May Long Weekend Fishing in Tofino BC
With the long weekend not quite over here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, we have seen quite a mix of weather, and fishing opportunities near Tofino. Rain, Sun, Wind , Calm , Fog and Total Serenity.....you never know what to expect with spring on the west coast.
Fortunately the large tides of last week have passed, and Barometer seems to have stabilized a fair bit so Saltwater Fishing this past week improved dramatically. Salmon fishing has been the main focus for most visiting and local anglers, and a new run of Chinook in the 12-24 lb range have been providing good action. The inshore has increased substantially with Coho activity, but has remained a little slow for Chinook Salmon. Offshore 4-6 miles has been consistent for hard feeding and fighting Salmon on the days where strong winds or big swell has not been a factor. Spoons trolled deep have been the main gear, as well as Anchovies on a 6 foot leader.
Halibut Fishing has been good as well near Tofino, with one of our guide boats finding 6 nice Halibut in semi protected waters yesterday, while the conditions offshore didn't suit the guests. Salmon action at the same spot helped round out a great day!
The week ahead looks fine for fairly stable weather, and our Charter schedule has just enough space to hear from a few new inquires.
Call us Toll Free 1-888-534-7422
April a strong primer for great Tofino BC Fishing in May and beyond
With the first full month of Saltwater fishing now behind us in the Tofino area, the early season buzz around town and on the docks is the saltwater fishing seems as strong as ever. The month of April often provides a varied mix of early season excitement and weather, but this year was a good one to remember and a great one to experience. Over the past month, local and visiting anglers enjoyed numerous days on the water that would rival the peak summer season in more ways than one. Better than average weather conditions with some days easily considered exceptional, and coupled with the very strong fishing for Chinook Salmon and Halibut provided a great primer for the high season ahead. Catches of Chinook Salmon that would easily be considered “better than average” in both size and numbers provides us with an enthusiastic outlook once again, of how the Tofino Sport fishing season should be one of British Columbia’s premier destinations to consider for 2013.
Halibut fishing action has started off similar to April Chinook Salmon, with very good numbers of the popular flatfish caught within 5 miles of the Tofino coastline. New coast-wide Halibut regulations in effect for the 2013 season have not hampered the fishing action and opportunities for Tofino anglers. A new maximum Halibut size limit of 126 cm (approx. 60lbs) will allow anglers to retain some great quality fish, while providing more stability for a full season beyond late summer. A new annual limit for Halibut is also in place, with anglers required to record the length of each fish caught on their license, with a total catch of 6 Halibut per person for the season. Reports continue for a very strong biomass of North Pacific Halibut, so we hope these interim measures will support an even stronger and predictable recreational fishery for Halibut in the future.
More great news on the Salmon front that applies especially well to the Tofino area is the status 4 outlook for Coho Salmon returning to West Coast Vancouver Island streams this summer and fall. Fisheries forecasting is categorized in status one to four, with one being low stocks, and four being considered abundant. This translates into a Coho Salmon fishery that should be “as good as it gets” for light tackle action. The Tofino area offers a Saltwater Fly Fisher’s nirvana on an average year, but the season ahead is primed to be outstanding for Coho Salmon which are considered by many as the finest sport fish of the Salmon family.
With the great news and positive start outlined above, fishing the month of May near Tofino will provide a great landscape for anglers to pursue all local Sport fish species. The offshore action for Chinook and Halibut will turn up another notch or two, the inshore opportunities for Chinook and early season Coho Salmon will increase as the month progresses, and ever present Ling Cod and Rockfish species are always a great option to mix it up. Freshwater action on the semi-remote lakes and streams of the Pacific Rim region also provide a high point for Trout and Steelhead action, on a catch and release basis.
When one combines the very strong outlook for U.S. bound Salmon that commonly supplement our local fisheries, along with increased numbers for late season Salmon, this isn’t a season to wait or ponder...plan to get out there and enjoy one of the great Tofino Fishing opportunities that most only dream about.
Whether you are heading out in your own boat or have interest in a professionally guided charter, a quick call or visit to Tofino Fly & Tackle will be the first step to ensure a successful day on the water. 1-888-534-7422
Tofino B.C. Sport Fishing 2013
Economics and Sustainability working together
When reading recent reports from BC stats about British Columbia’s recreational fishery being worth as much to the provincial economy as commercial fishing, aquaculture and fish processing combined, I am reminded about the strength of Tofino’s Sport fishing opportunities beyond just economics.
The report, the first major economic review of the sector since 2007, estimates overall B.C. fisheries and aquaculture sector revenue at $2.2 billion for 2011 including $936 million contribution from recreational angling. Within the recreational fishery, saltwater activity alike Tofino’s most popular options, accounts for just over half of GDP with the remainder going to angling in lakes and streams. Employment across the entire provincial fisheries sector reached 13,900, 8,400 of which work in recreational fishing.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation, which speaks for a province-wide aggregation of sport fishing organizations, highlighted the data as evidence that both the provincial and federal governments need to give far more weight to the interests of recreational anglers and species such as salmon, halibut and trout when they’re making decisions about fisheries resource management.
When you align the very strong economic factors of recreational fishing that support British Columbia’s robust Tourism Industry, with the unparalleled beauty, accessibility and infrastructure that the Tofino experience offers, it is no wonder why we have become a premier destination of choice for anglers when visiting British Columbia.
Economic stability can be a mute point for the recreational fishing industry if sustainable practises are not wisely juxtaposed with natural conditions that fluctuate and dictate strength of local and regional ecosystems. As mentioned above, it is imperative that the Federal and Provincial Governments combine in support of a better approach to the current and future vision of how these precious resources are managed, while supporting the highest economic output. When one combines this information with the science side of what has been happening in the waters of the Pacific Northwest, the recent past has been good and the future has even stronger potential.
In recent years, favourable ocean conditions have helped create a high biomass of lipid-rich Northern Copepods supporting the base of the food chain, and an above average abundance of winter-time ichthyoplankton- the larval stages of fish prey for Salmon. This further supports the health of outgoing juvenile Salmon from their natal streams in the spring. A prime example of how these positive conditions enhance Tofino’s excellent saltwater fishing opportunities is the very strong outlook for West Coast Vancouver Island Coho Salmon returns in 2013. Coho Salmon provide one of the strongest and most widespread recreational saltwater fishing opportunities in all of B.C., when one considers access to this species and the numbers of fish available to be caught. In comparison to the often larger Chinook salmon, or fishing for Halibut in exposed waters, Coho Salmon are often caught within a close proximity to shore line and protected waters. These geographic aspects appeal to a broader range of anglers in the way of both vessel size and gear type. Tofino’s protected and pristine inshore waters provide great Salmon fishing year round, and are accessible by a wide variety of boats and anglers of all ages. Coho action often picks up in early June, and progressively gets better with numbers and larger fish as the season progresses through to late September. It is not uncommon to see large schools of Coho salmon swimming past your vessel, while fishing the shallow waters of Clayoquot Sound, with some of these prime sport fish breaching the 15lb range. From our experience of 18 years in the business of outfitting, retailing and hosting anglers from around the world, Coho salmon have been a common catalyst for fledgling fishers to get hooked on the sport. Prime time for this fishery is July, August and early September for all gear types that include our popular local Saltwater Fly fishing options. Chinook salmon numbers for the spring and summer season are also looking very good again for the transient stocks of southern migrating runs that provide the Tofino area with such a robust offshore fishery a short distance from Clayoquot.
Halibut fishing along the B.C. coast near Tofino will remain very good, albeit different from March 15th onwards regarding retention regulations. There will be a new coast-wide maximum size of approximately 60 lbs (126cm) implemented on one of two Halibut allowed in possession. The second Halibut in possession must be maximum size of 83 cm in length. The daily catch is still limited to 1 per person, along with a new annual limit of 6 Halibut per person. As with all sport fishing regulations, confirm current regs and potential changes before heading out to fish. The new Halibut regulations are another example of how the Governments need to revisit the management and allocation strategies of the resource to best capture the social and economic benefits available.
With the Tofino area consistently providing a great overall experience to visiting anglers in the way of diverse fisheries, amenities and infrastructure, the 2013 season will once again provide great reason to visit our area. Regardless of whether it is for the first time, or to return for another great adventure, you can plan for another great fishing season around Tofino in 2013.
2013 - Shaping up to be another fantastic year for Tofino BC Fishing opportunities
As we charge forward into another New Year, we have reason to be excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and even a couple aspects of 2012 we don’t mind leaving behind.....With some 2012 Salmon Fishing forecasts evolving beyond expectation, while others pushed the label from Fair to Poor, we were fortunate to enjoy our second busiest season in the past 17 years of business. A shortened but exceptional Halibut season found us near shore on the average day, with numbers and increased sizes of these every popular fish kept rods bent over the gunwale and smiles all around. Spring and Summer Steelhead and Trout also came to the fly for many of our guests in postcard type settings, so many aspects of the past year of fishing became highlights in the log book. My Personal health has been “challenging” to say the least, limiting my involvement in everything from working on the water with guests or in our Tackle Shop/Booking Office, to keeping our Fishing Reports fresh and up to date. We’ve had many great photos and stories to share throughout 2012, but doctor’s orders kept me “benched” on the sidelines and communications were very limited, aside from our active Social Media updates. Fortunately our guests kept coming, the Salmon Halibut and Steelhead kept biting and our guide team stayed true to the task of covering all the details to provide our many guests with a safe and memorable West Coast Fishing Experience.
Along with our upcoming annual forecast that will outline expectations and best opportunities for 2013, we will be working on numerous articles to backtrack a little bit as well, helping re-live a few of our seasonal highlights that I wasn't’t able to share at the time. True that many of you are only looking for current where to and how to information, but based on feedback from numerous followers and past guests, a short article and quality pictures about a great Fishing experience helps keep the passion and interest in the sport thriving, regardless of the date.
We hope you will join us here on a regular basis to stay tuned in on what is happening for Tofino Fishing on the West side of Vancouver Island, or better yet, join us this year to create stories of your own! Day Charters or multi-day Fishing and Accommodation packages with a variety of great options will be worth a much closer look. More Questions? We are ready 24/7 to help plan your next favourite adventure on the B.C. coast. Give us a call Toll Free at 1.888 543.7422 or drop an email by email@example.com
On that note, we hope that the New Year provides you with health, safety and fulfillment in all your outdoor pursuits and whether it will be your first, or your 15th time, we hope you will join Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing on the waters of the Tofino area in 2013.
Tofino BC Fishing Report July 20th 2012
Overview: The Tofino area’s Saltwater Fishery is firing on all cylinders right now for our main Salmon species; Chinook and Coho, as well as excellent fishing for Halibut and Bottom fish. Highlights would definitely be the overall numbers of Chinook everywhere, as well as Coho Salmon inshore providing outstanding action for Fly and light tackle anglers.
Offshore areas: Tofino’s offshore Chinook salmon fishing has been very consistent for high numbers of fish; however, we are seeing a smaller average size than normal for mid July. Where we often see many Chinook Salmon 20-30 lbs on average, the bulk of Chinook have been in the mid to low teens. The huge numbers of Juvenile Chinook in the area bodes well for next season. Coho Salmon are very plentiful offshore as well. Raphael Pt and Cleland Island have been the main areas recently, with fishing still consistent at Portland Pt. as well. Until now, Needlefish has been the main food source so anglers have been matching with Anchovies and Needlefish hoochies. Sardines are moving in thick from the offshore, so the switch to large Spoons and Plugs will be happening over the next week or two. Tomic plugs in the 6-7 inch size as well as 6 inch Tomic and Oki spoons with Pilchard spot patterns will be the main producers. Halibut fishing continues to be excellent with many fish in the 30-65 lb class.
Inshore areas: Tofino’s inshore fishery fired up earlier than normal with very strong numbers of Coho Salmon as well as plentiful Chinook Salmon feeding on very abundant Needlefish in Clayoquot Sound. We are now in Peak season for our popular Saltwater Fly fishing action with Coho in the 6-10 lb range aggressively hitting Trolled Bucktail flies as well as cast flies. Pink and Purple have been the colors of choice, with our custom tied Clayoquot Clousers attracting huge attention. Inshore Chinook Fishing has been very good with a larger average size found by anglers fishing among the outer islands like Blundan and Wilf Rock close to Tofino.
Freshwater Fishing: Guided trips for Summer Steelhead and Trout have been successful for Clayoquot Ventures guides over the past two weeks. Chrome bright summer run Steelhead caught on the fly in semi-remote watersheds can create lifelong memories. This Catch and Release Fishery is “One for the Bucket List”!
Tofino BC Fishing Testimonial June 26th 2012
This testimonial came today by e-mail from a long time repeat guest who had referred this group to us. The wife of the guest who just fished with us two days ago in Tofino wanted to share their Thanks for the referral and a few pictures...Thanks as well to Steve Jamie and Tom from A&B Pipeliners for sending more great guests out our way!
