Find out what’s working and what’s not when fishing in the Ucluelet area on Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim. Tips, best practices, places and the go-to lures are just a sample of what you’ll find in our fishing report.
Ucluelet Marine Map
Ucluelet Marine Weather Forecast
Ucluelet Fishing Report
Click Here for Area 23/123 Current Fishing Regulations
Everything is in full swing on the west coast this month!
After the springtime awakening brought light and warmth, triggering the abundance of the herring spawn pouring out of Barkley Sound, Ucluelet fishing is set for action. The juvenile herring are a welcome sight for many species, with Chinook being one of our favourites. Downsizing your gear to match this offering means running spoons 3″ or less or small needlefish-style hoochies. Leaders for spoons should be as long and as light as you are comfortable with, since clear water and picky fish can be a tough combo. Inshore, trolling close to the bottom at Great Bear or around the Red Can will always be good bets. Consistent opportunity for smaller resident fish inshore is one of the things that make Ucluelet great year-round, and the local hatchery has an annual production target of 100,000 Chinook that join their wild counterparts in the smorgasbord that is the Pacific.
Bottom fishing in June can yield some great results on the coast, with smaller baitfish drawing rockfish and lingcod into feeding frenzies that can see black rockfish jump clear of the water, and lingcod follow hooked fish right to the boat. Lead jigs and swimbait-style lures in either natural or contrasting colours work well for these feisty species—bright and natural for clear days, dark and contrasting for murky ones.
As the weather improves, offshore halibut fishing really gets into gear. Anchoring for these tasty beasts can be the best tactic, and a combination of attractant and bait will ensure you bring them in. Herring is a go-to in the first half of the season for halibut. Try using an elastic band wrapped around the bait and leader to secure it (rather than something like Spider Wire). Small fish won’t be able to pull it off the hook, and it will still be there when the keeper comes looking. As always, take care with larger fish to keep both you and the fish safe when releasing.
Book your trip now. Let’s go have some fun!
info @ maxcoast.ca
As the steely grip of winter loses its hold, splashes of colour begin to appear on the coast. The brighter greens of fresh spruce growth join the magenta hues of the salmonberry’s topside, and in the seas around Ucluelet the action starts to pick up.
A good abundance of “feeder” springs, or resident Chinook, can be found working the nearshore areas around Ucluelet and Barkley Sound. As these great tasting fish build their stores up eating recently spawned juvenile herring, they also build their ratios of fats stored in their meat—making for excellent table fare. While local anglers patiently wait for the offshore opportunities of migrating monsters, these 10 to 12 lb bullets will provide both a fun fight and a tasty meal. Small, narrow spoons trolled close to the bottom around the slack tide will often get results by mimicking another of the salmon’s favourite meals—the needlefish, or pacific sand lance. Keep in mind these small fish seek refuge in the sandy bottom, so a close watch on your sounder and gear depth is key as you troll just above the hard deck.
Your chances of encountering a lingcod while trolling close to the bottom are very good, and many a keeper-sized fish has been tricked by what might seem like a snack. If these toothy predators are your target, you can definitely improve your odds by switching to a trolled swimbait and using much the same technique as you would for salmon. There are many different versions available today, with the “Paddle Tail” and “Burbot” styles being most popular.
With summer on the horizon the seas have been calming substantially, and opportunities for halibut on the banks outside of Ucluelet will begin to present themselves more and more often. Herring is a preferred bait as the abundance of other migratory and seasonal prey items have yet to appear in numbers, but that usually means the spiny dogfish have yet to show up too!
Keep in touch if you’d like to talk fishing!
info @ maxcoast.ca