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It’s hit and miss fishing this time of year around Campbell River

By Don Daniels
Halibut fishing west coast style. Gibran White photo

By Don Daniels

Weather plays a big part of salmon fishing in area 13 and 14 this time of year but those getting out fishing are getting salmon into the boat.

Recently, one weekend, the wind died down and a number of boats were spotted between the lighthouse and the hump. Reports coming in say undersize fish are being hooked. Also, the odd nice spring has been caught.

Halibut fishing opened on Feb. 1 and those who know the tides are heading out. Those who have fished for halibut in the past will know that the bottom will gobble up gear. In the past, I had a chance to join a couple of guys and we headed north of Duncan Bay to try our hand at jigging for cod during the slack tide. I get to Kelsey Bay on a weekly basis and any angling activity is down to a minimum and while the campgrounds are quiet at the moment, it will pick up in May and June.

If you are not familiar with halibut angling around the central Island, it is still good in front of Powell River and around Parksville, South of Kitty Coleman is good but halibut fishing on the inside is nothing compared to the west coast. March can be good for halibut at Bute Inlet and Knight Inlet if you are willing to spend the time getting out and spending extra gas money for halibut. On the South Island, halibut fishing is a month away in areas around Port Renfrew down to Sooke. Last year a group of anglers from Campbell River fished for salmon and halibut at Ucluelet and came back with fish during the month of March.

Now is the time to gear up for beach fishing for catch and release cutthroat trout between Rotary Park and the Oyster River. You will need a good pair of neoprene waders to wade out and throw some streamer style fly patterns.

You can walk the beach between Salmon Point and the Oyster River. The ideal situation will be a sunny day with no wind. A fly of choice is a silver bodied fry pattern with a purple, green or red wing. Water level and color will change as we get more rain in weeks to come. Driving from Campbell River south to Black Creek, parking is available at the bridge area and there is a path to walk and go fishing.

The last series of fly tying for beginners will be held on Friday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Seniors Centre at Campbell River Common. Because of the COVID pandemic, the group was smaller this year and as things open up, I will contact those who are on the waiting list and figure something out to get out and teach beginners the fun activity of fly tying and then hit the water and go fishing around Campbell River.

Echo Lake will be stocked soon with catchable Rainbow trout and as soon as the temperature hits 14 degrees, the bite should be on.