Area Report: Port Alberni and Pacific Rim
Written by Doug Lindores Winter 2023 Report
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
It is a new year and new sport fishing opportunities will be with us in 2023. This year will see the “return” of the Sproat Loggers Winter Spring Derby. Organizers for year Thirty-Three of this popular winter derby have sent out brochures and much needed information for the many sport fishers that year after year have looked forward to this event. The Derby headquarters is again at Poet Nook. The derby fishing hours are during daylight hours of March 4th and 5th 2023 with the final weigh in at noon on Sunday March 5th. All derby tickets can be purchased at Port Boat House, Gone Fishin, Breakers Marine, and Poett Nook. This year’s top prizes are an Islander Reel, an 1106 Scotty down rigger, and a 2.5 hp. Motor. This derby has been known to be the true beginning of the new Salt Water sport fishing season.
The winter weather on the West Coast in late January and the first few days of February were fabulous. In many west coast areas, the sun had been glorious with some warmth coming from it. Bamfield and Ucluelet were especially beautiful with bright warm winter afternoons. More of these days are coming as we approach spring. There have been some productive fishing days for feeder Chinook close to Bamfield and the islands outside the Ucluelet Harbor mouth.
February 1st marked the opening day for Recreational Halibut. The Halibut can be found in many Barkley Sound and Ucluelet areas as the halibut migrate from the deep water to spawn in the inside waters. Many recreational fishermen land some beautiful halibut outside the Bamfield Harbor Mouth right up to the green whistle Buoy. The Herring spawn will often occur later in February or into early March. Often Toqourt Bay up to Salmon Beach is an unbelievable area to watch this spawn with the naked eye. The Alberni Inlet is a great area for sport prawn fishing and historically opens on the 1st of April with expected open and closure dates. Ling and Rock fish openings are normally the first or fifteenth of April.
The spring, summer, and fall are looking favorable for Chinook and Coho fishing in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet. More information and data on Port Alberni Inlet Sockeye fishing will be available by mid-April.
In 2023 there should be some excellent sport fishing in many Barkley Sound spots out to the surf-line as salmon returns to the big watersheds to the south are expecting excellent returns of Chinook and Coho. These fish run down the coast of Vancouver Island and come into Barkley Sound and outside the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth and feed on the rich quantities of bait fish. One of the biggest watersheds is the Columbia River which has three major tributaries in the Kalama, Willamette, and Cowlitz. Big runs of Chinook, Coho and Chum come into these systems. The Sacramento is another large system which has fantastic salmon returns. These returning salmon migrate along the coast line of British Columbia and create wonderful sport fishing from May through September. In Later March and April many of these migratory salmon begin to appear in Barkley Sound.
Winter Chinook fishing in areas of Barkley Sound have seen some salmon landed in the six-to-nine-pound range in sixty to one hundred and thirty feet of water. A variety of spoons, needle fish, or hootchies in green colors are working best. The Bamfield Harbor, Scotch Bay, the Whistle Buoy, and Fleming Island (Sanford) are often fantastic winter and early spring locations to sport fish. In Nahmint there have been winter chinook right at the back of the bay.
The new year should be a positive experience for all sport fishers. The sport fishing season will certainly give many individuals something very “positive” to look forward to. The 2023 sport fishing outlook is “Good News”.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
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