Josh Marin releases a 90 cm Chinook at the Hump. Photo by Vickie Atherton

Fishing lines down in August during COVID times

By Don Daniels

Since mid-month, the salmon fishing around Campbell River has been on fire, meaning the fishing has been exceptionally good.

Local guide reports indicate that the bigger legal-size salmon are around and the larger ones over 80 cm are being released; there are fish for everyone. Mix in hatchery clipped coho and pinks.

Social distancing is being practiced and those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry have been working extra hard during the COVID-19 times affecting us all. Some of the restaurant owners have been treating their staff members to a boat ride which includes whale watching or salmon fishing. Staff members are kept to a minimum in each boat and a ride out to Discovery Passage is underway.

For some, it’s a first time outing to see nature around Campbell River from a boat. Whether you whale watch or go fishing, a day out is a bonus, especially during the warm weather. From the Lighthouse to Green Can and Hump, the fishing has been best in the morning just after daybreak and then later in the evening.

A number of the locals have had good fishing success at Discovery Pier and more fish are expected to be caught later in the month and into September. The concession is open and so are the washrooms. Social distancing is mandatory and everyone seems to abide by COVID-19 rules and regulations, signs are posted on the pier.

You can drive out to Tyee Spit and observe the Tyee boats in action and when a salmon is caught you will see other boats get out of the way and let the angler bring in his or her catch. The first two Tyee caught in the pool were rowed by Brett Gardner. Tyee #1 was caught by new member David Richter who used a plug and the Tyee weighed in at 30 lb 1 ounce on Aug. 8. The second Tyee was caught by Ken Mar on Aug. 15 and weighed in at 30 lb 2 ounces.

The Campbell River is full of anglers going after pinks and this little fish is a great way to spend the afternoon, throw out some jigs or spinners and catch a salmon. Sandy pool on weekends is loaded with people and the logging bridge is a good viewing area to see the action. The fly fishing zone is busy this year and at times can be very busy but fly anglers are giving each other plenty of room. All hooks are single barbless and snagged fish are to be released. The pinks are starting to darken up but many will be caught and filleted and will be headed to the smoker.

Some big Chinook salmon are being caught and all fish are to be released. Over the past years, the fly anglers will hook into a Chinook and using a 6 weight rod it can be a challenge but a 9 will give you some fun. If a Chinook is hooked, keep it in the water and unhook and off it goes.

It has been a great summer of fishing around Campbell River and many families have decided to forgo any travel out of the area and to stay here, fishing and camping. I recently met up with one of the fishing guides currently fishing on the west coast and his boat will be in Campbell River after the September long weekend.

Plans are underway to get a report from the area north of Browns Bay and report on the fishing venture.

Campbell Riverfishing

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