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Fishing on Vancouver Island

Fishing is one of the unique things to do with friends and family. It lets you play with nature as well as enjoy catching these spectacular fish species in some of the most beautiful areas in the world. If you're looking for amazing fishing spots, and a community absolutely obsessed with fishing, then look no further than Vancouver Island.

 The island is not only the gateway to the rich waterways like Queen Charlotte Sound, Straits of Georgia, Johnstone Strait, and cities like Campbell River, Tofino, Sooke and Port Renfrew renowned for their fishing, but it has everything an angler wishes to find.
From great moorage, different types of fishing trips, and expert fishing outfitters, you'll be well catered for as you explore the sparkling blue waters and reefs amidst some of the world's best fishing grounds.

 Nearly 10,000 lakes, more than 200 rivers, lots of bays and streams and hundreds of miles of shorelines on Vancouver Island allow you to choose where and when do you want to fish? and How do you want to fish?.
Thanks to the weather, you'll find good fishing opportunities on Vancouver Island almost all of the year, so head on out next time you get a few spare days.
Freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, deep-sea fishing, river fishing, lake fishing, canoe fishing and kayak fishing are all available on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Fish Species

Anglers from all over the world travel to Vancouver Island to fish there and there are good reasons for that.
Vancouver Island has a great bank of fish species and is home to huge species like white sturgeon and pacific halibut.
The Wilderness nature of the island invites fishermen of all ages to have new experiences of fishing.
The untamed water of Vancouver Island covers a wide variety of native and non-native fish species such as Salmon, Trout, Tuna, Yellow Perch and Bass.
Also, you can enjoy watching the migration of these species from different water bodies of Vancouver Island.

Vanisle Fishers / Fishing / salmon fishing
Salmon Fishing

Salmon Fishing

The island is the home of the city known as the Salmon Capital of the world; Campbell River is the most popular spot for salmon fishing in the north of Vancouver Island and also in the world.

Yellow Perch Fishing

Yellow Perch Fishing

Yellow perch is one of the easiest fish species to be caught, making it ideal for family fishing outings. It can catch in all seasons and tastes delicious, therefore, it is a popular sport fish in Vancouver Island's freshwaters.

Best Fishing Spots on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island has many excellent freshwater and salt water fishing spots for beginners or skilled ones, for inshore fishing lovers or offshore fishing lovers, here on Vancouver Island and around that, you can find any fishing destination that you like to catch fish there. We named some of the best fishing locations on Vancouver Island below. Fishing in these spots is popular among anglers.

•Fishing in Campbell River 
• Fishing in Port Hardy 
• Fishing in Port Alberni 
• Fishing in Winter Harbour
• Fishing in Tofino
• Fishing in Port Renfrew 
• Fishing in Nootka Sound
• Fishing in Ucluelet 
• Fishing Sooke  
• Fishing in Kyuquot Sound
• Fishing in Esperanza Inlet
• Fishing in Cowichan Lake
• Fishing in Shawnigan Lake
• Fishing in Telegraph Cove
• Fishing in Comox
• Fishing in Port McNeil

Top 10 Rivers for Fishing on Vancouver Island

1. Fishing in Cowichan River 
2. Fishing in Campbell River
3. Fishing in Stamp River
4. Fishing in Big Qualicum River
5. Fishing in Elk River
6. Fishing in Salmon River
7. Fishing in Gold River
8. Fishing in Englishman River
9. Fishing in Nimpkish River
10. Fishing in Oyster River

The Best Bays for Fishing on Vancouver Island

•Fishing in KelsayBay 
• Fishing in Oak Bay 
• Fishing in Buckley Bay 
• Fishing in Gonzales Bay
• Fishing in Galiano Bay
• Fishing in Nesook Bay 
• Fishing in Florencia Bay
• Fishing in Fanny Bay 

Top 10 Lakes for Fishing on Vancouver Islnad

1. Fishing in Elk Lake
2. Fishing in Beaver Lake
3. Fishing in Green Lake
4. Fishing in Spider Lake
5. Fishing in Langford Lake
6. Fishing in Thetis Lake
7. Fishing in Colliery Dam Lower Lake
8. Fishing in Westwood Lake
9. Fishing in Chemainus Lake
10. Fishing in Loon Lake

