Bottom fishing at Discovery Pier catch of the day. Don Daniel photo

Best bets for November fishing around Campbell River

By Don Daniels

The daylight hours are shorter and the weather has certainly cooled off but both salt and freshwater fishing continues around Campbell River.

Dressing warm is the main factor to having a fun day fishing at the lake or shore fishing on the local rivers.

The boat traffic is down this time of year but salmon fishing opportunities still go on in the fall and winter months and sometimes getting out in the following weeks can get you a surprise catch of salmon.

Last year, the first snow came to Campbell River in early December and I was headed to the dock to meet fishing guide Ron Fife. Off we went and we limited out in a few hours with winter springs coming in at around 15 pounds.

We started fishing an area that was full of winter storm debris and a few other boats were in the same area and they decided to change location. Ron said we are staying here and we had fish on constantly and we limited out and headed back to the dock. A heated boat kept things warm and the cool gray wet day was no problem. It was a first time for me to get out fishing in the month of December and I plan to get out again next month.

Discovery Pier is open year-round for fishing and you can spin cast and see what happens for a few hours if weather permits. The concession and public washrooms are closed. The current can be strong at times and you might think heavy lures are recommended but the smaller lures catch fish. Try using Point Wilson Darts along with Buzz Bombs and Krocodiles.

Locals often get out and send the weight to the bottom and use bait to catch sea perch. No matter what you are fishing for you need a license and you must know what you are fishing for and what the regulations are.

I am seeing kelp along the pier and at times that can eat up lures in a hurry. Someone had hooked a clump of kelp and the kelp was loaded with fishing lures.

Another place to fish is at Kelsey Bay in Sayward and getting down to the bottom deck allows you to fish for bottom fish and perch and, yes, the odd halibut has been hooked.

A bonus for fishing the piers is that whales can be spotted at any given time.

I recently met Shane and Linda Okeeffe who recently to moved to Campbell River and mentioned that the dock at Echo Lake is a good place to fish for trout using worms. The day use area has a washroom and fire pits are available to roast some hotdogs.

Another good spot is Roberts Lake and the south end of the lake is easy to get to and you can park and walk in a short distance and fish off the dock. The weather is still warm enough and the roads that lead to many lakes are in good condition and the trout fishing has been very good in the month of November. Upper elevation lakes are often overlooked this time of year because the weather changes and, at times, small ponds get iced over. Logging roads will be busier as hunters drive around in search of game.

I have put together three free fly tying sessions for beginners at the Campbell River library and the dates are the last Sunday in January, February and March and times are 1 to 3 p.m.

The sessions are open to everyone who wants to learn the basics to fly tying and materials are provided but if you have a kit bring it along. You will learn to tie streamers, wet and dry flys then advance on your own and tie traditional fly patterns and get out fishing.

Coming up in weeks to come: Treasures in the tackle box and getting a winter spring for Christmas.