Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Trips

Many people go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after; the peace you can find during fishing is rare. Vancouver Island has many magnificent spots for fishing where you can experience unique trips.

 Salmon Fishing on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island, the largest and greatest island on the Pacific Coast of North America, with both salt and freshwater fishing, is a tourism front-runner for anglers and visitors from around the globe. Vancouver Island has a hundred miles of shorelines and tons of places like lakes and rivers besides the pacific ocean to go 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. Sport fisherman from around the world is drawn by the allure of massive Chinook (King) salmon regularly caught in our waters. Sockeye salmon, Chum salmon, Kokanee salmon, Coho salmon and Pink Salmon are the other popular salmon species that you can find on Vancouver Island.  Saltwater salmon fishing on Vancouver Island is famous for good reason. The nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Vancouver Island attract small baitfish, which in turn attract hundreds of thousands of salmon each year. Every year starting in the middle of May, an annual mass migration of Chinook salmons on their way to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and they feed on herring and other baitfish along the way. The fishing season ran from late April and continued to October. A vast network of roads and ferries to the mainland make getting around Vancouver Island very easy. Anglers with their own boats have lots of options here, as do travellers searching to book a day or two of fishing.

Salmon Habitat on Vancouver Island

Salmons are considered "anadromous," which means they live in both freshwater and saltwater. They are born in freshwater, spend a few months to a few years, depending on their species, and then move out to the ocean. When it's time to spawn, they head back to freshwater again. Salmon mostly feed on amphipods, terrestrial and aquatic insects, and other crustaceans while young and primarily on other fish when older. Salmon foods are mainly provided from freshwater streams and estuaries. These fantastic creatures play an important role in the waters of B.C. and Vancouver Island; they carry nutrients from the streams to the ocean and back again and fertilize much of B.C.'s forest ecosystems. We can call them biosensors of the ecosystem; their health is an indicator of general ecosystem health.

Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Guides

The Best Salmon Fishing Spots on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is the home of some of the best-known salmon fishing spots, such as Campbell River, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Hardy, Port Alberni, Sooke and many other amazing fishing destinations. You can check the hot spot fishing destinations for each species with complete information about the area, fishing season, fishing regulations and fishing trip rates in your chosen area.

The Best Time for Salmon Fishing on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island fishing is famous in the world, and salmon fishing is one of the reasons that attract anglers and fishing lovers in each fishing season. Salmon can be found almost throughout the year, from the middle of spring to the early autumn.

The Best Bait for Salmon Fishing on Vancouver Island

You have many options to choose but herrings, these small fish, can attract salmon even from a long distance. Salmon eggs, or Salmon roe, are rich in essential nutrients so that most young salmon have it in their diets and are considered excellent fishing bait. You can also combine two baits to have an effective attraction of salmon with the use of trout bait and salmon eggs together. Shrimp which is a part of their natural diet too, is a popular bait, especially for chinook salmon. Remember that fresh and healthy Salmon eggs do not flow on the water.

Some of the Best Salmon Fishing Spots on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Season Calendar

Vancouver Island Chinook Salmon Fishing Season

Chinook Salmon Fishing Season

Vancouver Island Sockeye Salmon Fishing Season

Sockeye Salmon Fishing Season

Vancouver Island Coho Salmon Fishing Season

Coho Salmon Fishing Season

Vancouver Island Chum Salmon Fishing Season

Chum Salmon Fishing Season

Vancouver Island Pink Salmon Fishing Season

Pink Salmon Fishing Season

Vancouver Island Kokanee Salmon Fishing Season

Kokanee Salmon Fishing Season

Fishing for Salmon Species on Vancouver Island

Chinook Salmon Fishing

Chinook salmon, which is known as King salmon, and Tyee is the most consistent salmon species on Vancouver Island and the surrounding areas. The average size of Chinook Salmon is around18-40lbs. With several healthy and productive river systems on Vancouver Island, there are generally solid numbers of large chinook available to the local angler.
✅ Average Length: 60-90 cm (24-36 in)
✅ Mouth: Dark with black gums; large, sharp teeth
✅ Tail: V-shaped, silvery; spots on both lobes ✅ Fresh Water Signs: Body turns olive-brown to black ✅ Other Features: Large spots on back

