Commercial caught fish draws crowd at the dock. Don Daniels photo

Commercial caught fish draws crowd at the dock. Don Daniels photo

Locals line up to purchase fish from commercial boats in Campbell River

  • Jun. 15, 2022 11:30 a.m.

By Don Daniels

If you live in Campbell River and are not able to get out sport fishing, the other option is to visit the food stores or get on their email list and wait for the commercial boats to come in and purchase their catch.

Last week I had a stroll in the downtown area and signs were posted “Fish For Sale” on the dock. The fish sale started at 10 a.m. and while the weather was wet and windy, the lineup was long and those who waited it out had a chance to purchase their fish and head home.

Those who have a boat in the water are paying more for gas and are fishing areas that include Knight, Bute and Toba inlets. The fishing in area 13, Discovery Passage, is good but it’s non-retention for chinook until mid-July. Some anglers have moved over to the west coast to fish salmon and are doing very well. Many are waiting for gas prices to drop but don’t hold your breath.

Some are targeting lings, even dropping some prawn traps. Red and Green cans are fishing very good and those who want catch and release are giving it a go. Already this year, there are some people jigging for cod and making a short trip is the order of the day. Fishing guides not working around Campbell River are fishing on the west coast and will return here after July 15 when retention regulations change.

There are a few tourists arriving from Alberta and the U.S.A. and are hesitant at the moment to book a charter locally but those who want the salmon experience will pay extra because of the gas prices this year. A general rule is, if hourly fishing rates were $100 last year, it’s up to $150 today.

In conjunction with Father’s Day, this Friday through Sunday is Free Family Fishing Weekend so give it a try for three days and get dad out. You can fish freshwater and saltwater but you must know the regulations and catch quotas.

Some local prime spots will be the dock at Echo Lake and since the lake is stocked with rainbows it’s a great way to set up a hook and worm and have some fun. My second choice is Discovery Pier. Try for perch using a spinning rod and a piece of bait and watch where the tide is moving and go with the flow. For fly anglers, give the Oyster or Quinsam a shot for catch and release trout. The Campbell River is fishable for catch and release trout but water flow is quite high for time of year.

For the people who had registered for fly-tying sessions at the library, I will be contacting everyone with a time and date and you will have a chance to get started enjoying a fun hobby. There are a few options coming up but I will give a date and set things up for all beginners.

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