"Well the mighty fishermen returned safe and sound!! Here are a few pics – Blaine caught a couple of 25 lb. springs and one of the halibut was around 50 lbs. The pic of them at the dock is with their first day catch. Their guide for the 2 days was a university student (mining engineer) named Zach and Blaine said he was phenomenal. They both had a great time and I know I haven’t heard the last about the trip!! lol If I knew Blaine wouldn’t talk your ears off he would phone you himself, but thank you so much for the advice you both gave about this place – they had a great time and definitely plan on returning again. Blaine said this by far beats any of the other fishing trips they have been on. Travis is already talking about wanting to go back in the fall, so if you need a third wheel sometime ..... Thanx again."
Tofino BC Salmon Fishing June 21st, 2012
Starting Summer off right with great Fishing action...
It seems that that the arrival of Summer solstice has brought a much more reliable stretch of weather to the Tofino area, as well as very substantial schools of Coho Salmon arriving to Tofino’s inshore waters. Our main inshore Vessel “Power Play” hosted guests this A.M. for some great Saltwater Flyfishing action on Coho Salmon in the 4-8 lb range, with 4 Salmon in the boat and close to 15 hook-ups that were mainly on our custom tied Polar Bear Bucktails. It looks like the summer season will be another excellent one for Coho on the Fly!
The offshore Fishing for Chinook Salmon has been more tidally influenced than normal during the past week, but when the bite time starts, the action has been furious on most days. Chinook are still averaging 12-24lbs, but more “Springs” are arriving with each tide that seem to be pushing the 30lb “Tyee” mark.
Halibut Fishing has been fair to good on most days, and will be getting much better as we progress into a better tide cycle.
Inshore Light Tackle and Flyfishing Charters, as well as some Offshore Fishing Charter space available!
Call us Toll Free 1-888-534-7422 or Stop in at our Fly &Tackle shop in Tofino at 561 Campbell Street. Look for the big Cedar Salmon!
Tofino BC Fishing Report – June 15 2012
Fishing Overview: Though we have had consistent Salmon and Halibut fishing this spring, the wait for the first big “wave” of migratory Chinook Salmon is finally over. Our local Salmon fishery has really turned on in the last week and should only become more productive as the season unfolds. Fresh fish are moving in to feed on heaps of needlefish stacking both on the offshore banks and outer shore line.
Offshore Fishing areas: Tofino’s offshore Chinook salmon fishing has been very good where large numbers of fish are beginning to show up off of Portland Point, and the Long Beach areas. Chinook salmon are being caught between 100 - 140ft. The most popular artificial tackle has been small blue/nickel and green/nickel Coyote and Oki spoons and needlefish hoochies trolled behind a Purple glow flasher, Red Stryper, or Purple Onion UV flasher. Anchovies have also been very productive in the Purple/Black, Purple Haze, and Bloody Nose Rhys Davis Teaser Heads. Fish are averaging in the high-teens all though there have been a few reports of fish up to the high 20’s being caught.
Inshore Fishing areas: Until now, Inshore fishing has been off and on, there have been some spectacular days off of Wilf Rock, Moser Point and Monk Rock with a few Chinook salmon in the high teens and low twenties. Anchovies have been very productive in Chrome Betsy and Purple Haze Rhys Davis Anchovy Specials, trolled behind red and green flashers have been working best. Fish are being caught between 50-80 ft trolling on the downrigger. Don’t hesitate to try some spoons and glow or UV needlefish hoochies when the fishing is slow, sometimes it only takes a change in equipment.
Coho are being spotted continuously; targeting these fish at Catface, Moser Point and Monk Rock is a good bet using pink, chartreuse or deep purple bucktails. It can increase catches to use a blade in front of your bucktails when you need to change something up to improve your success. With the inshore Coho Fishery now providing consistent action, Clayoquot Ventures’ inshore Vessel “Power Play” is launched and ready for action.
Tofino BC Fishing June 2012
Sport Fishing opportunities are in full swing up and down the coast of British Columbia, with the Tofino area on Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim coming in to one of the most diverse and productive months of the year.
Saltwater fishing is undoubtedly the most popular and accessible option for our area, with this month providing great action for Salmon, Halibut and other Bottom-fish species. During June, the most popular and productive Salmon fishing opportunities are trolling anchovies, spoons or hoochies deep in the offshore waters from Tofino and Ucluelet. Most common are Chinook Salmon in the 15-25lb. range, that can be found in very strong schools offshore as well as good numbers of these same transient runs among the inshore areas near Tofino. Though smaller at 4-8lbs, Coho Salmon are also present in the area now, with stronger numbers of these voracious feeding Salmon often arriving in good numbers by mid month. Favored by an increasing number of anglers each year, catching Coho Salmon on a Fly Rod or ultra light tackle is one to add to the Bucket list. This is also a great option for first time saltwater anglers to experience an exhilarating protected water fishery, which Clayoquot Sound provides as well as any other area on the BC coast. Early season run forecasts for Chinook and Coho Salmon heading back to U.S. watersheds have been very strong, and proving to be true with great fishing so far this year in the Tofino area.
Halibut fishing at this time provides some of the best action for the year for local and visiting anglers. With the use of GPS/Map units showing detailed underwater contours, Halibut anglers can more effectively fish bottom contours where the halibut rest and feed. When searching for a likely area, look on your chart for spots with sand/gravel and fish the deep edge of the contour, either trolling, anchoring or controlling your drift so you stay as close to the edge as you are able. A variety of tackle will work for these popular flatfish, with the most important factor to success is having the sharpest hooks possible, as halibut can suck your bait in and spit it back out before you acknowledge a hit. A variety of gear will work, but Halibut definitely prefer fresh baits such as Herring, Octopus, Squid, Sardines and Salmon bellies. Scented lures are a good second choice, but all should be fished as close to the bottom as possible. Fishing with a spreader bar and one of the above mentioned baits is most common and often the most productive for Halibut, but jigged lures are often more effective for Ling Cod and Rockfish species. To land Halibut in a variety of sizes, always be prepared with a good gaff hook, club, some rope and a harpoon. Consult updated Halibut regulations for the 2012 season, which involves a new slot limit size for the second fish in possession which have been implemented to allow for a full season of Halibut fishing for the B.C. coast.
This month usually brings the warmer weather that helps prime the conditions in the remote mountain lakes from Tofino B.C. The warmer water promotes aquatic activity with trout increasing their diet with more leeches, shrimp, caddis, chironomids, as well as dragon and damsel fly nymphs and emergers.
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout are still very active in the estuaries as they hungrily await the downstream migration of Salmon fry. This may be the best opportunity of the year to catch these active trout with a well presented fry pattern or small spinner or spoon. Remember that all Trout species are Catch and Release from Rivers and Estuary areas.
With exceptional Sport Fishing opportunities common to our area, catch your limit but limit your catch to what you will be able to consume within a reasonable time. Also, please make efforts to get a kid out on the water and off the computer for the day, you will be helping the future of our society more than you might think.
June is an excellent month to fish the Tofino area, with another 3 months of peak fishing action ahead so give us a call at 1-888-5FISHBC or stop in at Tofino Fly & Tackle and we’ll help you arrange the best options for going out on your own or venturing out on a guided fishing charter.
Tofino BC Fishing May 2012
The month of May treated us with all kinds of spring weather in the Tofino area, with some stretches providing great offshore Fishing conditions, while other days we were reminded how cold and wet it can be along the B.C. coastline during the early season. Aside from days where we experienced some really big tides, the Fishing for Chinook Salmon and Halibut was good to very good on average. One highlighted day saw 4 of our guests with a limit of Halibut. With a limit of 1 Halibut per person per day, this is not uncommon for our charters. What was noteable, was that their 4 Halibut limit totalled over 200lbs of great fighting and great eating Halibut, with a couple other large fish lost that day as well. These larger Halibut would have been released anyhow, and the day ended with this repeat group of Anglers heading home with a great catch.
Another highlighted day of great weather and fishing was enjoyed by a repeat group from the Edmonton area. This enthusiastic 2 vessel group broke up between the guys and gals for a little family fun competition on the water. Though both boats enjoyed great fishing and good times, the Gals brought home the prizes, literally!! The pictures tell part of the story, where the guys were great "losers" so to speak. Big smiles and beautiful Fish, Big Fish and beautiful smiles, either way you look at it, these guests were happy with their day on the water and we look forward to hosting them again soon.
Tofino BC Fishing – A Brighter Spring Forecast
With a fantastic seasonal Sport fishing forecast released earlier this year, it is very welcome news to Tofino area anglers that good things can become even better, and in the case of Salmon numbers and related fishing opportunities, much better. Since compiling the 2012 Seasonal Outlook early in the New Year, I have monitored the forecasts for Salmon returns to many of the primary Watersheds on B.C.’s South Coast, with highlighted attention paid to the abundant southern migrating stocks to U.S. Rivers in Washington, Oregon and California. Alike the Canadian Fisheries process, preliminary data is released in the U.S. with “cautious” return forecast numbers being made public using an autoregressive model. As more data becomes available with in-season catch, or different modeling processes are applied, the Salmon numbers can change. Considering that the abundant and diverse Salmon stocks of the U.S. Pacific Northwest augment Tofino and Ucluelet Sport fishing opportunities by approximately 85% of the catch, this is where things have become really interesting over the last couple months.
For Oregon’s Klamath River, biologists are forecasting four times more salmon than last year – and an astounding 15 times more than in 2006. The ocean salmon population is estimated to be 1.6 million adult Klamath River fall Chinook, compared to last year's forecast of 371,100. This estimate is based largely on the 85,840 two-year-old salmon (jacks) that returned to the Klamath in 2011. This is the highest number of jacks to return since at least 1978, when recordkeeping began. A little further north, Washington State and Columbia River Chinook and Coho will also contribute well over 1 Million Salmon to the mix.
California’s Sacramento stocks are also looking better; with a conservative forecast of ocean abundance of 819,400 Sacramento River fall Chinook, up from 729,000 last year. Sacramento fall Chinook are known to be a genetically “robust” species, so combining the average size and strength of these Salmon with prime Ocean survival conditions should equate to over three quarters of a Million healthy Sacramento Chinook salmon feeding along southern Vancouver Island this spring and early summer. With nearly 2.5 Million Chinook Salmon for these two rivers alone, and numbers compounded by over one hundred other runs that feed and travel past Tofino, the Salmon forecast has become much brighter.
Some other positive aspects to the local Salmon Fishery for 2012 are related to returning 5 year old Chinook salmon to Robertson Creek hatchery in Port Alberni. While Chinook returns to RCH in 2011 were higher than forecasted, the anticipated 4 year old component of the run size was not there. It is speculated that due to high quality ocean conditions, this portion of the run stayed at sea, and could very likely return as larger 5 year old Chinook in 2012. Coho Salmon numbers are also anticipated to be good to strong for many systems again this season, which has contributed to the consideration by DFO to potentially remove an inner boundary line which has been deemed redundant to management of stocks and enforcement. This potential change would truly enhance Tofino’s inshore and near-shore Coho Salmon fishing opportunities for the many local anglers who cherish the great summer action with lighter tackle, within a safe proximity to Tofino’s harbour.
The recreational Halibut Fishing season in B.C. has received attention and change by DFO since the New Year, with changes to the overall allocation of Halibut within Canada to a split of 85% Commercial and 15% Recreational. These changes alter the management of the allowable catch for the user groups, as well as new size and possession limits for sport fishing on the B.C. coast. With 2012 being a year of low abundance of the “Exploitable Biomass” of Pacific Halibut, the amount of Canada’s harvestable Halibut has further decreased from 2011, which saw an in-season closure by the first week of September. In efforts to allow for a full season for sport anglers, new regulations will allow a catch limit of 1 Halibut per day of any size, with a possession limit of 2 for anglers fishing more than one day away from their primary residence. One of the Halibut in possession will have a maximum size limit of approximately 15 pounds, which will help reduce and “stretch” the seasonal catch poundage out through the main summer fishing season. With a strong overall biomass of Pacific Halibut, it is anticipated that B.C. Halibut fishing will cycle back to “normal” regulations and allowable catch limits within a couple years.
With the enhancement of the Salmon Fishing forecast, and the current stability of Halibut fishing opportunities, Tofino and Ucluelet’s fundraising fishing derbies have an excellent landscape for success. Numerous grassroots fundraising initiatives have been success stories along the BC coast, most of which help Salmon Enhancement and Habitat by leveraging funds and co-operative efforts of groups large and small. Everything from Derby's to individual donations compound positive $$ for Salmon. Some people are still of the mind-set that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to foot the bill for all of these types of programs. We will be waiting a long time for that to happen as budgets are slashed and manpower is reduced, so stakeholder involvement is crucial to say the least. Tofino and Ucluelet Salmon Enhancement sees benefit from three main Fishing Derbies during the summer months, as well as other smaller aspects of fundraising and donations. We encourage you to consider involvement in either or all of the following; Tofino Saltwater Classic Derby, Tofino Legion Derby or the Ucluelet Salmon ladder Derby. Fun, Fishing and Fundraising, a great combination to be involved with.
With great numbers of Chinook salmon already present in the Tofino area, and spring-like conditions looking even better on the horizon, 2012 looks to be a season that will provide many great Fishing opportunities for most species.
Fishing Charter and Package options are still available for a number of shoulder and high season dates for groups large and small, and Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing is eager to help with all options.
