Salmon Fishing Vancouver Island

2008-11-22 16:06:00
Vancouver Island, British Columbia - Saltwater Fishing Report
Ucluelet on Vancouver Island
Sam Vandervalk

2008 Season Review and 2009 Outlook

2008 was another successful season for Ucluelet. From reports we heard from our clients about their friends who fished other places—we did by far the best! Salmon fishing picked up mid June and stayed good right through mid October. We usually quit fishing near the end of September however, as the winds usually start to pick up right at the end of the month.

Early season saw the average size of fish much bigger than normal for that time of year. A large percentage of our salmon were between 15-30 lbs caught mostly on coyote spoons. That means tired arms and happy customers! There were also some large halibut caught in close ranging from 40-120 lbs with a few coming in larger.

The fish stayed closer to shore for a good part of the season which made it easier and shorter to get your fish. We saw some of the best fishing are Inside South Bank than we have seen ever—we had a few days where we must have had 60-70 chinooks(Kings) hooked and then either kept of released. Eventually we used large Wondor spoons up shallow to keep the Kings under 15lbs off the line.

Fishing wasn’t all glamorous however. We had days where we were only catching 10-15 Kings per 8 hr trip. But most days we came back with our limit and we had many happy clients. Overall salmon fishing was much better in 2008 for Ucluelet compared to 2007, though much of the coast suffered through some hard times.

Halibut fishing stayed very consistent throughout the summer and we limited out fairly quickly while fishing this tasty treat. Halibut fishing even stayed good into October which is fairly unusual. Halibut were caught on glow hutchies or bottom bouncing with power bait.

Outlook of 2009

We expect a strong summer for both Kings, Coho and Halibut. It is always a good sign if fishing stays strong into late season. We had a great showing of large Coho late in the season which tells us the Coho numbers are still strong. Forecasts from Fisheries and Oceans haven’t been completed—however their forecast for last summer was way off—so I am not so sure it will matter much. Ucluelet has been the most consistent place on the coast including Alaska for strong numbers of Chinook and Coho and I can’t see why it would change. Tight lines and Good fishing!

Sam Vandervalk

Fish Species: Kings,Coho,Halibut
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43.5 lb Chinook(King) August 2008
43.5 lb Chinook(King) August 2008

50 lb Chinook (King) August 2008
50 lb Chinook (King) August 2008

Sam Vandervalk

About The Author: Captain Sam Vandervalk

Company: Salmon Eye Charters

Area Reporting: Vancouver Island - Ucluelet, Tofino, Port Alberni BC

Bio: Sam Vandervalk, the owner of Salmon Eye Charters has now guided for 12 years. He grew up around mid-Vancouver Island. You could say that fishing is in the family as his older brother Ray also guides for Salmon Eye Charters. Salmon Eye Charters has grown and is now going to be operating 4 boats mostly in Ucluelet as that is where the fish seem to be the most. Happy customers are made every day here!

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Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Sam Vandervalk