Area Report: Port Alberni and Pacific Rim
Written by Doug Lindores Island fisherman March/April 2022
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
It is a new year and new sport fishing opportunities will be with us in 2022. The winter weather on the West Coast has actually been spectacular. The winter has had several cold and bright days with a good amount of snow. La Nina has likely been one of the reasons for this. This weather pattern has also created cooler water out in the Pacific Ocean which is great for the life cycle of the salmon. Lately in places other than Alberni the sun has been glorious with some warmth. Bamfield has been especially beautiful with bright warm winter type afternoons. It is only a matter of time and the weather conditions will change and the air temperatures will warm up and their will be some productive fishing days on the water in Barkley Sound and the islands outside the Ucluelet Harbor mouth. Historically the first fishing derby of the year takes place on the first weekend of March. The Sproat Lake Loggers Derby which attracts many anglers has had to be cancelled for the second year. March is often the beginning of the saltwater season in this area and there are often some nice sized Chinook.
February First marks the opening day for Recreational Halibut. The Halibut can be found in many Barkley Sound and Ucluelet areas as the halibut migrate from the deep water to spawn in the inside waters. Many recreational fishermen land some beautiful halibut outside the Bamfield Harbor Mouth right up to the green whistle Buoy. The Herring spawn will often occur later in February or into early March. Often Toqourt Bay up to Salmon Beach is an unbelievable area to watch this spawn with the naked eye. The Alberni Inlet is a great area for sport prawn fishing and this will open on the first of April with expected open and closure dates. Ling and Rock fish opening are normally the first or fifteenth of April.
The spring summer and fall are looking favorable for Chinook and Coho fishing in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet. More information and data on Port Alberni Inlet Sockeye fishing will be available by mid-April.
In the early months of 2022 most avid fisher persons hope that 2020-21 is behind us and there is some bright news regarding health and of course fishing. In 2022 there should be some excellent fishing on the west coast out to the surf-line as salmon returns to the big southerly watersheds are calling for excellent returns of Chinook and Coho. These fish run down the coast of Vancouver Island and come into the Sound and outside the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth and feed on the rich quantities of bait fish such as the spawning herring and sand lance. One of the biggest watersheds is the Columbia River which has three major tributaries in the Kalama, Willamette, and Cowlitz. Big runs of Chinook, Coho and Chum come into these systems. The Sacramento is another big system which has fantastic salmon returns. These returning salmon come early and mid-summer and create wonderful sport fishing from the Vancouver Island surf-line in. This historically creates superb sport fishing in May, June, and July. In Later March and April many of these migratory salmon begin to appear in Barkley Sound.
Winter Chinook fishing in areas of Barkley Sound and Nahmint have seen some salmon landed in the six-to-nine-pound range in sixty to one hundred and thirty feet of water. A variety of spoons, needle fish, or hootchies in green colors are working best. The Bamfield Harbor, Scotch Bay, the Whistle Buoy, and Fleming Island (Sanford) are often fantastic winter and early spring locations to sport fish. In Nahmint there have been winter chinook right at the back of the bay.
The new year will be a breath of fresh air. The sport fishing opportunities will certainly give many individuals something very “positive” to look forward to. Our 2022 sport fishing outlook is “Good News”.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
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