Call or e-mail for more info - Don't miss out on this exceptional season!
Clayoquot Ventures - Tofino Fishing - Leading the way in Tofino Sportfishing since 1996
April 10th 2012 Saltwater Fishing update....
-Having done numerous charters this spring, it seems all have fallen on days that have kept us in protected waters, often limiting where we fish and how productive and comfortable the experience has been. We've had some decent days on the Salmon, with nothing breaking the 20 lb mark so far, but for late March-early April its far better than being on the computer writing about it..
Wet and Windy conditions plagued us for most of the past week, until the past weekend which was beautiful and calm.
Yesterday...Finally a break in the weather to get offshore to search for some Spring Chinook and maybe a Halibut or two...
The Weather Forecast was for some SE wind and a little rain, but a spread out swell so it looked easily fishable on the computer at least. My 3 guests for the day normally fish with us in August, so I prepped them on early Spring fishing and how fishing can be fair to good and the weather nice to nasty...they were game for a good time regardless of fish. Once we travelled past the outer coastline and the first couple of deeper water contours, the tide slop and ground swell mellowed out to be very comfortable. Traveling another 15 minutes and we found our offshore destination Sunny and calm with less than 5 knots of wind...sweet!
Before I could get the gear down on both sides, the guys counted almost a dozen Grey Whales steaming past us heading north. We trolled right down on the carpet with a Spoon and a Needlefish Hoochie for almost and hour before getting hit by something that didn't stick.. Not seeing much bait on the screen due to the tides pushing hard, we stayed persistent as I felt there would be Chinook passing through this area heading to southern rivers and we should bump into one or two..Another hour and a couple gear changes later, we hit a good Salmon that peeled line like it was a 30 lb'r but I knew these ealry season fish are deceiving, as they battle hard for their size.
10-15 minutes later, a nice 12 lb Chinook in the boat and high fives from the boys...They were just starting to grab the camera, while I dumped one side back down to 145 feet and bumped my cannonballs on the bottom a few times. Perfect.
I was just about to grab the other rod to set it down to the same depth when the first one goes off again, hit off the Downrigger clip and peeling line heading south. Perfect. 10 minutes and a bit of give and take at the boat, another 14 lbs of Chrome is in the boat. Now with two fish on deck and the bite on, I tell the guys to wait for the photo ops and ask them to stand back while I dump the gear quick..Both back down to the bottom this time, a quick turn to the head back to my contour line and just as we are straightening out, my inside rod goes off. Head shakes and then peels off 30-40 yards and gone...not quite perfect but comes with the territory. We all laughed at the same time because all at once, 8 eyes were fixed on the one rod still in the water, and we all see it get pounded by a strong fish.... Next was even funnier..I wasn't grabbing the rod, so I am waiting for one of the guys to make their move..no one budged..then they all started to move for it at once, looked at each other laughed and then held off in courtesy. Almost like the three stooges with me having a hard time watching this rod pump away and start to peel line while it sits in the rod holder. Finally combatent #3 was on it, and he did a great job on the hardest fight of the day for the Smallest Salmon. Good times and high fives, three nice fish in the boat within 30 minutes, Calm seas and Sunshine..
We fished for another couple hours for another Long Distance release on a Salmon and one Chicken Halibut on the Spoon I was testing for Oki Tackle. When we decided to pull the gear and switch to Halibut, we missed another Salmon that hit half way up, almost a bonus last minute Chinook..
We travelled 10 minutes back towards the beach and dropped the spreader bars down on one of my common Halibut Spots. One Whole Herring, one half Herring and a White Power Bait was on the menu...We fished for almost about half an hour before we found another Chicken Halibut that preferred the whole Herring. Re-bait and re-set the gear to the bottom and no more than 10 minutes later, the half herring enticed a hard hit that drove the Rod tip in the water and 100 lb braided line peeling towards the bottom. One of the guys grabbed the rod after a bit of a struggle out of the holder, and tried to set the hook home, but the third Halibut of the day swam away.....After a couple of "Oh Well, Too bads.." we noticed one of the other rods thumping away with a tell tale sign of another Chicken Halibut. Number three Halibut joined us onboard after a short battle.
After a good deck cleaning to deal with Halibut blood and slime, we head for the harbour as the guys have a ferry to catch yet that night.
A couple quick pics on the dock and off to the procesor for a quick Vac Pac job..
We've seen bigger fish and we've seen better weather, but for this early in the season, we are happy to get on the water and feel the rod bend...not to mention some great eating. First fresh fish of the season always seems to taste the best...
Fishing only gets better from here....
Tofino BC Salmon and Halibut Fishing update
April 1st , 2012
With April upon us and Saltwater Fishing in the Tofino area now seeing Chinook Salmon, some Coho Salmon and Halibut on a consistent basis, our Fleet is in motion for the season and available for private Charters. Either pre-booked in advance or on short notice, we will do ur best to host your group for a memorable experience.
April 1st..Finally a break in the weather that ends up being a little short lived with the intense system that has followed! We Fished with 1 charter guest inshore near Tofino as the swell was still a little too big and chunky outside, but wind and sun combo was just right....Lots of one without the other..
Moser pt is a local sweet spot nice and close to town, so was the first choice with high tide change coming up within 2 hours.
A 3.5 inch Spoon and a Stuffed UV Hoochy were the gear of choice, Baitfish was stacking up with the Flood tide, and arches were showing on the Sonar screen. Our Guest didn't know what to expect so the Weather and Fishing combination unfolded to be all we could ask for...
We made it through nearly a full tack when the spoon gets hit by a small Salmon. For practise sake, our guest grabs the rod and we go through the drill of Downrigger release, Rod tip up, drag set just right etc. I see the Salmon is about two pounds and acting funny for a little Shaker Spring (Chinook), reason being that when I pull it close to do the release it is a Blueback Coho! Surprised to see a Coho this size on April 1 to say the least, but our guest is happy just to see a Salmon so quick...
Over the next 2 hours of incoming Flood tide in the same area, I was very happy to see nearly 12 Coho already 2-4 lbs and 4 or 5 small Chinook, nothing breaking 5 pounds though. We did shake hands with a screamer Chinook for about 10 seconds of battle but never got to see it, but I'm thinking mid teens or maybe a bit more based on torque on the Rod blank and line..Spot number 1 and almost 15 Salmon encounters, nothing big but still very impressive. No Floaters (released and deceased Salmon) made it even better.
We made a move for the Ebb tide, out towards Monk and Burgess Island and it payed off. Even though the tides were drawing Bait out of the area, the sub surface bait balls were still pretty substantial and made it look fishy in 35-45 feet of water. I swapped the gear around a bit, with one hard slam and short run on a Red label Herring, and also missed one on a Needlefish hoochy before landing a very nice Chinook Salmon 9-10 lbs. We Fished for another hour for another miss on the spoon, then as soon as we switched back to the stuffed UV Octopus Hoochy, we trolled no more than 50 feet and found our last Chinook Salmon that fought like a champ. Our guest Cory did very well to end the battle that was pretty impressive for a 15 -16 pound feeder Chinook...This area put up approx. 4 more smaller juv. feeder Chinook as well as 1 more Coho.
Lots of Sunshine, Lots of Action, Lots of Coho leading me to think this season is going to be crazy for the inshore fishery, and 2 pieces of Spring Chinook Chrome for Cory to take home. It was a great day to start the month. Now we need the weather to co-operate cause the Salmon are obviously here....Halibut update coming as soon as the weather co-operates.
Charter dates open, Call to inquire.
Tofino BC Salmon and Halibut Fishing update
On March 25th, 2012 Tofino and Ucluelet recreational anglers held a local SFAC (Sport Fish Advisory Committee) meeting, with reprentatives from DFO, local Enforcement and our South Coast Recreational Fisheries Co-ordinator.
The SFAC process happens up and down the BC coast every Spring and Fall, and is the grass roots community level for angler involvement in the Fisheries planning and management for recreational Fisheries. Motions and objectives are then passed on to the South Coast Sport Fish Advisory Board, and then on to the main board of BC.
We covered a variety of topics, but details on the Halibut regulations for 2012, as well as Tofino and Ucluelet Salmon Fisheries are often highlights on the agenda. A summary of meeting discussions and the information shared was very positive overall;
-Halibut Fishing- Our DFO reps provided details of how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans rationalized the 2012 regulations for Halibut that will be in effect starting April 1st. I knew most of this backgrounder in advance, but was still interesting to hear DFO explain the Halibut situation, change of allocation and reactions from numerous user groups. IMO, the options on the table we limited, and the current situation could be far worse than it is for the coming season, in fact we now find ourselves looking towards an excellent season of Halibut Fishing along the BC coast, with high potential of a full season without closures.
-Salmon Derbies and Fundraising We discussed numerous grassroots fundraising initiatives that have been true success stories along the BC coast, most of which help Salmon Enhancement and Habitat by leveraging funds and co-operative efforts of groups large and small. Everything from Derby's to individual donations compound positive $$ for Salmon. Some people are still of the mind-set that it is the responsibility of the Federal Gov't to foot the bill for all of these types of programs. We will be waiting a long time for that to happen as budgets are slashed and manpower is reduced, so stakeholder involvement is crutial to say the least. Tofino and Ucluelet Salmon Enhancement sees benefit from three main Fishing Derbys during the summer months, as well as other smaller aspects of fundraising and donations. We encourage you to consider involvement in either or all of the following; Tofino Saltwater Classic Derby, Tofino Legion Derby or the Ucluelet Salmon ladder Derby. Fun , Fishing and Fundraising, a great combination to be involved with. Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing supports all of these great initiatives for supporting and enhancing local Salmon stocks.
-Bait Stocks were discussed, with Herring numbers on the increase along the South Coast of BC. Local feedback included seeing more juvenile and medium Herring in Salmon bellies last season, compared to many years past. The Sardine fishery will be more closely monitored this season due to encounters of Chinook by-catch, but overall Sardine numbers are huge. Needlefish stocks aren't monitored, but are reported locally to be very abundant, due in part to increases in Kelp Forest habitat and Ocean conditions.
-Salmon Fisheries was a huge part of the Agenda as always. We discussed a brief recap of the 2011 season, and our DFO manager shared catch numbers for the Tofino and Ucluelet areas that showed nearly double the average for catch in 2011 compared to past seasons (which have been strong as well) We discussed the many challenges that the Victoria area is dealing with, including Chinook protection of the early Summer Fraser stocks that have squeezed their fishing opportunities more and more for the past 3 years.
The Salmon outlook was discussed for the South Coast, and was very positive overall. As an example, discussion evolved around the strong potential that the 4 year old component of RCH Chinook for the 2011 return may have "held over" due to strong ocean conditions, and could supplement the 2012 fishery returning a big 5 year olds. Fisheries are not being planned based on this concept, and will be a true bonus to return numbers and genetic strength if this does occur.
Record setting numbers of US bound Chinook and to a slightly lesser degree, Coho Salmon will once again provide a mixed stock transient fishery that should create some of BC's most dynamic Salmon catch numbers for 2012.boundary The Sacramento and Klamath River Chinook Salmon runs often use the Tofino area as a Northern Feeding and migration boundary, and this year there are over 2 Million Chinook Salmon predicted for these two rivers alone. This was especially good news for Tofino and Ucluelet area anglers as these Southern migrating stocks make up approx. 85% of our local Salmon catch, based on Creel Data and Coded Wire Tag information. Yes, it is important to return your Hatchery Salmon heads! Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing contributes dozens and dozens of Hatchery Salmon heads for Coded Wire Tag samples which help formulate Fisheries planning.
When asked if there was anything we should be aware of regarding changes, we were then advised of more great news, that our local Coho Fishing opportunities will very likely be enhanced by removing a boundary zone that has been in effect for the last 10 years. This renewed access will double the inshore Coho Salmon retention areas for Tofino anglers, with numerous spots being absolutley prime for our Saltwater Flyfishing and Light Tackle opportunities.
In summary, our DFO manager said that he was very excited to fish the Tofino area in 2012 as his Data shows it will again provide him the best opportunities for a successful Salmon Fishing experience. He felt the BC coast would experience an overall strong Salmon fishery likely due to very suitable ocean survival temperatures and conditions, which will benefit the whole coast for another great year in 2012.
With great numbers of Chinook Salmon already present in the Tofino area, and spring-like conditions looking even better on the horizon, 2012 looks to be a season that will provide many great Fishing opportunities for most species.
Fishing Charter and Package options are still available for a number of shoulder and high season dates for groups large and small, and Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing is eager to help with all options.
BC Halibut Fishing update
A recent announcement from Canada's Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield of DFO, has changed the allocation policy of Canada's total allowable catch of Pacific Halibut, the largest member of the Flounder family. This large flatfish is also a very popular species on British Columbia's coast for recreational anglers, and access to its' coastal fisheries has been the root of much debate over the past decade.
