port Alberni landed a twenty four pound Chinook on Sunday. Both anglers won $5,000 for landing the biggest fish of the day.
Sport prawn fishing will have openings in the Alberni Inlet. It is important to check with the regulations and check with the DFO for winter openings. The openings are often for 15 days. Again it is important to check all DFO regulations and openings. Most individuals at this time of year will prawn close to China Creek, the narrows and Cous Creek. Currently salmon in the Alberni Inlet is slow but often Winter Chinook will travel up as far as China Creek if there is bait in the area.
Barkley Sound is one area on the west coast that is protected on the east and west shorelines. It is an area that can often be comfortable for winter fishing. Winter or Feeder Chinook fishing usually picks up in December and carries on well into early April. The rule is often where one finds the bait the salmon will be there. The Chinook are usually in deep water from 115 to 140 feet. Good areas of the Sound to fish are areas close to Poett Nook and Sarita Bay. Vernon Bay, Swale Rock, Mayne Bay, and the back end of Canoe Pass can also be excellent areas to fish. Often hootchies in blue, green, various whites and blue-green colors are the best lures. Of course there are days when the fish will touch nothing but anchovy. Winter Chinook trips also include some prawn and crab fishing.
Ucluelet has already experienced some good Feeder Chinook fishing. The Inner and Outer South Bank earlier in October allowed sport fishermen to have success on salmon up to 17 pounds. This is unusual for the fall but a couple of terrific days for weather permitted a few keen anglers to get out a few miles offshore. Earlier in the fall the T-Rex hootchie was good but recently those anglers fishing on good weather days and close to the Ucluelet Harbor at the “Red Can” Mara Rock, and The Lighthouse Bank have been using white hootchies and also a green needlefish hootchie. A four inch cop car and cookies and cream spoon have also been good lures behind a green or chartreuse hotspot flasher. During the winter Ucluelet offers some of the west coasts best prawn and crab fishing. The Bottom fishing is also very good. One must remember that the Pacific Ocean during the winter can have some magnificent storms but also there are superb days for fishing as the ocean can be completely flat. Winter fishing is often very close to the harbour. Safety of course is always a priority. Ucluelet hopefully will once again be a fisherman’s paradise in the summer of 2017. The migratory fish headed to the large watersheds to the south begin showing as early as late May and continue into late August or early September.
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SEPTEMBER 1st 2016 DOUG LINDORES
2016 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 occurring at or before that time. Derby Headquarters and the official weigh-in center will once again be Clutesi Haven Marina located on River Road. There is $55,000 in prizes for those people participating in the Salmon Derby. With this is mind there are plenty of prizes to go around for everyone.
The Alberni Valley and all of Barkley Sound has experienced rain fall over the past few days which has helped many of the migrating salmon swim much more quickly to their natal streams, creeks and rivers. Fresh Chinook and Coho are moving from the vast Pacific Ocean into Barkley Sound. The salmon that have recently reached the waters of Barkley Sound will migrate fairly rapidly up into the Alberni Inlet. The water in much of the Inlet and also Barkley Sound is not stagnant and has cooled down dramatically which help the salmon to migrate a little more quickly. The Chinook and Coho will also be a little more eager to bite the variety of lures put out by many anglers. There are currently plenty of Chinook and Coho Salmon in the system.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced that there is a decrease in the Chinook run size returning to the Somass River System. The original forecast of one hundred and twenty thousand Chinook returning to the River system has been cut in half to approximately sixty thousand.
The best salmon fishing currently is in Barkley Sound. The many salmon that were in the Alberni Inlet have moved into the River system. The Inlet will fill with fresh salmon in the coming days. Weather conditions are forecast to improve and warmer air is in the immediate forecast which will 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, Assets Island, and the Bamfield Wall should hold for a few days. The Bamfield Wall has been inconsistent for the last ten days. Pill Point, Swale Rock, Harbor Entrance and Assets have all had very consistent sport fishing over the same amount of time. The salmon in the sound have been biting and feeding very hard around tide changes. The Chinook and Coho are also very active between tides. The same scenario has been true for those 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, spatterback and AORL 12 hootchies. Anchovy in the Inlet is also working. In Barkley Sound anchovy in a variety of Rhys Davis Teaser Heads seem ideal and for many is working the best. Leader lengths from five and a half to six feet behind gold, green, or burgundy flashers with a gold face are working very well. The AORL 12 hootchie 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.
