Saltwater – Salmon
Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet are strategically located to intercept the US bound salmon heading for Washington and Oregon, fish heading for rivers in southern BC and our local stocks returning to the Conuma, Gold, Burman, Tahsis Canton and Leiner rivers. As a result, we are afforded the Pacific coast’s most consistent angling.
More Chinooks over 30 pounds in 2017 were landed, than we have in the last three years combined; this is a testament that enhancement efforts are having a beneficial effect on the size and numbers of returning fish to our local rivers and streams. With the colder water conditions due to continue, the outlook is for a similar and potentially slightly better 2018 season. Also this year we expect to reap the rewards of four years of coho enhancement efforts.
From May to September, the bottom fishing in our area is outstanding. Halibut, lingcod, yellow eye and all the other species of rockfish are readily available. Areas 25 and 26 provide the finest bottom fishery on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The area is riddled with reefs, shoals and rock piles, the majority of which are located a short distance from shore. Time your fish an hour before a tide change and fish for at least an hour after. Anchoring for bottom fish works best as it allows you to set up a scent trail.
Gear: One to two pound weight with herring, salmon, squid, octopus or mackerel heads. If bait isn’t working try lead heads, Zzingers and Point Wilson Darts.
Shellfish opportunities are also best at the beginning of our season with outstanding prawning starting as early as April 1st. Oysters and crabs are also the best eating from spring into early summer while the sea water temperatures remain cold and we have yet to experience any plankton blooms to raise any safety concerns. Please check local regulations and DFO postings for shellfish before harvesting or consuming.
As a result of the fund raising activities through the derbies over the past four years we have been able to work with the Nootka Sound Watershed Society to release an average of 250,000 coho a year into Nootka Sound. The first large run of these mature coho are due to return in the fall this year so fishing on the Conuma River is expected to be nothing short of fantastic!
Marine Operations Manager
Nootka Marine Adventures Ltd.
Also see the Nootka Sound Archives
- Island Fisherman
- February 12, 2018
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