High elevation lakes are frozen over, local ponds are ice free. Photo by Don Daniels

High elevation lakes are frozen over, local ponds are ice free. Photo by Don Daniels

Fishing scene is anything but dormant

By Don Daniels

Last week, with a few days of decent weather, a few more anglers ventured out and fished area 13 at various locations around Discovery Passage.

Even when the weather is just above the freezing mark, when you get out in open water, the wind can make things colder and you need to dress warmly for the outing. A bonus would be a heater and a covered boat but very few boats are winter friendly.

We are a few months away from good fishing but many will get a jumpstart on fishing area 13 when the ling and halibut fishing opens. It’s also quite common to catch undersize springs trolling smaller gear. Getting a salmon is a bonus, as opposed to limiting out. The smaller lures and plugs are being used anywhere on the Island. Bigger plugs are fished in prime summer months.

I met a couple on Discovery Pier and they wanted to go fishing but they didn’t realize they needed a license. They only had a few days remaining in Campbell River. The couple from Germany inquired about river fishing and they were surprised to learn that all trout was catch-and-release.

This might be a time to focus on local lakes that can be fished from shore. As the weather is getting warmer and with robin sightings already, it’s time to get out there and drown some worms or fish with Powerbait. Those who brave the colder weather are trolling with small plugs or flatfish and Gang trolls have been working.

I recently saw a copy of the Fishing Atlas 2016 and was surprised to see a listing on Echo Lake. It made reference to Echo Lake Lodge and that rainbows to 15 pounds can be caught. If this were the case, the lake would be loaded with boats and those fishing would be after monster trout.

Campbell River has monster trout but they are steelhead. I have yet to see any carry-over trout in Echo bigger than three pounds. I fish for trout west of Echo, going towards the Strathcona Dam, and the first few times out, I fish barbless flies and practice catch and release. These trout are close to 16 inches in length.

Campbell Riverfishing