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Contact Doug Lindores
250 731 7389 (mobile)
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August 21st 2016
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Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
The summer months are quickly moving by and the salmon fishing in many areas of Vancouver Island just seem to be now picking up and getting better and better as we move into mid August. The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound and the West Coast off of the Ucluelet Harbor for Chinook and Coho have improved dramatically. The Chinook and Coho on the surf line and the various banks are getting larger and more numerous. Most of these salmon continue to be migratory salmon moving to destinations or watersheds well to the south. Many of the West Coast Vancouver Island salmon are now also beginning to show on surf line areas and on the west and east shorelines of Barkley Sound. We are expecting some of the salmon returning to nearby rivers, streams, and creeks of the Pacific Rim and Alberni Valley regions to be the highest return in a decade. From mid August into the first half of September there should be some world class sport fishing out in most of Barkley Sound. The Port Alberni Inlet with salmon migrating into the Somass River will have a good return of Chinook. By mid August good numbers of these Chinook will 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 in June and July was incredible. The sockeye return forecast still holds at 1.1 million which was a fantastic run and return. Returns to the system for conservation are at four hundred and fifty thousand. These fish have migrated into Sproat and Great Central Lakes and will sit in deep water until the fall before spawning. The Chinook returns to the Somass system should begin with salmon showing in good numbers in Inlet areas by the middle of August. Pre season forecasts are showing s very high number of Chinook returning to the terminal area of Barkley Sound and the Inlet. Most of these fish will be returning to the Robertson Creek Hatchery. The age class of this year’s return is predominately four and five year old Chinook. With this in mind there should be a good number of Chinook in the twenty to twenty-five to thirty pound class. Coho numbers are hopefully expected to be normal. Coho returns to the Pacific Rim and the many creeks and stream tributaries of the Somass system through conservation have become stronger over the past decade. We should see Somass-Stamp River Coho begin to show in Barkley Sound close to the end of August and peak during the second week of September before moving into the inlet.
Most of Barkley Sound has been mediocre through June and July and the first week of August. Swale Rock, Austin Island, Cree and Pill Point have been the only spots with any consistency. Meares or Effingham Island and Austin Island out to Cree Island has been the best area for the sport fishery for most of the summer months. 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 80 to 120 feet of water and have been averaging from the mid teens to mid twenties in terms of weight. The Chinook that are now showing and returning to local rivers are much shallower. The Coho have been in twety-five to fifty feet of water and are gorging themselves putting on a pound a week and are currently averaging eight to fifteen pounds. Some of the salmon are migratory fish moving to watersheds to the south. The West Coast Vancouver Island salmon are now arriving. 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 fishing the waters of 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 small three and a half inch coyote spoons and some hootchies behind glow and kinetic flashers. In Coyote spoons, silver glow, Cop Car, Cookies and Cream and Irish Cream have all been working. Various small Coho Killers have all been working. The various whites (AORL12) and greens and blues in hootchies have had some great success over the past week. Anchovy should have at least a six foot leader and the army truck, purple haze, and green haze in Rhys Davis Teaser Head have all been working well. We are expecting Barkley Sound to have continued great salmon fishing well into September. With the late summer run of migratory salmon and local salmon returning to their natural streams and creeks there should be some continued terrific fishing right into mid September in all of Barkley Sound for Coho and Chinook salmon.
Areas outside of the Ucluelet Harbor around the Starfish, Hyacinth and Long Beach and as far as the Big Bank or shallows West to Portland Point which is close to Tofino have all had rather phenomenal sport fishing over the last few weeks. Most of the banks have had plenty of bait fish and the migratory salmon have been feeding heavily in these many favorite offshore Ucluelet areas. When bait fish are in the different areas during the summer months the sport fishing is normally extraordinary. The Big Bank (Rats Nose) the Starfish and Hyacinth have been the best areas to fish to date. Hootchies and smaller spoons seem to be working the best offshore. Some sport fishermen are using bait and having great success but like Barkley Sound bait has not been essential. Over the past week the Chinook salmon have been getting bigger as there are many more in the mid to upper twenty pound range being landed by guests on our charter boats. Sport fishermen in their privately owned boats have also been landing some bigger fish. A few Coho offshore are also getting up and over the ten pound mark with a few fish in the low to mid teens being landed. August and September are really exciting months to be on the water. These are the two months that bigger Chinook and Coho begin to arrive along the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. as they have been spending weeks during their long migration feeding constantly on bait fish.
The saltwater sport fishing for the rest of 2016 should be fantastic on the surf line and offshore west coast Vancouver Island locations. We are really expecting the inshore areas of Barkley Sound to pick up as well as the Port Alberni Inlet during the last two weeks of August. If you are thinking of a fishing trip, this is the year and August and the early part of September is the time to come.
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July 26th 2016 Doug Lindores Sliver Charters Salmon Sport Fishing 250 731 7389 (cell number) 1 888 214 7206
The 2016 saltwater sport fishing season is closing in on some world class angling opportunities on B.C.’s West Coast. The month of August and the first half of September should provide six to seven weeks of fabulous sport fishing for anglers fishing the Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and offshore Ucluelet. Chinook forecasts are literally off the chart in terms of returning four and five year old Chinook to the rivers, streams and creeks of West Coast Vancouver Island. The forecast of great returns to the Somass, NitiNat, and Sarita River systems are expected to be the best returns over the past fifteen years.
The Sport Sockeye Fishery in the Alberni Inlet CONTINUES to be very good. To date the sport Sockeye season has provided some terrific angling opportunities for everyone. The 2016 season is not like the previous year but with forecast returns of almost 1.2 million Sockeye the sport fishery and been very good. Due to cooler water and air temperatures in June and the first half of July the returns of Sockeye to the Somass River system have been excellent. To date escapement has been four hundred and twenty thousand to Sproat and Great Central Lakes. The summer rain and cooler temperatures in the area has led to excellent migration through the salmon ladders.
