Locals get first crack at lingcod fishing

Josh Robinson with opening day ling cod. Ron Fife photo

Josh Robinson with opening day ling cod. Ron Fife photo

By Don Daniels

We are only a few days short of being at mid-month on the fishing calendar and already there is increased fishing activity in area 13 Discovery Passage.

A low percentage of anglers will get the boat out and go crabbing or prawning. It is non retention for chinooks but since the lingcod is open, there is increased activity in the area. Because of COVID-19, travel restrictions are in play and we are masking up and keeping fishing activity planned with only a few people, as per health guidelines.

A number of avid anglers who live in Campbell River are out and lingcod is open and good catch reports have been coming in since May 1. Know the regulations and what areas are closed. Areas fished are north of Quadra Island and fishing 150 feet plus is normal.

Having a descender unit on board is mandatory. Some guys will jig various locations and knowing the tides will improve your catch rate. A number of experienced guides will get out and use spreader bars with bait. A lot of people have electronics on board and will find the structure and hope for a hit while using a sturdy rod to feel the hit and work it. I had posted a picture to my friends on social media and since they are from northern Alberta they didn’t know the rules and regulations; their plans for any fishing here in Discovery Passage will be put on hold because of the travel ban in place.

The last time I fished for ling was a few years back and I had a chance to spend some time around Maud Island. We had only a few minutes to fish the narrows around the power lines. There are some big lings out there and sometimes a fish is on and another one will be after that fish.

I get to Kelsey Bay each Thursday and I get a first-hand look at the fishing. Those camping for the season get out on a regular basis and the information will be forthcoming. Around Kelsey Bay you can get out in any direction and fish behind the many islands and bays in the area and spend a few hours hunting for lings. If you can find the kelp bed, you might try bucktail fly and see what happens. On any given day I would go fish for lings just for the pleasure of jigging a lure, such as a Point Wilson Dart, or any other heavy jig to get it to the bottom.

Any fishing on Discovery Pier has been slow but flounder, greenling and perch can be caught when the weather warms up. Getting out the tackle and spending some time on the pier can be a great way to enjoy the scenery around Discovery Passage.

Local trout fishing has been fair but the warmer weather will improve things in a matter of days. River levels will fluctuate and water clarity will change. Now is the time to get out your 4 weight fly rod and explore the rivers in the area. Social distancing will not be a problem and you can find a pool and spend many hours all by yourself.

Campbell Riverfishing