Area Report for mid-August into September 2018
Port Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and West Coast Vancouver Island (Ucluelet)
We are very fortunate in this area of Vancouver Island to have the opportunity to fish year round. The Alberni Inlet and more importantly Barkley Sound have very protected water areas. The month of September is a fabulous time for anglers as the big Coho and Chinook approach their final destination of their longest life journey. The month of September also is a wonderful time of year for anglers as weather patterns create fabulous settings for many memorable sport fishing days. The days of course are shorter but the afternoons are warm and the salmon that are swimming along the Vancouver Island coast line and in the many Barkley Sound locations are feeding frantically before making their final destination to their natal streams and rivers.
September is not only a fabulous month for sport fishing but it is also the time of year when there are some terrific fishing derby opportunities. The city of Port Alberni hosts the three-day Labor Day Weekend Salmon Festival. The derby dates for 2018 are September 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The derby provides cash and prizes of over $60,000 with endless weekend entertainment. The 2018 festival should have some fantastic results as the returning Chinook to West Coast Vancouver Island is a mix of three, four and five year olds. The returns of Chinook are forecast to be at approximately eight-five thousand pieces to the Somass River system. This prediction should provide for fabulous world class salmon fishing in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet in September.
Tuna fishing is also another opportunity that takes place in September. This fishery is still rather new to the area and requires some specialized gear and knowledge before heading out. In September the warm water currents bring the Tuna closer to the beach and make them more accessible in a sport boat of “Good Size”. The Tuna Shoot Out occurs in September, weather permitting. Anglers have to watch and be aware of the water current and look for the temperature break and fish the warmer side of the blue water. The tuna fishery is a lot of fun but safety is of essence. It is important that other people know where your boat is headed and that the weather is perfect. All safety equipment that is transport Canada approved is important on any sport fishing vessel. The tuna when landed must be put on ice immediately to preserve their quality. Having a larger sport fishing boat is a good idea as many will take up to five hundred pounds of ice or more.
Barkley Sound fishing at Pill Point, Diplock, Assets Island, and Swale Rock are wonderful hotspots where the salmon in in the first half of the month will hold if there are large quantities of rich resources of bait fish. The Bamfield Wall also provides unbelievable sport fishing. The fish that are headed to the Somass River, Sarita River and Nitnat will often hold from Whittlestone to Poett Nook gorging themselves on bait fish as they await fall rain before migrating to their final destination. Salmon also stretch along the opposite Barkley Sound coastline from Gilbraltor Island to the fish marker in Rainy Bay. The Chinook and Coho arrive in good numbers on a daily basis and as eager as they are to arrive to their spawning grounds they are still relatively eager to feast heavily. The fish are in shallower water in September. It is not uncommon for Coho in the early morning and late evening to be on the surface. Chinook are often in twenty to sixty feet of water. Anglers using anchovy usually have the best success. Anchovy in a glow army truck, purple haze, green haze, and cop car teaser head with six feet of leader behind purple-gold, green-gold or purple haze flasher should have some excellent success. The AORL 12, dark green spatter back, clown, purple haze, and army truck hootchies are fantastic standbys. Tomic Spoons and plugs in the six and seven inch size with no flasher also produce some great results when fishing in the many Barkley Sound locations.
The Alberni Inlet historically fills with Chinook salmon during the second half of August and continues into the first half of September. Coho follow the Chinook migration. In September both species are in a great mix migrating to the Somass River. Hotspots in the Inlet are Coulsons, Lone Tree, the China Creek Wall, Dunsmuir and Underwood. The fish are in twenty to fifty feet of water and are usually most aggressive in the early morning and on tide changes. Again the top producers in terms of lures are anchovy in various teaser heads behind a green glow or chartreuse glow hotspot flasher. The best hootchies are O-15, O-2 and O-16 which are all red and pink work extremely well. Also purple haze, green spatter back, and the mp2 and mp16 are also fantastic behind a hotspot flasher. The salmon when in the inlet are anxious to hit the river and when any rain occurs they bolt to the river mouth.
September is a wonderful month. The days are shorter with cool mornings and evenings. The late mornings and afternoons are warm with that cool fresh ocean breeze. The boat traffic is much less than July and August which makes for even a better sport fishing opportunity. Sport fishing will be world class as the salmon in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet will be in good numbers and a good weight class.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
1 888 214 7206
250 731 7389