Backgrounder; In recent years, Canada's TAC (total allowable catch) provided by the Pacific Halibut Commision has been allocated between the Commercial, Recreational and First Nations sectors at numbers that have been reduced due to the exploitable portion of Pacific Halibut biomass. The overall biomass of Pacific Halibut is considered healthy, and not a considered a conservation concern. The challenges for Canada's recreational fishing sector is that while the TAC has been reduced, the new allocation of 85% to commercial fisheries and 15% to recreational fisheries has hindered the ability for BC anglers to enjoy a full season of access, even at reduced daily and possesion limits. The past allocation model long disputed by Recreation Fishing representatives, was adopted in 2003 by the Liberal Government, who emphasized the ability for the recreational sectors' continued growth, and a gaurantee of no in-season closures. For the past 3 years, these promises have not been met and the hardship has been felt by local and visiting Sportfishermen that contribute to B.C's 1.3 Billion dollar angling industry. This has happened while the remaining 88% of Canada's uncaught Halibut has been transformed into a tradeable commodity for the Commercial Fishing sector. This problem has not escalated due to the actions of hard working commercial Halibut fishermen that risk their lives working on deck in the open Pacific. The allocation has created a commodity for non-fishing Halibut Quota owners to dictate lease prices to the actual working fishermen, and has since funneled into a majority ownership of Canada's Halibut resource by big business interests with very strong political ties. This has made the Federal Government's will to change the allocation model, very weak on behalf of the Recreational sector regardless of lobbying and sensible approaches of reasoning that include law, economics and safety. An uncaught/unharvested resource is apparently by law, supposed to belong to the citizens of Canada as a Common Property Resource, until it is legally harvested.
Current Changes; Last week, Minister Ashfield announced the allocation policy would change to 85% and 15% between the sectors. The Recreational Fishery for Halibut will open March 1st until further notice. Catch restrictions will be 1 Halibut per day with a total of 2 Halibut in Possession. Leaving the closure date "open-ended" may seem good at a first glance, but it does not provide any certainty for anglers' planning. What we do know is that with a decreased Canadian allocation in 2012, the extra 3 % will still not likley provide recreational fishing opportunities for Halibut as late as the 2011 season, which closed by Labour Day / Early September. Whether it involves travel from outside the province, or a local angler booking time off work, it makes it very difficult for the industry to prepare for the unknowns. This change in allocation does provide an element of progress for very near future years of abundance in the exploitable biomass, but seems to only provide a candy coating on the issue compared to the promised change and stability for the Rec.industry by Prime Minister Harper, while he visited Vancouver Island during the last election campaigns.
Moving Forward; The Tofino area Halibut fishery has progressed over the past two years, with the average size of Halibut showing substantial increase. This has been forecast by the PHC (Pacific Halibut Commision) as the upward trend towards a higher percentage of exploitable biomass. This is the trend that will provide strong potential for the Recreational Fishing sector to reach full limits once again, which are "normally" considered 2 per day and 3 in possession per person. Various management aspects have been explored for years, such as an Annual limits for Halibut, Slot limits on size, Halibut Stamps similar to Salmon Stamps, and enhanced Catch Data. We will continue to work with DFO to rationalize and hopefully implement the best element(s) for future regulations to manage the Recreational catch of Halibut. Through this process we hope to be part of the Management plan, so we can avoid further undue restrictions. This can all cycle right back to the flawed approach to the Allocation and Privatization, but we have to persevere with a positive outlook for the future.
2012 Halibut Fishing Season; We are excited to get the season underway on March 1st ! Halibut will be present in the Tofino area during March, but April usually provides better overalll opportunities for Halibut Fishing due to weather being more condusive in the offshore areas and the inshore migration patterns that Halibut typically follow in the Spring. May, June and July are commonly the best months to fish for Halibut in the Tofino area, with August and September often providing a very consistant fishery as well. Please note as mentioned, the closure date for Recreational Halibut fishing is unknown, but indications are for closure sometime in the last two weeks of August unless in-season management measures are adopted and implemented to facilitate a longer season.
We look forward to helping with any questions that may arise from this information, as well as help planning for a private charter fishing experience this season in the Tofino area, where we are very fortunate to have another Banner outlook for Salmon....Lots of positives for a great season ahead and stay tuned for future updates.
Very Positive Salmon and Halibut news for Tofino BC Fishing
As we move forward into another great Fishing season on the west coast of Vancouver Island, recent news regarding recreational fishing for Chinook Salmon and Halibut makes a great season look even better.
Over the past 10 days, there have been numerous news releases from Fish and Wildlife organizations and Media circuits regarding Chinook Salmon returns to the Columbia River. Indications are that the upper Columbia River Chinook Salmon returns for 2012 will push the mark as the 4th largest on record! Considering that the strong and diverse Salmon stocks of the U.S. Pacific Northwest streams, account for over 85 % of our Salmon catch in the Tofino area, this news is not only welcome, but exciting for anglers all along the west side of Vancouver Island. The bulk of these fish will be feeding and traveling past Tofino’s coastline May June and July, favouring the 150 to 180 foot contours that harbour baitfish and favourable currents. As outlined in our recent 2012 Fishing forecast, this season looks to Rival the outstanding Salmon Fishery we experienced last year, that seemed unbeatable....we’ll enjoy the test ahead!
Along with the great news about Chinook Salmon stocks for 2012, there has also been movement in the right direction regarding Halibut management in BC Sportfishing, administered and “controlled” by DFO. I purposely avoided the word “managed” as this has not realistically been the case since 2003, but with the forthcoming announcement planned for a new approach to the 2012 Halibut regulations, we are optimistic that Canada’s Minister of Fisheries will do the right thing for the Sportfishing industry in BC. Recreational Halibut Fishing will open on March 1st in British Columbia waters, announced last week by Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield. Though there were no catch limits or season ending date included with the preliminary commitment, indications were for “beyond status quo” of last year’s shortened and restricted Halibut season in comparison to past years. As there is no Conservation concern for Pacific Halibut, but an actual focus on the exploitable portion of the Biomass (slower than expected maturity to spawning class) DFO now holds the hand on management plans moving forward. It is yet to be seen how their yet unknown plan will be favourable to the recreational sector, but indications are that the announcement we await later this week will leave us very happy with the fantastic Fishing season ahead for BC and more specifically, for Clayoquot Ventures – Tofino Fishing.
Stay tuned for more updates...
Third Annual Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby Fundraiser
Derby Dates Now Set for July 7 – 8, 2012
NHL's Brendan Morrison to Host West Coast Vancouver Island Event
Tofino, British Columbia, Canada, January 3, 2012 – Canadian professional ice hockey centre Brendan Morrison with the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League today announced that he will again host the Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby fundraising event to be held for the third consecutive year in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, from July 7 – 8, 2012.
To date, the Saltwater Classic has raised more than $45,000 to support Tofino community initiatives including the Wickaninnish School Parent Advisory Council’s Healthy Lunch Program, the Tofino General Hospital Foundation, The Tofino Parks and Recreation program and the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society.
"I’m really pleased that the Saltwater Classic continues to be such a popular and positive event,” said Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby host, Brendan Morrison. "My family and I look forward to again welcoming anglers from all over the world to the pristine waters around Tofino for this year's derby.”
Open to pre-registered participants, the Tofino Saltwater Classic $250 entry fee includes a celebratory dinner and silent auction hosted by Brendan Morrison on July 7. Anglers will compete for up to $12,000 in cash prizes awarded in five categories:
• Three largest Chinook salmon
• Largest Coho salmon
• Largest halibut
The remainder of the entry fee proceeds, along with the proceeds from the silent auction, will support a number of Tofino community initiatives.
About the Tofino Saltwater Classic
In its third year, the Tofino Saltwater Classic fishing derby was created by the National Hockey League's (NHL) Brendan Morrison as a fundraiser for Tofino community initiatives. Participant entry forms and other information can be found at www.tofinosaltwaterclassic.com.
Tofino is a year-round travel destination on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Bounded by the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Tofino is known for its miles of pristine beaches and unparalleled adventures, including whale and wildlife watching, saltwater and freshwater fishing, surfing, kayaking, boating, hiking, and winter storm watching.
Kaye Public Relations for the Tofino Saltwater Classic
Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing has been proudly involved with the Tofino Saltwater Classic Derby since its inception, and continues to be a supporter and promoter of this great local fundraising initiative.
With new dates now set for this season, Charters and Accommodations will get booked quickly, so we look forward to helping with questions and further planning for your involvement in this memorable event.
Call us directly 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail from this site to discuss fishing with us during these prime dates in early July.
Banner Sport fishing continues in Tofino area despite Recreational Halibut Fishing Closure
With Recreational Halibut Fishing on the B.C. Coast now closed earlier than ever, we are fortunate to still be seeing peak season numbers of Chinook and Coho Salmon in the Tofino area. The forecasted numbers of Salmon feeding and traveling past Tofino’s outer coastline have met or exceeded predictions for most of the season, with many anglers considering the Saltwater Sport fishing action near Tofino possibly hitting an all time high. We thought the overall numbers and consistent action last year might set the threshold as “best overall”, but I suppose this can be chalked up to another fun lesson learned!
With an absolutely amazing Chinook Salmon Fishery that continually strengthened as the season progressed, and inshore action for big Coho Salmon busting through Kelp beds and bait schools to hit flies and light tackle like freight trains, the action has been very memorable to say the least! Hearing stories of 30-40 salmon caught and released in a morning of fishing is outstanding, and even better when the weather is calm like a lake and sunscreen and sunglasses are almost as mandatory as your personal fishing license.
In the Tofino area, we often find the crazy Salmon action from August rolls right through most of September, providing great weather, great fishing and great value with shoulder season rates often kicking in to effect by mid month for many local businesses. The offshore waters continue to provide a Chinook fishery that provides multiple encounters of these “King of Salmon”, many of “Tyee” proportion. Mix that in with 10 to 20 Coho Salmon during the same fishing trip and you end up staying very busy with a bent fishing rod in hand. Without a doubt, September is the prime month for the season’s largest Coho Salmon and is a favoured Saltwater fishery that many anticipate all year. The largest Coho, also known as “Northerns” are distinguishable by their large hooked nose or “Kype” that develops with maturity. Pound for pound, these prize fighting salmon are considered the strongest and best sport for anglers along the B.C coast. Don’t rule out the month of October as well for these amazingly powerful Coho that can reach and even exceed 20 lbs, with many in the 12-16 lb class.
For late season Bottom fishing opportunities, September is also a very popular time for local anglers and guides who travel to outer coastline and offshore reefs in search of various types of bottom dwellers that include Ling Cod, numerous Rockfish species and Cabazon. Halibut are normally very prolific in these same areas as well, but the recent decision by DFO to restrict any further Halibut retention creates a total catch and release scenario for this popular and abundant species. Halibut numbers and average sizes have been outstanding this year compared to recent years. The very poor management actions and related decision to close this fishery by the Department of Fisheries , is not very well received or supported by recreational anglers as well as the general public, once they learn more about this issue. Hopefully a better management plan will be in place for 2012.
While many B.C. coastal fishing destinations and lodges have “wrapped up” for another season, Tofino Fishing opportunities will continue to provide some of the most reliable and exciting fishing action available anywhere on the B.C. coast. Contact Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing to help with the right information and guided options for your next memorable late season fishing experience.
Contact us at 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail from one of the various links from this site.
Tofino B.C. Fishing Report update July 12th, 2011
Tofino B.C. Offshore Fishing Report So far, the month of July has provided outstanding offshore fishing conditions, with light to moderate winds and swell conditions for most days. One major NW blow left us tied to the dock for an afternoon, but the next day the ocean provided great conditions once again. Chinook Salmon numbers have been very strong, with average sizes increasing to the 18-26 lb range. The past three days have provided a new “wave” of Chinook Salmon feeding hard along Tofino’s coast, with a number of these “King” Salmon breaking the Tyee class. Saturday July 9th provided the Rivard party from Colorado with a memorable double header of Trophy sized Chinook, that were near identical Twins at 35 and 36 lbs. After fishing in Tofino for the past 14 years, Dave Rivard said that the Salmon action was the best he had ever seen...The most consistant action has still been within 5-6 miles of Tofino’s outer coastline near areas known as Portland Pt and Three Humps. Tofino’s northern boundary area known as Raphael Point has also provided exceptional action this week. Clayoquot Ventures guides have been averaging between 15-20 Chinook Salmon per day, along with numerous Coho and Pinks, so there has been lots of action and many beautiful Salmon photographed and released.
Halibut Fishing has been excellent in these same areas as well, with the average size of Halibut noticeably increased over the last year as forecasted. Many Halibut have been weighing in the 25-45 lb range, with a few this past week tipping the scales at 60-90 lbs, providing plenty of battle and exceptional table fare for the seafood lovers....North from Tofino outside of Hot Springs Cove area has also provided very good fishing Halibut and Bottomfish species such as Ling Cod and Yellow Eye Rockfish. The travel time is a little longer but the fishing and scenery make it a worthwhile venture. Coho Salmon and Pink Salmon have arrived in very strong numbers offshore this past week, with huge numbers anticipated to arrive just ahead of the major Sockeye salmon runs that should be upon us by the third week of July. Overall rating and forecast for Tofino’s Offshore Fishing; Excellent – Really doesn’t get much better!!!
