Fishing Recap Ucluelet BC 2015 with Salmon Eye Charters
Every year we spend time trying to figure out what the next summer is going to bring. We look at the DFO forecast for local Vancouver Island rivers and of course the forecast for all the rivers south of us. Some years the forecast is inconclusive with some good projections and others mixed. This was one of those years. The Columbia River was projecting record returns again. DFO predicted the Fraser river to have better returns than the last couple years and they predicted the local Stamp River system and surrounding rivers to have slower than normal returns with around 25,000 Chinook. It is good to keep in mind that DFO is not as consistent with their predictions as our neighbours to the south and often to the detriment of BC sport fisherman. If they predict good returns usually we have great fishing. If they predict slow returns in March they may still upgrade the forecast as the early part of the run comes in during August or September. Sport fisherman often have a better idea of what is going to happen since they are catching the run before they hit the river.
That is what happened in 2015. We knew we were going to have good offshore Chinook fishing since the Columbia returns have been exceptional the past few years. The only wild card for us in offshore fishing is what the ocean currents are going to do and where it would take the fish. Normally it is very consistent offshore and recently the fishing has been better in close to shore as well and that trend continued in 2015. Big Bank produced well all summer and often for larger average size Chinook than we have had the past couple years. The Lighthouse bank was very consistent for most of July and into August. South Bank was not as consistent but we definitely had some good days there, often in timely moments when the weather made it the best choice.
Fishing in close to shore around Great Bear, Florencia and Wya and Long Beach was good for stretches all summer long and up into late September. DFO finally raised their restriction of none over 77 cm in close to shore to 1 Chinook over September 1. They also raised their forecast to over 60,000 Chinook to the local Stamp River system, however we were pretty sure the local runs were going to be stronger since we had strong fishing through most of June and July along the beach.
We want to thank all those who made the trip up to Ucluelet whether in your own boat or taking a charter with one of the local charter companies. We had very consistent Chinook fishing and though the Coho fishing was slower than normal, the great Chinook fishing made the season a great success. We don’t have the forecasts in for 2016, but are sure that you will have fun on the water.
Vancouver Island Salmon Fishing Report - Ucluelet - May 16, 2015
Chinook salmon fishing has been consistent the past couple weeks and most days we are getting our limits in the size range of 10-25 lbs. As usual the fish are moving around a little bit but challenging fisherman is okay—in fact we thrive on it. We are using the usual Coyote and Silver Horde spoons as well as glow hutchies. It seems many lures are working—its just a matter of getting in the right spot to find the fish. Most of the action the past week has been on Lighthouse bank, both inside and outside.
Halibut fishing has also been good and there are lots of halibut on the bank. There are lots of what we call “paddles” and you will probably throw back a few of these in order to get the 15-40 lb size.
If you are looking to come to a Vancouver Island fishing lodge or resort, check out our fishing packages. Our Gold package includes very large ocean view condos at Vancouver Island Vacation Rentals www.vancouverislandvr.com.
You can bookmark our page http://www.salmoneye.net/blog/ for the latest fishing reports. Below are some pics from the past few days.
There is a great Chinook prediction this spring of 308,000 returns compared to last year's prediction of 141,400 amounting to an actual return of 123,100. If the run pans-out then it will be the fifth-largest return since 1980. Such a return will mean good fishing in March and April around Ucluelet.
We are expecting a great fishing season this summer! Please enjoy the BC videos below!
The forecast for the 2014 Columbia River return may be higher than it was for 2013. In 2013 the Bonneville Dam estimated more than 1.1 million Chinook went through which is highest number recorded since the Dam started recording in 1938! Normal years have seen returns in the 500,000 to 800,000 mark the past decade, so this is a huge jump. Forecasting is a hard game and there are many variables, but right now we are expecting a very strong run again. This means we will have great Chinook fishing through June and July with lots of Columbia Chinook around Ucluelet.
The Chinook return forecasted for Southern BC rivers and the Fraser River are good with 40-45,000 Chinook expected for the local Stamp/Somass system. This means we should have a great August and early September fishing for Chinook in the 15-40lb range with the odd 50lb plus Chinook. The Canadian forecast is often quite conservative, so we are looking forward to a good August which means the reels will be screaming and there will be lots of high fives!
If you are looking for a fishing resort in BC, check out our fishing packages that are set up very similar to a fishing resort. You can stay at a four-star resort, or our less expensive options while fishing with us. You may also want to check out our past fishing reports!
For everyone going to the west coast make sure you check out www.tofino-info.com for helpful info on beaches, trails, restaurants and more.
