Brendan Kelly with a released coho. Photo by Graham Kelly

Brendan Kelly with a released coho. Photo by Graham Kelly

Searching out coho and chum salmon in October

By Don Daniels

As we head into the final two weekends of October, fishing opportunities are there to get out and chase some salmon around Discovery Passage or set out prawn traps and crab pots.

There will be days that the wind will blow sideways and you simply can’t get out fishing. The prime salmon around Campbell River is chinook and while the run is over, the winter springs are around and there is nothing wrong with a 14-pound chinook.

Coho is another salmon that offers great fun if you are so inclined to chase them. Add to the mix chum salmon and while this salmon is down on the list from chinook and coho, it can offer up great fun for salmon anglers who catch fish for the smoker. The Big Rock public boat launch area was busy on the long weekend and a number of boats were headed towards the Hump or red can area, a few headed north.

As we get varied rainstorms in the area, many of our local fishable rivers will have changing water levels. When the bad rains arrive, a river can get blown out and is unfishable for a time but at the moment local rivers are very fishable for spincasting and on the fly.

Campbell River water levels can make fishing a challenge for coho. Quinsam and Oyster rivers can be very fishable during the next two weeks if weather conditions are favourable. Anglers who use lures are casting out crocs, Kit-A-Mat spoons, jigs in varied colours.

Local rivers can eat up an abundance of lures because of the rocks, sticks and moss and the cost of lures, when lost, can add up in a hurry. Fly patterns are a dime a dozen and many anglers have a preference for flys and they do very well on the local rivers. All hooks are single and barbless.

Beach fishing on the incoming tide is fun on the fly and it will take some time to see if the salmon are around and if you can get one on. From Salmon Point along the beach to the Oyster River, anglers will fish the shore and the good casters can get a coho to bite and the less experienced anglers will be a little short for casting distance but if the coho are close to shore, it’s fun to go fishing – plus the scenery is spectacular on a warm sunny day.

I have confirmation from the trout hatchery at Duncan that local lakes around Campbell River and Gold River will be stocked after Oct. 21 and I will be out there and report here in the fishing corner. The weather is getting cooler and daylight hours are getting shorter, but the afternoon or early morning is a time to get out and enjoy the fishing experience around Campbell River.

The Puntledge River in Courtenay is full of chums and fishing on weekends can be a shoulder to shoulder battleground. Chums cannot be snagged and treble hooks are illegal. The fishing in the Puntledge continues into November and the salmon will darken in time.

Wherever you fish you must know the regulations and Fisheries’ are around the riverbanks.