Ocean Fishing



British Columbia is widely considered to have the best salmon fishing in the world, but don't spread it around.


It is a diminishing resource so the angling won't last forever unless we all - sport and commercial fishers alike - respect the regulations.


Virtually everywhere on the west coast can have great salmon fishing depending on the time of year. Most anglers troll for salmon, or use live herring and "mooch"- the trolling covers more territory, but you need a flasher with the right lure, or strip, and at the right depth. Two of the popular, locally made lures are the buzzbomb, and the Apex.



Port Alberni - in the centre of Vancouver Island - is at the end of a channel that runs to the west coast. Considered the "salmon capital of the world", you can rent boats, buy tackle and bait almost everywhere, or take a charter.

Campbell River is two hours north of Nanaimo, on the east coast, and is also "the salmon capital of the world" with excellent salmon fishing and all the amenities available.

Nanaimo still has "whoppers" caught outside the harbour and off the north coast of Gabriola Island, and in Northumberland Channel.

Gold River: from the town the west coast is accessed by logging roads, and there are two forest service camps on the ocean, but they are generally busy in Chinook season.

Port McNeill/ Port Hardy on the north of Vancouver Island, these towns are mainly involved in logging and commercial fishing - so yes, it is usually good fishing up there, with fewer tourists. The coho in the north tend to be much larger than ones found in Georgia Strait.Vargos




Powell Riveris two ferry rides north of Vancouver, through majestic country. Powell River is a great getaway from city life, and the salmon fishing is good near town, off Texada Island, and along Harwood Island.

Sunshine Coast summer coho are found at Gower point, and along the peninsular. Pender Harbour gets chinnook in the spring, and is well protected for small craft.

Vancouver the Capilano River mouth from the Lion's gate bridge to West Vancouver is a good -but crowded- fishing spot. Try "the Hole in the Wall" up at Horseshoe Bay for November Chinook.

In the Gulf Islands try Porlier and Active passes between the islands, and Thrasher Rock on Gabriola. The east sides of Galiano and Mayne Islands are productive. Sea bass, greenlings and other bottom fish are abundant.



Bella Colla and nearby islands have tremendous salmon fishing throughout all the inlets and near the mouth of the Bella Coola River. Hakai Recreational Area to the south is a supreme marine wilderness area with trophy sized salmon and large groundfish, but is accessible only by boat or float plane. Wilderness camping and white sandy beaches.

Queen Charlottes: these islands may actually be the best spot to hook the chinook on their way to the BC rivers. Halibut and other ground fish are plentiful. Best bets: Langara Island, Tasu Sound, Curnshawa Inlet.

North Coast: Prince Rupert, and Kitimat also have trophy salmon catches in their coastal environs. Huge halibut are found among the fjords of this coast.


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