Tofino B.C. Inshore Fishing Report July is the month when Tofino’s inshore action really turns on. Coho Salmon numbers have been sporadically good throughout the last month, with preliminary signs of the strong numbers forecasted for this popular Salmon species. Much of the Coho fishing action is focused on anglers using very light tackle or Fly patterns trolled or “Bucktailed” on the surface. Not many of the Coho Salmon to date have been exceeding 8 lbs, but they will often double in size by the end of the season so as the Coho get more plentiful, they will also get far bigger. Fishing for Chinook Salmon on the inside waters has also been excellent in most common areas, but has seen less angling effort overall due to favourable offshore conditions and very strong numbers. Productive spots for Coho and Chinook Salmon have been near Monk Rock and Burgess Island, as well as Catface area. This week, Blundan Island also produced Salmon Fishing action that we have not seen in years. As July progresses, the inshore action will continue to be in prime time, with the mentioned areas around Blundan, Bartlett and Tibbs Islands a good focus for success. Overall rating for Tofino’s inshore fishing; Very Good and forecasted to be excellent.
Tofino B.C. Freshwater Fishing Report As the annual downstream Salmon fry migration occurs in local streams and Rivers, July is still an active time for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout to focus on these small fry in lower rivers and estuaries, varying their diet slightly from Stickleback and Euphasids. The Trout fishing can be exceptional during this time, with small streamer style Flies or small spoons and spinners that mimic the Salmon fry. Areas like Grice Bay and streams that feed into Kennedy lake are popular. Some streams also see small runs of late spring and early Summer run Steelhead that are not easy to catch, providing great challenge for Fly fishermen who venture into the remote rivers of the area. Anglers are reminded that all Trout and Steelhead in the ocean and local streams are 100 percent Catch and Release, so please release them carefully. Overall rating for Tofino’s local Freshwater Fishing; Good
Tofino B.C. Fly & Tackle Gear Tips With the peak of the Saltwater Season upon us, and our two main Salmon species arriving in strong numbers, here are a few suggestions to consider for your next fishing trip in the Tofino area. Chinook Salmon fishing offshore has been going as strong as we could expect, with larger fish arriving with each tide. Many of these larger Salmon have been consuming Pacific Pilchards (Sardines) in the 5-8 inch range, so anglers are advised to match the bait size with 6-7 inch Spoons and 5-7 inch Tomic Plugs. When trolling baits, larger Herring are recommended as well, to avoid the numerous Pink Salmon and smaller Coho that are often hard to avoid with needlefish size gear. Halibut options are not often varied from the reliable White Power Grubs or Salmon bellies fished on a spreader bar, bouncing the bottom in 140-150 feet. If Octopus is available, this is highly recommended as well. Coho Salmon focus should include 5-6 inch Polar Bear Bucktails in Pink or Orange, trolled within 15 feet of your motor. Terminal gear for Coho should include chartreuse Clayoquot Candlefish Spoons trolled on a 40 inch leader behind a mini flasher. Don’t hesitate to troll the largest Bucktail flies you have offshore, as the Coho and Chinook have been pushing the Sardines and Herring to the surface this week, and numerous big Salmon have been caught on the Fly out there.
For more information on how we can help you get out and enjoy the great fishing action this season, call us Toll Free 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail from this site to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tofino B.C. Fishing Report update June 29th, 2011
Tofino B.C. Offshore Fishing Report The month of June has provided better than average offshore fishing conditions, with light to moderate winds and swell conditions for most days. Chinook Salmon have been very plentiful, with average sizes in the 14-24 lb range. The best action has been within 5 miles of Tofino’s outer coastline near areas known as Portland Pt and Three Humps. Clayoquot Ventures guides have been averaging between 15-20 Chinook Salmon per day, so there has been lots of action and many beautiful Salmon photographed and released. Halibut Fishing has been excellent in these same areas as well, with the average size of Halibut seeming to increase over the last year as forecasted. Many Halibut have been weighing in the 25-45 lb range, providing plenty of battle and exceptional table fare for the seafood lovers....North from Tofino outside of Hot Springs Cove area has also provided very good fishing for Salmon and Bottomfish. The travel time is a little longer but the fishing and scenery make it a worthwhile venture. Coho Salmon are starting to show in stronger numbers offshore this past week, with very strong numbers anticipated to arrive just ahead of the major Pink and Sockeye salmon runs that should be upon us by mid July. Overall rating and forecast for Tofino’s Offshore Fishing; Excellent
Tofino B.C. Inshore Fishing Report June is the month when Tofino’s inshore action begins to really heat up, followed by July when the fishery really turns on fire. Coho Salmon numbers have been sporadically good throughout the month, with preliminary signs of the strong numbers forecasted for this popular Salmon species. Much of the Coho fishing action is focused on anglers using very light tackle or Fly patterns trolled or “Bucktailed” on the surface. Not many of the Coho Salmon to date have been exceeding 8 lbs, but they will often double in size by the end of the season so as the Coho get more plentiful, they will also get far bigger. Fishing for Chinook Salmon on the inside waters has also been good, but has seen less angling effort overall due to favourable offshore conditions and very strong numbers. Productive spots for Coho and Chinook Salmon have been near Monk Rock and Burgess Island, as well as Catface area. As July arrives, the inshore action will be in prime time, with areas around Blundan, Bartlett and Tibbs Islands a good focus for success. Overall rating for Tofino’s inshore fishing; Good and forecasted to be excellent.
Tofino B.C. Freshwater Fishing Report As the annual downstream Salmon fry migration occurs in local streams and Rivers, June is the most active time for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout to focus on these small fry in lower rivers and estuaries, varying their diet slightly from Stickleback and Euphasids. The Trout fishing can be exceptional during this time, with small streamer style Flies or small spoons and spinners that mimic the Salmon fry. Areas like Grice Bay and streams that feed into Kennedy lake are popular. Some streams also see small runs of late spring and early Summer run Steelhead that are not easy to catch, providing great challenge for Fly fishermen who venture into the remote rivers of the area. Anglers are reminded that all Trout and Steelhead in the ocean and local streams are 100 percent Catch and Release, so please release them carefully. Overall rating for Tofino’s local Freshwater Fishing; Good
Tofino B.C. Fly & Tackle Gear Tips With the peak of the Saltwater Season upon us, and our two main Salmon species arriving in strong numbers, here are a few suggestions to consider for your next fishing trip in the Tofino area. Chinook Salmon fishing offshore has been best with Army Truck Needlefish Hoochies, Oki Titan spoons in 4 inch or Anchovies in the 5 inch range. All can be trolled behind an Oki Flasher in Purple-Chrome, Purple-Glow or Purple Gold very near the bottom. Halibut options are not often varied from the reliable White Power Grubs or Salmon bellies fished on a spreader bar, bouncing the bottom in 140-150 feet. Coho Salmon focus should include 5-6 inch Polar Bear Bucktails in Pink or Orange, trolled within 15 feet of your motor. Terminal gear for Coho should include chartreuse Clayoquot Candlefish Spoons trolled on a 40 inch leader behind a mini flasher.
For personal detailed information, or inquiries about our Private Fishing Charter Availability, please contact us directly by one of the many e-mail links on this site or simply call us Toll Free at 1-888-534-7422
BC Fishing Hockey and Weather - Forecasts can become Reality
When I think of two pastimes that are synonymous with being Canadian, Fishing and Hockey are always first of mind for me, and both have been in my blood and part of my life since my first steps. Growing up on the prairies as a kid, the Hockey season spanned from the first ice on the lake until the last ice melted and waters opened up again. For those of you that don’t know about prairie winters, that translates into many months of skating on frozen ponds, backyard rinks and fishing through holes in the ice at the nearest lake. It seemed almost normal to have your fingers frozen, little or no feeling left in your toes and cheeks that were redder than a Habs jersey. Happiness was having a Hockey stick or fishing rod in hand regardless of conditions.
What does this have to do with Tofino BC fishing opportunities?..All across Canada, weather patterns have been more than confused to say the least, with torrential rains, avalanches, floods and even fires. Climatologists predicted a long and unsettled winter for Canadians in 2010-2011, which has been undisputed across the country, West Coasters have also witnessed snow in early May and Novemberesque wind and rain patterns that have just recently backed off. I’d say the weather man was on his game predicting this one in the almanac.
Fishing forecasts for this season have also been delivered with outlooks being abnormally strong, which is good when fish numbers are concerned. During the months commonly known as spring, the weather wasn’t a cooperative factor on average, but the size and numbers of Chinook salmon and Halibut have supported fisheries predictions. With 4-5 year old Chinook salmon reaching 40 lbs by May, substantially larger average Halibut sizes and Coho salmon showing up en-mass in early June, the banner year for fishing along Vancouver Island’s west coast seems to be unfolding as predicted. Coho returns are anticipated to reach numbers not seen in 40 years, along with masses of Pink and Sockeye Salmon that combined, will be pushing the boundaries of an NHL team salary cap over 50 million strong.
Ironically, the 40 year milestone seems to be a common theme between our two greatest sports on the B.C. Coast, with our local and beloved team of Green White and Blue ready to “get the skunk off the boat” so to speak after 40 long seasons without their own prize catch of Silver. This landmark event for the Orca group has also been predicted by the many sports analysts and commentators that seem to have more stats and number comparisons than DFO has for fish. With the last of the predictions to come true, the celebration and the catches will last beyond June for sure!!
Also related to Tofino Fishing and Hockey, be sure to check out current details at www.tofinosaltwaterclassic.com so you can be involved in this great event for fishing , fun and fundraising for community initiatives. This month, Fish hard and Cheer Loud! Go Fishing....... Go Canucks!!!
Join us this season for a great time on the waters near Tofino, with some prime dates still available..
Call us Toll Free 1-888-534-7422 to learn more about your next great fishing experience.
Jay Mohl Owner Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing
Tofino B.C.'s most recommended Full Service Fishing Outfitter since 1996. www.tofinofishing.com
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April 2011 Tofino Spring Time Fishing
While driving the winding road leading west to the coast, banks of snow were piled high along Highway 4’s Sutton Pass, with even more building up on the hood of my truck. Struggling to get Radio reception through a sky thick with white flakes, and thankful that I invested in a new set of tires, I hoped this truly was March’s last attempt to extend winter. Turning the calendar over to April was a welcome thought, and I knew that spring-time weather on the West Coast of Vancouver Island couldn’t be very far off, providing more ample opportuntities for the outdoor activities that make our region so famous.
Sport fishing in the Tofino area is a popular activity that is definitely affected by the change of seasons, and for local Anglers, April is favoured as the true start to local Saltwater and Freshwater fishing opportuntities. Species such as Salmon, Halibut, Steelhead and Trout all become more active and available for anglers who purely enjoy the sport, as well as those that rely on fresh seafood as part of their diet. Both can be synonymous and somewhat infectious, while living a coastal lifestyle.
With the 2009 and 2010 sport fishing seasons playing out to be the best in the last decade, local and visiting anglers are excited to hear that 2011 is forecasted to provide exceptionally strong Chinook and Coho Salmon fishing opportunities, along with increased sizes and local abundance of Halibut. The strength of current forecasts for the Columbia River Chinook and Coho returns have been a definite highlight for local fisheries, and provide an extremely strong portion of the west coast of Vancouver Island sport fishing opportunities. So strong in fact, that the Chinook salmon from coastal Washington State and Columbia River Hatcheries make up well over 80% of Tofino’s early season Salmon fishery, providing Tofino with what has been considered Southern B.C.’s most consistent Salmon fishing.
For the 2011 season, these exceptionally strong spring runs of Chinook salmon should appear along Tofino’s outer coastline by early April, with the “wave” of southern migrating Chinook continuing through July and early August. These transient salmon find the habitat and abundant food source along Tofino’s offshore banks a prime setting for the juvenile stage of their life cycle, as well as the final adult stage when they gain the mass and strength that help them become true “memory makers”. Fishing experiences during this time most often include Halibut encounters, to compliment great early season Chinook Fishing.
As a great option, Fishing, Whale watching and a soak in the Hot Springs can make for a diverse and memorable day for your private group during the early season while visiting the Tofino area. The weather is obviously a little cooler than the summer, but Tofino’s offshore fishing action for Chinook Salmon and Halibut in April can often be as intense as the peak season months of June July and August.
Anglers heading out with their own boats are reminded to start the season the right way, by going over your safety equipment checklist, and making sure engines, pumps and batteries are in good working order. When in doubt, don’t head out as the weather can still turn quickly, and there are fewer boats on the water in the event of needing assistance.
Whether you are thinking about the unbeatable flavour of early season Chinook Salmon grilled to perfection, or your first battle with the “King of Salmon” or the Pacific’s largest Flatfish, you will find it rewarding and memorable to make get out on the Tofino area waters this spring.
Great dates still available for 2011.
Tofino Fishing Videos Online
For some people, looking at still images is not quite enough to get the real feel for an area and its' fishery. We have started a Youtube Channel here as a start to our collection of Fishing Videos that will be expanding in the days to come. Check it out and post a comment, or e-mail us with a question about a specific fishery that we offer.
More positive Chinook Salmon News for Tofino BC
As outlined in the Tofino BC 2011 Sportfishing Outlook below, a huge portion of the Tofino BC areas' Chinook Salmon catch originates in U.S. rivers and streams south of the border. This recent update from the Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife is more great news for local anglers that are already seeing good number of these large sized early run Salmon.
