Caylum Pisch with his first salmon and a trip to remember. Photo: Colin Aldridge

Hot days and great fishing create smiles around Campbell River

By Don Daniels

We all agree the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the fishing community and those who were planning holidays outside the area have altered plans.

Tourists from outside the country have stayed away and thus there is lots of trolling room around Discovery Passage. The fishing reports are extremely good with fishing guides getting their quota for customers. Local anglers who have a boat and can take out a member of the family are having a great fishing experience and it’s only going to get better.

During the hot temperatures, the boat launch area at Big Rock is extremely busy and boats are getting in and out with no difficulty. On any given day, take a look at the lighthouse and see the boats heading to the Hump, Green and Red Can fishing zones and further south to Kitty Coleman.

Another starting point for boats is at Browns Bay and many will head north to salmon fish or go crabbing and prawning. There are fishing lodges and resorts locally who have been busy altering the way they do business and they are open and willing to showcase fishing around Campbell River. This might be a good time to go out, do some fishing and enjoy the summer on the water even for an afternoon.

You can phone any resort or guide service and make an inquiry to see if a few hours of salmon fishing are available or maybe someone at the resort has an open seat for a few hours.

One sure thing you can count on is that the fishing is great and this summer might be a chance to book a date and enjoy what Campbell River is proud of…and that is salmon fishing. You can troll for Chinook, coho that are clipped and pinks. Some of the locals have been getting out and jigging for lings and yes, salmon can be caught.

On July 16, young Caylum Pisch had a chance to fish with his grandfather Colin Aldridge and they went out with fishing guide Gene Berkey. Caylum caught his first salmon and took samples from the tail for DFO. Gene Berkey is a long time experienced guide and he not only catches fish, but also explains to his clients about conservation and what goes on around Campbell River when it comes to salmon fishing. Caylum was all smiles and when all was said and done after the trip, he said Campbell River rocks.

Already the Pinks have been arriving and the best year for catching these fish is right now in 2020 and the best run was at Kelsey Bay in Sayward on July 21. The locals were out in full force, including Dan and Linda Fear and they caught a few. I stopped in the next day and more pinks were caught and those fishing were social distancing.

A fish that gets little attention locally is Kokanee and I will have an outing and give you the information in weeks to come.