Top 10 Fly-Fishing Lakes on Vancouver Island

1. Fishing in Maple Lake
2. Fishing in Spider Lake
3. Fishing Mary Lake
4. Fishing in Antler Lake
5. Fishing in Beavertail Lake
6. Fishing in Cowichan Lake
7. Fishing in Nahmint Lake
8. Fishing in Fuller Lake
9. Fishing in Crabapple Lake
10. Fishing in Spectacle Lake

Fishing Season on Vancouver Island

If you looking for a time that you can experience fishing all types of fish summer is the best time you can visit Vancouver Island and enjoy great fishing in addition to pleasant weather conditions although fishing is available almost year around.
Fishing in June, July, August and September has so many enthusiasts and is considered the best time for fishing on Vancouver Island.

Types of Fishing Methods and Techniques on Vancouver Island

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is the oldest but most popular fishing method among recreational anglers. A lightweight lure(an artificial fly), reel, cast using a fly rod, and specialized weighted line are used in this method.

Float Fishing

Float fishing is a method for catching a wide variety of fish species that involves hanging a bait in mid-water underneath afloat, and when the float dip under the surface means that fish took the bait.


Drift Fishing

Drift fishing is an excellent technique that can be used in any body of water, from small lakes to deep-sea fishing; you will let the current carry your bait, allowing it to easily pass through the fishing grounds.

Mooching Fishing

Mooching is one of the best fishing methods, especially in saltwater.
The goal of mooching is to use a natural presentation to get the bait (a cut plug herring) down to the fish.

Botttom Fishing

Bottom fishing is one of the popular fishing techniques, particularly in rivers. It is an excellent way to attract and locate different fish species during the fishing season and most time of the day.

Trolling Casting

Trolling is one of the easiest ways of fishing. That involves moving the boat between 2-3 knots. Lures are set at optimal depths to take advantage of the boat's action and entice a fish to strike.


Spin Casting

Spin fishing is an angling technique where a spinning lure is used to entice the fish to bite. The type of rod and reel used distinguishes spin fishing from fly fishing and bait cast fishing.

Jigging Fishing

Jigging takes its name from the popular lure that uses in this type of fishing. In this method, you pop the rod tip up quickly and move the lure(jig) vertically in the water.

Bobber Fishing

Bobber fishing or float fishing is actually back to the equipment that uses in this method. We use a bobber, cork, or similar floating device in this technique to suspend your hook at a specific depth in the water column.

Limited Fishing Areas on Vancouver Island

• Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
• Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
• Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
• Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve
• Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve
• Robson Bight Ecological Reserve
• Bowser Ecological Reserve
 • Cleland Island Ecological Reserve
• Clanninick Creek Ecological Reserve
 • Claud Elliott Creek Ecological Reserve
 • Hənʎəmdᶻi Məkola/Yorke Island Conservancy
• Baikie Island Nature Preserve
 • Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve
• Baeria Rocks Ecological Reserve
 • Honeymoon Bay Ecological Reserve
• Yellow Point Bog Ecological Reserve
• Canoe Islets Ecological Reserve
• Ballingall Islets Ecological Reserve
 • Mount Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve
 • Trial Islands Ecological Reserve
 • Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
• Zeballos Lake
• Macktush Creek
 • Craigflower Creek
• Tsolum River
• Hemmingsen Creek
 • Consort Creek
• Thelwood Creek
• Healy Lake
• Colquitz River
• Tlools Lake
• Hawarth Lake
• Claud Elliott Creek
• Nola Lake
• Haslam Creek
• Catherine Creek
• Myra Lake
• Goldstream River
• Carnation Creek
• Miller Creek
• Cruickshank River
• Browns River