"Large Chinook Salmon, five-year-old fish are expected to make up an unusually high portion of this year’s catch, said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist. More than 100,000 five-year-old spring chinook – each weighing 18 to 30 pounds – are predicted to pass through fisheries en route to the Willamette River or the upper Columbia River this year.
By comparison, only about 26,000 five-year-old fish returned to those areas last year, despite a strong run of 423,000 spring chinook to those waters."
Nearshore areas close to Tofino, such Moser point and Wilf Rock have provided very strong early season Chinook Fishing so far, with many in the mid to high teens. Anchovies, 3 1/2 inch Oki Titans and Needlefish Hoochies are on. Charters are available for these stong fighting and great eating Chinook Salmon at shoulder season rates.
Westcoast Vancouver Island Sport fishing Outlook for 2011 now available
Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. Sport fishing opportunities are forcasted to provide another banner year, according to Clayoquot Ventures' owner Jay Mohl. The Tofino and Ucluelet area sport fishing has been consistently strong for two decades, with the last 5 years of phenominal action and strong numbers of Salmon helping label the Tofino area fishery as B.C.'s most consistent. While the majority of the British Columbia coastline has experienced salmon runs fluctuating from strong to "less than forecasted", Vancouver Island's West Coast fishery has been bolstered by a multitude of transient Salmon stocks, with the majority of thanks going to U.S. Salmon Enhancement programs. More details and information on how the enhanced numbers of Salmon in the south will once again provide Tofino area anglers with Chinook Salmon hitting record levels are provided within our 2011 Vancouver Island Sportfishing Outlook
Photo Credit: Jeremy Koreski
News from the Pacific Salmon Foundation: Ontario Artist Wins Salmon Conservation Art Contest
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2010) - An Ontario artist has won the honour of having his painting of a Chinook salmon appear on the federal fishing license decal required to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off Canada's west coast. Known as the salmon conservation stamp, anglers must buy the $6.30 postage stamp sized decal annually, and each year a new image for the decal is selected through a contest run by the Vancouver-based Pacific Salmon Foundation.
Curtis Atwater's painting, entitled A Moment of Action-Chinook Salmon, won the contest following several rounds of balloting by judges on November 17 in Vancouver. Atwater, who lives in Caledon East, Ontario won the contest previously in 1991. An avid fisherman, the artist said most of the inspiration for his paintings came from experiences on the water. Atwater's paintings have been featured in a variety of outdoor magazines and he is a member of Artists for Conservation Foundation.
"I have found inspiration for my painting during fishing trips all across Canada, but fishing for salmon in British Columbia has always been an especially inspiring experience," said Atwater. "Salmon are iconic on the west coast of Canada, so I feel privileged to have my work appear on the salmon conservation stamp, and proud to know my work will help support salmon conservation."
Since 1989, some of the money generated through sales of the salmon conservation stamp has been directed back to the Pacific Salmon Foundation by the federal government in support of salmon conservation projects. The foundation's president, Dr. Brian Riddell, said $5.8 million of stamp revenue had been directed to 1,185 community projects since 1991. He said it was part of more than $8.5 million granted by the foundation's Community Salmon Program.
"The salmon conservation stamp is a very important funding source for wild Pacific salmon conservation and serves as a visible reminder to people who catch salmon that it is a precious natural resource," said Riddell. "We all benefit from wild Pacific salmon and it is up to us to help create a sustainable future for salmon and to protect and restore habitat they depend on."
Salmon conservation stamp revenue represented about half of the $700,000 in grants made by the foundation this year to more than 100 community salmon projects, Riddell said. But, he added that only half of the qualified grant applications were able to be funded, which he said emphasized the need for additional support from individuals and businesses that care about salmon conservation.
A panel of 11 judges evaluated the original paintings submitted by 13 artists. Ten of the artists were from British Columbia, two from Ontario and one from Minnesota. Contest rules required that the main subject of submissions be any of the seven species of Pacific salmon found in B.C. waters – Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Chum, Pink, Steelhead and Cutthroat. Submissions included realistic depictions of salmon in their natural environments and stylized works that drew on cultural elements associated with the iconic species.
John Espley of Victoria, who served as one of the judges, said selecting the winner was very difficult and took four rounds of deliberations. Espley, business development manager for Accent Inns and the hotel chain's Fish for the Future campaign, said the job was made challenging because of the high quality of the paintings and the various styles represented.
"I wish everyone in the general public could see all these paintings side by side, because they represented a variety of Pacific salmon species and the range of environments they inhabit," said Espley. "I suspect many people have no idea that there are seven unique species of Pacific salmon nor understand the distinct role the species play in the environment."
In addition to Espley the other judges were Brian Alexander, West Coast Resorts; Robert Clark, C Restaurant; Lisa Cuthbert, West Coast Resorts; Roanne and Roy Dunbar of Seattle, Washington; Bernie Hanby, underwater photographer; Lex Hedley, Vancouver artist; George Illes, Powell River Salmon Society; Don McLeod, Canfisco; and Dave Owen, BC Outdoors Magazine. The winner was announced by Hubert Wat, vice president for marketing with Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, a major business supporter of wild Pacific salmon conservation through the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing supports the work and initiatives of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
For more information, please contact:
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Another Great Season for Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing
October 18 2010 - On behalf of the all of us at Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing, thank you for a great 2010 season. What a year! Tofino experienced BC's most consistent salmon fishing action once again, we celebrated our 15th season on the waters of Tofino, moved our shop to a new and better location, welcomed back many hundreds of returning clients, and enjoyed working every day with some incredible individuals who care about the future of our fish stocks while ensuring clients went home with fish (balance!) ...and we had a blast! We are soon heading north for some hunting and ice fishing time, but will be able to accept reservations for the 2011 season via email while we're away. We are pleased to announce that we will be honouring our 2010 regular rates for all upcoming charters confirmed before December 15 2010....so drop us a line to reserve your dates for next season and save.
Thank you again to our industry partners, our employees, our contract vessel operators, and most importantly, our thanks to our many new and returning fishing clients for choosing Clayoquot Ventures as your Tofino Fishing Outfitter.
Jay and Lorrie Mohl
Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing
Recent weather systems wreak havoc on more than Tofino’s Fishing opportuntities.
The late summer and early fall of 2010 has provided “abnormal” weather conditions all over Canada, with the west side of Vancouver Island getting off somewhat easy compared to many other areas.
The Tofino area has been dealt with one of the driest summers, followed by one of the wettest Septembers on record, with the past 3 weeks constantly changing from really nice to really tough conditions, most experienced anglers know how this See-Saw type of barometric pressure can effect fishing action. Throughout the last three weeks of September, the fishing action turned hot and cold with the weather, creating a mix of some great fishing for Chinook and Coho Salmon, as well as Halibut offshore, and Coho Salmon inshore. The stable windows of weather would offer the fishing action and conditions that we are accustomed to during September’s shoulder season, consistent and reliable....Then another system would push in from the Pacific bringing Wind, Rain and low pressure, “encouraging” actively feeding Salmon to either head further south to their natal streams, or get serious lock jaw until the system passes through. We understand that these “ups and downs” of Fishing occur all over the world and have been an anglers’ nemesis for years, affecting many cold and warm water species. The west coast of Vancouver Island, and more specifically the Tofino area have typically found September to be one of the calmest and enjoyable months of the year for general tourism and fishing over most years past. Just prior to the season’s most aggressive storm we have just experienced, Tofino’s local fishing action offshore provided a few days of Chinook Salmon and Halibut limits, with very nice quality fish. Inshore waters mid last week also provided Coho fishing that we are accustomed to, with a couple days of ten or more large Coho landed on the cast flies and Bucktails.
Like a revolving door, great late season fishing and happy anglers have been followed by frustrating days on the water, followed again by hungry fish and sunny skies......Our appreciation of patience to recent guests who have experienced the tougher conditions recently, like our very valued long term guests that traveled out from Calgary to Tofino for the weekend, but instead were subjected to Storm watching conditions that would rival mid winter in Tofino. Also our congratulations to recent guests who enjoyed excellent Halibut and Chinook fishing action a short distance offshore from Tofino, as well as a fly angler who released a chrome Chinook in the mid 20’s to follow up some great Coho action. With the forecast ahead looking to provide a mix of sun and rain, we anticipate more good fishing prior to the season coming to a close, as we are still awaiting local Coho runs to arrive in substantial numbers, and offshore Chinook numbers are strong and stable. We will gladly provide the most recent updated fishing conditions by calling 1-888-534-7422, which can change day by day, but that’s why it’s called fishing...
Fishing in the Rain, Coho Salmon return
Tofino B.C.’s Salmon and Halibut fishing continues through September
Well, we’ve been waiting for the rain....It seems a little crazy to be living in a coastal temperate Rain Forest that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world, and we have found ourselves waiting for more precipitation. I suppose it goes along with all else delivered by Mother Nature, weather and conditions that have been predicatably unpredictable.....
Predictions for Salmon returns to the hundreds of River systems along the Pacific Northwest have actually been accurate for the most part. Many larger runs have been returning above forecasted levels such as the robust numbers of Chinook Salmon to the Columbia, and the largest Sockeye Salmon return to the Fraser River in this century.
Coho Salmon are normally the “survivor” species, and following an exceptional fishery in 2009 that was anticipated to be as strong or even better in overall numbers, Coho returns have actually been the acception to predicted returns along the coast.
Though the numbers of Coho Salmon traveling and feeding among Tofino’s prime coastal location have been fair at best, this has been a highlighted area compared to most regions on the B.C. coast, which has been the common theme over the past 4 seasons. Now that the rains have arrived, and will likely cease within a few days, with it will arrive more hungry Coho Salmon that often will not head to the rivers until mid to late October. With the timing much later than normal this season, and historically many Coho have held in the Saltwater until late December, Mother Nature could deliver us a great late season with strong numbers of large and hungry Coho Salmon.
The past three days of Fishing in the Tofino area, the Coho numbers have been increasing substantially, with light tackle trolled or jigged shallow, as well as cast flies and Buck-tail patterns becoming more effective with each tide. Larger Coho have been in the 15-17 lb. Range, with an average around 7-11 lbs. Retention limits for the Tofino area are set at 4 Coho per person per day, and the Chinook limits are still at 2 per person in the offshore waters, with non-retention of Chinook inside Clayoquot Sound waters. The outside fishery for Chinook Salmon and Halibut has been consistently good, and should remain strong until the weather becomes more unstable, often sometime in late October.
For more detailed information on our great late season fishing options in the Tofino area, call us toll free at 1-888-534-7422 Watch for our most recent episode of Sportfishing BC with Mark Pendlington on Cable and Satellite channels, where we fish for Coho and Chinook Salmon on the Fly. This episode includes a very memorable release of an exceptionally large Chinook Salmon that tested Mark’s 8 weight Fly rod and 12 lb. Test leader, as well as his stamina......What a Battle.
Catch up with us soon for another update here at www.tofinofishing.com
September - In like a Lamb....
Tofino B.C. Sport fishing Update September 3, 2010
Understanding that the fall equinox is still 20 days away, many people often associate the Labour Day weekend as a turning point from Summer to Fall on B.C.’s west coast.
The first three days of September have treated us with exceptional weather, as well as outstanding offshore Fishing action for Chinook Salmon, Halibut and Ling Cod. Good numbers of Coho Salmon are also hitting near the surface for anglers fishing Tofino’s inshore waters, and while trolling for Chinook offshore. Coho numbers are increasing daily, with this popular fishery ready to “turn on” for the remainder of the season.
Warm water currents not too uncommon to our area during September have “pushed” up from the south, bringing the warm (58-64 deg.) clear blue water favoured by Albacore Tuna and Mackeral. These currents will often come within 30 – 50 miles of Tofino’s coastline, allowing larger vessels to venture out on the nicest weather days for a unique fishing experience for these hard fighting and tasty warm water species.
For the Tofino/Clayoquot Sound area, and the surrounding offshore waters, September continues to offer fantastic sport fishing opportunities for most Freshwater and Saltwater species.
With the drier than normal conditions on the B.C. coast during the summer of 2010, migration timing of many Salmon runs has been substantially delayed. The strong forecasted returns for many Salmon stocks along B.C.’s southern coast, and later than normal timing should allow for great Chinook Salmon fishing into October, with Coho opportunities lasting late into the fall. Halibut, Ling Cod and Rockfish options stay prime until late October, weather permitting.
The prime salmon feeding habitat along Clayoquot’s outer coastline and offshore banks have provided great to phenominal Chinook salmon fishing over the past 5 months, as well as a noticeable difference in the overall numbers and average size of Halibut.
Tofino’s pristine Freshwater Lakes and Rivers are a great option through the early fall for some diverse fishing opportunities for Trout, Steelhead and Coho Salmon, with total catch and release on local river systems.
Half and full day guided excursions are available, and we are eager to host guests for some fantastic late season action in the Tofino area. For further details and booking inquiries, contact Clayoquot Ventures at 1-888-534-7422 or stop in at Tofino’s full service fishing shop, Jay’s Fly & Tackle on Campbell St. in Tofino.