Currently the Sockeye are schooling from Cous Creek out to the narrows. The Sockeye in the Alberni Inlet are currently sitting in eighty to one hundred and ten feet of water. They are hitting short leader lengths from eighteen to twenty-four inches in length behind a variety of hotspot flashers. The mp2, mp15, pink and blue, pink and black, and the pink with either the green or white head hootchies all seem to be working very well for most of the sport anglers. Many anglers are also using “Black Hooks” behind a green plaid chartreuse hotspot flasher or the purple onion hotspot flasher. Sockeye are attracted to the boat by color. Many anglers will have eight flashers behind their boat. Four are often dummy flashers and the other four with lures of choice. The Sockeye are averaging four to eight pounds. Sockeye are the number one commercial salmon. They are wonderful for summer barbeques and when vacuum packed properly last the winter for those special occasions. With good numbers of fresh Sockeye coming into the system on a daily basis we are hoping the Sockeye Sport fishery will continue into the August Long Weekend.
Sockeye fishing is a wonderful fishing opportunity for the whole family. It is a fun fishery for young and old. Don’t miss out on this opportunity in the Alberni Inlet this July and early August.
Barkley Sound and Ucluelet
The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound has been relatively inconsistent. The best fishing has been out on surf line areas. The islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth, Meares, Austin, Cree Island, Kirby Point, Edward King and the Bamfield Wall have all had times during the past few weeks with some good Chinook sport fishing. Areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor that have had a few fantastic fishing days are Great Bear and Sail Rock. The inner and outer South Bank, Long Beach, and the Starfish have had some of the transient salmon heading to the big water systems to the south create some wonderful sport salmon fishing opportunity. The salmon in the Sound and inside waters have been hitting anchovy in green glow, army truck, and green haze Rhys Davis Teaser Heads. Small three and a half inch spoons have been working the best. The cookies and cream, Irish cream and the TKO spoons have been excellent. They match up to the very small bait size. The Sonora cuttlefish, Jack Smith and a variety of Turds have been working well out on the banks. The best lures, however have been the smaller spoons. Dragging the small spoons close to the bottom has created the best opportunity.
We are looking forward to some great sport fishing opportunities during the last week of July, all of August and the first half of September in the Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and offshore. The numbers of transient and West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook headed to the big watersheds to the south and local rivers and streams are forecast to be very strong which will provide some world class sport salmon fishing.
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June 14th 2016
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Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
It is early June and weather conditions for most of the 2016 spring season have been terrific on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. With this in mind a lack of rainfall is not environmentally good. The salmon fishing has been relatively consistent close to the Ucluelet Harbor and also offshore Ucluelet. Ucluelet is located on the extreme west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia. The area is often referred to as the highway of migrating salmon. The fishing in various surf line areas of Barkley Sound has been off and on during late May and early June. The early sockeye salmon have already started their long return from the North Pacific to the Somass River in fairly good numbers. There has been a few Sockeye landed by sport fishermen in the China and Cous Creek areas. With the good weather and higher afternoon air temperatures the Sockeye Migration will slow down as the water temperature in the river and the Alberni Inlet warm up. This will possibly help the Sport Sockeye season get underway in the inlet a little earlier than normal. Salmon and halibut fishing on the west coast have been consistent over the past few weeks. The great fishing in local hotspots is very evident by the increase of vehicles on local roads and highways towing a variety of sport fishing boats. Many of the fishermen are either fishing the scenic and pristine waters of Barkley Sound or are travelling out to the west coast to fish close to Vancouver Island’s rugged coastline or in offshore locations.
The 2016 sport salmon fishing season in Ucluelet, Barkley Sound, and the Port Alberni Inlet is forecast to be terrific. In fact this year is predicted to be one of the best seasons in many years. On the west coast the early summer run of Chinook which are currently migrating down the Vancouver Island coastline and stay fairly close to the beach will soon peak and will be followed by the mid summer Chinook returns to southern watersheds. West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook returns will be predominately four year olds. The returns are expected to be more than double the historic numbers. The Sockeye fishing should be extremely good. The return to the Somass River is predicted to be approximately one million in early season forecasts. Don’t miss out on a fabulous 2016 sport salmon fishing year in the Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound, or inshore offshore Ucluelet-Tofino.
Port Alberni Inlet
The Sockeye sport fishery in the Alberni Inlet has been open since the first of May. Limits are four per person per day. That number should remain the same throughout the season. Sockeye usually school in the Alberni Inlet when the water of the Somass River and the Inlet warms to 18 degrees Celsius. When there are big numbers of Sockeye entering the system the schools will hold in the inlet for the salmon ahead to push into the river. The river water is warming up and with very little snow in the nearby hills it will not take much for the Somass the desired temperature. The Sockeye that are currently in the Inlet are swimming in fairly shallow water. Those sport fishermen out fishing will ideally during the next few weeks have the best success fishing the Nahmint-Franklin area, the narrows, and perhaps Cous Creek or right in the Port Alberni Harbor trolling at twenty-five to fifty feet. The mild spring weather conditions will help fairly good Sockeye fishing get underway by the 15th of June. It is often safe to say that this is the time to start fishing Sockeye. We are hoping that by mid month sport anglers are landing limits of Sockeye. Sockeye are attracted to color and having six or even eight flashers hooked to the downriggers is not unusual. The most popular lures for Sockeye are the mp 15( bubblegum), the pink and blue, and pink and black mp hootchies. Leader lengths are best at 22 to 27 inches behind a green or red glow hotspot flasher.
