Halibut fishing on the west coast of the Island is ideal during March. Don Daniels photo

Halibut fishing on the west coast of the Island is ideal during March. Don Daniels photo

Spring gear-up for the season of fishing around Vancouver Island

By Don Daniels

The month of March has come to an end. It may be a bit early to get out the fishing gear and go fishing but reports in the month of March have seen results coming from across the Island for winter springs ranging in size from 19.1 to 21 pounds, along with undersized catch reports, coming in locally in area 13, Discovery Passage all the way to Bamfield.

Whether you plan to start fishing in the months ahead, you will have to get your license renewed starting on Friday. You will have to know the location you will be fishing, check species regulations and know the daily possession limits along with annual limits.

A number of fishing lodge operators will be getting their staff in place this month and some contract fishing guides will be heading out to their fishing operation, returning back in early September.

Since travel restrictions have been eased, it is best advised to call ahead to the lodge you are planning to stay and book your dates well ahead of time. A number of guides who have their boats in Campbell River will be moving over to the west coast and fish the early season, then come back to Campbell River in mid-summer.

Recently, I met Peter who had moved to Campbell River from Toronto and he wanted to know about fishing for pike and perch around Campbell River. The simple answer is: No pike or perch here, it’s mainly trout and salmon but Spider Lake to the south has trout and bass.

Gear anglers might want to try spoons, spinners and even pink worms. Fly anglers might choose chironomids and scuds. Trout will also feed on snails along many days where temperatures hit double digits but stay with a wide variety of aquatic bugs and sticklebacks. Normal water depth fished is anywhere from 15 to 30 feet of water. In March we really didn’t have many days of temperatures hitting double digits but it will warm up and the trout will be out in search of food in shallow water.

The next fly tying session for beginners will be Friday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Seniors Centre at Ironwood Mall. This session has been fully booked with students who have been with me since November. In addition to people learning the basics in fly-tying, I get a chance to learn about why they want to tie flies. Also, the array of people is interesting and I like knowing how they plan to fish with patterns they have made themselves.

The April 29 session will be the final day at the Seniors Centre and plans are in the works to add one more session at the Campbell River Library for a date to be determined in May.

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