With the King Salmon fishery closing early in Alaska this year, tons of avid fishermen with only tyees on their mind (30lbs+ king salmon) needed to find a destination to catch their limits. At the end of the day, there was only one real option – Vancouver Island. In fact, certain destinations on Vancouver Island are quickly gaining a reputation for great chinook salmon fishing, and halibut fishing that has begun to rival even Alaska’s top-rating as a fishing destination. Sound impossible? Considering the waters stayed open all season for Chinook, perhaps not. Here are some reasons to consider Vancouver Island for your next fishing destination.
Aside from great chinook (king) salmon fishing, there are a number of other types of fish to catch in Vancouver Island’s waters. From halibut and lingcod, to the also desired Coho salmon, you can see both runs come through in strong numbers. While Coho are a bit smaller in size, they’re still great eating salmon and put up a fun and fast fight on the rod.
There are so many different areas to fish on Vancouver Island. That means that if you choose wisely, you’ll be able to go offshore for miles, or stay inside more sheltered areas to try to prevent sea sickness. On stormier days especially, having a sheltered fish-catching area means you can still get out there and fish your heart out.
Multiple river ways feed into the waters surrounding Vancouver Island. Ucluelet and Barkley Sound, for example, have two rivers that feed into it, creating a salmon run substantially larger than Alaska’s. Isn’t Alaska supposed to have tons of salmon? According to records for 2017, the Yukon River predicted less than 100,000 Chinook to run. Meanwhile, Ucluelet’s main resource predicted 700,000 – and then there’s another source to add!
The Island sees substantially more mild weather than Alaska. That means more days out on the water because you’re not blown back in, and the swell is manageable. The summer especially can be downright pleasant with minimal rain, and a calm ocean topped with a blue sky/
While some areas experience a two-week period of time where fishing is hot, Vancouver Island has a seemingly endless season. Because of the number of areas to go fish, the types of fishing you can do and its excellent sources and mild weather, you can catch fish from as early as March, straight through to October.
Vancouver Island is incredibly accessible. Rather than trek all the way up North, you just need to hop on a flight! Even the most highly rated areas for fishing on Vancouver Island involve a scenic drive, or another quick hop over. Not only will you have the chance to explore world famous destinations like Victoria and Tofino, but you’ll be filling your freezer and taking your prize back home with you much more easily.
While the Canadian dollar is on its way back up, the cost of fishing charters here are still a great deal, especially for those coming over from the States. Plus, without the added cost of getting to a remote lodge or area, the fishing is much more affordable. With some charters like www.salmoneye.net, you can choose between long packages, or single days and afternoons of fishing – whatever fits your budget best. When you’re not traveling a huge distance just to go fishing, you can pick and choose an itinerary that works best for you.
Lots of Activities
There is so much to do on Vancouver Island. If you’re bringing along someone that doesn’t want to go fishing, you can rest easy knowing there are plenty of other things to keep them busy. Victoria is an urban hub of activity with tons of sights to see and shopping to be had. Ucluelet and Tofino are riddled with hiking trails and stunning beaches, and Campbell River is the same. From days on the water whale watching, bear watching, kayaking, surfing of SUP boarding, you can both convene back at the hotel at the end of the day happy with your activities.
So, before you click purchase on those plane tickets to Alaska, fit with the price tag of a fishing resort’s stay, check out Vancouver Island. Just don’t be surprised if it wins your heart over as the next fishing destination on your list.
For info on fishing and more about Vancouver Island, you can start here: www.discovervancouverisland.com/things-to-do/fishing
To check out one of the top fishing destinations on Vancouver Island, visit www.ucluelet-info.com/fishing-charters-ucluelet-bc and read this article about how it stands up to fishing in Alaska: http://www.salmoneye.net/site/fishing-with-us/ucluelet-fishing-vs-alaska.html