The Salmon fishing in Barkley Sound especially out at surf line locations has been mediocre over the past few weeks. Many areas have had big bait balls which will bring those migratory Chinook swimming close to the beach to feed on these rich resources of bait fish. Over the past week Effingham, Austin Island, and Cree have produced some nice salmon. Bamfield areas such as Kirby in the morning and Edward King later in the day and also the Bamfield Wall have reported some nice fish being landed by guides and sport anglers. The best results have been fishing from 80 to 120 feet depending on location but it is important that you are fishing where there is bait. It seems that choice of lure really does not seem to matter as many have been using a variety of spoons, plastic, and bait. The best spoons have been the three and a half inch green and blue nickel coyote spoon and also an Irish Cream behind a green glow or chartreuse hotspot flasher. The 155 needlefish has also been very good. Anchovy in army truck, green haze, green UV, and also chartreuse in a Rhys Davis teaser head have been hot at various times. Many of the salmon have been in the mid to high teens with a few up to twenty-five pounds. We are expecting the fish to get bigger as the mid-summer run of Chinook get underway in the latter half of June. This run of salmon will have a good number of four and five year olds. Barkly Sound should be a hotbed for fishing this summer especially out in surf line locations.
Ucluelet is often referred to as Vancouver Island’s premier salmon and halibut sport fishing destination. Like Barkley Sound the waters inshore and offshore from the Ucluelet Harbor offer some world class fishing. The water is very rich in bait fish (sardines and needlefish) which the salmon feed on throughout the spring and summer months. The summer salmon fishing seems to be changing. August and early September were often considered peak times for Chinook and Coho sport fishing. With the high numbers of transient Chinook salmon passing along the west coast of Vancouver Island from April to
August it often seems that the peak of the season is in the month of July. This is not to say that Chinook sport fishing does not continue in August and September. Coho which were often referred to as the number one sport salmon along coastal fishing locations in B.C. are a major highlight in late August through September. This thought is something to consider when thinking about and organizing sport salmon fishing this summer. The Ucluelet fishing has been consistent over the past few weeks with some good fishing out at the inner and outer Lighthouse Bank and also Long Beach. Mara Rock, Great Bear, Sail Rock, and The Lighthouse which are all very close to the Ucluelet Harbor have been choice selections for sport fishing on those days where the weather has not co-operated for boats to get out a little offshore.. The largest salmon have been averaging twelve to eighteen pounds. The fish out at the inner and banks have been close to the bottom between 130 and 160 feet. Guides have done extremely well on salmon and halibut with the largest hali for guests at forty-five pounds. The best lures to date have been anchovy and a few different spoons in the three and a half inch size. Green nickel, Irish Cream and Cookies and Cream have been working well. Other guides and sport anglers have had great success using needle fish hootchies behind a flasher. The needle fish will hide in the sand and on tide changes will come up to higher levels which creates a very good salmon and halibut bite. If trolling and using anchovy it seems that a green or red glow hotspot flasher with a green or army truck Rhys Davis teaser anchovy head with six feet of leader are working well. One important thing to remember is that during the season the food sources often get bigger and when using spoons and plugs the sizes should increase as the bait increases.
The 2016 sport salmon fishing season in Port Alberni and the West Coast is shaping up just as has been forecast—-TERRIFIC!!!! There should not be disappointments this summer. Of course there are highs and lows but the high days will definitely out do any lows.
For more information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
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May 13th, 2016
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
The 2016 summer saltwater salmon fishing season is here with many sport fishermen already salmon fishing with success on the Pacific Rim waters for the past few weeks. The 2016 salmon forecasts for salmon migrating to the big watersheds to the south and also returns to West Coast Vancouver Island rivers’ and streams look extremely favorable. Many individuals have considered the past few sport fishing seasons as extremely good but the 2016 predictions of transient and local returns especially for Chinook and Sockeye salmon are looking phenomenal. Chinook returning to the big river systems in Washington, Oregon and California are expected to be fantastic. The systems with big returns are predictably the Columbia River, Sacramento River and the Klamath River systems. These transient salmon from late April through August migrate just outside Ucluelet, Bamfield, and beautiful Barkley Sound. Barkley Sound holds huge quantities of rich bait fish as do the many banks off the Vancouver Island West Coast that hold these migrating salmon which normally feed heavily before continuing their long migration. Returns of West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook hatchery fish are forecast to be more than double the average returns. These salmon begin to show along the west coast and into Barkley Sound in early August and peak from mid August into early September. Salmon fishing on the surf line and inner portion of the sound will be excellent through the late spring and all of the summer months as these waves of salmon make their way to their natal river systems. Many of the transient and local returning salmon will be predominately four year olds which means there will be opportunity to land some good sized Chinook in the upper twenty to low thirty pound range. Some of the early summer run Chinook have showed up along the Barkely Sound surf line and the islands outside the Ucluelet Harbor. A large wave of salmon should begin to occur in the second half of May. The early salmon usually migrate relatively close to the beach in May and then along the various sandy banks off the coast in in the summer months. Salmon fishing in the out and inner portion of the sound should be very good through the late spring and all of the summer months as these waves of salmon make their way to their natal river system. To date a low number and Barkley Sound until mid May. The salmon usually migrate fairly close to the beach in May and then along the various sandy banks off the coast in the summer months.
