You would think in this day and age of the Internet you would assume that people would know that if you want to go salmon fishing in the province of British Columbia and here in Campbell River, you need to purchase a tidal water fishing license.
To get a license online, you will need a credit card or if that is not possible, you can go to a local fishing tackle shop and they will do it for you. To begin with, non-resident anglers pay more to get a license and you can’t get around that. Once you have a paper copy, you are ready to fishing.
Until July 15, any Chinook salmon fishing is catch-and-release only then you can keep one per day and record it on your license. Certain rock fish is catch-and-release and descenders are mandatory on the boat.
On any fishing trip, you want it to be a safe fishing experience and usually a trip can have two-to-four anglers on board and anything after that is overcrowding.
Locally, fishing has been good as we have experienced catch-and-release reports for springs. Discovery Pier had a spring caught and released June 23 and guides have had good fishing with a 33 pound spring caught and released with a Painters Lodge guide. Expect increased angling for springs beginning July 15 and add coho to the mix.
If you look at the Port Alice area, lots of springs have been caught in the mid-teens and the lakes have been producing good trout angling at Victoria and Alice Lake plus the road is paved.
Trout lakes have warmed up and trout are down deep feeding on small snails and I recently caught a trout at Echo Lake and stomach contents revealed snails and digested crayfish legs. If you can get in deep water, the artificial baits have been working along with worms.
School is out and people are camping and fishing or just getting a kayak out and spending time on the water. Last week a camper pulled up to a day use area at Echo Lake and took up a parking spot and the other spot was taken up by a firepit while the fire ban was on. I managed to clean up the mess and continued to fish in the afternoon.
Locally, there have been some incidental catches of pink salmon. Meanwhile, at Kelsey Bay, a few anglers were fishing but no catches of pinks have been reported. That will change within a week and the lures will be thrown out in hopes of catching a pink salmon. Taking a short drive to Sayward and fishing at Kelsey Bay is a fun outing even if you are a first timer.
Beach fishing is fast approaching and whether you use spinning gear or fly gear, it is fun relaxing and spending hours fishing areas between Campbell River and the Oyster River. Fly anglers will get out early morning and when the Coho or pinks arrive, you will see anglers standing side by side in waist high water. A good pair of waders will be needed along with good non-slip boots. If you don’t catch a fish a bonus is the scenery is spectacular and, yes, whales can be spotted.