Chum Salmon Fishing

Chum Salmon or Dog Salmon, which is very aggressive in freshwater, attracts anglers to the great fly fishing challenge, especially in the rivers. Chums are most distinguishable by the large and distinct dark purple vertical bars along their sides when close to spawning. 
✅ Average Length: around 60 cm (24 in) ✅ Mouth: White, tongue may be black; large teeth ✅ Tail: No spots, silver  streaks covering about half of tail; narrow tail base ✅ Fresh Water Signs: Vertical bands on sides, may be reddish-purple on male ✅ Other Features: No spots on back or tail; possible faint vertical bars on silverfish; white tip on the anal fin

Sockeye Salmon Fishing

Sockeye Salmon are best-known for delicious tasting and excellent eating salmon. This kind of salmon has both kinds of saltwater and freshwater on Vancouver Island; you may hear the name of red salmon, which is the other name of sockeye salmon.
✅ Average Length: 60-80 cm (24-32 in) ✅ Mouth: White with white gum line; small teeth ✅ Tail: Moderately forked; no spots ✅ Fresh Water Signs: Greenish head, red body ✅ Other Features: No spots on back or tail; prominent, glassy eyes

Coho Salmon Fishing

Coho salmon known as silver salmon too, with an average size of 10-20lbs, has reddish-orange meat and has been popular as one of the rich and best-tasting species of salmon. Although Coho salmon costs less than King salmon and Sockeye salmon, its quality is still quite high. Coho is considered a medium fatty salmon that you can find in Campbell River, Tofino, Port Alberni and Bamfield; they also count as the most popular game fish of the salmon family.
✅Average Length: 50-60 cm (20-24 in) ✅Mouth: White, may have a black edge, white gums; sharp, medium-sized teeth ✅Tail: Square, silver; some spots, usually on upper lobe; wide tail base ✅Fresh Water Signs: Greenish black head, red body ✅Other Features: Spots on the upper part of the body

Pink Salmon Fishing

Pink salmon, also known as Humpback salmon and Humpies, is considered the smallest Salmon species with an average size of 3-10lbs. Pink salmon are recurring two-year cycles in great abundance, with numbers peaking in the odd-numbered years on the Pacific area of Vancouver Island and the southern half of British Columbia's coastal waters. 
✅ Average Length: 50-63 cm (20-25 in) ✅ Mouth: White with black gums; in marine areas, almost no teeth Tail: V-shaped, no silver; large oval spots on both lobes ✅ Fresh Water Signs: Pronounced hump on male ✅ Other Features: Large spots on back; smallest species

Kokanee Salmon Fishing

The kokanee salmon are also known as kokanee trout, silver trout and little redfish. They so look like sockeye salmon but because they never migrate out to the ocean(non-anadromous) for feed they often are much smaller than sockeye salmon. The average size of kokanee salmon is around 0.45 kg(1 lb).
✅ Average Length:23–30 centimetres (9–12 in) ✅ Mouth: ✅ Tail: Deeply forked tail ✅ Freshwater signs: Bright red body with a green and black head ✅ Other Features: Finer scales, no distinct black spots on sides, large eyes

Salmon Fishing Techniques on Vancouver Island

Generally, the difference between the type of fishing methods is not really obvious, and they differ in small details. Depending on where you choose to fish and what fishing gadgets and types of equipment you use you use; there are some fishing divisions like the inshore and offshore, rock fishing; also, you can fish on a kayak, canoe, or boat.

Botttom Fishing for Salmon

Bottom fishing is one of the popular ways for salmon fishing, 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. Bucktail jig and some natural lures use in this method and they will drag along the bottom.

Spin Casting for Salmon

Spin fishing is an angling technique that uses a spinning lure to entice salmon to bite. The method is widely used and is a favourite among sport fishermen. Spin fishing for salmon is popular in both freshwater and saltwater environments, such as lakes and rivers. The type of rod and reel used distinguishes spin fishing from fly fishing and bait cast fishing.

Drift Fishing for Salmon

Drift fishing is a great salmon fishing technique that can be used in any body of water, from lakes, rivers and streams to the deep ocean offshore. The idea is to let the current carry your bait and, allowing your bait to pass through the fishing grounds with ease. Although the boat motion will move the bait through the water, we use some weight to get the lures down. When done correctly, this technique has the potential to bring you everything from salmon and trout to tuna.