Sockeye Salmon returns to the Aberni Inlet this year will not likely be that of the 2015 returns which was absolutely incredible. Returns this year are looking historically good. The pre season forecast is for eight hundred thousand to one million. There has been suggestion that by mid season due to many indicators that the run size could be upgraded. The Sockeye Sport Fishery usually gets underway by mid June and is a fabulous opportunity for families and al avid sport fishermen of all ages.
The summer of 2016 looks absolutely phenomenal in terms of sport fishing opportunities. Those fisher persons that prefer open water or for those that enjoy areas that have protection from prevailing wind patterns the saltwater salmon fishing no matter where individuals decide their destination on Vancouver Islands west coast, the opportunity to land a Pacific salmon from six pounds to thirty-five pounds should be a dream come true.
Port Alberni Inlet
The Alberni Inlet is currently very quiet. By mid June however there will be plenty of excitement as sports boat travel the inlet in search of Sockeye Salmon. The returns are expected to to be very good. Environmental conditions are excellent. The sockeye should begin to school in the Inlet in early June. Water conditions should be relatively good for a decent flow into the Somass River and also because of a low snow pack the warmer river and inlet water will likely slow the migration down. Early in the season the Sockeye travel in relatively shallow water but will move into the deep as the air and water temperatures increase. Water temperature of eighteen degrees and above normally slow the migration down. Normally good Sockeye Sport fishing can contine from mid June to the first week of August. Sockeye fishing is a lot of fun and is a great time for families to get out on the water and take part in one of British Columbias best sport fisheries. Sockeye like a slow troll and are attracted to the boats with lots of color in the water fairly close to the boat. Most experienced Sockeye fishermen will have six to eight flashers in the water. Most of the lures are on a short leader from eighteen to twenty-eight inches in length behind a red or green glow hotspot flasher. Sharp hooks are very important as the sockeye gum structure is very soft.
The early transient summer run of Chinook and Winter or feeder Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound has been off and on during the last few weeks The feeder chinook will always be found wherever the bait is found. Feeders are just what they are termed as these hearty salmon feed heavily especially on tides changes. Austin Island, Village Reef, Vernon Bay and Swale Rock have had some good days with Chinook up to seventeen and twenty pounds but on average a lot of the salmon have been ten to thirteen pounds. The salmon have been a mix of transient and feeder Chinook. Anchovy in Rhys Davis green glow and chartreuse teaser head holders have been working as have a variety of coyote spoons with the three and three and a half inch Irish Cream being productive. The green splatter needle fish hootchies and blue and silver gold star spoons have recently been the best lures. Meares and Austin Island from ninety to one hundred and twenty feet have both been fairly with the best fishing opportunity on the tide change when the bait rolls in. Closer to Bamfield, Cape Beale, Whittlestone and the west side of Edward King down to Kirby Point have been very consistent for those sport fishermen out on the water. However like the west side of Barkley Sound an area can be hot one day and completely dead the next. The salmon have been in 140 feet of water but up against the rocks closer to Edward King the feeders have been in twenty-five and thirty-five feet of water. Bait is important if fishermen are to find the salmon. Army Truck Hootchie, needle fish hootchies in blue and green, Irish Cream and Army Truck spoons in smaller sizes, have all been working well. Cape Beale and the protected side of Folger Island have also had some relatively decent Halibut fishing. When the weather has been good the three and seven mile and an area called the chair has produced some salmon and halibut catches off the bottom.
The summer fishing opportunities look more than fabulous for Barkley Sound and the surf line and of course offshore waters. The big numbers of Chinook that will migrate down the Vancouver Island coastline will produce some very good fishing opportunities for local fishermen and of course guides and their guests.