Angling Safety in Bear Country

Bears are found throughout Vancouver Island., especially near streams. Black bears and grizzlies have a keen sense of smell, which may attract them to bait, freshly-caught fish, fish guts and spawning grounds. Here are some simple precautions to help you keep away from bear encounters and conflicts, Of course, if you are not interested to attract and hunting them.
 • Dispose of fish guts at the exact location to catch the fish. Puncture the bladder and drop the guts into the deep or speeding water, well away from heavily used shoreline areas. Avoid disposal in shallow water or where the guts are probably to wash up on a beach or boat launch. Burial or burning the guts is not recommended; also, please do not place guts in garbage receptacles.
 • Do not wipe your hands on your clothing after handling fish or bait such as fish eggs or after cleaning fish.
• Bears can be drawn to many types of food –fish and bait and groceries or garbage. Take precautions while fishing and always keep fish eggs in well-sealed and protected containers.
 • Make your presence known by talking loudly or making noise, particularly along streams and in areas with signs of bear activity like tracks, droppings, or claw or bite marks on trees).
• If a bear nears within 50 metres (or 100 metres for a female with cubs) while you’re fishing, reel in or cut your line and leave the area quickly.

Vancouver Island Fishing Common Question

Salmon, Halibut, Trout, Tuna and bass are the most common fish on Vancouver Island.
In addition to the Pacific Ocean, there are many rivers, lakes, ports, and water bodies or around Vancouver Island to experience excellent fishing trips.
There are many great spots for fishing on Vancouver Island, but Campbell River, Tofino, Port Renfrew, Port Alberni, and Sooke can be named as the best of them.
Fly-fishing, trolling, bait casting and drift fishing are the best and most popular fishing methods that can be used in both freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing. Still fishing or bottom fishing are the other names of bait fishing, the oldest and the most usable method among anglers.
As a beginner, you should pick a multi-purpose combo set that allows you to fish with both bait and lures. A spinning reel is the best choice for beginners when it comes to reels.
Rod, reel, hooks and proper bait are essential things that you need for fishing.
There are many choices for choosing proper fishing bait, worms, shrimp, salmon eggs and grasshoppers are considered as the best baits for fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.
Sportfishing, like any other type of fishing, involves the use of hooks, fishing rods, or reels.
The rising or flooding tide is a more suitable time to fish than low or high tide because the movement of the water is considered one of the best fishing tide times.
Rich waters of Juan de Fuca Strait, Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet, Port Renfrew and Ucluelet have the best areas for deep-sea fishing on Vancouver Island.
Yes, most saltwater anglers prefer deep-sea fishing in coastal waters because there are dozens of different fish species found there, and these areas are often very easy to access.
Yes, you can fish from a regular kayak but if enjoy it and decided to continue it, you can improve other equipment for your kayak.
Beginners may struggle with that, but efficient kayak angling, like the one-handed cast, needs skill in handling a paddle with one hand. Paddling a kayak with two hands is simple for even inexperienced anglers.
The ideal rod length for kayak fishing totally depends on your fishing methods, if you stand to fish 7-7.5'rod is the best size for you and if you sit and fish 6-7'rod size is the standard size to do kayak fishing.
Yes, you can use the canoe for fishing and is one of the favourites methods for anglers. Freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as saltwater backcountry estuaries, can all be fished from a canoe.
Canoes give anglers greater mobility and access to more remote, seldom-fished waters. Canoes, on the other hand, are more confining, and it is important to stay centred on the seats when casting, fighting a fish, or landing a fish.
A multipurpose rotomolded or polyethylene recreational canoe is the best canoe for fishing, especially when lake fishing. They are inexpensive, long-lasting, and stable. Recreational canoes are designed with materials that give you the adaptability to fish on different types of waterways. You'll need a river canoe for river fishing, especially if you'll be paddling some small rapids. Keep in mind that ocean fishing necessitates speed, strength, and stability. Anglers who use canoes have greater mobility and access to more remote, seldom-fished waters. Canoes, on the other hand, are more confined, and it is critical to remain centred on the seats when casting, fighting, or landing a fish.
The essential gears for fly fishing are included fly rod, fly reel, fly fishing lines and of course a few flies.
Vancouver Island is like a heaven for Cowichan River, Elk River, Campbell River, Nimpkish River, Comox and many other rivers and cities that offer some of the best fly fishing grounds.
Share your angling experience or fishing journey on Vancouver Island with us!