BC’s West Coast including Bamfield, Ucluelet, and Tofino boasts some of the areas best Halibut and Chinook fishing in May, June, and July. Halibut arrive from the deep water, and feed on herring and sardines in the shallows of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Chinook and Coho are often swimming to more southerly waters, but stay in the local area to feed on the abundant amounts of baitfish.
Halibut is probably the most prized game and food fish. Sport fisherman use large rods and reels with line weights from 80 to 150 pound test, and often bait with herring, large jigs, or even whole salmon heads. Halibut are very strong, thus in both commercial and sport fisheries large halibut (over 50 to 100 pounds (20 to 50 kg)) are often shot or otherwise subdued before they are brought onto the boat. Halibut are typically broiled, deep fat fried or lightly grilled while fresh. The filets can also be smoked but this method is more difficult with halibut meat than it is with salmon, due to the ultra-low fat content of halibut. Eaten fresh, the meat has a very clean taste and requires little seasoning.
Being strong swimmers, halibut are able to eat a large variety of fishes (cod, turbot, pollock) plus some invertebrates such as crab and shrimp. Sometimes halibut leave the ocean bottom to feed on pelagic fish such as sand lance and herring.
The average weight for our halibut is around 15-20 pounds (7-10 kg) with an occasional fish weighing in at around 50 pounds (23 kg). Our daily bag limit is 1 fish per person per day.