Ucluelet offers magical salmon sport fishing and it is one of those places that one can have opportunity to land a twenty pound salmon twelve months of the year. The salmon fishing continues to be relatively consistent close to the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth. There have been some nice sized clipped Chinook bound for distant rivers. The first big wave of migratory fish will show up in the middle of May. We are expecting some great fishing out on the various banks. Usually in May the fishing will be closer to the Harbor with good spots being The Alley, Beg Island, Great Bear, Mara Rock, Sail Rock and the Red Can to name a few. As we get into June however the hotspots will become the Turtle Head, Inner and Outer South Bank, the Wreck and perhaps for some out as far as The Big Bank. Recently The Alley, Sail Rock and Great Bear have provided some good fishing with limits being bagged on Chinook salmon. The Spatter Back Hootchie and needle fish hootchie in blue, green and a bit of silver have been working very well There have been a few nice fish taken at South Bank that are migrating and these fish have been in the mid teens and have been taking smaller coyote spoons. Green Nickel and Knight Rider have been working fairly well behind a green or red glow hotspot flasher. Needle fish hootchies and army truck hootchies have also been working well with 42 inches of leader behind a flasher. By the middle of this month we should really start seeing the migratory push and by June there will be plenty of tales about the numbers of salmon in the nearby waters and the big one that got away. This will definitely be the year that anyone that desires to land a Pacific salmon will have a genuine opportunity to have this dream come true.
For more information
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April 9th 2016
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Harry of Langley British Columbia shows his Chinook Salmon landed in Barkley Sound Vancouver Island.
This salmon hit a green nickel coyote spoon in 90 feet of water
Vancouver Island is a majestic geographical area of tall coniferous forests and breath-taking scenic views of rugged terrain and coastlines battered by winter storms. There are also a continuous display of rugged coastlines with wonderful exquisite and secluded beaches with pristine calm water which can be found in Barkley Sound and the waters of the Alberni Inlet. Not only does the West Coast of British Columbia have an unbelievable landscape but the salmon fishing in many areas is nothing but world class. This is truly one area, of this great nation, where individuals have opportunity of hooking into a twenty pound salmon twelve months of the year.
It is now April and most avid fisher people say that the 2016 saltwater fishing season is officially here. With weather patterns now becoming more predictable anglers can get out on the water with a little more ease in those many areas that are not located in “protected” waters. The migratory flow of early Chinook salmon headed down the coast line to natal streams to the south begins in April. Feeder or winter Chinook salmon are also in local waters in April and into early May. The Migratory salmon and the feeder Chinook gorge on the ample amounts of bait fish. April can certainly have some very good fishing days in Barkley Sound and around the Ucluelet Harbor. Not only is the ocean fishing good but the Stamp River is often very good with large numbers of wild and hatchery Steelhead in the Lower and Upper River. Many say that April can often be the best month of the year to fish winter Steelhead. This is also a month with very little fishing pressure making it a time where keen river anglers can fish the Stamp in solitude.
Great early spring Chinook landed at Meares which is located on the surf
line of Barkley Sound. Chinok salmon landed using anchovy.
The 2016 fishing season is shaping up to be a fantastic saltwater season. There are many indicators that show the season should be very good for Chinook and Sockeye salmon. Alberni Inlet Sockeye and West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook Forecasts are excellent for the current year of angling.
Port Alberni Inlet
Prawn fishing in the Alberni Inlet Sub Area 23-2 opened on April 1st. The China Creek, narrows, and Mctush areas are very popular for sporties. Much of Barkley Sound has been open all winter where the prawn fishing has been very good. Traps are usually set in 175 to 230 feet of water. Often in April and early May the Alberni Inlet is covered with red buoys. Make sure if putting out traps that lots of weight is used to keep your traps down. The best bait for prawn fishing is Carlyle Just Tuna Cat food and Ace of Baits prawn pellets.
Sockeye fishing in the Alberni Inlet in 2015 was unbelievable. We hope that 2016 will be as good. Family from Vancouver fished with Doug of slivers Charters and did well Sockeye fishing in the Alberni Inlet. We expect with weather and environment conditions that Sockeye Fishing in the Alberni Inlet should be under way by mid June in 2016.
We expect that the Sockeye sport season will get underway by June 15th and that limits in the first part of the season will be four per person and a two day possession limit of eight. Last year well over two million Somass Sockeye Salmon returned to the Somass River system. Pre season forecasts for 2016 are indicating that returns will be around 800,000 which is still a very good and ample return.
The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound has been hit and miss for winter Chinook.
The weather at times has made it difficult for sport fishermen to get out on the water. The last week of March and into early April however has been quite the opposite. Water and Weather conditions were more than perfect and salmon fishing has been quite good in many locations. The Sproat Lake Derby which occurred in early March had a twenty-four pound salmon take top spot. Barkley Sound has been “alive” with bait fish over the past month. The herring spawn in Barkley Sound has been spectacular and with the start of the early summer run of Chinook headed to southern watersheds we are expecting some wonderful fishing out on surf line locations. Areas like Kirby Point, Cree, Effingham, and Edward King have recently had a few good reports of hatchery Chinook being landed. Areas on the inside such as Vernon Bay and Swale Rock have also had some good fishing for winter feeders. As time moves forward into late April and early May the fishing should really improve. We are definitely looking for some great fishing during the summer months. Forecasts are showing that the mid summer Chinook migratory flow to the Willamette and Columbia River will be very strong with most of the Chinook predominately being four year olds.
