Randy from Kelsey Bay campground with a sea urchin shell heading back to Manitoba. Don Daniels photo

Randy from Kelsey Bay campground with a sea urchin shell heading back to Manitoba. Don Daniels photo

Recapping the summer for fishing around Campbell River

By Don Daniels

It seems like yesterday that I drove a friend of mine to the airport to begin his season of contract guiding in the Prince Rupert area.

The five months went by pretty fast and I drove to Comox to pick him up after the season closed at the lodge where he has guided for many years. I get a chance to be in Sayward each week and the camping and fishing season is drawing to a close for the people who are heading back to Manitoba. A number of campers from Comox, Courtenay will stay for another two months and then pack up and move out for the winter and return next spring to Kelsey Bay.

Ling cod and halibut fishing has been good for the most part of the season and salmon fishing has been fair for those who go out and face the winds but manage to get out fishing. Three weeks ago, the pinks were in and the pier anglers had a ball casting out lures and limiting out on pinks. The action has slowed down as we get deep into the month of September but chums will be around to keep fishing action going.

Last week someone had harvested a few sea urchins and for those who are wondering how they taste, you simply have to give it a try. You either like them or not and the campers had tried to give the neighbors a taste but the meat ended up in the garbage can. The urchins can be split like a coconut or can be boiled to remove the spines and keep the shell.

There are still a few silver pinks in the Campbell River but they are dark in the Oyster and Quinsam rivers and water levels are low. Beach coho fishing will start to pick up and any place between Salmon Point to the Oyster River is a great way to see nature and maybe hook into a coho on the fly or casting out a spoon of your choice.

For catch-and-release cutthroat trout, egg patterns are used along with small streamer patterns in size 6 to 10 hooks. If you are undecided about fly patterns, a Mickey Finn or California Neil is used along many beaches this time of year.

The summer, for trout, has been fair as the hot temperatures stayed with us but as we get into the next 4-6 weeks of fall, the water temperatures will cool and the trout action will pick up on local lakes.

Coho fishing up north has been the best in years and those who consistently fish deep waters have been limiting out in water less than 20 feet. Locally, Painters Lodge has cabin cruisers available until the end of the month. The Marine Centre is closed but you can check online or call front desk reception.

Local guides will fish well into the month and the best advice is to call ahead and see who is still fishing around Campbell River.