2014 Fishing Forecast and 2013 Recap Ucluelet BC
Early Season Chinook
March to May fishing was up and down with a range of 2-8 Chinook on most days. The weather often kept us in close but we still had decent success around Beg Island and Great Bear.
Summer Season Chinook
June started with reels screaming accompanied by good weather. There had been a great forecast for the Columbia River's returning Chinook and they had a great return which we benefited from in June and July.
There was excellent fishing off South bank for most of June with catches mostly in 12- 25lb range.
We want to congratulate guest John Salcido for catching the largest Chinook in July for the local salmon derby weighing in a 29lbs 7 oz. We were all surprised that we didn't see the usual 40lb+ Chinook taking the July derby and 50lb+ for the August. However, we do expect to see them next year for good reasons (see 2014 forecast below). July had very consistent Chinook fishing with many 30+ Chinook days in the 10-25lb range.
We weren't sure what was going to happen in August, but we still had some good days for getting Chinook in the 18-22lb range. We knew the local returns weren't forecasted to be great, however the offshore fishing was consistent. During September feeders were the norm with a few mature Chinook taking the line.
Halibut fishing was good all summer and we only had a couple days where we had to spend more time than usual on halibut. We spent a good part of the summer on Big Bank, so that meant we often trolled up halibut while salmon fishing.
We had fairly steady Coho fishing inside Barkley Sound. We had very good Coho fishing in July, August and early-mid September around Alley Rock. For all of you that are prone to sea sickness, this is a good option if you want to stay in protected waters.
Chinook Forecast 2014
The forecast for the 2014 Columbia River return is higher than it was for 2013. In 2013 the Bonneville dam estimated more than 1.1 million Chinook went through and this is the highest number of Chinook since 1938 when the Bonneville dam started recording! Normal years have seen returns in the 500,000 to 800,00 mark the past decade, so this is a huge jump. Forecasting is a hard game and there are many variables, but right now we are expecting a very strong run again. This means we will have great Chinook fishing through June and July with lots of Columbia Chinook around Ucluelet.
The Chinook return forecasted for Southern BC rivers and the Fraser river are very good which means we should have great August and early September fishing for Chinook in the 15-40lb range with the odd 50lb plus Chinook. The Canadian forecast is often quite conservative, so we are looking forward to a good August which means the reels will be screaming and there will be lots of high fives!
Thanks to everyone who has booked with us this past summer and for all those who couldn't make it this year be sure to check out our past fishing reports! Below are some of the pics from the 2013 season.
For everyone going to the westcoast make sure you check out www.tofino-info.com for info on beaches, trails, restaurants and more.
Salmon Eye Charters Halibut Fishing Guides, Tofino
50lbs a day guaranteed*
September weather has been great making fishing that much more enjoyable. We have also been seeing whales in around the areas we are fishing, making fishing that much more exciting! Coho fishing in Barkley Sound has been very good for the returning Coho to local rivers. Coho are running from 5 to 12 lbs and have been providing some nice scraps. They are biting on 3-3.5 inch Silver horde and Coyote spoons from 20-70 ft down. Watch the bait balls on the sounder and you will likely get them around the bait. Chrow and Alley Rock have been good and are nice and close to the harbour.
Off-shore fishing has been good on Big Bank for Coho, smaller feeding Chinook and Halibut. They weather has been very nice, but since Coho fishing has been so good, many opt for the closer option. You are allowed 4 Coho per person in Barkley Sound and right now that seems to be a good option.
Now is the time to book for 2014. Stay tuned for our fishing forecast. It should be a good year coming up for returning Chinook salmon and we are excited!
If you are planning on visiting beaches and trails visit www.tofino-info.com while you are here!
Despite fishing closures south of the border, large amounts of fish continue to swim through the nutrient rich waters of Barkley and Clayuquot Sound off of Ucluelet, making it one of the hottest places to fish for Salmon and Halibut.
Although prime times to fish can vary, fishing off of Ucluelet stays consistent throughout the summer because of its ideal proximity to three different large fishing areas. However, there are recommended times for specific varieties of Salmon.
Most recommended times are: December-May for feeder Chinooks, with the first of the Halibut revealing themselves in the Ucluelet area around April.
July 15-September 10 in Ucluelet for large King Salmon
July, August and September are prime fishing months for Coho Salmon just offshore of Ucluelet
Ucluelet remains a premier fishing destination for enthusiasts hoping to bring home an impressive catch, with the best times to come from late June through July and August, to early September, although late September into October can still see some good action for feeding Chinook and Coho Salmon.