Float Fishing for Salmon

Float fishing is an exciting method that can be used to catch a wide variety of fish species from salmon, halibut to bass around Vancouver Island. This method of salmon fishing involves hanging a bait in mid-water underneath afloat, and when the float dip under the surface you should know that fish took the bait. Since no terminal tackle is in contact with the seabed, float fishing allows rocky and snaggy marks to be fished with little risk of snagging.

Trolling Casting for Salmon

Trolling is one of the popular and easiest ways to catch salmon. Trolling involves moving the boat between 2-3 knots. Lures are set at the best-calculated depths to utilize the boat's action and cause a salmon to strike.

Fly Fishing for Salmon

Fly fishing is the oldest but very popular salmon fishing method among recreational anglers and also one of the easiest ways to catch salmon. It can be done for any freshwater or saltwater fish species. A lightweight lure(an artificial fly), reel, cast using a fly rod, and specialized weighted line are used in this method.

Mooching Fishing for Salmon

Mooching is one of the best ways to catch salmon, especially in saltwater. Mooching is a fishing technique invented in the 1920s by Japanese fishermen in Seattle's Elliott Bay. The goal of mooching is to use a natural presentation to get the bait (a cut plug herring) down to the salmon.

Protected Fish Species on Vancouver Island

According to the Government of Canada, if you catch any of the Aquatic species listed under the Species at Risk Act and protected by the Fisheries Act, you should immediately remove the hook from it and releasing where you catch it. If the fish is deeply hooked, hooked around the gills, or bleeding, you should improve its chances for survival by cutting the leader as close to the hook’s eye as possible and releasing it with the hook left in.

Limited Fishing Areas on Vancouver Island

• Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
 • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
 • Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Fish Species on Vancouver Island

Know Vancouver Island fish species to choose the best place for angling, and all you need to know before fishing on this spectacular island!

 Salmon Fishing Regulations on Vancouver Island

Effective fishing regulations can be a key factor component of healthful fisheries. It contains information about open seasons, recreational fishing licences, fishing methods, and catch limits, as well as up-to-date fishing regulations for diverse fishing areas.
All anglers interested in salmon should check the Management of Salmon Fisheries in B.C for bait selection, gear selection, required licences and any other regulations for salmon fishing. Before planning your fishing trip, you must check the updated information and know the limited fishing areas.

• Using a fishing line to which more than one artificial fly is attached (i.e., to use “dropper flies”) is forbidden. • Using light in any way to attract fish except the light is submerged and attached to the fishing line within 1 m of the hook is unlawful. • It is forbidden to fish with nets, including minnow nets, dip nets, cast nets, or gill nets. • Using barbed hooks or any hook with more than one point in all rivers, streams, creeks, or sloughs in B.C is prohibited. (Although the use of barbed hooks in lakes is allowed except the one noted in the Regional Water-Specific  Regulations Tables).

Fishing Tips on Vancouver Island

• Keep boat launch areas clear to give all boaters equal access. Prepare your boat for launching away from the ramp to avoid creating unnecessary delays. • Don't try boating and alcohol. You will need your complete reflexes to keep you, your boat, and other stream users safe. It's unlawful to operate a boat while impaired. • Limit your speed (particularly when getting into corners) to keep away from collisions with other boaters, anglers, swimmers, and hidden obstacles. Respect the Universal Shoreline Speed Restriction of 10 within 30 metres of the shore. • Be careful when boating at dawn and dusk and in other conditions of limited light or visibility. • Refrain from running your boat through water being fished by way of others. Go slowly or drift by anglers along the shoreline. Be considerate of others. • Avoid sensitive habitats such as spawning areas, shallow water, and wildlife nesting or foraging areas. • Give animals crossing the river the space and time to do so. It's unlawful to harass wildlife with a boat. • Pack out your garbage. Old fishing lines, litter, fuel, and oil damage fish habitats, endanger aquatic life and reduce water quality. Generally, the difference between the type of fishing methods is not really obvious, and they differ in small details. Depending on where you choose to fish and what fishing gadgets and types of equipment you use; there are some fishing divisions like the inshore and offshore, rock fishing; also, you can fish on a kayak, canoe, or boat.

Customized Fishing/Crabbing Trip on Vancouver Island

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Salmon Fishing
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Redrock Crab
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Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Common Question

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