Ucluelet, B.C. is a prized spot for fishing Salmon and Halibut!
Vancouver Island is situated in one of the most active salmon runs in the world. Every year, salmon return to the ocean from the fresh waters of the Campbell River to lay their eggs before heading back to spawn. In particular, Ucluelet is fed by two spawning river resources, seeing a return of about half a million salmon each year! Its waters provide sheltered areas for those that tend to get sea sick, and hold plenty of bait fish. That means the chinook and coho stick around to feast nearly all summer long! Although seasoned anglers know that Vancouver Island is one of the best spots in the world for salmon fishing, the area has managed avoid the heavy traffic of fishing hotspots like Alaska.
Canada vs. the US
If you’re worried about booking your vacation in Canada, rather than the states, don’t! Booking a vacation in Canada as an American has been made easy for years. Local guides will tell you everything you need to know about getting there, and vacuum packers will make sure you’re all set for the border. If you’re just a short hop away by plane, you can check your packed and frozen catch in Styrofoam coolers like a checked bag. Otherwise, you can leave your salmon with the vacuum packer and they’ll send it home to your US Residence. Both ensure you’ll have fresh fish in the freezer to last the entire winter!
General Salmon Info
There are five types of Pacific Salmon, all of which can be caught on Vancouver Island depending on your destination. The most desirable to catch are Chinook and Coho, as they put up the best fights, and create the most exciting trips! Chinook are the pride and prize of salmon fishing, hence their nickname, King salmon. They are usually the largest and most fun to catch. They are strong and feed farther in the depths than coho. Plus, they’re picky, so finding what they want to eat is half the puzzle! Coho are known to be acrobatic and make for some entertaining salmon fishing. They put up a good fight and can drag the line way out from the boat. They’re also tasty to eat. Chum are a late-season salmon, and most charters have pulled their boats for the winter by the time they arrive. Pinks are great to catch, but are preferred by fly fisherman in the rivers, as they are a fantastic beginner angler catch. Sockeye are usually caught around river mouths and inlets and are a favourite for Port Alberni. Another exciting aspect of fishing on Vancouver Island is that there are a few areas, such as the west coast, where you can catch both halibut and salmon in the same day!
Halibut – the other white meat!
Vancouver Island is also known for being one of the best places to fish for Pacific halibut. This tasty treat is a flat fish that is black on one side and white on the bottom. It will lay on its side on the ocean floor and eat fish that pass by with its large mouth. It has very few enemies and is on top of the food chain meaning they have the chance to grow very large. In fact, the largest recorded Pacific halibut to be caught weighed over 700lbs! The smaller, younger fish taste better and their white meat is prized for its great flavor. When booking a trip to B.C. for salmon fishing, be sure to make some time in your trip to try and catch some of the ocean’s tastiest treats.
Halibut are fun to catch, especially because they aren’t as common as salmon. Small to mid-sized halibut don’t make too much trouble or thrash around while on the line, but some of the large ones definitely do! The smaller halibut, under forty pounds, usually taste better than the larger ones and their meat is less grainy.