Boston Whaler fishing boats are common around Campbell River. Don Daniels photo

Boston Whaler fishing boats are common around Campbell River. Don Daniels photo

Getting ready for the prime fishing season around Campbell River

By Don Daniels

Those of us who live in Campbell River can fish 12 months of the year but the prime months are coming fast and already people are planning ahead for the upcoming fishing season.

In the month of March, many fishing lodge operators are in the process of hiring guides, chefs, servers and those who work in housekeeping and on the dock. Fishing guides will be moving around the province in the months to come, getting prepared to work at lodges here in Campbell River and the west coast. Charter boat operators are in the process of filling up their calendar with fishing trips, and at times, they shuffle around to make sure all people can get in and go fishing.

Over the past two years, during COVID, many operators had a limited fishing season because of travel restrictions and all things that happened. The new salmon regulations will be announced after April 1 and, can we expect any changes for the upcoming year? It is highly unlikely.

For certain, you will need a fishing license beginning April 1 for both tidal and non-tidal waters around British Columbia and fish according to regulations in each area. The first option to get a license is to get online and print off a copy. Many older fishers want a paper copy but in Campbell River, local tackle shops will not print a copy.

For a freshwater license in Campbell River, Service BC will issue you a paper copy. Both tidal and non-tidal licenses can be obtained in Courtenay and Nanaimo tackle shops if needed.

As per last year, if the size limit on chinook salmon remains the same, anglers have the option to haul their boats to other areas of the west coast.

Since mid-November, I have held fly tying sessions for beginners at the Seniors Center and my next session is set for Friday, March 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. I have a group of 10 that will return for the session and already plans are being made to hold a session at the Campbell River library. I am in the planning stage for this event and information will be coming soon, with a date confirmed in April. I am looking at a book prize draw along with other prizes to be drawn for.

My last trip to Echo Lake was in early November and I had a chance to meet some new people who are interested in local fishing. At the beginning of the month, the weather was cold and local lakes were iced over and I have no interest in walking on thin ice. On the mainland, a few ducks were walking on ice and fell through but they are equipped to go under and survive the fall.

The herring spawn happens this month but as of early March, there were no signs locally and a trip south to Comox might be in order. I have been invited to go herring fishing and maybe try out mooching for salmon before June.

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