Updated info is always available at www.tofinofishing.com
Tofino’s Peak Fishing Season Continues
While Tofino B.C. experiences a beautiful stretch of late season weather, the Sportfishing opportunities remain as at peak season levels. Tofino’s Salmon fishery in 2010 has been nothing short of exceptional, specifically for Chinook Salmon traveling along Tofino’s outer coastline, destined for various watersheds in the Pacific Northwest.
Many days are seeing charter boats encounter over 40 Chinook Salmon of various sizes, with most of these ocean bright Salmon being released unharmed to continue the journey to natal streams. For anglers searching for a catch to sustain the fall and winter food supply, legal limits have been very common.
Halibut numbers and average size have also been stronger than previous years, with many fish caught near the coastline in less than 150 feet of water. Various bottom fish species help augment the variety and action while searching for the Pacific’s largest Flounder.
Coho salmon action on the inshore waters has been hot and cold, with fair to good numbers of these feisty and acrobatic “Silvers” starting to show up stronger over the last week, hitting flies, trolled “Bucktail” flies, and small spoon trolled in the protected waters near Catface and Burgess Island.
As the weather continues to treat us with prime summer conditions, the Sportfishing opportunities are forecast is to follow suit and provide fantastic fishing through September, reminding us just why Tofino B.C. is considered one of the most consistent Sportfishing destinations in British Columbia.
For detailed Charter and Fishing information for the month of September, call Clayoquot Ventures Toll Free at 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail email@example.com
Peak Fishing Dates now open for Tofino B.C. Fishing
With exceptionally strong Saltwater Fishing for Chinook Salmon and Halibut in the Tofino area, and the peak month of August upon us, now is the time to consider that last minute Fishing trip that you have been dreaming about. Chinook numbers and sizes have been outstanding, along with a larger average size for Halibut than we have seen in years.
Prime Fishing dates through mid to late August are normally booked 8-12 months in advance, so due to some date shuffles with groups coming earlier than later, we now have some great options to host new or repeat guests in these spaces. Most dates are for private day Charters and not for our outlined Fishing packages, but accommodations can be sourced for you with local Tofino properties.
Peak Season Dates now available to consider are;
Thursday August 19th and Friday August 20th,
Monday August 23rd and Tuesday August 24th
Sunday August 29th and Monday August 30th
Early September will also provide a great fishery for Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon and Halibut, as well as the season’s best opportunities for various Bottom fish, and there are some great dates to consider as well. The season’s largest Coho salmon are feeding hard within Clayoquot Sound during September, providing world class action for light tackle as well as Saltwater Fly fishing.
We look forward to hearing from you by calling toll free 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
August Fishing in Tofino – The peak of the Season
In the past 15 years as a full time Sportfishing outfitter in Tofino B.C., on Vancouver Island’s rugged, beautiful and bountiful west coast, there are always those days that pique your interest and passion to another level. Without these types of events that include special fish, guests, weather or combinations of each, even “professional” anglers can find the routine a little lacklustre. Fortunately for Tofino anglers, this is not very common, and August is anything from lacklustre.
We are fortunate in the Tofino area to have such a diverse blend of prime marine habitat, varied transient fish stocks and strong numbers of local or visiting anglers ready for their first or even fiftieth fishing experience that ideally will far “outweigh” the end catch. Tofino’s geographic location provides a perfect landscape for these blending factors to enhance the overall experience, and how it can play out in the favour of all who venture beyond the end of the road. Within Clayoquot Sound or offshore from Tofino’s coastline, a diversity of fishing is available, and August has long been considered as one of the very premier months of the Sportfishing season on Vancouver Island’s west coast.
Chinook Salmon action is consistent offshore from Tofino, with the season’s largest Salmon that can reach sizes up to 50 lbs., migrating to various rivers down the coast. Coho Salmon create a steady mix of action in this same area, with many of these acrobatic silvers hitting on or near the surface. Halibut fishing has continued to stay very good through the spring and early summer, with average sizes increased over recent years with many fish in the 35-60 lb class. Trolling medium sized Herring in mid water will often produce great results for Chinook, while Halibut and Bottom fish can be caught using artificial power baits or natural baits fished along the sandy gravel flats not far from the lighthouse.
The inside waters of Clayoquot Sound now offer the season’s finest action for Coho Salmon on Flies or light tackle, with strong numbers of hungry and aggressive Coho cruising through local Kelp forests and among Tofino’ s coastal islands. Cast flies or trolled Buck-tail patterns in greens, blues and purples are go to colors, with small spoons or hoochies in chartreuse will often get it going. Tofino’s inshore fishery has unfolded as one of B.C.’s premier protected light tackle fishing options for all types of experience levels and vessel sizes, including recent growth in Kayak fishing. Saltwater Fly fishing has enjoyed increased growth for years on Vancouver Island, with Tofino area options as prime as ever.
An important regulation change for the 2010 season starting August 1st, the inside waters of area 24 will be non-retention for all Chinook Salmon regardless of size. Regulations continue to allow 2 Chinook Salmon over 45 cm. in offshore waters in area 1-24. In the event of catching a Chinook Salmon while fishing inshore during August and September, anglers are reminded to leave the Chinook Salmon in the water, and remove the hook quickly and carefully to support survival rates for these precious wild Clayoquot Salmon. Coho Salmon can still be retained in this area, with the daily limit of 2 per person increasing to 4 per person starting September 1st.
Updated fishing and regulations information is always available at Tofino’s Fly and Tackle store on Campbell Street or by logging on to www.tofinofishing.com
Tofino Fishing Action July is in Fire....
Over the past couple months, many people ask “how is the fishing?” A common response that I have used is “Far better than the weather!!” I have definitely changed my response over the last couple weeks, especially with the scenario we have going on right now.
Tofino B.C. Sport fishing action is normally very consistent for Salmon and Halibut, actually far more consistent than the mixed weather patterns synonymous to the West coast of Vancouver Island. The past week has differed from the norm, in a good way, actually a hot way. The recent heat wave being experienced in many areas of Western Canada hasn’t skipped our popular Fishing and Tourism destination on the outer edge of the Island as it often does. In fact, as our guide team comes in day after day lately to tell me that “Fishing is on Fire”, it holds more meaning than the Chinook and Coho Salmon are thick and hungry, or the Halibut are chomping a short distance offshore. Sunscreen by the pint and lots of cold liquids have helped our many, many happy guests cope with the blazing heat and powerful fish that have “seared” in happy memories of their great Tofino fishing experience.
Inshore Coho action has been “Hot”, with light gear or flies, fishing within 20 minutes from Tofino in protected waters averaging 20-45 ft deep. A great experience for all anglers regardless of experience.
Offshore Chinook Salmon and Halibut action has been “Scorching Hot” with many Chinook 12-35 lbs. Being caught trolling approximately 35 minutes from the Tofino Harbour in 110-145 ft of water. Many Tyee Chinook Salmon over 30 lbs. have already been released as part of our Catch and Release Derby. Halibut fishing has been “flat out awesome” with a huge biomass of these popular bottom dwellers that have been consistently caught in the 20-75lb. Range while fishing the same areas as the Salmon.
The forecast ahead is for much more of the same; Hot fishing and Weather so if you really need your fishing fix, or just want a really cool first experience, let one of Clayoquot Ventures experienced guides host you for a half or full day of great action over the next couple months of peak season Fishing action at B.C.’s premier marine destination, Tofino B.C.
Tofino B.C. Salmon Fishing Action - Consistent is an Understatement part 2
June 18th, 2010
Well, the unreal action continues....We’ve been waiting for days like these. Its not just the calm ocean conditions, perfect temperature or world class Salmon Fishing, but the current combination of all these factors that help Tofino stand out on the map of B.C.’s finest Sport Fishing destinations.
Strong numbers of Coho Salmon are showing up in the protected waters of Clayoquot Sound, fat, healthy and hungry. Though smaller that the tackle testing sizes of late summer, these feisty and acrobatic silver salmon make great sport for light tackle or fly-fishing within minutes from Tofino’s inner harbour. Chinook Salmon are also lurking among the young inshore kelp forests and can create memorable fights on the same light gear in this relatively shallow water.
The offshore action has been beyond consistent for Chinook Salmon of varied sizes, many of which are hatchery marked fish heading south of the border. This morning, the seas were near flat, and every boat within our view was busy with Salmon, whether in battle, catch or release, there was action everywhere. One Clayoquot Ventures vessel fished Halibut near the coastline for a few hours, finding some great action with the “flat ones”, while the other boats trolled Salmon a few miles further out. After switching over to Salmon trolling, the guys onboard enjoyed 3 double headers within 20 minutes, and called it a day. What a memorable morning of Fishing near Tofino. Great Action, Many Fish, Calm and Warm, a classic Tofino Fishing experience.
In our 15th season, Clayoquot Ventures Guide Service feels fortunate to have these ideal conditions to host fishing guests from various parts of the world, an experience that many anglers only dream of. Located in our new Store front on Tofino’s main street into town, Clayoquot Ventures hosts private and shared charters for half or full days, and are eager to get new guests on the water with charter space available over the next 2 weeks.
Call us Toll Free at 1-888-534-7422
Consistent Fishing is an understatement
June 10th, 2010
With weather patterns all over Western Canada raising eyebrows and changing plans for springtime travel and leasure activities, West Coast Vancouver Island has not been much different. Fortunatley the Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. Fishing for Chinook salmon, Coho Salmon and Halibut has been so good for early June, that it helps us look beyond the unsettled weather,,,,well almost,,,
With most of our fleet going pretty steady over the last week, we have been able to host many happy groups with very consistent, to excellent fishing.
Chinook numbers have been phenominal. A local commercial fishermen mentioned that in one day of the short opening last week, he caught more "pieces" of Chinook in one day than he has in over 10 years of limited opening times and dates.
Our boats have been experiencing similar fishing quality for the southern migrating Chinook, but obviously not in the "hundreds" per day, but double digit days have been very common though.
Halibut fishing has been similar, with numbers plentiful and travels minimal to our offshore areas. Many Halibut have been caught in the range of 140-160 deep and averaging 20 - 45 lbs.Bouncing bottom baits have not been necessary every day, as many Halibut have been caught while trolling for Salmon, often enought to reach a limit of Flat fish prior to switching over gear types..
Coho Salmon are here as well, and gaining in size and numbers by the week. Inshore areas of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound have already provided us with some great action for Saltwater Fly fishing, which is looking to be another awesome season ahead.
Prime space and dates still available, and we would be glad to help with details on these great options.
Call Toll Free 1-888-534-7422 for immediate help.
Tofino B.C. June 2nd 2010 Sport fishing report
For many years, the pattern for sport fishing on the west coast of Vancouver Island has the month of June scheduled to fire on all cylinders, providing great angling opportunities for most of the Tofino area’s predominant saltwater species. Freshwater anglers are also somewhat hesitant to put away the waders and lighter tackle just yet, as local streams and lakes can be alive with hungry Trout, as well as a small number of Steelhead that enter various small local river systems through June and July. Every calendar year, June is the month of transition from spring to summer. For B.C.’s fishing calendar, June is when plans are made and memories unfold, while fishing opportunities all over the province turn from great, to excellent, and even “world class”. There is obviously good reason why the month of June also plays host to B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend all over the province.
With the bulk of Tofino’s recreational fishing focused on Saltwater action, and consistent numbers of transient Chinook and Coho salmon passing through local waters from April thru July, there is reason to question if the peak season has shifted to June and July, as opposed to the highlighted August fishery of past years. Though Coho salmon numbers have been impressive since mid May, many understand that the inshore Coho fishing only gets better as we approach August. The abundant and aggressive Silver Salmon feed hard in and around Clayoquot Sound, prior to migrating southward to various large watersheds. The peak Coho Fly fishing and light tackle action begins through mid June, and stays consistently strong through mid September. The outside waters offer Chinook salmon fishing that will be reliable and steady for the season’s largest Salmon species, but the sheer numbers of transient Salmon and Halibut in the earlier part of the season have definitely encouraged anglers to consider the season’s best opportunities are now earlier than later. Along with the popular Salmon fishery, various species of Bottom fish help create a colourful mix to the experience. Offshore Salmon numbers during this time are unrivalled for the remainder of the season, aside from the waves of Coho that feed for extended periods within the prime habitat of Clayoquot, offering B.C.’s premier saltwater Fly fishing experience.
There is no doubt that the West Coast of Vancouver Island offers B.C.’s most consistent early season fishery and Tofino is right in the middle of all the action. Regardless of age or experience, big boat, small boat or no boat at all, Tofino’s varied fishing options should be highlighted on your calendar this June. For more direct information and updated reports, call us toll free at 1-888-534-7422 or when arriving in Tofino, visit our new location on the left just past RPM marine shop as you drive in to town. Look for the 6 ft Cedar Salmon....
Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. Fishing update May 24th, 2010
The delay in recent reports has nothing to do with a lack of great fishing in the Tofino and Ucluelet areas. We have been going steady on the water with 2 of our vessels, and some great Salmon and Halibut fishing in between weather systems. We have been going extra hard on the finishing stages of our new Tofino location, which is now ready for the 2010 season. We will outline some of the new changes in the next few days, with images and feedback from our grand "re-opening" on May 20th. Great Food, Wine, Beer and community networking to help us celebrate....more to come after the fishing update.
