Adventure awaits on Vancouver Island North. Boasting a year round salt and freshwater fishing paradise where pristine rivers, sparkling lakes, tidal inlets and the vast Pacific Ocean offer endless opportunities. You are never more than a few moments away from an epic angling experience.
WHAT YOU’RE FISHING FOR
Regional waters are home to all five species of Pacific salmon (Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink & Chum) as well as halibut, snapper, cod and lake trout. For those with a hankering for shellfish, trap fishing for spot prawns and Dungeness crab will result in the freshest and most delicious seafood meals you’ll ever taste. According to local veteran fishing guides saltwater fishing has been absolutely stellar this summer.
WHAT YOU NEED
It’s essential for residents and non-residents alike to have a license to fish or shellfish in BC Waters. It’s possible to purchase a license online before your arrival. Visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website for a Recreational Saltwater License or the BC Government website for a Freshwater License. Remember you must carry a printed copy of your license each time you go fishing.
Depending on the time of year you’re visiting there are fishing regulations, quotas and restrictions. These links provide a comprehensive look at everything you need to know before you go. BC saltwater fishing regulations can be found here and if you are looking to do some freshwater fishing, regulations can be found here.
FISHING ON YOUR OWN
If you’re traveling with your own boat, launching facilities and trailer parking are available at seaside marinas and public launch points. You’ll also find live bait, lures, ice and supplies in each community. Visit any Information Centre or shops that sell sporting goods for local tide guides, maps and local information.
If you’re more comfortable on saltwater with a guided tour, charters are available for all ages, levels of interest and passion welcoming first timers to hard-core action seekers. Whether you’re interested in a half day, full day or multi-day trip veteran fishing guides will provide fully equipped boats, top notch equipment, and secret fishing spots.
WHAT ELSE YOU MIGHT SEE
Besides the spectacular rugged and wild vistas there’s a good chance you’ll come across orcas, humpback whales, seals, white sided Pacific dolphins, eagles and bears in your travels. Two-in-one adventure!!
WHERE TO STAY
For fully immersive saltwater angling adventure there are fishing lodge options from tent camps to deluxe resorts accessible by road, water and air. Find the perfect accommodation to suit your timeline and budget here:Vancouver Island North Accommodations
Weather here runs the gamut from magnificent misty mornings to cloudless big sky panoramas. We can experience more than one season in a day, temperatures on the water are often cooler and open water can be susceptible to strong winds so it’s always a good idea to dress in layers.
Whether fishing is the reason for your holiday or part of a day’s adventure come explore our spectacular beaches, coastlines and waterways. Commune with the outdoors. Breathe the wild air; drop a line in the water and you’ll soon be hooked on Vancouver Island North.
Karen Stewart – Freelance Writer
Author of This is Port McNeill