With the weather patterns becoming more reliable those getting out to Barkley Sound should plan on fishing on the troll using hootchies, coyote spoons, or anchovy. One guide boat this past week did well at Effingham and Kirby landing over a two day period eight Chinook in the ten to fifteen pound category. The Chinook were hitting four inch cop car and the green-nickel and blue-nickel coyote spoon. Army Truck and green and blue needlefish hootchies were also working very behind a green glow hot spot flasher. The salmon are deeper. Fishing in one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty feet is not uncommon depths to fish. If you get close to the bottom around Swale Rock, Folger Island or opposite the Bamfield Wall don’t be surprised if a halibut hits your bait or lure.
Prawn fishing in the early spring is usually very successful in Barkley Sound locations
West Coast fishing during the winter months can often be difficult. It can take a day or more for the water to settle after a storm but by mid-April weather conditions become more of a reliable factor. We are currently fishing feeder Chinook and the beginning of the early summer hatchery Chinook migrating to southern streams. The crab fishing is fantastic and up into Barkley Sound the sport prawn fishing is very good.
This is the time of year that we can often fish for a variety of wonderful tasting seafood delights. Often we can fish for what is termed a “seafood safari” and individuals can enjoy a day of crabbing, prawning, and rock and lingcod fishing (opened April 1st) and of course salmon. The salmon fishing close to the Ucluelet Harbor has definitely picked up over the past week. Beg Island, Great Bear, Forbes, Sail Rock, and The Alley has been producing some nice salmon into the mid teens. The herring spawn around Ucluelet has happened and there are big balls of needlefish and pilchards in the area which brings the salmon in close to the beach during tides to feed. Trolling is the best method to fish and it is important to watch the sounder and stay within about thirty feet of the bottom. Usual fishing depths for the areas mentioned are 90 to 120 feet. Coyote spoons have been working. The three and a half and four inch Irish Cream, glow green, and green nickel have been the best. Anchovy in a Rhys Davis teaser head in glow green, chartreuse, or army truck behind purple, red or green glow flashers have been used with success by a few guides although spoons seem to be the best choice at the current time.
Summer fishing out of Ucluelet looks very good. The mid-summer run of migratory Chinook salmon and also West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook are forecast to be quite strong. The Chinook are predicted to be predominately four year olds which suggest some bigger salmon in the high mid to high twenty pound range.
This Group of happy Anglers fished with Doug of Slivers Charters SalmonSport fishing in the Alberni Inlet and had a great morning of salmon fishing
We are looking forward to a great year with some fantastic salt water salmon fishing opportunities in 2016. If you have not done so it is time to organize your 2016 fishing trip.
For more information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
1 888 214 7206 toll free
1 250 724 2502 home
250 731 7389 cell
The month of March has arrived and many individuals living in the Pacific North West and Pacific Rim areas are ready to welcome in spring. The spring months often mean that people living on the West Coast can say good bye to the winter storms that batter the west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia. March for most sport fishermen often means thinking about summer salmon fishing trips into various Vancouver Island regions. The Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and offshore Ucluelet are three of the most popular areas for sport fisher people to visit and salt water salmon fish.
Ruven from Montreal landed this great Chinook salmon in Barkley Sound using
anchovy. Ruven fished with family and Doug from Slivers Charters
Salmon Sport Fishing
March on the West Coast, Barkley Sound, and the Port Alberni area also means the first major fishing derby of the year and also one of the biggest festivals on British Columbia’s West Coast. The first weekend of March celebrates the Sproat Loggers salmon fishing derby. This year the popular derby which has had close to 400 entrants in past years takes place on March 5th and 6th. The derby is hosted out of Poett Nook located at the far end of the Bamfield Wall in Sarita Bay.
March also welcomes the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. This festival takes place from March 12th to 27th and celebrates the official kickoff to the beginning of the Whale watching season. The vast area of Vancouver Island’s coastal waters between Ucluelet and Tofino witness the migration of over twenty thousand Gray Whales as they make their thirteen thousand kilometre journey from Mexicos Baja Peninsula to the Bering Sea. This event began twenty-nine years ago. The Pacific Rim celebration has many daily events that people of all ages can enjoy. Many events are free and some do have a very minimal charge. One of the biggest features is the Chowder Chowdown which takes place in the Ucluelet Community Centre on Sunday March 20th. Two other spectacular features are the Sweet Indulgence all you can eat dessert and the Blues Concert which takes place at the spectacular Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet. Spring is the beginning of new things and is also the beginning of a spectacular sport salmon saltwater fishing season.
Those people looking forward to salmon sport fishing this summer in British Columbia will again be pleased to hear that the fishing opportunities in many of the more ideal locations will have some fabulous salmon fishing in 2016. Vancouver Islands Pacific Rim area will boast some of British Columbia’s best salmon fishing. The summer of 2015 saw record numbers of sockeye return to the Somass River located in Port Alberni. The migratory flow of Chinook salmon that swam the west coast of Vancouver Island heading to various watersheds to the south stayed close to the beach and created a fantastic inshore sport fishing season. The Chinook Migration also created some very good fishing out on the sandy banks in offshore waters. Many Chinook came into the vast coastlines, various inlets, and sounds to feed on the rich resources of bait fish found along the surfline of Barkley Sound. The migratory flow of Chinook salmon in 2016 is expected to be relatively strong. West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook are expected to be in very good numbers with the average age class at four years.