A quick update from the west side of Vancouver Island fishing areas of Tofino and Ucluelet;
Fishing has been very good for most of the early season from Ukee and Tofino, especially for Halibut and various Bottom dwellers.
Herring and Salmon bellies have been easy to fish for Halibut this time of the year without the small Sharks around, but the white power grubs are also a standby when natural baits can't be fished for whatever reason.
Regulations are still at 1 Halibut per person per day, as well as 3 Ling Cod and 3 various Rockfish.
We did have a new batch of Chinook cruise through approx 4 days ago that were tackle busters, likely on a mission to reach the Columbia River hard and fast...
It has not often been necessary to travel any more than 6 miles offshore right now for Salmon or the Flat ones (Halibut), with nothing too big yet that we have actually seen. Our boats have had 4 hook up/battles this week on large Halibut that have all ended up as LDR's (Long Distance Releases). This is the time of year that we often see the larger Hali's, so the hour long battle stories can be fact more than fiction.....Many of our larger Halibut ladies are released anyhow, but it sure is great to have a close look at those large brown beauties that look like the top of a picnic table...
Salmon have been considered quality lately if they are in the mid to high twenties right now, but in a month or so, this will become a common "Cookie Cutter" size, as the bar is raised later in the season. They make up for the lack of overall size in pure strength and the season's best table fare.
Commercial Salmon trolling for our area closed recently, but just prior, the reports from the north island were very good for another strong wave of 20+ Chinook heading south, and Coho are already feeding in Clayoquot. Our Fly boat "Power Play" launches this week for some fun with 6wt Fly Rods. on the Juvenile Coho Salmon that are getting thicker by the week, and now averaging 3-5 lbs.
Trout fishing in the lakes and streams has lit up as well, with some bright spring Steelhead still arriving to do their amazing "Spawn and Split" routine that keeps this unique genetic strain alive, prior to the waters dropping too much in the rivers by early summer.
The next month and one half will provide exceptional fishing for Chinook Salmon and Halibut with some special rates for day charters and packages. We do have some space left, and no shortage of interest to provide you with a very memorable fishing experience based out of Tofino B.C.
Call directly to 1-888-534-7422 for more information and help with planning your next favourite fishing vacation.
Tofino B.C. Fishing update May 4th, 2010
Though the weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island has been mixed with hints of winter hanging on, and signs of spring frequent enough to keep anglers enthused, the Saltwater fishing was strong and consistent throughout the month of April. Chinook Salmon and Halibut have been the primary focus, with great action for both species. Numerous days were considered “inshore” fishing only, dictated by weather and ocean conditions, but that has not hindered fishing opportunities for great early season Salmon fishing throughout Clayoquot Sound. The predicted near record Chinook Salmon numbers for southern migrating stocks that feed and travel past Tofino’s coastline seem to be holding true, with these huge spring and summer runs of Chinook supporting Tofino’s long and strong Sportfishing season.
Coho Salmon are already present within Clayoquot Sound much earlier than normal, which also supports the banner outlook for these popular sport fish and the varied angling techniques they provide. Tofino area Fly and gear anglers welcome the big numbers and great fishing heading their way. With Clayoquot Sound’s prime habitat and abundant forage fish, a Coho Salmon being released now at 4 lbs can easily reach 12-15lbs by the fall season. Coho salmon often travel under the radar of anglers who think of Tyee sized Chinook and powerful Halibut, but pound for pound, Coho are every bit as aggressive and explosive with the hit and the battle.
The Tofino area is considered B.C.’s best saltwater family fishing destination for many reasons. Varied accommodation and recreation options, along with protected water fishing action in the breathtaking scenery of Clayoquot Sound, just short distance from the Tofino Harbour provides a prime setting for all ages.
With a great looking forecast ahead for weather and , and fishing opportunities for Salmon and Halibut that will rival any area’s peak season, the months of May and June are a great option to fish the Tofino area. The combination of lighter traffic than peak tourism season, reduced rates and great Fishing should all be considered for your west coast fishing experience from Tofino B.C.
Further information is available by visiting www.tofinofishing.com or phone our full service Fly & Tackle Shop/booking office at Toll Free 1-888-534-7422 or Direct at 250-725-2700
Spring Time in Tofino B.C.
Well there is no doubt that Spring is upon us here on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The trees and flowers are budding all around as the hours of sun shine overtake the rainfall and weather patterns consistent with winter on the coast.
The true indicators that we watch more than any, are the patterns of Tofino’s local marine life, most specifically the early season Chinook Salmon and Halibut the become more abundant in numbers and feeding hard along our local coastline.
While Megan and I visited an excellent Sportsman Show in Edmonton this week, speaking to hundreds and possibly thousands of interested anglers, our excitement for the season has heightened even more while explaining how strong the fisheries will be again this year in Tofino. While having a great time discussing fishing with past and future guests of Clayoquot Ventures during the Edmonton exposition, we received a call from Tofino that was “luring” us back as soon as possible.
Our guide Blake sent a message that the oceans had flattened out smoother than smooth, and the sun was shining bright and warm. Obviously the most important part of the message was the fishing. The “Overtime” left the dock and returned no more than three hours later with three nice Halibut and 3 very high quality early season Chinook Salmon for a quick trip out.
I know we will be thinking of this kind of action as we drive back through the Rockies towards the coast, and looking forward to the great springtime fishery that is now in high gear.
Great availability through the next few months with some very appealing 15th Anniversary Special Rates!
We look forward to hearing from you and helping arrange a very memorable fishing experience in Tofino B.C. this spring.
Tofino 2010 – B.C. Salmon Fever
With many B.C. residents still buzzing from the Olympic hype that enthralled our country, our province and especially the city of Vancouver, there seems to be a more powerful sense of patriotism and pride for our home turf. In Tofino’s case, there happens to be more water and surf, but the pride and fever is still very obvious. The highly played, dynamic tourism advertising that has aired on many television networks, showcasing British Columbia’s diverse regions, activities and breathtaking sights, seemed to be missing a key element that many of us treasure dearly. If you guessed Salmon, and how they are synonymous with the spirit of a coastal B.C. lifestyle, you get it.
Salmon could easily be considered a life-blood of the West coast for many indigenous and settling communities from years past. With a current 1.3 Billion dollar recreational fishing industry in the province, the life-blood still exists, and the passion for the sport of Salmon fishing has grown immensely over the years for resident and not resident anglers.
Stronger Chinook and Coho Salmon returns of late have not been awarded the same press coverage as some larger stocks in recent decline, but the positives to ecology, economy, food, social and sport have been highlight worthy. The Tofino area fishery over the past two seasons has been nothing short of world class, with offshore Chinook and Halibut action, as well as inshore Coho Salmon opportunities consistent and strong. As the 2010 season escalates into prime time, we are fortunate to have as good or better forecast than the recent memorable seasons. The increased forecast for spring run Chinook Salmon of nearly 500 Thousand destined to the Columbia river will throw a positive twist into traditional run timing for Tofino area fisheries, with March looking strong and April May and June expected to be the peak. June will provide a transition point for these same strong mixed stocks, as the summer run heading to the same large southern watershed is expected to be nearly 700 Thousand, peaking in late July along Tofino’s offshore banks. When you combine the 1.2 Million Chinook with the strong numbers of Coho and Chinook anticipated again to the many salmon bearing watersheds along the Pacific Northwest, the 2010 post Olympic fever will continue, but Tofino anglers will be in search of Silver, not Gold.
Weather conditions continue to improve, with many signs of spring are noticeable along Vancouver Island’s west coast. Herring have returned to the Clayoquot Sound inlets to spawn, with the eco-chain of common predators that follow; Chinook Salmon and Halibut have followed the Herring in from the offshore waters, along with Sea Lions that feed on both Herring and Salmon. The top predator in Tofino’s local marine food chain has also showed up to the party this week, with a healthy pod of transient and opportunistic Orca Whales lured by a smorgasbord of their favoured protein. With the over abundance of Sea Lions along the Pacific Northwest, becoming a meal for “Killer” Whales, this spectacle of nature is welcomed by many. This writer has full confidence that these natural events will not have any negative impact on the great eco-tourism options related to Marine Mammal viewing in regards to the number of Sea Lions along West Coast Vancouver Island. Chinook Salmon and Halibut fishing has been getting more consistent by the week, with offshore opportuntities best for both species, as well as the protected inlet waters providing good numbers of Chinook Salmon in the 12-20 lb range.
We welcome any inquiries for some great spring time fishing based out of Tofino, along with a number of prime dates still available for the peak season months from June thru September.
Tofino B.C. - Pacific Rim Vancouver Island
Sport fishing Outlook 2010
Following the last few seasons of extremely consistent sport fishing along Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim region, and considering the 2009 season unfolded to likely be the strongest in the last decade, many would not have thought that the best is yet to come.
Recent indicators* for the 2010 fishing season on Vancouver Island’s west coast are pointing towards yet another banner year for Chinook and Coho Salmon numbers that travel and feed along the nutrient rich waters of Vancouver Island’s outer coastline. Without question, the strength and consistency of this area’s excellent fishing opportunities are due to the combined multitudes of Salmon stocks destined to various rivers and tributaries outside of the area, many of which are hatchery augmented runs. The runs that support such consistent fisheries for local and visiting anglers are primarily Chinook and Coho Salmon destined for the Fraser River, the Columbia River and enhanced stocks from Washington state, as well as Robertson Creek near Port Alberni. These transient salmon find the habitat and abundant food source along Tofino and Ucluelet’s offshore banks a prime setting for the juvenile stage of their life cycle, as well as the final adult stage, when they feed hard in preparation for the final journey to natal streams. This scenario is one that anglers anticipate each season, and fortunately it happens in our local waters as much or more than most areas of the B.C. coast.
For the 2010 season, the spring runs of Chinook salmon should appear along Tofino’s outer coastline earlier than recent years, with mid April through early May to see the first “wave” of southern migrating spring Chinook salmon. The waters that average 145-160 feet deep, approximately 4-8 miles offshore near Portland Pt., Three Humps and the Heisen Bank will be the go-to area for the Tofino area anglers. Trolling near the bottom with Anchovies or Needlefish hoochies as well as thin Needlefish style spoons are preferred methods to ensure success. A little further south towards Ucluelet and offshore on La Perouse Bank, some tolling depths are deeper in the gully areas, but a similar gear approach is often used. As the abundant schools of Sardines reappear in the area as a staple food source for the maturing Salmon, the preferred gear size increases with larger spoons and plugs becoming as popular as ever for this fishery. With a very similar timing and area outlined for early season Salmon success has also been extremely popular for Halibut fishing along the Island’s Pacific Rim. Over recent years, fishing has been very consistent for Halibut of various sizes, but catch opportunities may decrease with changes to fisheries regulations in 2010. Please consult local postings for updated information regarding Halibut fishing.
As a highlight, the peak of the salmon season may very well be earlier this year as well, with June looking to be excellent for a mix of Chinook and Coho, but all indications are leading towards July as the peak month for 2010. July has always been considered part of the peak summer season for Tofino and Ucluelet Fishing, but for 2010, the bulk of the Columbia River Chinook and Coho salmon present during that time should provide unrivalled fishing opportunities for the year.
In years past, the salmon fishery was focused closer to the coastline, and often by late summer, the majority of anglers would fish for the largest Chinook and Coho of the season within the protected inshore waters of Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds. The late season terminal area fishery in these areas has become much more conservative over the past 10 years, with the majority of the recreational fleet now fishing the offshore waters. While protecting the fragile local Chinook stocks inside Clayoquot Sound, the strength of the area’s inshore Coho fishery has rebounded to rival past years that helped label Clayoquot Sound as B.C.’s premier Saltwater Fly fishing destination. Schools of hungry Coho Salmon arrive in late May and early June, and thrive among the myriad of Islands, Reefs and Kelp Forests, foraging on abundant schools of Needlefish. Likely due in part to the beneficial conditions of the base stage of marine survival, these aggressive Coho have been reaching amazing size proportions by mid to late summer, and returning through the fall well past the end of October. This area and fishery has been favoured by many smaller vessel anglers, and has become extremely popular again, most notably for those that enjoy catching hard fighting Coho Salmon on a Fly Rod in the shallow, protected waters of the sound.
As in any fishing season, regardless of your location there can be highs and lows, but for 2010 we are looking forward to once again experience why Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim area has been considered one of B.C.’s most reliable Sport Fishing destinations by many.
* Many of the most accurate predictions of fisheries researchers are based on the preceding year’s return of Juvenile male Salmon, also known as “Jacks”, which returned in strength to many rivers, but primarily to the Columbia River in 2009, arriving in numbers that smashed records back to the early 1960’s.
We welcome your inquiries to arrange a very memorable fishing trip in 2010. Whether it is a single vessel - half day charter, or a multi vessel multi day package, we are excited to help you with planning for one of the best sport fishing seasons in over a decade.
Call us toll free at 1-888-534-7422 or e-mail from the links on this site.
Jay and the Clayoquot Ventures Team