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Ocean Fishing
  

THE BEST SALMON FISHING AND HALIBUT FISHING ON VANCOUVER ISLAND BC

With the numerous abundant runs of salmon that pass through this area from May to September, there are always salmon in Barkley Sound! The rock piles inshore start producing in May and continue through September. The offshore reefs and banks literally attract salmon year round. With this unique geography and location, this is the area where the vast majority of migrating schools of Chinook first head inland as they follow the coast down to their home rivers.

 

Chinook (King) Salmon

The Chinook Salmon is the largest and most prized gamefish of the salmon family. They leave their natal streams and spend 3 to 6 years in the North Pacific, many ranging thousands of miles away from where they were hatched. When ready to return to their spawning grounds at maturity, they can weigh from 30 to more than 90 pounds.

The Chinook is distinguished by its lightly spotted blue-green back and a silver tail dotted with round or oval black spots. In BC the Chinook is often referred to as a Spring salmon while American anglers like to call them Kings. Those over 30 pounds are called Tyees.

The Chinook has black gums at the base of its teeth and its mouth is dark. In some areas it's known as "Blackmouth." The tail is generally silver covered with black spots but we do occasionally find them with very silver tails, rimmed with black and with very few spots.

Coho (Silver) Salmon

Coho are notoriously acrobatic, often dancing at the surface and also take well to the artificial fly at the surface for those flyfishing or light tackle enthusiasts.

The Coho come to Barkley sound and Offshore in early June and keep growing in numbers and size until late August. Coho spawn in over half the 1500 streams in BC. After the salmon eggs have hatched in the gravel of stream beds the young coho spend one or two years growing or "rearing" in fresh water. Coho then migrate as "smolts" to the ocean where they spend up to 18 months in the sea before returning to their home streams to spawn.

While most coho return to fresh water as mature adults at three years of age, some mature earlier and migrate to their home streams as "jacks" at only two years of age. At full growth, Coho vary from 4 to 12-pounds, sometimes tipping the scales in the high 20s.

Coho have white gums, black tongues, only a very few spots on the upper portion of their bodies and silver coloured tails.

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon are caught more commonly offshore of Barkley Sound July August and September, a great sportfish for youngsters and are most abundant during odd-numbered years on the west coast.

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye are highly acclaimed as a sushi-grade delicacy and are caught more commonly during June and July in Barkley Sound and The Port Alberni Canal. Just 20 min from the Resort.

Chum Salmon

Although Chum are not commonly targeted off Barkley Sound, they are caught occasionally later in the summer season during July, August and September. Once hooked, these freight trains are exceptional sportfish, often becoming air-born and “tail-walking” at the surface.

Pacific Halibut

The Pacific Halibut can provide plenty of excitement for the sportsfisher. In our waters they range from 10 to 200 pounds and you never know when you might hook up with the latter! Many Barkley Sound anglers catch their limit of Halibut while trolling for salmon. Pacific Halibut can grow to massive sizes – more than 400 pounds – but fish 10 to 50 pounds are much more common.

Halibut begin their life swimming "upright" like most species of fish but when they get to be just over an inch long, their body starts to change. Their left eye begins to migrate over to the right side of their head and their body gradually rolls over to "normalize" in a horizontal aspect. The upper side turns a dark olive grey-green while the lower side turns white. While they do spend much of their time near the ocean floor Halibut will pursue baitfish and move back and forth between the depths and waters as shallow as 25 feet.

Lingcod

Lingcod are an exceptional sport fish not-to-mention great deep-fried as fish and chips! Growing sometimes as large as 100lbs, these “bucket mouths” pull extremely hard and are known to be cannibalistic! You may target these exciting bottom dwellers in Barkley Sound and off shore when the season opens in April through until September.

Rockfish

Rock fish are extremely abundant off the rocky pinnacles in Barkley Sound. A great way for anyone new to fishing to experience a whole variety of fish species taking on such varied colors, shapes and sizes.