Sockeye returns coming into Barkley Sound and returning to the Somass River system are again expected to be just a little above average for the 2016 summer sport fishing season. One can only hope for the same return as 2015 when well over two million Sockeye salmon migrated into the system. The early Sockeye return to the Somass River often begins in mid May. Sport fishing for these number one commercial salmon in the Port Alberni Inlet usually is well underway by the 15th of June with the peak of the season occurring the second or third week of July. Henderson River Sockeye which are often bigger than the Somass River stock begin to show in the middle of July and often swim as far up the Alberni Inlet to Nahmint Bay before turning back to the mouth of the Kildonan Inlet and the Henderson River.
Chinook and Coho returns to the Somass-Stamp River system should be better than average. The Robertson Creek Chinook return is looking better than last year but numbers have not yet been fully discussed or publicized.
The early Chinook Salmon which are migrating down the Vancouver Island coastline often appear in April and actually go through three very different runs know as early summer, mid summer, and late summer. The Coho appear in early July and from mid July through September will keep west coast sport fishermen busy during their daily fishing excursions.
Robert of Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing with guests from Idaho show
their Alberni Inlet Sockeye Salmon landed in June of 2015. We are hoping
the 2016 season is as remarkable
Port Alberni Inlet
Sport fishing in the Alberni Inlet is very quiet during the winter. Prawn sport fishing is closed in the Alberni Inlet although it is available in some Barkley Sound locations. The Sockeye salmon season which begins in June will re-awake the Inlet this summer. Sockeye Salmon fishing in the Port Alberni Inlet is really a family adventure and can be fun for all from the age of four to ninety-four. Barkley Sound is fishable year round due to the protective waters on the east and west coastlines of the Sound. Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound and the Bamfield area has been off and on. Some good feeder Chinook fishing has occurred along the Bamfield Wall with a few Chinook landed up to fifteen pounds. There has also been some Herring spawn which has produced a few good salmon fishing days in Tseshart and Peacock Channels. Lyle Point and Mayne Bay have had some good days with Winter Chinook averaging ten to twelve pounds.
Swale Rock and Vernon Bay have been hit and miss as has Pill Point and Diplock to this date. Winter Chinook fishing along the Bamfield Wall and especially the inside of the Bamfield Harbor mouth have also had some good days. In most of the selected Barkley Sound sport fishing areas the fish are in one hundred to one hundred and forty feet of water.
Coho salmon fishing in Barkley Sound in August and September is often spectacular
The Sproat Lake Loggers Derby is closing in and is only a few days away. This years’ derby takes place on March 5th and 6th with derby headquarters at Poett Nook. Cost per entry in past years has been $15 to $20. Ticket sales have been at Gone Fishing and Port Boat House which are both located in Port Alberni. If you are planning on fishing the Sproat Lake Derby or just coming fishing for Winter Chinook over the next six to eight weeks remember to fish deep and if using hootchies slightly lengthen up on your leader length. Summer lengths are ofter forty-two inches if behind a flasher. During the late winter and early spring forty-four to forty-six inches is not a bad length. Coyote spoons in three and a half or four inch are also good. Three and a half inch seems to work better with smaller bait especially at this time of year. Cop Car, Irish Cream, silver hordes, green glow and Blue or Green Nickel are great choices. It is never a bad idea to also have bait (anchovy) on board ones sport fishing boat. Usually the feeders are where there is bait. So it is important to find the bait balls. The fishing in Barkley Sound through March, April, and May should really pick up as the feeder Chinook move in with the herring spawn and the early summer run of Chinook make their way to southern watersheds and come into the Sound to rest and feed on the rich resources of bait fish. By late June and into the month of July the Sound should fill up with the summer run of Chinook and Coho which hopefully will once again be in very big numbers.
Those daring to fish the waters of Ucluelet during the late winter have had some success relatively close to the Ucluelet Harbor. There has been some beautiful winter afternoons and mornings with a few sporties salmon fishing the Alley, Mara Rock, Sail Rock, and Great Bear. There have been some nice feeders amongst the bait fish. Great Bear is often the best spot. As mentioned, there are some very nice days on the open Pacific during the winter months. Ucluelet does have a great location as boats can go up Peacock Channel and fish in the quiet and protected waters of Mayne Bay, Lyle Point, or Swale Rock. All of these locations over the years have had some great fishing in March and April. We are expecting some great feeder Chinook fishing right through April and even the first half of May. The early summer run of salmon headed to watersheds to the south should begin to show by mid April which should be the beginning of another fabulous summer of fishing for 2016.
Sid with great Chinook salmon landed along the Bamfield Wall
Remember the west coast has plenty of activities during the early spring. The Pacific Rim Whale Festival begins March 12th and continues until March 27th in Ucluelet and Tofino. It is the beginning of another saltwater summer fishing season. Plan early and enjoy the 2016 salmon sport fishing season in all Pacific Rim areas.