This will be the third year that the Royal Lepage Advance Realty Salmon Fishing Derby will be held and the money raised stays in the community. Photo by Eiko Jones

Campbell River salmon derby will expand from Area 13 to Area 14 and 15 for greater interest

  • May. 24, 2018 1:30 p.m.

By Don Daniels

Recreational sport fishing for salmon is alive and well in Campbell River and you will notice some key changes when the season launches in June.

The locals who own boats can fish every month of the year and the fishing season starts off slowly in May but June is the month the serious anglers get out and go after salmon.

Fishing lodges and charter companies have spent the winter months marketing their product and many repeat customers will return and experience salmon fishing in Area 13.

The most targeted salmon is the Chinook and maybe it’s not what it used to be but the fishing is still good in this area.

On any given day you will see fishing boats being trailered on the highway and the traffic is heavy on the weekends.

Pacific Playground Resort has made dock improvements over the past two years and this year the Big Rock boat launch will be closed June through October for upgrades and improved parking facilities. A few of the old guide shacks are still around but they are slowly going away as new projects are getting started.

Driving north into Campbell River there is a rest area at Oyster Bay Park and picnic tables are there along with washrooms.

This is a good viewing area to stop and see the fishing activity around Shelter Bay and off to the distance is the Red and Green Can markers and the Hump where fishing activity can be observed on a clear day.

Back in the day, the big salmon fishing players were Painters Lodge and Dolphins Resort and today fishing is a big part of their operation but other activities like bear and whale watching are added to the list of things to do in Campbell River.

Over the past number of years, wedding packages are offered with the chance to go fishing.

The tourist season is well underway and people are arriving in Campbell River from Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Because of the strong American dollar, the tourists are still coming from America to fish in Campbell River.

This will be the third year that the Royal LePage Advance Realty Salmon Fishing Derby will be held and the money raised stays in the community. This one-day derby will be held Saturday, June 9 and a full day of free family fun can be had at the staging area at Ostler Park.

You can win a pair of tickets to fish the derby by sending your name and telephone number to dddon27@yahoo.com. The winner will be notified and announced next Friday in the Fishing Corner.

The next derby will be held at Painters Lodge a few weeks following as the ladies take to the boats for salmon fishing and bragging rights if they catch the big one.

Discovery Pier is a great spot to catch a salmon and the fishing experience has a relaxed atmosphere.

The salmon fishing has been good for those spending the time and effort and some big springs have been caught on a regular basis.

You must have a fishing license and know the regulations and always read the fishing etiquette posted.

The hard core spin anglers will fish the early morning tide as the tourists often will be walking around the pier in the afternoon. At times it can be a busy place to enjoy the view and have ice cream or coffee.

The fishing scoreboard will be posted on the concession wall as fish are caught and reported.

Trout anglers were very pleased as the ant hatch was in full gear on Sunday, May 13 as the water in various areas of Lower Campbell Lake were bubbling with trout who were going after ants falling in the water and as I rowed around the back islands, the bite was on for a few days but the following week died right off and those fishing with worms were doing very well fishing from shore.

To my dismay, one of the local campground day use areas was gated off during the long weekend. I am thinking there are some people who abuse day use areas and often will camp for a number of days without paying a fee.

Many of the good lakes can be reached by driving on active logging roads and knowing where to go can be an advantage as logging truck traffic can be heavy and dusty.

A rule of thumb is to check area maps or inquire at the local tackle shops to see what is accessible.